This should be at the top of everybody’s list, because it affects ALL issues. Taxes, health care, war, education, you name it. All issues!!!
Political corruption is a bipartisan issue and affects both Liberals and Conservatives alike, and informing voters is the only solution. We will NEVER, EVER get our economy and jobs situation corrected until we get the legalized bribes (campaign contributions) out of the system.
There is ONLY ONE reason to turn your back on this issue, and that’s if you are in the top 3% of wealthy Americans. For you, things are going okay even while the world crashes around you.
If anything, the “values” voters should be more upset with our corruption than anybody else. Our country must have an honest political system, but both political parties have been corrupted by campaign cash and it may take a complete turnover of politicians before we can fix it.
It virtually doesn’t matter what your issue, follow the money and you’ll find a politician on the other end with a hand out. Privatizing our politicians is the worst type of privatization possible. The R’s have been corrupted by one set of contributors, the D’s by another. But both are corrupt and the public is paying a high price for it.
Concerned about high taxes?
Recognize that politicians spend money because they are PAID TO spend money — and debt, deficits and high taxes result.
Eliminate the political corruption — transfer politicians from the payroll of the corporations to the payroll of the taxpayer’s — and virtually all negative issues will disappear. Taxpayers are paying the $175K salaries but the special interests are paying the millions needed to get the politicians re-elected.
Election reform is thus the first issue that must be solved, and after that all the other issues will be corrected by the non-conflicted congress.
Our politicians defend the transfer of campaign cash as being legal, and that large sums do not affect their legislation. If that were true the donors would be very stupid, but it’s not true and the donors are not stupid. The Fat Cats believe exactly the opposite, because they keep giving cash to influence laws, and it works (always, but especially in the political world).
Concerned about health care?
Everybody is. Especially employers who have to pay the bill, and the employees wondering about future coverage, and the unemployed with no coverage at all. But the politicians are not concerned because they have a gold-plated taxpayer-funded plan. Nor are the top 3% of wage earners.
But the politicians passed ObamaCare, which was good in some areas (pre-existing diseases, adverse selection) but it was very BAD in other areas (mandated policies and costs). We were spending 17% of GDP on the American health care system, and that now promises to exceed 20% all while putting even more billions into the insurance industry’s pockets.
Why? Because the industry gave $125 million in campaign bribes to (1) be kept in the loop and (b) to keep single payer Medicare-for-all off the table. Yes, the majority of Americans oppose ObamaCare but the polls do not tell you that 65% favor Medicare-for-all!
Note one thing: *IF* a Medicare-for-all system were really bad for the nation, the industry would not have had to pay a penny to keep it off the table. The politicians would have blocked it for free.
To see how the public actually got screwed over on health care, read in detail the page at Medicare-for-all.
Public funding of campaigns
Public funding of campaigns would cost $5 per taxpayer per year at the state level and would save $1300 per taxpayer per year in pork and other taxpayer giveaways, so that’s quite a bargain. Double that investment at the federal level, to $10, and $3000 per taxpayer per year will be saved. But importantly, to pass constitutional muster public funding must allow politicians the choice of opting in or out. If they choose “out” then the voters can decide.
Are we having fun yet? — No matter what your issue, follow the money and you’ll find a politician at the other end with a hand out. Politicians trade taxpayer assets for campaign money, increasing taxes and virtually ensuring their re-election.
Time for political repair, or new politicians — Frankly, the latter is more doable. They just aren’t getting the message. They’ve got to go, but are voters smart enough to throw the bad ones out?
Political corruption is not a partisan issue — Conservatives rant against high taxes, but totally ignore the catalyst… our corrupt political system. What is it about money do they not understand?
Perpetuating a corrupt political system — Would you allow an employee to take money from vendors and give company assets in return?
Corporate taxes should be zero, at least for corporations whose CEO wages are within a 100-to-one multiple of worker wages. Higher than that should pay taxes based on revenues; not manipulated profits. And companies that outsource their manufacturing and send jobs out of the country, should be taxed heavily. Though taxing manipulation itself may be a problem, thus giving subsidies to US wages may not be.
Otherwise, corporate taxes are regressive, as they are added to the price of the product and are passed to the consumers at the cash register. And besides, they account for only 8% of federal revenues anyway.
Instead, we need a value-added tax on luxury products and a more progressive personal tax plus taxes on all income, including from investments. The $105K cap on SSI and Medicare taxes should be eliminated, and Bush’s tax cuts should be rescinded (except to the lower 99%). So should tax breaks for corporations who outsource jobs to other countries. This will make American companies more competitive in the global marketplace and more jobs will remain in the states.
I don’t buy the argument that if you tax the rich more heavily they will not invest. If that were the case why not eliminate all of their taxes so they can invest even more (and get even richer). Wow, would we see growth then?
Why zero corporate taxes make sense — Base the zero-tax rate on whether corporate CEOs and executives remain in the state and pay taxes, and don’t outsource jobs to other states or countries.
Sensenbrenner’s rant falls on deaf ears — Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner rants about pork barrel projects, but dips into the trough himself and refuses to clean up the political corruption that fuels them.
Tax and spend is bipartisan problem, campaign reform is the solution — Taxes result from government spending, and excessive taxes result from excessive government spending. But it all starts when politicians take cash from special interests that want government favors.
A stimulus by any other name — Earlier we needed a tax break for the wealthy… today it’s a tax break for the middle class to reverse the negative results. Both ostensibly to do the same thing. One will work, a little, when the other didn’t at all.
The Tax Policy Center provides a wealth of tax statistics and analysis.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities looks at issues of budget priorities and economic development.
Citizens for Tax Justice advocates for poor and middle-income families.
Responsible Wealth is the advocacy organization headed by Bill Gates Senior and Chuck Collins.
United for a Fair Economy is a group working to preserve democracy from the corrupting influences of concentrated wealth.