I often reference the influence of corporations in the US Government and how this has lead our representatives to not serve us, but instead their campaign donors. An example to back this is up is during the 2012 elections, 95% of all state representatives who won had the most financial backing. It’s clear, by simple observation of human nature, that they are then beholden to their donors to serve their interests. But do not despair, there is a solution, a Constitutional Convention.
The Implications Of Citizens United, Of Corporate Personhood, Extends To Both Sides Of the Isle
It’s not just republicans, it’s democrats too. Few people would have paid much attention to the campaigns of Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, or Gary Johnson, given they were not included in debates, and were given minimal air time on the major networks and major publications in comparison to Mitt Romney and President Obama. What did these three candidates have in common? They didn’t buy into the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, and often had agendas regarding energy that were unfavorable to the oil and coal corporations.
More clear examplese of how Washington serves the interest of the wealthiest Americans and corporations:
The majority of Americans favor a balanced approach to addressing the deficit and debt issues. Last year GE paid less than 2% of tax on their profits, and some oil companies, such as Exxon, getting tax subsidies, paid for by the American tax payers, to the tune of 4 billion dollars. This is suppose to give incentives to these companies to do business that already makes them among the most profitable corporations in the world. You can trust they’re not going to close up shop if they didn’t get these subsidies. It’s corporate welfare. This is also the opposite of the ‘free market’ you hear parroted so often, for it gives advantages to the largest corporations over new competitors entering into the market place.
Do Not Be Deceived, ‘Entitlements’ Are Not What’s Dragging Down America, It’s A Distraction
Instead what we see is rhetoric regarding the spending problems of Washington surrounding ‘entitlements’, a word that has been used to degrade Americans who rely on social security – which they’ve paid into their whole lives – medicare, medicaid, and food stamps. These costs pale in comparison to the bloated budget of our defense budget, which is larger than most of the worlds defense budgets combined.
During the era of George W Bush, and perpetuated under the Obama administration, we not only put in place tax breaks that benefited the wealthiest families and corporations in the country, but we spent trillions ‘off the books’, from the budget, placing us into a gargantuan hole. The answer to this isn’t to balance the budget on the backs of the middle and lower socioeconomic classes.
It is a fallacy that 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes. There’s income tax, there’s payroll tax, and there’s sales tax, to name three major revenue streams for the government. Payroll tax only goes up to $106,000.00, so if you earn $250,000.00 a year, you don’t pay any payroll tax on $144,000.00 of your earnings, while if you earn under $106,000.00, as do the vast majority of Americans, all of your pay falls under the purview of the payroll tax. If we raised the payroll tax to $250,000.00, we wouldn’t need to cut programs that hurt the most vulnerable citizens.
Then there’s sales tax, which if you’re a middle to lower income earner constitutes a far greater portion of your income than if you’re wealthy. This is quite simple; if you don’t earn that much, you wind up spending most of your income on things, be they microwaves, TVs, cell phones, furniture, dryers, refrigerators – I think you can extrapolate where I’m going with this – and hence the majority of your income is subject to sales tax. With the wealthy, a tiny portion of their income goes towards sales tax.
Capital gains tax is at most 20%, and the Estate tax is around 19.7%. These taxes are at an all time low, and this benefits only the wealthiest Americans. I should clarify that the wealthiest Americans equates to less than the top 1%. The income inequality in the US is equivalent to a banana republic.
Citizens United: Enabling Legal Bribery. Politicians Are Cheap To Purchase And Make For Immensely Profitable Investments
Citizens United was the nail in the coffin that allowed for legal bribery of US politicians. If you’re a billionaire or a corporation, it’s a small investment, with a monumental return, to purchase a politician They fund the campaign, and if you play ball, they’ll fund your next campaign. And when you leave office, you’ll get a high paying job as a lobbyist – or if you’re in the senate and need to wait two years before becoming a lobbyist, don’t worry, you can always become an adviser to a lobbyist firm for the interim. Or perhaps you’ll get a cushy job working for the banks, or as a regulator; regulating the same industries that funded your campaigns in the first place. This is referred to as the revolving door in Washington.
But this article isn’t about all that’s wrong in Washington; I’m going to take for granted that if you’ve been paying attention, you accept the fact that Washington is corrupt, and that they most politicians do not serve the interests of their electorates but instead are servants to the interests of the banks, corporations, and their wealthiest donors.
What I would rather discuss is what we can do about this. We can’t expect a corrupt system to fix itself from the inside, and I would rather stray as far as possible from any provocation that violence is necessary to start healing our government and country. That will only lead to the misery and suffering of millions more citizens, and a further weakening of America’s standing on the world stage.
Eric Holder, HSBC, Too Big To Fail, And Too Big To Jail
Before I go into this proposed solution, let’s take a look at what Eric Holder, the Attorney General, had to say about why the banks aren’t being prosecuted. HSBC has laundered hundreds of millions, if not billions for drug cartels and Al-Qaeda. Not one person has gone to prison over this ridiculous scandal, yet hundreds of thousands of Americans are imprisoned for drug related crimes, and Bradley Manning is still rotting in prison for ‘aiding the enemy’, when all the evidence presented thus far points to the fact he was a whistle blower, doing what he did in the spirit of enlightening the American people to the true goings on within the US military, so they could be better educated and hopefully instigate change. After all it’s our tax payer money that funds these illegal wars that profit the likes of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and a host of undesirable characters.
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Here we have Eric Holder, the Attorney General of all people, basically admitting that the banks are not only too big to fail, but too big to jail. Yes, HSBC paid a fine, but it was a pittance in comparison to the profit they made from their highly illegal and scandalous activities. Sure, Eric is ‘concerned with the size of these institutions’, but if you listen carefully, he’s basically giving the banks free reign to continue their illegal activities for fear that any action taken against them, so far as prosecuting the big players for criminal offences, may adversely effect the US economy, or even the world’s economy.
A Constitutional Convention
Onto the solution. How do we bring about a Constitutional Convention, which would empower the States to come together, circumnavigate the corruption of Washington, and enable us to get rid of Citizen’s United. Corporations are not people, and considering them as such, while coupling the decision to make donating money freedom of speech, has lead us into this deep and depraved hole that threatens our civil liberties and economic well being as a country, and our very standing on the world stage.
“According to Article V, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”, and therefore 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications. ”
A Constitutional Convention is not only possible, but it’s in motion. There are States on board, and the movement is growing. There are many organizations you can research that are working towards this goal, but while I’ll endorse below a personal favorite of mine, I encourage you to do your own research and learn more for yourself, till you’re outraged enough to open your window, shake your fist outside at the world and say, “I’m not going to take this anymore!”
Wolf-PAC is an excellent organization working towards the goal of a Constitutional Convention, and if you visit the site, there’s a wealth of succinct information about the problem, the plan and objectives, and how you can make a difference. A tangible difference, all by yourself, by contacting your local state representative.
If there’s any issue you feel Washington is being dishonest about, or avoiding the best interests of the American people, you can almost certainly trace it back to this root of corruption. There was corruption before Citizens United, and there will be corruption after, but it’s a step in the right direction. A step in a direction that Americans, be they democrats, republicans, independents, or libertarians can all come together on, for it transcends political ideology.
The government and the mass media seeks to distract and divide us. Don’t let them. Look into this, and fight back in the spirit our founding fathers intended us to; using the Constitution for the benefit of the people, for they foresaw that from time to time government would become corrupt, and it would be up to the people and the States to get our collective house back in order.