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Tax-hike scare goes up in thin air

11:23 am in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Honor Among Thieves. Just the difference of a suit of clothes – by Homer Davenport, 1900

An academic study released by an economist from the University of Massachusetts found that one of the scare tactics used by both federal and state lawmakers for not raising taxes and instead cutting back funding of public works and social services is based on a falsity.

A review of recent research performed by economist Jeffrey Thompson found that there is no evidence to support the often-employed claim that the wealthy will flee states that raise taxes to pay for public services. The study actually found that the most wealthy tax payers were less affected by tax increases in general and were therefore even less likely to consider moving out of state due to increases in their taxes.

Research on the subject found that that family and community ties and the difficult prospect of moving entire families out of state assuages both high wage earners and lower wage earners from considering a move simply due to a state imposed tax increase. Thompson said that the ability of the wealthy to “absorb such increases is obviously strongest,” and therefore such households ”are less likely to cut back on spending as a result of tax hikes.”

Thompson’s study also shows that the carnivorous business class’s deployment of crude ayn randian ‘objectivist’-styled scare tactics that hold that greed is the single most important driver in human relations (the passive-aggressive tactic of threatening to ‘take-my-ball-home’ and justifying the threat by suggesting that the selfish act is somehow legitimate when viewed from a faux ‘cost benefit analysis’ point of view) falls flat when that analysis takes into consideration the desires of even the most wealthy in our society to be part of a community, to know one’s neighbors, to participate in the local school systems, churches, public projects – to achieve both personal growth and to make our communities better for every citizen.

In fact, contradicting the meme broadcast by captured politicos and dreamed up by businesses that see nothing wrong with exacting tax giveaways, tax rebates and other tax avoidance schemes that benefit them from politicians while at the same time advocating starving public programs and reneging on contracted pension benefits, many wealthy wage earners told researchers that they felt obliged to pay more for programs and services that make the community a better place.

The pilfering public pension pirates of Illinois: tax the rich to save the rest

11:44 am in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

This is the thanks they get? Our teachers and our librarians, civil engineers and school crossing guards, trash collectors and public safety protectors, public prosecutors and public defenders, snowplow drivers, accountants, file clerks, telephone operators, translators, healthcare workers, those who care for our sick and elderly and our forgotten.

Acme Arts Collective and its member artists are cooperating on this Thanksgiving day to publicize the attack on public employees carried out by both the Democrats who control the statehouse in Illinois and the Illinois Republicans who have conspired with the oligarchic predatory class to demonize Illinoisans who selflessly choose to serve the public as teachers, police, firefighters, public safety inspectors; your neighbors who’s energies have educated your children, saved the lives of your parents and grandparents and, yes, worked thanklessly to attend to the waste that is created daily by the vast mechanisms in modern America that shift wealth from the poorest to the most wealthy.

Our friends and neighbors who chose to give up the comforts that would have otherwise been accorded to them in our unfair two class system should they have decided to ‘make money in the private sector’ and cravenly given their energies to gamble and steal in the fashion of modern America’s felonious financial sector are now being attacked in a organized and systemic fashion by the multi-headed Cerberus that is the financial/political/media industrial complex. The protectors of the rich and un-civil at the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the unfair-taxation-matrons at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the ALEC lap-puppies at the Illinois Policy Institute have banded together with the politicians from both parties who bear responsibility for Illinois’ pension ‘crisis’ in a greed induced blitzkrieg to steal pension benefits from poor, old, sick, infirm and literally helpless Illinoisans who spent their lives working to make the civic space of Illinois function for the past 30 years.

That is correct, the richest industrialists, the most bought off press and our hopelessly sycophantic to business interests politicians and weasley wealth protecting “not-for-profits” who run Illinois have banded together for the single purpose of taking food out of the mouths of our neighbors and taking medicine away from our friends who are disabled, infirm and diseased for the simple to understand single purpose – because they are greedy.

Lets break it down -

The Industrialists:
These are Illinoisans who exploit the value added to our state by public employees every single day. Their employees were taught how to read, write and reason by your neighbor, a school teacher. They ship the plastic widgets that they sell to make themselves fabulously wealthy on roads that were built using public funds that created thousands of middle class private sector jobs, and are kept safe by public sector engineers, safety inspectors and police. But these unpatriotic parasitic wealthy Illinoisans refuse to pay their fair share of income taxes to support the intellectual and physical infrastructure in Illinois that they themselves have used to become wealthy and, instead, are conspiring to ensure that old ladies do not have life saving medications.

The Media:
The Editorial board of the bankrupt Chicago Tribune, who themselves amass outrageous pension benefits that ensure that they will each receive pensions of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year when they retire, have banded with private sector companies to make certain that the school teachers and librarians who read the Chicago Tribune will have to choose between medicine and food in their retirement. Acting as the water-carrier for wealthy individuals and corporations, the Chicago Tribune has led a greed inspired propaganda blitzkrieg against the poorest among us who gave their entire working careers to serve the public. The Chicago Tribune does not think that it is fair that the average retired state employee who receives a pension lives on $20,000, but thinks that giving a combined $42.5 million in bonuses to a group of its employees just last year amounts to being a ‘productive business enterprise’ …did I mention that the company is bankrupt?

The Politicians:

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Unclear on the concept cavalcade continues to corrupt citizens’ consciousness

4:16 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Ripped from the headlines, the news seems to suggest that rank and file democrats are following their standard bearer’s ‘style’ when it comes to solving some of the more pressing and complex problems that we face togehter as a nation. Its good to know that these followers have appreciated the efforts made by the Obama administration to “set the tone” as we sally forth together to solve these troubling and significant criminal and cultural problems.

Democratic leadership acts as anti-equal justice vigilante, taking personal initiative to smash the concept of equal protection under the law with of get-out-of-jail-for-free winks and nods to felonious bankers

President Obama, referring to the his administration’s broad based policy of agreeing to non-prosecution agreements drafted by private businesses who have been accused of criminality, reassured citizens angered by the administration’s apparent disregard for the law when he stated; “Well, first, on the issue of — on the issue of prosecutions on Wall Street, one of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehman’s and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn’t necessarily illegal, it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless…You know, the financial sector is very creative, and they are always looking for ways to make money. That’s their job. And if there are loopholes and rules that can be bent and arbitrage to be had, they will take advantage of it.”

Democratic president acts as anti-international and anti-US constitutional law vigilante, pommeling treaties and settled US law with the truncheon of a non-investigation promise to American torturers

A short two months after winning the election in 2008, and just days before taking an oath that requires him to “protect and defend the constitution”, president Barack Obama, speaking on television on January 10, 2009, advised Americans of his unconventional plan for enforcing treaty obligated, legally codified and constitutionally mandated prohibitions against torturing human beings, stating; “Part of my job is to make sure that, for example, at the CIA, you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don’t want them to suddenly feel like they’ve got spend their all their time looking over their shoulders…(I operate on) a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

Democratic president acts as anti-health vigilante, taking personal initiative to smash the public healthcare option with cudgel of disingenuousness and lies

Speaking to a gathering of actually important Democratic party supporters in September of 2010 who paid $30,000 each to sup with President Obama, the president took time to put critics of his signature insurance industry bail-out plan called the Affordable Care Act in their place, saying, “Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get — to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed — oh, well, the public option wasn’t there.”

Democratic president acts as anti-constitution vigilante, taking personal initiative to bug-splat American citizens with no judge’s order

In a new book regarding the 2010 presidential campaign, President Obama confirms one of the skills that he has consciously honed and perfected since he became president of the United States. Having overseen the conveyance of sky-death to hundreds of innocent humans as he personally ordered hundreds of drone executions, Obama reflected on his new-found passion, stating, “I’m really good at killing people.”

Democratic president acts as anti-privacy vigilante, taking personal initiative to bludgeon the notion of private communication for every member of the human race with complete and unrelenting surveillance

Speaking to a troubled populous after they were informed of the un-warranted and warrantless surveillance of all Americans, and most citizens of planet earth, for the entire time he has been president, Barack Obama sought to calm the concerns of Americans when he advised in July 2013 that, the “modest encroachments on privacy” were “worth us doing” in furtherance of protecting the homeland. Obama reminded Americans that, while not specified in the US Constitution, “There are some trade-offs involved,” when it comes to protecting the homeland.

Democratic leadership teams with Republican leadership as anti-sick person vigilantes, taking personal initiative to scheme to beat back relief payments to American patients with technical accounting brick-bat

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To hell with the heelots and then, to the hills

1:14 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

As this divided, infrastructurally decrepit, middle class obviated, finance industry indentured, environmentally forsaken, compassion suppressing, rich get richer, war is the only answer, private capital coddling country slides off the rails towards the only demise that its choices can afford it, inhabited as it is by government protectors of big business who scream about government overreach, pettifogging mouthpiece Nobel Peace Prize winners who describe their child victims as terrorists expecting that their ‘framing’ absolves them from war crime guilt, humanitarians who call for the cindering of civilians, government regulators who claim they have only the power to de-regulate industries, criminal enforcement entities who wink&grin with private business owners as they say they cannot prosecute crimes unless they are committed by poor people, American patriots whose vision of freedom is to be freed from contributing to the common good and freed to move tax payer bailout money to untaxable off-shore accounts, political party apologizers who gladly accept tens of thousands of deaths every year in America so they can assert that laws created by the insurance industry to protect it from being thrown on the ash heap of history are somehow helping our poor and sick to receive care, I look out my Midwestern window today to have revealed to my weary eyes, a clump of river birch trees accepting its fate of dying to the winter, its beautiful death-shroud of golden leaves quivering in the portent of a northerly breeze. I am inspired today to sing praise to the bull-shit callers, the question askers (and answer demanders), those who will not give in or up as the fresh face of modern US neo-fascism glares threateningly back, the whistle blowers, the debate goers, the seed sowers who call out the collateral victim mowers, the division growers and baby in the bathwater throwers – those who recognize these ‘heelots’ for what they are and know that standing firm is the only stance to take when “standing up”.

Robert Riskin wrote the screenplay for the classic American film “Meet John Doe”, based upon a story by Richard Connel and Robert Presnell. The Capra film was released in 1941, but really reflects the time period of America’s last depression. As many know, the story involves a scheme concocted by a jaded newspaper woman who has been fired when a new owner of her newspaper comes in to “clean house”. The reporter convinces ‘John Doe’, an innocent country boy, to pretend to threaten to commit suicide due to the economic misery and America’s political intransigence to remedy the suffering, which gives the recently fired reporter an exclusive story – saving her job. The scheme careens out of the control of the schemers when the concocted story ignites a massive popular movement among regular Americans who are seeking both relief from the crushing economic depression as well as answers from politicians and the captains of industry. In an interesting fictional parallel to an historic incident, America’s industrial magnates conspire to seize control of the movement and utilize the agitated populace to instigate a coup, taking over America and instituting a fascistic new government that is directed by rich business owners to protect private capital and subordinate America’s workers and neuter the nascent popular political movement.

I know readers will see in this story many parallels to our current times – with the obvious exception being the fact that, during the previous depression, Hollywood would allow such a piece of socialist agit-prop to hit the big screens across America (even with its softening sub-plots) – and I encourage readers who have not seen this film in a long time to seek it out and view it comparing its mise-en-scene with today’s messy scenes in the USA; but my intent of bringing up this wonderful film is to call attention to a scene where ‘the Colonel” (played beautifully by Walter Brennan) gives his soliloquy, expounding on freedom in (from) this modern world.

After agreeing to the scheme, the hoboing John Doe is fed a meal, given new cloths by his newspapermen handlers, and $50 “spending money”. All of which leads to the Colonel frustratedly expressing his philosophy to a room full of regular modern Americans, city folk to be sure – but regular folks, just like those country folks in the American hinterland: Read the rest of this entry →

Presidental proffer of ‘protection’ to pilfer pensioner’s pocketbooks is pathetic

3:57 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Social Security card

Will Obama sacrifice social security to the Republicans?

As part of the agreed to by all parties ‘government shut down’ congress is contemplating resurrecting elements of President Obama’s so-called ‘grand bargain’. One of the president’s proposals, lifted as many of his ‘ideas’ are from the wish-list of fiscal conservatives intent on ‘ending social security as we know it’ including the Heritage Foundation, would require that social security recipients receive reduced cost of living increases, decreases that compound over time. Meaning, the longer a Parkinson’s patient is sick and relies upon government benefits, the more her social security will diminish. The change to social security that President Obama (D-IL) has proposed is referred to as the “chained CPI”.

Social Security payments to our disabled citizens average $13,548 per year. Social Security payments to America’s retirees average $15,228 per year. More than 53 million Americans receive these small benefits which help to keep them out of poverty. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the chained CPI proposed by President Obama in his 2014 budget will cut Social Security benefits to all recipients. The president calls his plan to reduce social security benefits a “protection,” I call it a pathetic capitulation to America’s wealthiest citizens.

The greedy statisticians who are pushing use of the Chained CPI assert that because of the way inflation is currently assessed, social security recipients are getting too much money; proponents of this scheme to reduce payments to our seniors and disabled assert that social security recipients currently receive an “unearned benefit” and that this, as opposed to unfunded military invasions for example, increases the budget deficit.

As far as I can tally, the average social security yearly payment of $14,388 represents a miniscule 8.2 percent of the congressional ‘take home pay’ of $174,000. Congress persons make $159,612 more than our average social security recipient, and these people think our sick and elderly are making too much? When a retired fire fighter receives $15,228 per year or a sick patient receives $13,548 per year in social security benefits, it is very difficult for me to conceive that there is a way that these deserving Americans are receiving an “unearned benefit.”

82 House Democrats oppose the President’s plan to cut payments to the disabled and seniors.

Contact your Democratic representative today and ask if they support taking money away from the sick and elderly.

Contact the White House and ask why a Democrat would propose cutting benefits to the sick and elderly.

We need to stand for our elders and our disabled neighbors — we need to make sure democratic politicians know that if they support diminishing social security they will LOSE THEIR JOBS.

“Resolve yourself to evolve yourself. Evolve, revolve. Evolution, revolution”  –Lend a hand by #theCCC
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Democratic credulity and the scientific religion of free marketism

3:29 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

In case there is any lingering hope, that hasn’t yet changed to disbelief or rage, that Democrats have finally torn the gauzy film of free market scientific-theologism from their eyes, we now observe the spectacle of Mr. Obama (a real true Democrat) slathering praise on the lizard-like manipulator consigliore of profit privatization and debt socialization, Mr. Summers, asserting in broad daylight that Summers makes an “outstanding” candidate to head up the Federal Reserve.

Larry Summers - Caricature

Larry Summers – Caricature

I really think that Obama believes that Mr. Summers would be a “terrific” head of the Federal Reserve. And whether he knows it or not, his man-crush on lizard Summers is a significant tell signaling the religion that our Democrat in the White House practices; free market scientific-theologism.

Let’s take a look at some of Mr. Summer’s career achievements in the world of your own personal finances that may help you understand just why our dear democratic leader swoons in defense of Mr. Summers.

When he was an appointee of that other fabulous freemarketeer Democratic president, Bill Clinton, Summers worked on some really high-minded, forward thinking (one might even say world shaking in their outright speculative adventurism) programs that we Americans are still reaping the rewards from : the non-regulation of over-the-counter derivative financial gambling bets and the de-regulation of the nation’s banks that allowed them to enter the world-wide non-regulated casino.

I know that the 15.2 percent of Americans without a job in July 2013 (as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) would surely thank Mr. Summers for his vision for their future, that is on the off chance that Mr. Summers happens to visit the homeless shelter.

Likewise, the households in the US that lost an estimated $16.4 trillion in net worth between 2007 and 2009 will, after a little free-market reeducation provided by our Democratic leadership, certainly wish to thank Mr. Summers for the ‘tough love lesson’ they have received about the free market of financial sector regulation that benefits everyone equally…it’s just like science!

Although it seems to most people that letting greed addled phonies “regulate themselves” as they were (quite literally) making billions in personal wealth by misrepresenting the value of their gambling products may be a bad idea; at the time, Mr. Summers went on record before the US Congress and reassured those corn-pone chumps that “the parties to these kinds of contracts are largely sophisticated financial institutions that would appear to be eminently capable of protecting themselves from fraud and counterparty insolvencies.” I guess in the end, these banking felons actually did do a good job of “protecting themselves” – not so much my retired 3rd grade science teacher…who maybe should have studied the science of ‘free markets’ instead of biology.

It is, however, good to know that – in the long run (or bank run, whatever) – Summers finally agreed with Keynesians when he quoted John Maynard Keynes telling Newsweek in 2009, “When circumstances change, I change my opinion.”

More thoughts from this vessel of magical economic thinking and action;
Mr. Summers says he is in awe of “the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that…. I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly underpolluted”,

And, Mr. Summers may himself not think that fed chair candidate Janet Yellen is up to the task (given the existence of, well, her ovaries) due to the fact that women, Summer’s asserts, have a “different availability of aptitude at the high end” than us testosterone addled free market he-men.
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