"I hope we shall ... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country". If you think the quote is from a liberal politician, you will be wrong. It was in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1816 to George Logan, a Pennsylvania politician.
“We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption”. That quotation did not come from any statement by any Republican Presidential candidate. That was the decision handed down in 2010 by Supreme Court in the case of Citizen United v. Federal Election Commission.
According to Richard Beeman in his book titled 'Plain, Honest Men - The Making of American Constitution', moneyed influence on the election process was very much on the minds of the framers of the Constitution. There are other historical documents that allude to this concern. Yet our Supreme Court, by their ruling, has corrupted the election process in favor of the oligarchs. In 2010 elections the corporations and other wealthy interest groups, through the now legal Super PACS, legitimized Tea Party's single focus on tax cuts for the rich. Under the guise of deficit reduction, they are pursuing their goal of undermining the regulations that are meant to protect the citizens from the corporate greed.
The Republican Congress is so concerned about the deficit that they would like to cut most of the governmental services except the defense. Yet the 81% of the deficits since the end of the WWII had occurred during the Republican Administrations. Reagan and Bush racked up $3.4 trillion by cutting taxes on the rich. When he took office, President Reagan informed us how to measure deficit to the end of the budget of the departing President. He said that if we stacked thousand dollar bills, a trillion would be 67 miles high. When he left office the stack had grown to 191 miles. See details here. Two tax cuts, prescription drug plan and two unfunded wars during the G W Bush administration added $6.06 trillion. Although Clinton left a $235 billion surplus after a paying $360 billion debt, he had accumulated $2.23 trillion interest on Reagan - Bush deficit. By the end of G W Bush budget on October 1, 2009, the total deficit stood at $11.63 trillion. Tea Party/GOP conveniently assign the Bush's last budget deficit and the interest to Obama thereby bloating his numbers to over $4.2 trillion, although his $1.4 trillion is part of the Bush tax cuts, Obama stimulus and the wars. The Grand Oligarchs Party, the GOP demonstrates total dishonesty when it comes to deficits.
Although the federal corporate tax rate is 15% to 35%, during 2008 to 2010 the 12 fortune 500 corporations received $62.4 billion in Tax Subsidies while earning $171 billion in profits. Their Effective Tax rate was - 1.5%. See details here. According to the Congressional Budget Office, during the last three decades, for the 1% of the population, average inflation-adjusted household income grew by 275%. The rest of wealthiest fifth of the population, not including the top 1%, saw household income grow by 65% during that time, faster than the rest of the population. During the same period, the income of the poorest fifth grew a meager 18%.
Reagan's record tax cuts, motivated by supply side economics, failed and the unemployment reached 10.8%, he began spending on the infrastructure. That triggered the recovery. Although he had to increase taxes four times to take back half of the original cuts, the government spending had already begun to increase payrolls. Compare Clinton, who raised the taxes in 1993 and industry responded by providing 23 million jobs. The Tea Party/GOP plan continues to fall back on the failed supply side economics by cutting more taxes on the back of the 99% Americans. They believe that millions of Americans are unemployed by choice just as the foreclosures are the result of bad choices by the mortgagees.
They would gut the EPA, created under Nixon Administration as the chemically contaminated sites were found and people were getting sick. The Love Canal, NY is now forgotten when resident of the whole city had to be relocated. Also retired to the history is the Valley of the Drums where thousands of chemical waste filled drums were scattered on a 23 acre site near Louisville, Kentucky. It took us decades to clean many of our polluted lakes and rivers and many more need attention. There may be ways to make the agency more efficient, but to make it ineffective, as the sponsors of the Tea Party/GOP would like to do, would be a crime.
The subprime mortgage was nothing more than a fraudulent scheme in a freewheeling capital market. It bloated the housing market as it sucked in the unsuspecting mortgagees into low cost loans that were then used to create securities giving false value to the holder. The trading of such stocks enriched the financial managers and brokers alike who received billions in bonuses while the working Americans, once faced with the real cost of the loans, began defaulting. I am sure that some of the GOP presidential contenders would dismiss the plight of the underwater mortgage holders because of their bad choice. GOP, the Grand Oligarchs Party, by opposing the Consumer Financial Regulations, demonstrates that they feel no pain for the millions of Americans who have lost everything in the subprime scheme.
Our election process has become so corrupt that majority of the time the bills are crafted by lobbyists' staff. Immediately after a Presidential election, the opposition begins to dismantle the elected officials and fund raising for the coming elections gets under way in earnest and no time is left for the affairs of the nation. The Occupy Wall Street movement is crying out against the injustices meted out by our representatives on behalf of their financial supporters. I hope that by the next elections, the protests have raised the ire of the voters so that we do not elect a candidate who pledges allegiance to an individual's whimsical idea. There can only be one pledge - to uphold the Constitution and work only for the welfare of all the citizens.