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    25 Dec 2014

    Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They’re wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for.

    Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They’re wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for.
    Consider the new spending bill Congress and the President agreed to a few weeks ago.
    It’s not especially large by historic standards. Under the $1.1 trillion measure, government spending doesn’t rise as a percent of the total economy. In fact, if the economy grows as expected, government spending will actually shrink over the next year. 
    The problem with the legislation is who gets the goodies and who’s stuck with the tab.
    For example, it repeals part of the Dodd-Frank Act designed to stop Wall Street from using other peoples’ money to support its gambling addiction, as the Street did before the near-meltdown of 2008.
    Dodd-Frank had barred banks from using commercial deposits that belong to you and me and other people, and which are insured by the government, to make the kind of risky bets that got the Street into trouble and forced taxpayers to bail it out. 
    But Dodd-Frank put a crimp on Wall Street’s profits. So the Street’s lobbyists have been pushing to roll it back.
    The new legislation, incorporating language drafted by lobbyists for Wall Street’s biggest bank, Citigroup, does just this.
    It reopens the casino. This increases the likelihood you and I and other taxpayers will once again be left holding the bag.
    Wall Street isn’t the only big winner from the new legislation. Health insurance companies get to keep their special tax breaks. Tourist destinations like Las Vegas get their travel promotion subsidies.
    In a victory for food companies, the legislation even makes federally subsidized school lunches less healthy by allowing companies that provide them to include fewer whole grains. This boosts their profits because junkier food is less expensive to make.
    Major defense contractors also win big. They get tens of billions of dollars for the new warplanes, missiles, and submarines they’ve been lobbying for.
    Conservatives like to portray government as a welfare machine doling out benefits to the poor, some of whom are too lazy to work.
    In reality, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, only about 12 percent of federal spending goes to individuals and families, most of whom are in dire need.
    An increasing portion goes to corporate welfare.
    In addition to the provisions in the recent spending bill that reward Wall Street, health insurers, the travel industry, food companies, and defense contractors, other corporate goodies have been long baked into the federal budget.
    Big agribusiness gets price supports. Hedge-fund and private-equity managers get their own special “carried-interest” tax loophole. The oil and gas industry gets its special tax subsidies.
    Big Pharma gets a particularly big benefit: a prohibition on government using its vast bargaining power under Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate low drug prices.
    Why are politicians doing so much for corporate executives and Wall Street insiders? Follow the money. It’s because they’re flooding Washington with money as never before, financing an increasing portion of politicians’ campaigns.
    The Supreme Court’s decision this year in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission, following in the wake of Citizen’s United, already eliminated the $123,200 cap on the amount an individual could contribute to federal candidates.
    The new spending legislation, just enacted, makes it easier for wealthy individuals to write big checks to political parties. Before, individuals could donate up to $32,400 to the Democratic or Republican National Committees.
    Starting in 2015, they can donate ten times as much. In a two-year election cycle, a couple will be able to give $1,296,000 to a party’s various accounts.
    But the only couples capable of giving that much are those that include corporate executives, Wall Street moguls, and other big-moneyed interests.
    Which means Washington will be even more attentive to their needs in the next round of legislation.

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    12 comments:

    1. desertspeaksDecember 25, 2014

      1 billion divided by 1100,.. we could have bought them off cheaper that the $909090.91 cents it cost to kill those 1100

      ReplyDelete
    2. like all our other recent conflicts it cost 1 milllion dollars to kill one bad guy--they kill us good guys for less than .25 cents their $125 dollar IED KILLS 3-5 OR WORSE WOUNDS THEM THAT COSTS 400K EACH AND MORE FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES LET ALONE TAKE OUT A 1-3 MILLION DOLLAR WEAPON--AND YOU WONDER WHY WE LOSE WARS !! THATS WHY I LAUGH AT THESE WEEKEND MONKEYS PREPARING FOR INSURRECTION AFTER A FEW DAYS AND NO ELECTRICITY FOR THEIR THOUSANDS OF BATTERIES THEY WILL BECOME INEFFECTIVE--THE HOARDS OF STARVING AMERICANS WILL OVER POWER AND OVER THROW THEM- I SAY "BRING ON MARTIAL LAW" AMERICA WON'T ;LAST A WEEK.

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    3. The headline has it half right -- who does the government work for -- but has the time-frame wrong. It isn't just the "central political issue of our era", it's the central political issue of all time, going back thousands of years. When governments create a level playing field for all citizens, welcoming innovation, newcomers, creative destruction, and protecting property rights there is prosperity. When governments tilt the playing field towards themselves and their cronies, create monopolies that crush newcomers and innovation, and take it upon themselves to seize whatever property they wish, then there is poverty and stagnation. America saw two hundred years of the former and flourished; we are rapidly slipping into the latter and are collapsing.

      What makes nations rich or poor is now a well-understood science. There's no excuse for accepting absolutism and the human tragedy it brings with it. Read _Why Nations Fail_.

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    4. I've solved the problem many years now, I just don't go!! Seriously if that's all gatherings are about is interrogation, then forget it!!

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    5. $6k for a slipped disc. Almost as much as a human operation. Vets are shysters. Preying upon human emotion. This one got some good exposure out of his little deed...

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    6. Zionism and usury are the two things destroying nations...the very same way it destroyed Germany during WW2. Iraq, Syria, Libya are also victims of Zionism.

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    7. I remember my dear momma telling me, ''Apeman2502, I brought you into tis world and I SURE AS HELL can take you out!''. My mom made cherry pie for me, sometimes with vanilla ice cream.

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    8. Tax the Federal Reserve at point triple zero six, doubles our money, until we decide to put them out of business for good.

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    9. Exactly. As George Carlin put it, "It's a big club, and you ain't in it!"

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    10. David MowersDecember 26, 2014

      Right when it comes down to a politically-connected billionaires the law, rules the Constitution they don't matter one bit all that counts is money. This is the exact opposite of the nation our Founding Fathers wanted for us.

      ReplyDelete
    11. Beverage BobDecember 26, 2014

      So do you see avoidance as the answer? What do you have to hide? ;)

      ReplyDelete
    12. Beverage BobDecember 26, 2014

      So do you see avoidance as the answer? What do you have to hide? ;) ;)

      ReplyDelete

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    Item Reviewed: Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They’re wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for. Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Orraz
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