Tag Archives: Perry under pressure at Republican debate

A LIBERAL CALLS OUT MSNBC: Moving the ball forward for the Right on election campaign reform

Generally, I enjoy Chris Hayes weekends on MSNBC, but I constantly must remind myself that Mr. Hayes, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow and the rest of their line-up are still part of the problem of corporate and power-elite-status-quo control of the discourse and messaging of critical national issues. While MSNBC is routinely “demonized” by FOX and pundits on the Right as far Left wing, it is not-by a long shot.

To support that, I point to the “buy American” push, particularly by Ed Schultz. Recall, this was a rightwing and nationalist mantra following NAFTA. Just as they did in the lead up to Iraq, MSNBC, for all their Liberal bent has missed the real solution to jobs in America and the necessary equitible trade worldwide, and that is not some pseudo-Ron Paul-esque economic isolationism, but forcing international corporations to adhere to wage and safety and pollution reforms regardless of where they are. If GE-owned MSNBC was truly as Liberal as the Right asserts, they would recognize first that mankind is global, and globalization was the direction of the species from those first steps from an African Valley 2 million years ago.

What prompted this article was a roundtable discussion on Chris Hayes’ Sunday morning show about the 2009 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling that allows Corporations, and Unions, to spend unlimited amounts of money to promote candidates and policy, effectively erasing the one man one vote cornerstone of our democracy by overwhelming free discourse through propaganda and false messaging.http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZS.html
With a decptively benign name like Citizens United, the group is in fact a filthy little cabal of Republican hacks in the vein of Andrew Breitbart, with a bias towards editing for innuendo over fact and truth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_(organization)

That’s the background, but on this morning’s show Mr. Hayes had Jack Abramoff, the convicted lobbyist who was unequivical in saying that overturning Citizens United would never happen, because it is fundamental to Conservatives in this country. The statement went virtually unchallenged. Aside the traitorous acts committed by Mr. Abramoff, which did immeasurable damage to this democracy, why would MSNBC legitimize such a character? Because, at the heart of MSNBC is a large mult-national corporation, with significant interests in issues ner and dear to the true powers in this nation (Hint: It isn’t Right, Left, Libertarian or even American).

The Corporate media is overt and subversive alike in its crafting and molding of cultures and nations. It does so to create markets as to define and secure them.

Advertising creates ideals, standards and affirms stereotypes on one hand, while the media carries and promotes those messages. The recent purchase of The Weather Channel by NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group highlights the effort of Multi-national Corporations and firms to devour media outlets and control what Americans sees, hears, discusses and votes upon. Blackstone bought Neilsen-the rating people in 2006 along with other partners like the Carlyle Group. Bain, by the way is owned by Mitt Romney, and owns Clear Channel, the largest owner of radio stations in the country. Its “news” talk format is 90% rightwing, with Beck, Savage, Limbaugh and Hannity leading that charge, despite that 90% of the country does not vote Republican. Bain also owns or invests in AMC Entertainment and Warner Music group.

So there is real pressure, and undeniable evidence that Liberal MSNBC is hardly a Liberal thinktank, but instead has slipped into a market not served blatantly by FOX as a means, not to promote Progressive ideals, but as a means, as prescribed by their corporate owners, to nudge the message forward far more subtley that FOX can do. But the effort is the same, and in the end it comes down to control-not politics.

The strategy is to create paradigms not cultures, as paradigms become absolute realities that are much harder to find alternatives to or see beyond. Imagine what it would be to breath fire, or breathe watter as a means of survival, and that air and wind could be as deadly as we find those others. Those are other paradigms. That is what corporations are evolving to in a greater and greater consolidation of power and influence. Think back over the last 50 or 100 years about where corporations were and where they are today, with interlocking partnerships and boards, and their ascent to controlling almost fully govenments worldwide.

Now imagine this paradigm. With all that power to control the message and assert culture, a group of people have challenged that by Occupy parks have the power elite absolutely terrified. Now that is a message!


Video of Marines Urinating on Taliban Dead…and here is why it is wrong.

I have a history with this, having witnessed the Mock execution of a Serbian POW in the mountains above Sarajevo in October 1994. The incident is detailed in my book, Everything for Love. I am certain the young man from the neighboring town of Trnovo was spared because of my presence. I also have no doubt he was taken elsewhere and executed. Without doubt the would-be executioner, an average sort in his mid to late thirties could recite chapter and verse about Serbian atrocities, and likely had one or more family, friends or neighbors killed, wounded or otherwise terrible affected at the hand of Serbs, whether intentionally and cruelly or as a consequence of the war. I could recite those acts as well, and had personally witnessed enough to justify reprisals against those “inhuman” Serbs.

Those would be judgements of the human heart, however, a tinderbox fully at the mercy of vengeance and our selfish soul. It is our intellect and reason, and a moral standard that upholds human dignity, selfless mercy and the standards of human rights-one that is bolstered by laws and ideals that sanction those who violate those laws and ideals.

It has been a point of study into the psychology of war atrocities. Organizing relief, I was fascinated by the utter inhumanity that Hutu neighbors, friends and even family turned on their Tutsi kin in Rwanda. I had looked into the eyes of an elderly man who was so friendly and hospitable to me and others, only to smile gleefully and draw a finger across his throat at the blindfolded young Serb. Study the faces of men and women captured on film at executions and other atrocious acts, and you will find mostly complacent stoicism, but enjoyment and satisfaction in others. Other times there is a tribal, animal sort of orgiastic frenzy akin to videos of great apes and chimpanzees brutalizing others of their species.

The filming and ritual of degrading enemy dead-civilian and soldier alike- is hardly new. There seems to be an impetus to document such deeds, like posing with an animal after a hunt. It is tribal and perverse, apart from the illegalities. Worse it is shameful and wrong for some very fundamental reasons.

Preeminent among those reasons is the very assertion of many in this nation that America is the greatest nation on the earth, the “shining city on the hill,” and “the last best hope for mankind.” How does an act such as this further than notion, or convince our enemies otherwise? And if we discount enemies and other nations, how does this act strengthen those notions for ourselves?

If we truly believe we are the righteous in this conflict, is this how the righteous act? Where does is say in the Bible that in war it is alright to desecrate the enemy’s dead? It is an immoral statement to justify such acts by pointing to the enemy, if not for the reason above, then on the premise that it lowers us to the level of an “immoral” enemy. We demand that police abide by laws, and must adhere to the constitution and civil liberties in those duties. No one reasonably argues that the police can act lawlessly when dealing with lawless criminals, i.e., summary street executions, bombings, lootings of suspect houses or the wholesale beating of say a shoplifter or car thief.

Many on the Right heralded and praised the act with the patently immoral and thoughtless lament that “it is war.” They would not have considered that excuse for Nazi death camp guards or Japanese soldiers during the Second World War. Those criminals were held to account, often at the cost of their lives. War is not a frat party with license for abandon. It is not a right of passage, and even if it was, a soul does not switch off the tribal act of desecrating enemy dead in such a way when they return to “peaceful” society.

I have seen firsthand how acts of violence in war-whether justified or not, resonate terribly well beyond war. These men crossed a terrible line, not just in the act, but in their soul, and by the witness of thousands, and perhaps millions, have pulled us across that terrible line with them.  War is not a time for boys to be boys. It should be an aberration from rational human interaction and conflist resolution. It is a terrible and evil necessity, one that a nation should align itself on the side of righteousness and the weak.

I fully comprehend the moral entanlgements and confusion in combat. I have been there. I also understand revenge. I understand the emotions in a battle that would compel one to desire the ultimate fate upon an enemy. That is the specter of vengeance and the unhinged human heart. i confess to those emtions(watching Serb s purposely fire antiaircraft rounds at a mother and two children). I also understand that the world is a harsher and far more dangerous place when we give ourselves fully to that unbridled hate.

In the end, for these three Taliban fighters, who espouse a world and belief system I am very much opposed to, and who I believe must be defeated, the fight was over when the life left their bodies. What those soldiers then did is the worst side of all Americans and was a filthy and unnecessary act that can only be defended by those who have never been to war, or those who are too filled with innate anger and hate to see past the storms of their own heart.


Occupy My Heart: The radio Show on Best of the Left

The Play that made national headlines, changed hearts and energized a movement is now available on Best of the Left at the link below:

 
Filled with heart and truth, Occupy My Heart: A revolutionary Christmas Carol is not just a story for the holidays, but a tale of our times. You will be touched in this modern retelling of the Dickens classic.

Please share it with your friends, especially those who still think the struggle of our times is not the co-opting of our great nation by corporate and financial greed.


Art, Occupy and the Illusions of the One Percent

Achievers. The one percent. Winners. Those who are so adamant about not raising taxes on corporations the wealthiest in the nation would have us believe that there is some inherent quality, something unique and sacrosanct in this supposed talent. Set aside the responsibility to the nation fostering a nurturing environment for business(political and social stability, laws, courts, infrastructure, an educated and healthy populace) argument. Talents are for the arts, or sports, for positive intellect and in healthy and uplifting relationships. 

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe;” wrote John Donne in meditations XVII, in 1624, “every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

Achiever is in itself an insult hurled at the rest of us by the selfish and greedy. It implies that the jobs we go to daily, the place we’ve arrived at in life is not an achievement. It screams that raising children, running a home, going to school, struggling with poverty, prevailing through an illness is somehow a lesser achievement. It presumes one person’s experience is greater than another’s. It pits one person’s struggle against another’s, which is a fool’s game.

Reverend Billy at the Occupy Chicago General Assembly Wednesday evening spoke about community and the responsibility of the 1%. One is indeed the loneliest number

The way it is used becomes an assertion of power and right and privilege. Their achievement is presumed to have value above all others. It is an assumption of rule and of a ruling class, which is antithetical to the declaration of Independence and of the Constitution.

It also betrays a lie the so-called achievers pretend to themselves. It is the ultimate lie because it ignores the very thing Donne wrote about. Life is impossible alone. A soul alone writing a novel relies upon the history making the computer usable, upon the society nurturing freedom of thought, of the luxury of not having to forage through the day for food, shelter and sustenance, and even of the craftsman who constructed the desk and chair upon which that novelist writes.

A month ago I wrote a play. I am proud of that play, but as such it is little more than a semi-interesting collection of two dimension words upon a page. In the coming weeks a passionate and talented cast will bring those words to life, moving them around in three-dimensional space, adding inflection and history and textures I would never have imagined. We will perform on a radio station, the play expanded and re-envisioned  by a producer who will add sound effects to create a new and as yet unrealized world. We will perform upon a stage built by dreamers who wished for a space that actors might create as yet unimagined works and as yet unwritten words. Those stages are maintained by electricians, lighting experts and others who make each performance possible.

Sadly, what has happened in America is that the one percent has all but convinced us that only the writer matters, and that all the rest should bow before them. The Occupy movement asserts a different reality, one consistent with the constitution, in which all citizens are imbued with a god-given dignity and that all of us have a responsibility to maintaining the greatest measure of human dignity that can be maintained. The limit placed on that dignity is a measure of the cynicism inherent in a heart.

No man is indeed an island, except in his own heart, and upon that island is loneliness and nothing more. There is an old pop song that says one is the loneliest number. If there is salvation from that loneliness, it must be among the 99%.


Who speaks for the average man on the Right? Sarah Palin $12 Million last year. Rush Limbaugh, $28 million. Michael Savage, $18 million. Megyn Kelley, $5 million. Michael Medved, $35 million. Neal Boortz, $800 thousand plus. Bill O’Reilly, $20 million. Glenn Beck, $32 million. Sean Hannity, $25 million. Michael Savage, $18 million net worth. Ann Coulter, $8.5 million net worth.

How do they warrant such salaries? Because of their immense popularity? Because they are better than the rest?

In 1949 the Fairness Doctrine was established. Diversity in broadcast communications and media was encouraged and valued through the 1970s. In 1970 the Radio & TV cross ownership rule prevented large media organizations from owning a TV and radio station in the same market, again to promote and protect media diversification and a broad spectrum of views. In 1975, the rule was added preventing the ownership of TV and newspaper in the same market.

In 1980, President Reagan began a push, complicit with his corporate patrons, to reverse this legislation. Under the first President Bush that effort was continued. The court case Meridith Corp vs. the FCC ruled the FCC had no power to regulate and enforce the fairness doctrine. Bill Clinton was no friend of media diversification. The effort continued until most FCC rules were eliminated through the Telecommunications Act of 1996, thanks to a Republican Congress, Clinton and their corporate donors.

America instantly saw a 1/3 decline in  diversification. Corporations continued that theft of public ownership of the airwaves.  7 corporations now own 75% of all radio and TV. the purpose from the start was to eliminate dissent, the free flow of information and unbiased discourse. Evidence the fact that no one in any corporate media in the lead up to the Iraq Invasion ever posed adequate dissent to questions over weapons of mass destruction, and criminality to trick the American public into war. Evidence the complete fabrication that poor people with bad home loans caused the financial crisis of 2008-07, without telling the true story of credit default swaps and speculation on those bad debts far in excess of the actual value of the entire US housing market. Evidence the lack of credible questions and accountability over the 9-11 atrocity. Evidence the assult against Global Warming, the effects of which, through drought and floods and severe climate anomalies we are only just beginning to suffer. Evidence the echo chamber continuation of  Obama’s birth certificate foolishness. evidence that Sarah Palin is not a diner waitress at a truck stop in Alaska. Evidence the slanted reporting on the  tiny Tea party illusion against the massive  anti-war and now Occupy movements. Evidence…


November 17, 2011 Day of Action…Occupy your freedom! Join a march. Organize. Put a sign in your car and in your window saying, “I am part of the 99%.” Call your senators, representatives. Flood radio stations with calls. Join a Credit Union. Let them know this is a country of, by and for the people, not the corporations and banks. And above all be outraged, but with love and peace and respect as your weapons and armor.


The essence of the argument. occupation as a defense

The New York judge that ruled on yesterday’s assault against the Occupy Wall Street activists in Zuccotti Park commented that the protesters, “have not demonstrated a first amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park, along with their tents, structures, generators and other installations.” Judge Stallman ruled. “Neither have the applicants shown a right to a temporary restraining order that would restrict the city’s enforcement of law so as to promote public health and safety.”

The comment begs the question as to whether the judge simply refused to adequately acknowledge the basic First Amendment aspect in this case, or the legal representatives for the movement failed to properly define the unique characteristics of the movement. Based upon the judge’s statement, the latter seems the obvious choice, at which point we can only wonder if the Occupy lawyers had the opportunity to make that distinction or if the judge refused to allow it.Occupation Chicago activists at a General Assembly meeting Sunday

The protesters, “have not demonstrated a first amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park, along with their tents, structures, generators and other installations,” said Stallman. But taken at face value his opinion is fundamentally flawed, an opening the Occupy people should and need to exploit fully. Their premiere argument lies in their name: Occupy. Occupation is not defined as a brief and transient effort, but as a sustained effort whose duration is dictated, again by definition, by the occupiers. Evidence the Right who eschewed any suggestion of leaving Iraq or Afghanistan over the last decade as cutting and running, and certainly not the decision of anyone but the United States to make.

Their First Amendment right to remain is explicit in their name. otherwise we can refer to them as, sy, “Just passing through Wall Street,” or “Fed up folks visiting Wall Street, but not lingering,” or “Let’s go to Wall Street but definitely not stay.” Instead, they are “Occupy Wall Street.” The name defines the movement. It prescribes the action and the place it will occupy. The name is the First Amendment assertion of the movement.

The structures, tents, kitchens, hospitals and library are likewise equally fundamental to the movement and directly support the intent of the protest by means of maintaining safe and healthy conditions within the camp. That speaks directly to Stallman’s statement that “the applicants (have not) shown a right to a temporary restraining order that would restrict the city’s enforcement of law so as to promote public health and safety.” The protesters have not constructed a shanty town, but erected tents, explicitly to protect their members from the elements, and to facilitate an adequate presence to maintain an occupation. The hospital is staffed by registered nurses, who have donated their energies to the cause.

Truck driver Bob Hoffman donates time to serve soup for Occupy protesters

Curious that police attempts to disrupt and discourage the protest through unprovoked violence (see  https://900poundgorilla.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/attacks-and-intimidation-the-war-against-the-occupy-movement/  ) and the dumping of unsavory elements into the park were not presented in this case. The hyped and exaggerated incidence of crime, ballooned by outright falsifications and concoctions were used against the protesters and ruled on by the court, but the best defense remains in the name. By definition, Occupation is the essence of the argument.

Now the question that remains, if it is still possible to prevail on the strength of an argument or if the courts hear only their preconceptions and biases, or if they hear only what they are told to hear? More and more the courts are the tools of the wealthy, the corporations and powerful, rarely favoring indiviuals. Indeed, through the so-called financil collapse of 2007-2008 not a single person was indicted or arrested. Tens of billions were quite literally stolen by banks, financial instutions and corporations, either directly from the treasury or by draining 401K plans and pensions, all while the rich have grown obscenely wealthier. Yet, Occupying a park over outrage for those immoral and anti-American offenses by civilians demanding justice and reform is met by media indifference, partisan propaganda and riot police. Anyone see the insanity in all that?


Anger rages as Paterno fired; The misplaced fury of tribalism and hypocrisy of the Corporate media: A comment and rebuttal

  Thinker Belle commented on Anger rages as Paterno fired; The misplaced fury of tribalism and hypocrisy of the Corporate media

Americans like having it in plain old black and white-your team or mine. These students are clearly disgusted with the way the media handled this “issue.” Mostly male, like their football coaches, it would seem to be more important to win a game, stick together as a team, regardless of the injuries inflicted upon the opposing team-the children this guy raped.

The Occupy crowd has no leader-coach, per se- so there is no “big wig” or person of idolization to bring down. It would be easy to compare them to communist since they vandalize the small businesses near their encampment and terrorize those that do not provide free food and water sources for bathing and using the restroom.

It must be pretty bad when even Berkley doesn’t want them on their campus.

 Thank you for the response, but your opening paragraph precisely made my point about tribalism. Indeed, that is the very definition of tribalism. I have always acted independently, my supreme bias being a morality that defends human dignity and individual freedom, a freedom again measured by the standard of human dignity. Maybe I’m on a different track, but I have never been a follower. It has gotten me into scrapes with some of the largest corporations on the planet(against which I always prevailed), and I always go to sleep with a clear conscience. Furthermore, I am always consistent in my positions, and never have to face the possibility of flip-flopping on issues.

 As for the protests, they have resisted a leader which could co-opt their message-and there is one even if some refuse to hear it- and spin it into watered down or subverted politics. The incidence you’ve referred to are FOX-news generated, hyped or distorted. I can speak for the Chicago group, which I visit each day, especially since they are near my office. There is a culture of respect and dignity and honesty the likes of which I have never seen, and I have been a part of many protests, from pro-democracy in China rallies to anti-war and pro-Union rallies at the Madison Wisconsin statehouse.

 For those incidence that have occurred, as in the sexual assault in New York, the police bear a significant responsibility, as they were rounding up homeless people and others and depositing them among the protesters as a tactic to disrupt constitutionally rights. Taken in total, the very small number of actual incidence is still far, far lower than the society at large. Drug use and alcohol use is discouraged, but there are not security gangs patrolling the protests. It is an honor system, largely, and people are people, and the movement has attracted a broad menu of people. At a general assembly meeting last night in Chicago I met with an attorney, 2 DePaul graduate students, a grandmother and a Teamster, working three jobs but coming each Sunday to serve soup as his contribution.

 The best advice I can offer is, stop accepting the fear and siege mentality of the corporate media, which plays to niche markets and base impulses as the vehicle to sell their crap. Too many people buy the marketing tactic that the world is spiraling out of control. Maybe look a bit closer at people whose energies are spent in the defense of individual human liberty-above even capitalism and who are engaged in making it a better place for people first. Truly, wouldn’t it stand to reason that if the world values people first, business would likewise benefit. Instead, the corporate controlled media would have us believe that business is a giant benevolent and monolithic cow whose teat we all endeavor to suck from.

 And one last note. While Communism was a failed economic system which essentially devoured itself, which is what capitalism is doing right now, crime was, comparatively to American crime, almost non-existent. Having spent much time in Eastern and southern Europe just after the Berlin Wall came down, those societies were quite safe. Indeed, the so-called worst parts of cities like Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade where far safer than the best parts of Chicago, New York and Dallas.

 Finally, it is interesting the use of Berkley as a pejorative. The penchant for tribalism also promotes antipathy for intellectualism and knowledge, evidenced by the constant assault against education, attacks on professors, teachers unions and public schools by way of vouchers, the home-schooling fad and the promotion of creationism in curricula. The result is creating a dangerous malleable and disastrously gullible populace. That will work for the purveyors of fear and paranoia and hate and selfishness for a time, but is unstable and unsustainable in a society, and whose eventual collapse or backlash is potentially fatal to this also potentially great country we’d all like to see prevail.  

 


Anger rages as Paterno fired; The misplaced fury of tribalism and hypocrisy of the Corporate media

Let’s see, rioting over a football coach who help conceal the rape of a child acceptable, protesting against a banking and corporate  takeover of the American political system to the detriment of middle class and poor families, bad.

I’m sorry, where is the liberal media I’m hearing so much about? There has been no positive coverage in the media regarding the Occupy movement. On the Right it has been called everything from violent to communist and evil. In the so-called mainstream media, it is portrayed as unfocused and disorganized, despite being in every city in the nation, and despite communicating very precise grievances. That is, if it is covered at all. Focus is put on arrests-peaceful arrests( and a very small number not so peaceful) of people asserting, sacrificing and defending constitutional rights. 

Contrast this with the matter-of-fact, even ironic reporting of the Penn State riots last night over the “retirement” of Coach Joe Paterno. Near the bottom of a long and glowing article on the MSNBC site, under sports, http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/45233483/ns/sports-college_football/ about Paterno’s “heartbreaking” exit because he made a “misjudgment” not to report his child-molesting defense coordinator, after a witness reported the rape of a child by this man, was a brief mention of the tantrum by student supporters of Paterno.

Hundreds of students gathered about two blocks from the campus, with some chanting “We want Joe! We want Joe!” Some shook a lamp postand others tipped over a news van, kicking out its windows. Police fired bursts of pepper gas.”

courtesy: Michael Henninger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via Zuma Press

No arrests? A notable absense of disgust over a tribal display by so-called educated and cultured student?. They got a complete pass that the righteous Occupyactivists have been deprived of. An hypocrisy, or the predictable effort by corporate owned media outlets to extinguish any true expression by citizens to retain control of the nation and to uphold a constitution so many wave but so few truly revere.


This is why they Occupy-Government subsidies to profitable banks…Citigroup ($64.6 billion), Bank of America ($44.5 billion), JPMorgan ($39.7 billion), Morgan Stanley ($25 billion), Goldman Sachs ($21.26 billion), and Wells Fargo ($9.5 billion)

Don’t believe me. Believe the headlines…

 

Wells Fargo Advances on Record Profit, Cost-Cutting Plans

By Dakin Campbell -Jul 19, 2011 3:40 PM CT

Bloomberg

 

Wells Fargo Profit Jumps, but Revenue Falls Slightly

April 20, 2011, 8:58 am Investment Banking

By ERIC DASH

 

  Wells Fargo Profits Hit Record, But Revenue Decline Sends Stock Down 8.4%

by Alex Ferreras on October 18, 2011 in Latest Bank News

Oct. 18 (Source: By George Avalos, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.) –Wells Fargo’s third-quarter profit soared to a record, but the San Francisco-based bank’s revenue slumped in an economy that the company said Monday was more sluggish than experts had expected.Investors jettisoned shares of the company, the nation’s largest home lender. Wells Fargo’s stock nose-dived by 8.4 percent, falling $2.25 to finish at $24.42.

Wells Fargo earned $4.06 billion, up 21 percent from the year-ago quarter. Revenue totaled $19.63 billion, down 3.7 percent

 

Wells Fargo Debit Fee Questioned As Bank Records Record Profit

Wells Fargo, PNC Hardly Pay Taxes

By Willy Staley  Fri Nov 4, 2011

2 Comments

A new report on corporate tax rates shows that the financial services industry pays way less than its fair share.

MyBankTracker.com

Leading the pack is Wells Fargo, which paid an average federal income tax of negative 1.4% over the last few years. On $49.4 billion in profits over the last few years, Wells Fargo has paid negative $680 million dollars — taking more subsidies and tax breaks than they pay!

Indeed, Wells Fargo topped the list of all corporations by dollar amount in tax subsidies. Between 2008 and 2010, Wells Fargo received nearly $18 billion in tax subsidies!

Other Banks Benefitted Too

Close behind Wells Fargo was PNC Financial, which paid an effective rate of 1.4% over the last three years. On nearly $10 billion in profits, the bank paid only $144 million in taxes.

Other retail banks that proved successful at dodging Uncle Sam were BB&T (20.4%), Capital One (24.1%), US Bancorp (27.6%). JP Morgan Chase, by paying 30.1% looks like an upstanding corporate citizen.

 

The Subsidy That Won’t Die

Jan 12, 2010 7:00 PM EST

 

The big banks claim the government isn’t helping them anymore. Not exactly. Check out this little-known subsidy.

Newsweek

But the big American banks aren’t nearly so independent as they would have us believe. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and their peers are still benefitting hugely from significant post-crisis subsidy programs that boost their profits. I’m talking mostly about the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP). This was a program started in the wake of the Lehman Bros. collapse to deal with the fact that banks were having a tough time raising short-term capital on decent terms. Under the TLGP, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which is ultimately backed by the taxpayers, would guarantee debt in exchange for fees paid by the banks issuing debt.

The TGLP was ended to new entrants in June 2009 and thus far has gone without a loss. But the fact remains: Private companies were allowed to borrow massive amounts of money—$345 billion at the peak in May 2009—on the public’s credit. At the end of the third quarter, there was still $313 billion outstanding.

the TLGP borrowings of individual institutions as of Nov. 30 and the interest rates they’re paying. General Electric was the largest user, with nearly $88 billion. (Its GE Capital unit has prodigious borrowing needs.) But GE was followed by the big bailed-out banks: Citigroup ($64.6 billion), Bank of America ($44.5 billion), JPMorgan ($39.7 billion), Morgan Stanley ($25 billion), Goldman Sachs ($21.26 billion), and Wells Fargo ($9.5 billion).

 

…If it doesn’t make you mad, you’re one of the 1% or completely clueless.


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