Category Archives: Democrats

WaPo’s Marcus Confuses Infidelity With Sexism

In a recent opinion piece for the Washington Post titled: “Trump is right: Bill Clinton’s sordid sexual history is fair game“, Ruth Marcus attempts to justify Donald Trump’s playing of the Bill’s Affairs card. She writes:

Bill_Hillary_ClintonWhat is the relevance of Bill Clinton’s conduct for Hillary Clinton’s campaign? Ordinarily, I would argue that the sins of the husband should not be visited on the wife. What Bill Clinton did counts against him, not her, and I would include in that her decision to stick with him. What happens inside a marriage is the couple’s business, and no one else’s…

But Hillary Clinton has made two moves that lead me, gulp, to agree with Trump on the “fair game” front. She is (smartly) using her husband as a campaign surrogate, and simultaneously (correctly) calling Trump sexist.

Marcus just gets it REALLY wrong. First of all, whatever one thinks of Bill Clinton’s extra-marital affairs, they do not make him a sexist. In the case of Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern Bill took up with while President, she was 22 at the time, and an adult. As I’ve said before, unless she’d been cloistered somewhere, she knew she was fooling around with a married man; he just happened to be the President. If Ms. Lewinski had wanted to, she could have left the situation at any time, or gone public if she felt harrassed. 

callista.cindyOn the other hand, paramours tend to get a free pass when it comes to political campaigns. In the cases of Callista Gingrich and Cindy McCain for example, they weren’t lambasted for their parts in the affairs that broke up two marriages, because it was their husbands seeking office, not them. No one thought it a liability when they did campaign events for their husbands. Much as one might condemn infidelity, it is not sexism.

trumpWhich brings me to my second point: Donald Trump IS a sexist. He simultaneously denigrates women, while treating his wives like ornaments. He has referred to women as “pieces of ass“, gold diggers, Bimbos, Dogs, and Pigs. You can call Bill Clinton a lot of things, but woman hater isn’t one of them.

Marcus’ WaPo piece is not the first time someone has tried to hold Hillary partially responsible for her husband’s behavior. She has been called his “enabler“, and accused of  ignoring his behavior to “reap the benefits of being the FLOTUS”. (Whatever the hell that means.)

Bill and Hillary

President Clinton disappointed many people by tarnishing both the office of the President, and his legacy, with the Lewinsky mess. That being said, Bill may be a lot of things, but sexist isn’t one of them.

The fact is, Hillary would be crazy not to use Bill in her campaign; he regularly polls at a 60% Favorability Rating, can speak off the cuff to any issue, and is her biggest supporter. They’re a great team.

One final point: How Hillary Clinton chooses to handle her marital issues, including her reasons for staying with Bill, is nobody’s business. Whatever their relationship, it’s obvious they love each other. The only thing that matters in the end is that she is running for President, not her husband.

Clipart-Of-A-Red-Rose

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Filed under 2016 Campaigns, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Women

Will Offshore Blackmailers Win Again?

Congress might be poised to kowtow to corporate offshore blackmailers again, according to Reuters News Service:

corporate gift from congressDemocrat Barbara Boxer of California and Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky called for allowing businesses to pay 6.5 percent corporate income tax on foreign profits brought into the country from overseas, instead of the current 35 percent rate, which they largely avoid.

Seriously, this offshore tax holiday bullshit again? Do we learn nothing from past mistakes? As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reports:

A tax holiday enacted in 2004 failed to produce the promised economic benefits. The evidence shows that firms mostly used the repatriated earnings not to invest in U.S. jobs or growth but for purposes that Congress sought to prohibit, such as repurchasing their own stock and paying bigger dividends to their shareholders. Moreover, many firms actually laid off large numbers of U.S. workers even as they reaped multi-billion-dollar benefits from the tax holiday and passed them on to shareholders.

Americans for Tax Fairness reports:

Multinational corporations are holding roughly $2 trillion in profits offshore – much of it in tax havens to avoid paying U.S. taxes. These corporations are costing U.S. taxpayers about $100 billion every year in lost revenue.

When corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes, the rest of us must make up the difference. Here’s how much a handful of these corporations would likely owe in taxes if they brought those profits home:

  • Apple: $26 billion
  • Microsoft: $19.4 billiontax dodging
  • Amgen: $7.9 billion
  • Eli Lilly: $7.3 billion
  • Oracle: $6.3 billion
  • Dell: $6.2 billion

Now consider this: In a 2013 Senate subcommittee hearing, Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed: “We pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar.” As Forbes reported at the time:

Apple, one of the world’s most valuable companies, was asked to testify about its tax programs as part of the subcommittee’s ongoing look into corporate tax loopholes.

The bi-partisan committee, headed by Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), said its investigation found that Apple has shifted billions of dollars in profits away from the U.S. and into Ireland, where the maker of iPhones and iPads has negotiated a special corporate tax rate of 2 percent or less. The subcomittee said yesterday that Apple has avoided paying taxes on $44 billion in overseas earnings that should have been taxed in the U.S. over the past four years.

offshore_tax_rulesWhile Apple paid almost $6 billion in taxes last year, the company also shifted $36 billion in taxable earnings away from the U.S. in 2012 and avoided a payment of $9 billion, Levin said. That translates into avoiding $1 million an hour in taxes, or $25 million a day, he said. “Apple wants to focus on the billions in taxes it has paid. But the real issue is the billions in taxes it has not paid.”

In a rather humorous/ironic twist, Senator Rand Paul, one of those calling for this latest get-out-of-jail-free-card for tax dodgers:

accused his colleagues of trying to “vilify” Apple. Paul said the committee should “apologize” for forcing Apple to sit through a “show trial” and for having to cope with “a bizarre and Byzantine tax code.” “Money goes where it’s welcome,” Paul said, calling for comprehensive U.S. tax reform. “Frankly, I’m offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing…I’m offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America’s greatest success stories.” (emphasis mine)

Poor little multimillionaire; I sympathize, don’t you?

There is a tax myth repeated ad nauseum by the Right and their “think tanks” like the Heritage Foundation that claims U.S. corporations pay the highest tax rates in the world. This myth has been debunked numerous times, and yet it remains a mantra on the Right. The corporate tax rate is supposedly 35% on U.S. profits; but, as Citizens for Tax Justice pointed out in their report The Sorry State of Corporate Taxes:

The report looks at the profits and U.S. federal income taxes of the 288 Fortune 500 companies that have been consistently profitable in each of the five years between 2008 and 2012, excluding companies that experienced even one unprofitable year during this period.

Some Key Findings:

• As a group, the 288 corporations examined paid an effective federal income tax rate of just 19.4 percent over the five-year period — far less than the statutory 35 percent tax rate.

• Twenty-six of the corporations, including Boeing, General Electric, Priceline.com and Verizon, paid no federal income tax at all over the five year period. A third of the corporations (93) paid an effective tax rate of less than ten percent over that period.

• Of those corporations in our sample with significant offshore profits, two thirds paid higher corporate tax rates to foreign governments where they operate than they paid in the U.S. on their U.S. profits.

This is a breakdown of U.S. tax revenue for 2013:

chart u.s. tax revenue 2013

In 2013, federal corporate income tax revenue was approximately $273.5 billion; at the same time corporate after-tax profits hit $1.68 trillion.

Now, I agree the tax system is a mess, so let’s fix it; lower the corporate tax rate, but eliminate all tax write-offs. Americans shouldn’t have to subsidize a company’s R&D, corporate jets, re-investment, etc.; if “they built that” then they can pay for their own costs of doing business. And stop letting billion dollar corporations call themselves small businesses, it’s an insult to true small business.

Let’s simplify the individual income tax while we’re at it, and stop allowing the wealthy to pay less taxes for doing nothing than those who actually work.

But most of all, let’s stop allowing big corporations and the rich to shirk their responsibilities, then blackmail America to get out of paying what they owe.

crossposted @ All Things Democrat

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Filed under Barbara Boxer, Corporate Greed, off shore banking, Politics, Rand Paul, Tax Cheats, Tax code

I’m Sick Of Spineless Democrats

twitter roseI’m pretty damned sick and tired of spineless Democrats refusing to stand up for this President’s policies, most of them policies that the Democratic Party is all about. What they should have been doing is touting the President’s record and educating voters on the current state of the economy. They could have made the point that he did it in spite of six years of obstruction by Republicans. From the Boston Globe:

pt_1068_7033_oSince January 2013, the economy has improved significantly. All the dire predictions made by Republicans in 2012 have been refuted. A jobless recovery? The unemployment rate has dropped from 7.9 percent in January 2013 to 6.2 percent today. A health care disaster? The number of uninsured adults has plunged by 25 percent, thanks to Obamacare. Spiraling health-care costs? The years that Obama has been in office have seen the lowest rates of increase in a generation. Out-of-control deficits? A 2014 deficit of $514 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — almost half what it was during the 2012 campaign. As a percentage of GDP, the deficit is about the average of where it’s been the last 40 years.

(…)

lundergan grimesKentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes uses a shotgun in her new campaign commercial to distance herself from Barack Obama.

The 35-year-old is shown skeet shooting in Mark Putnam’s newest spot for her campaign against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Here’s a report on guns and the President from Huff Po:

The president said he respects gun rights, but he lamented the fact that even a modest bill to expand background checks failed to pass in the Senate last year. That legislation, which would have required universal background checks for all gun purchases, fell victim to a GOP-led filibuster amid intense pressure from the National Rifle Association.

“Most members of Congress are terrified of the NRA,” Obama said. “The only thing that is going to change is public opinion. If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change.”

gundealers.photoblog600Lundergan-Grimes never says exactly what she disagrees with on gun policy. Does she mean expanding background checks, something 92% of voters support, including 92% of gun owners and 86% of Republicans? And the coal thing – according to Industry analysts in a Business Week report:

…let’s go to industry analysts helpfully assembled by Bloomberg News’ Mario Parker in a June 3 dispatch that deserves close attention in Washington and around the nation.

Under the Obama plan, coal still will be used to generate 30 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030, down from 39 percent in 2013, according to the EPA. “While it stifles increases in demand,” Parker notes, the Obama plan “isn’t fatal” to the coal industry or to that portion of the utility business that burns coal. In fact, he adds:

Utilities are seen by analysts as boosting consumption of the fuel at their most efficient plants to ensure power-grid reliability. “If anything, it’s a little bit better than expected,” Jeremy Sussman, an analyst at Clarkson Capital Markets in New York, said yesterday by phone. “There’s no change to coal burn for at least the next six or seven years and that’s not talking about legislation or any litigation that will come from this.”

Lundergan-Grimes actually sounds like a Republican on her campaign site’s issues page:

Washington’s regulatory barriers and burdensome taxes threaten this critical development in Kentucky.

My God, that’s straight from the GOP playbook. In a bizarre dichotomy, she both promises to protect the coal industry, while claiming she’ll help those suffering from Black Lung:

I would also support the pending Black Lung Health Improvement Act sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

Among other provisions, the bill would make it easier for coal miners to apply for and collect black lung benefits, provide more accessible legal representation for coal miners during the black-lung claims process, and create grants for research into black lung.

I can pretty much state, with no research at all, that mining coal causes Black Lung; at least she wants to help miners die easier. How about helping them not get it in the first place? As one coal miner’s grandson wrote:

Black lung disease contributed to 3,007 Kentucky miner deaths from 1972-1994. One in 10 Kentuckians has asthma, which is exacerbated by air pollution and 574,000 acres of Kentucky have been strip-mined.

We must [use] common sense, like EPA’s Clean Power Plan, as well as government incentives for renewable energy like those fossil fuels have always enjoyed. That could provide Kentucky 28,000 renewable energy jobs in 10 years – twice the number of its coal jobs.

Too bad he’s not running.

Barack Who?

Here’s Bill Maher’s take on the Democratic cowards via Politicususa:

It didn’t have to be this way. If Democratic candidates would just stop throwing their own people and achievements under the bus and distancing themselves from their own president. That is never a winning strategy. Just ask President Al Gore. Clay Aiken, who’s running in Congress in North Carolina, recently said about the president, “I have nothing to do with him, and I can find several areas where I disagree.” Okay, but come Wednesday, Obama will still have a job whereas I don’t know what Clay will be doing, but I assume it involves a cruise ship and a cover of Copacabana.

But the one I feel bad for is Obama. Sixty-three straight months of economic expansion. A depression averted. A deficit reduced by two thirds. A health care law that’s working and lowering costs. Two women on the Supreme Court. Bin Laden’s dead. The stock market at record heights. An unemployment rate that dropped from 10.2 to 5.9. If you’re a Fox News viewer trying to do the math, that’s less. Gas prices are down.

Is it really that hard of a record to get behind?… The Democrats have three Senate candidates who won’t even admit to having voted for Obama.

Kentucky’s Alison Grimes was an Obama delegate. How do you explain that? Uh, hey, that’s why they call it a convention. I was drunk. It’s like if someone asks do you have sex with your husband? And you replied, I’d rather not say. But I will say that when my husband does want to have sex, I often disagree. I mean, c’mon Democrats. You gave people healthcare, not herpes. Own it. Instead of chasing polls, move them.

Absolutely right.

Benedict Arnolds

The biggest turncoats are those campaigning in southern Red States who, if they had any brains, would have made an issue of how the conservative legislatures in those states have failed the working class voter. As I pointed out in a post for All Things Democrat, southern states are failing in practically every measurable category, except of course, tax breaks for the wealthy.

Instead we have spineless Democrats like Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, West Virginia Senate candidate Natalie Tennant, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu. These candidates have campaigned with Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, but distanced themselves from the President. They could have made the case that his policies are actually working, that historically, Democratic policies have been far more successful than Republicans’; instead, they threw the President under the bus.

I don’t expect these candidates to agree with every Obama policy, the Democratic Party is not a mindless goose-stepping party like the Republicans. I do expect them to give him credit where it’s due. Cowardly Democrats disgust me.

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Filed under Campaign 2014, Democrats, Politics, President Obama

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