Initial jobless claims held steady this week suggesting that the economy continues to produce jobs despite denials of any recovery from the Republicans. They suddenly seem to be showing empathy for the long term unemployed (not!). Today’s Right Wing talking point on why Obama’s plan to reform corporate taxes by closing loopholes won‘t work, is a really good one. The reason it won’t work to close the loopholes that allow Republican benefactors to pay no taxes, is that it makes the tax code too complicated. Eliminating tens of thousands of pages tax regulations dedicated to creating loopholes, loopholes designed to benefit specific companies, will complicate the tax code.
There are a significant number of large corporations that spend more on lobbying than they pay in taxes. You might wonder how they can spend that much money to wine and dine a relative few Congressmen, even at $400 a bottle. The truth is that most of the money goes to maintain the revolving door to the Capitol. Former Senators, Congressman and senior Congressional staffers are guaranteed a high paid job with a lobbying firm upon leaving public service. That is if he made sure their corporate constituency was well taken care of.
A well placed Congressman who has the dirt on the other members can be paid millions for his knowledge of “history“. Staffers can do okay at the money hog trough as well, if they know how to “properly” craft legislation, and they know where the dead hookers are buried. They will be rotated in and out of the House and Senate office buildings by their corporate masters as needed to protect corporate interests. Former staffers will actually write more legislation when not working at the Capitol, as those tens of thousands of pages of loopholes don‘t just fall from the sky. Even senior military officers that worked in procurement can find a seven figure job upon retirement as easily as picking out a new set of golf clubs. (gold plated, please)
There are a lot of people on the right, and the left who constantly obsess over term limits as the answer to all our problems. As if making sure Congressmen know nothing about how government works, would somehow give us better government. For one thing, the average Congressman spends half of his day raising money to get re-elected, instead of doing his/her job. Public financing would fix that, but we still need to close that revolving door.
Some tough ethics laws would do the trick, but you would need to start with the Supreme Court, or any reform will simply be struck down as a violation of corporate civil rights. This might seem like an insurmountable goal, but there is one advantage that we have. These people are motivated strictly by greed, and are terrified of getting caught. (every one of them has committed multiple felonies) Enough public clamor will force them to allow reforms, as they hope to retire quietly in order to spend their ill gotten gains. The trick is to maintain the clamor long enough to make it happen, and then to not forget about when it’s done.
The Progressives pushed through their reforms without the internet, video recording, or even radio and long distance telephone service. They couldn’t self publish, flyers had to be set in lead type and printed in bulk. Those people would see the advantages we have today as nothing short of magic. Of course the forces of darkness have these things too, and they spend billions to make sure everybody sees their untruths.
But, you’ll notice their sway is starting to wane. They don’t have any new talking points, and they have resorted to using the “debate” over contraception as if it were 1955. Santorum is reduced to reading from yellowed John Birch Society flyers. Did you know that 5% of deaths in the Netherlands are from forced euthanasia? The Dutch people are rather surprised by this, but the Santorum and the far right have know about it since the 50s.
When it seems it’s nothing but an impossible goal do this stuff, take this little quiz. How many western democracies have ever elected a person of color to their highest office?
The majority of Americans are better and smarter people than they are generally given credit for being. www.prairie2.com [tomorrow: learn how much “tax” you pay to your Republican overlords when you go to the gas pump, it will surprise you.]