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Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt: Big Business's Tax Code Strategy

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt: Big Business's Tax Code Strategy | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it

Today's New York Times article titled "Major Companies Push the Limits of a Tax Break" strikes me as a microcosm of the challenges with the federal tax code.

It also reveals something else. It's a marketing strategy called FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt - and it's being used by the rich and powerful to protect tax codes which benefit them by making the rest of us afraid to support efforts to change or eliminate those tax loopholes.

The article describes a 90-year old tax code modification supposedly meant to be helpful to farmers and small businesses. When discussing tax codes as "helpful" it's important to always remember that that help comes with a price tag. That "help" means that the government isn't taxing a transaction. That, of course, means less tax revenues into the federal treasury and, like it or not, we will not see our federal debt lowered and our federal budget come closer to balance unless both sides of the ledger - expenses AND revenues - are tackled.

Don't get me wrong. I don't oppose every tax code meant to help businesses, especially small businesses. What I vehemently oppose is what seems to have happened here. It appears from this article that this incentive originally intended to benefit farmers and small businesses was eventually expanded and perverted into something that the likes of JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and GE may have abused.

How does that happen and why aren't we capable of doing something about it?

Perhaps this is one possible answer.

Whenever the topic turns to the economy, business, and taxation, we seem to allow the rich and powerful to control the discussion and to set the framework for what to do next. We allow the to do this by employing a strategy those of us in the sales and marketing profession know as FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Here's how it works.

We allow them to manipulate and control us by controlling the discussion mostly through fear and with heavy doses of uncertainty and doubt. Too many of us are easily (and to some degree, justifiably) frightened by the threat of the loss of the most basic thing needed to survive in a modern society; namely and for starters, a job which pays enough (but not always enough) just for food and shelter.

The things that used to signal the arrival into the middle class - higher education, vacations, and even a little free time to pursue interests outside of two or three part-time jobs - are now available and affordable to fewer and fewer people. All this at a time when taxes are at historic lows, regulation on businesses of all types has been progressively shredded over the last 30 years, the wealth gap is wider than it's been since the Gilded Age, and the federal debt keeps ballooning.

When it comes to taxes, the rich and powerful use FUD to make the same argument they always make: the beneficial tax treatment of these "...asset exchanges spur investment and help create jobs." They frame the discussion about raising taxes and doing away with loopholes by saying that if they are taken away there will be less investment and fewer jobs. My response to that argument is pretty consistently this: if that's true then why is unemployment still just under 8% and why isn't the economy growing faster? You rich and powerful people are getting what you want and it's still not enough?

This is overly simplistic, I know, but I still believe it's a valid stance to take in this argument. It's still a legitimate way to tear down and take back the framing they want to use when it comes to the tax code. If tax breaks like this are so great, then why are we in the terrible state we're in and why aren't the rich and powerful investing more into a recovery? 

And when it comes to changing the tax code as a means for helping to reverse the federal government's mounting debt, the discussion must be first and foremost about the sort of code changes like this one that benefit GE and Wells Fargo long before even thinking about code changes such as eliminating mortgage interest deductions.

It's far past the time to end the corporate welfare system. That must begin with changes to the corporate tax codes. They must pay more, not less. Corporations have already proven they'll adapt and, besides, how much more is left for them to outsource overseas? They've refused to do anything except hold us all hostage through fear of job loss while they sit atop record-setting profits.

It's time to call their bluff.

One of the greatest challenges we face for reversing tax codes that benefit only the strong, the wealthy, and the powerful is our ability and willingness to call them out on their FUD strategy and to tell them that, "We're mad as hell and..."Well, you know the rest.

More than that, our elected officials need to know they can't use FUD on us either. If they have the courage to stand up to big money and the power elite, then they need to know that we will stand with them. We need more people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who seem to actually care about the middle class enough to stand up to Wall Street, big corporations, and the infinitesimally small number of wealthy people in America who already have rigged the system far too long and far too much to their advantage.

The wealthy aren't doing anything much to help the rest of us, so why should we keep kowtowing to them and their interests? Let's close tax loopholes that benefit large and wealthy corporations. It's a better place to start than with my home mortgage interest deduction.

Click here to find your Congressional Representative and tell him/her what you think. It's the only way they'll know.

Click here to learn more about and to get involved with Coffee Party USA and the work they're doing to restore our democracy.


Via John Cashon, Michael Charney
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AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US
GOP News, Libertarian news, Democratic News, World News and Reflections of Trends & Events that impact Austerity, Oppression or Progression of Societies.
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Legendary Native American Singer-Songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie on Five Decades of Music, Activism

Legendary Native American Singer-Songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie on Five Decades of Music, Activism | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, Buffy Sainte-Marie returns to the Democracy Now! studios. Her song "Universal Soldier" became one of the classic antiwar songs of the 1960s. Buffy Sainte-Marie once said, "It’s about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all." Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote the song in 1964. A year later, just months after U.S. ground forces invaded Vietnam, the British singer Donovan turned it into a hit. She has also written and sung about the struggles of Native American and First Nations people for decades. She worked with the American Indian Movement and began the Nihewan Foundation for American Indian Education. Her political activism would lead her to be largely blacklisted from commercial radio in the 1970s. On her new album, she re-records two songs from what’s become known as her "blacklist years." Five decades later, Buffy Sainte-Marie is still making powerful music. She has just released "Power in the Blood." It’s her first studio album since 2008.
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Canada Just Threw A Grenade Into Elizabeth Warren's Trade Fight With Obama

Canada Just Threw A Grenade Into Elizabeth Warren's Trade Fight With Obama | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have been locked in a public feud over whether free trade agreements can be used to undermine the 2010 Wall Street reform law.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Do you know about the TPP deal that may happen in the very near future? It will impact all of us just like the NAFTA did and there is a deal lurking with Europe as well.

 Excerpt:

But the TPP would be different, according to congressional briefings by the U.S. Trade Representative, which are reflected in a December letter from Warren to Ambassador Michael Froman, the top Obama trade official. The TPP wouldn't just empower foreign governments to sue the U.S. over bank regulations; it would allow individual companies and investors to bring such cases.

Under the "investor-state dispute settlement" process, an international tribunal cannot overrule a law or regulation, but it can assess financial penalties to encourage countries to change said law or regulation. In the past, under other trade deals, the mere existence of such cases has sometimes pressured governments into abandoning non-financial services regulations.

Moreover, the TPP would reportedly allow foreign banks to sue the U.S. government for failing to provide them with a "minimum standard of treatment." The term is vaguely defined, but international tribunals have interpreted it very broadly to make corporations eligible to receive damages for lost profits caused by policy changes that occurred after they invested in a country. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) raised similar concerns in her own December letter to Froman over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a pending trade deal with Europe.

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China charges prominent human rights lawyer as Xi tightens screw

China charges prominent human rights lawyer as Xi tightens screw | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Pu Zhiqiang, who was arrested last year, faces charges of inciting hatred and provoking trouble that carry a lengthy prison sentence. He's among nearly 2,000 political activists detained since President Xi took power in 2012.
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Obama offers Gulf nations 'ironclad' security cooperation (+video)

Obama offers Gulf nations 'ironclad' security cooperation (+video) | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
President Obama vowed on Thursday to back Gulf allies against any "external attack," seeking to quell their fears of US-led nuclear talks with Iran.
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The Final Posts of a Murdered Blogger

The Final Posts of a Murdered Blogger | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
A.M. Ahad / AP Earlier this week, as he left for work, Ananta Bijoy Das was ambushed by four masked men outside his home in Sylhet, Bangladesh.
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As Europe debates migrant crisis, a surge of boatpeople in Southeast Asia

As Europe debates migrant crisis, a surge of boatpeople in Southeast Asia | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar who face persecution at home are making perilous boat crossings to Thailand and Malaysia, provoking strong reactions from regional governments. Thailand is a hub for human trafficking.
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How Some Baltimore Neighborhoods Reflect Segregation's Legacy

How Some Baltimore Neighborhoods Reflect Segregation's Legacy | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Steve Inskeep talks to Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute about what he calls "government-sponsored segregation," and how it has led to police-community tensions.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Great program to day!

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Statue Honoring Whistleblowers Snowden, Assange, Manning Unveiled in Berlin / Sputnik International

Statue Honoring Whistleblowers Snowden, Assange, Manning Unveiled in Berlin / Sputnik International | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
A statue depicting whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning was unveiled in Berlin on Friday, as a celebration of freedom of expression and the courage to expose truths.
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Victoria Woodhull: The Fascinating Story of America's First Female Presidential Candidate | Nomadic Politics

Victoria Woodhull: The Fascinating Story of America's First Female Presidential Candidate | Nomadic Politics | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Victoria Claflin Woodhull was without argument one of the most talked-about women of the 19th century. Although something of an eccentric with a slightly unimpressive background, her biography, with its ups and downs, is a fascinating one. Her outspoken opinions about women's rights puts her far ahead of her time.
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Here's Why Rudy Giuliani Would Rather Talk about Black-on-Black Crime than Ferguson | Nomadic Politics

Here's Why Rudy Giuliani Would Rather Talk about Black-on-Black Crime than Ferguson | Nomadic Politics | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Remarks on the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri by Rudy Giuliani have caused a bit of a stir in the media. Some have charged him with showing his racist side.

For those who know Giuliani's record as mayor of New York, nothing he has said is much of a surprise.
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Educating for Democracy: What Makes a 'Great Student'? - Huffington Post

Educating for Democracy: What Makes a 'Great Student'? - Huffington Post | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Many more
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The Internet Is Finally Forcing Management to Care About People - blogs.hbr.org (blog)

The Internet Is Finally Forcing Management to Care About People - blogs.hbr.org (blog) | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
It’s a revolution nearly 100 years in the making.
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The federal ‘structuring’ laws are smurfin’ ridiculous

The federal ‘structuring’ laws are smurfin’ ridiculous | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Be careful when filling out that deposit slip. You could be committing a felony.
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How to Do a Discourse Analysis - PoliticsEastAsia.com

How to Do a Discourse Analysis - PoliticsEastAsia.com | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
You need a handy set of tools for doing a text-based, qualitative discourse analysis? This post offers ten work steps for conducting such an analysis.
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In global fight against extreme poverty, a potential game-changer

In global fight against extreme poverty, a potential game-changer | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
A groundbreaking new study suggests that one approach to extreme poverty alleviation is compassionate, cost-effective, and potent for years after the aid ends.
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A Historic Gathering: The White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

A Historic Gathering: The White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Ed. note: This blog is cross-posted from the White House Blog.
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The Battle for Downtown, from Canada to the Carolinas

The Battle for Downtown, from Canada to the Carolinas | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, North Carolina, saved by ... cars? ( Wikimedia Commons ) If you’re joining us late: Fresno, California is determined to revive its struggling downtown by re-opening a fabled pedestrian-only mall to car traffic.
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Mexico's Wage-Boosting Experiment

Mexico's Wage-Boosting Experiment | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Edgard Garrido / Reuters In the U.S., those agitating for better worker compensation have pursued a logical, time-tested path: urging the government to require companies to pay their employees better.
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Swartz doc director: Oracle and Larry Ellison killed Aaron's Law

Swartz doc director: Oracle and Larry Ellison killed Aaron's Law | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Did tech giant Oracle, and its founder and CEO Larry Ellison, pay to stall an important piece of legislation named in honour of late internet pioneer Aaron Swartz? That's what Swartz documentarian ...
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Both Republicans And Democrats Have an Age Problem

Both Republicans And Democrats Have an Age Problem | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The New York Times ran a long feature earlier this month claiming that the election of President Barack Obama in 2008 has done little to inspire young people to run for office. The article had some...
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Court Rules NSA Bulk Data Collection Was Never Authorized By Congress | WIRED

Court Rules NSA Bulk Data Collection Was Never Authorized By Congress | WIRED | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled on Thursday that the NSA's bulk collection of phone metadata was not authorized under the Patriot Act and was therefore illegal.
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The Starkville Enclave: How a Mississippi Town is Defying Failed GOP Policy | Nomadic Politics

The Starkville Enclave: How a Mississippi Town is Defying Failed GOP Policy | Nomadic Politics | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Mississippi might be considered America's Third World state but there are signs of hope.
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A Look at Obama's Progress on Homelessness In the Face of Conservative Parsimony | Nomadic Politics

A Look at Obama's Progress on Homelessness In the Face of Conservative Parsimony | Nomadic Politics | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
There's some good news about Homelessness.Obama's initiatives are actually working in spite of the Conservative insistence on the past tight-fisted policy that has never worked...
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Future of War & the United States Military 21st Century Battlefield Soldier

An insightful analysis and glimpse in the future military and terrorism threats to the United States of America and the Western world. Tags: Future (Media Genre) ...
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What No One Tells You About Changing Your Life | Stephenie Zamora

What No One Tells You About Changing Your Life | Stephenie Zamora | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
There's something many people don't talk about when it comes to transformational experiences... the hard, confusing and frustrating side of change.
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