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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
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The World's Richest People 2015

The World's Richest People 2015 | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The World's Richest People 2015


No. 6: Charles Koch (tie)

Net worth: $42.9 billion (+$2.9 billion vs 2014)

Citizenship: United States

Charles and David Koch's spheres of influence span business, philanthropy and politics. The lightning-rod capitalist brothers continue to add to their empire, plunking down more than $5 billion on acquisitions in 2014. Charles has been chair of Koch Industries since 1967, overseeing massive growth of what is now the second-biggest private company in America, behind commodities giant Cargill. Their reach extends from oil pipelines, refineries and manufacturers of building materials to paper towels and even Dixie Cups. They were relative pikers in the 2014 midterm elections, spending about $2.5 million each on Republican races, but the Washington Post reported that they have exhorted their conservative compatriots to raise almost $1 billion for the 2016 presidential election. The Kochs are also active philanthropists. In mid-2014, a $25 million gift from Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation to the United Negro College Fund sparked discussion across the political spectrum.

No. 6: David Koch (tie)

Net worth: $42.9 billion (+$2.9 billion vs 2014)

Citizenship: United States

New York City's richest resident David Koch shares control of $115 billion (sales) Koch Industries with his older brother Charles. America's second largest private company, Koch Industries has interests in oil pipelines, refineries, building materials, paper towels and Dixie cups, and made more than $5 billion in acquisitions in 2014 including inkmaker Flint Group for a reported $3 billion and PetroLogistics for $2.1 billion. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York dedicated the David H. Koch Plaza in September 2014, part of a $65 million renovation he funded. Koch Industries poured more than $3 million into the 2014 midterm elections. Audio recordings leaked from not-so-secret Koch-organized meetings in June 2014 revealed Republicans including Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) laying out their strategy for thwarting Obama's legislative agenda if the Republicans gained control of the Senate in 2014, which did indeed happen. The Kochs are also active philanthropists. In mid-2014, a $25 million gift from Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation to the United Negro College Fund sparked discussion on the left and right.

See more of The World’s Billionaires 2015




Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Know you voice (or money) really matters... Mitch Mcocnnel

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Bankruptcy Lawyers for Right-to-Work - YouTube

March 2, 2015 - Personal bankruptcy attorney James Murray testifies in favor of Right-to-Work legislation. "I’m a bankruptcy lawyer and this is good for my b...
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Who wins in a right to work state?

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Bethlehem Township sets new vacation limits for employees - WFMZ Allentown

Bethlehem Township sets new vacation limits for employees - WFMZ Allentown | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Bethlehem Township Commissioners on Monday set new rules for how much paid time off non-union employees can have.
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Here come the jobs, finally - Christian Science Monitor

Here come the jobs, finally - Christian Science Monitor | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Even the long-term unemployed are starting to find work. But how strong is the jobs recovery, really?
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Sick of Money Corrupting Politics? Take the Fight Local. | BillMoyers.com

Sick of Money Corrupting Politics? Take the Fight Local. | BillMoyers.com | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Fighting the corruption of money in politics one city and state at a time may be the most effective path to reform.
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Inside the mind of Machiavelli: The early writings that foretold a revolution

Inside the mind of Machiavelli: The early writings that foretold a revolution | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Niccolo Machiavelli was one of the most important thinkers of his time. Here's where he got his start
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Here is an account of one man's way to discover inner reflection...I suggest this is where every major, meaningful revolution starts.

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The Path to Freedom From Corruption Goes Through New York State — And Your State

The Path to Freedom From Corruption Goes Through New York State — And Your State | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
BillMoyers.com is proud to collaborate with Every Voice on a series of op-eds featuring ideas from a variety of viewpoints for making our democracy one that is truly of, by and for the people.
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This is worth the time needed to check it out!

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Comment on Google Leads a Corporate Exodus From Lobbying Group ALEC by lazerhaze

Comment on Google Leads a Corporate Exodus From Lobbying Group ALEC by lazerhaze | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
It’s about time that business in America gets hurt in a far more severe way than the American people were hurt by businesses actions in government (the crash of 08) Businesses need the threat of the death penalty, Americans should be allowed to...
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Yeah!

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Can conservatives come together?

Can conservatives come together? | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Conservatives are trying to overcome their biggest challenge: themselves.
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At least 6 Republican states revisit their stance of resisting Obamacare - Washington Post

At least 6 Republican states revisit their stance of resisting Obamacare - Washington Post | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
They fret over a possible court decision that would revoke subsidies for millions of Americans.
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How the Facts about Benghazi Bring an End to the Republican Lying Game | Nomadic Politics

How the Facts about Benghazi Bring an End to the Republican Lying Game | Nomadic Politics | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
After two long years of investigating the Benghazi incident, the Republicans were forced to admit that all of the slanderous claims made against Obama and his administration were, in fact, untrue.
Nobody wants to talk about holding anybody to account now.
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Public Service Commission

Public Service Commission | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Common Cause Nebraska has discovered that 76% of campaign financing from identifiable donors for incumbent Nebraska Public Service Commissioners comes from the industries they regulate or people directly connected to those industries
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Keep your eye on the money behind the policy.....

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership clause everyone should oppose

The Trans-Pacific Partnership clause everyone should oppose | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The Investor-State Dispute Settlement provision would undermine U.S. sovereignty.
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The Biased Filter: Net Neutrality, Voter Suppression, Money in Politics - YouTube

With stirring clarity, Prof. Lawrence Lessig connects the dots between the fight for net neutrality, the struggle for voting rights in the Jim Crow South, th...
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My libertarian vacation nightmare: How Ayn Rand, Ron Paul & their groupies were all debunked

My libertarian vacation nightmare: How Ayn Rand, Ron Paul & their groupies were all debunked | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
My family and I traveled last month to a Honduras city known for its libertarian ideals. Here's what happened next
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Big Brother 2.0: 160000 Facebook pages are hacked a day - New York Post

Big Brother 2.0: 160000 Facebook pages are hacked a day - New York Post | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
WikiLeaks, the National Security Agency, data mining — we all know Big Brother is watching. But few of us realize to what extent. Some things you might not know: Your smart TV is probably watching ...
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Government of the Legislature, by the Legislature, for the Legislature

Government of the Legislature, by the Legislature, for the Legislature | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
An adaptation of an 1812 cartoon criticizing Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry's partisan redistricting ( Kenny Cole/Flickr ) “If my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote to a friend in 1920.
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Republican hawks stole the show at CPAC. Here’s why that matters.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week, you might have expected to see evidence of the debate raging in the Republican Party over its approach to foreign policy.
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‘Shut Down Homan Square’: Anonymous, Black Lives Matter swarm Chicago police ‘black site’

‘Shut Down Homan Square’: Anonymous, Black Lives Matter swarm Chicago police ‘black site’ | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The Chicago police facility Homan Square was becoming the focus of an organized protest movement this weekend, as the hacktivist collective Anonymous and organizers associated with the Black Lives Matter movement seized on allegations of...
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Watch John Oliver Explain the Absurdity of Judicial Elections (Mature Language)

Watch John Oliver Explain the Absurdity of Judicial Elections (Mature Language) | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
On this week’s edition of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver discussed the public election of judges, a practice that occurs in all but 11 states.
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Gerry Adams accuses Burton of being the 'architect of austerity' - Irish Times

Gerry Adams accuses Burton of being the 'architect of austerity' - Irish Times | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Sinn Féin leader says Labour voters feel ‘betrayed’
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Rupert Murdoch to rehire editor acquitted in phone-hacking scandal

Rupert Murdoch to rehire editor acquitted in phone-hacking scandal | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Rebekah Brooks is close to being rehired by Rupert Murdoch in a permanent position heading up his search for new online investments.
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Open Season for Intolerance: How Russia's Anti-Gay Propaganda Laws are Destroying Lives | Nomadic Politics

Open Season for Intolerance: How Russia's Anti-Gay Propaganda Laws are Destroying Lives | Nomadic Politics | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
An article in a Russian newspaper provides one example of how discriminatory toward gay citizens Putin's anti-gay propaganda policy has become. It has become a tool for hunting down individuals and destroying their careers.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

Whether you are a fan of Gay marriage or lifestyles or hate gay people or not, surely if one wants to save the traditional marriages....  the place to start would be with avoiding choices and behaviors that lead to divorce. Who wants to be the one that marries a person that is forced to be someone they are not just to save face or maybe even stay alive or get by? People that try to force everyone into a mold just because that is how they want that person to be aren't helping any of us... I'm not talking about allowing people to do whatever they want regardless of others.....but hurting people because they are different or think different is uncalled for, unwise, and down right mean and hateful.

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A rare look inside a Saudi prison that showers terrorists with perks

A rare look inside a Saudi prison that showers terrorists with perks | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Except for the machine guns and guard towers, the al-Hair high-security prison looks remarkably like a hotel — especially the conjugal-visit wing. Beyond a heavy iron gate, its bars painted a cheerful lavender, a red carpet stretches the length of a long hallway, where each of the 38 private cells has a queen-size bed, a fridge, a television and a shower.
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Interesting....

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Hammerstrom: Will we know corruption when we see it?

Hammerstrom: Will we know corruption when we see it? | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
By Jim Hammerstrom
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Something to think about....

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