General Electric – Top U.S. Corporate Tax Evader

GE LogoAll the arguments being used by the Republicans to defend their continuous string of tax breaks for corporations can be debunked by this one example – General Electric.

From 2008 to 2013, while GE made over $33.9 billion in United States profits, it received a total tax refund of more than $2.9 billion from the Internal Revenue Service.

G.E.’s effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over this six year period was -9 percent.

In 2012, GE stashed $108 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying income taxes. If this practice were outlawed, GE would have paid $37.8 billion in federal income taxes that year.

During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve provided GE with $16 billion in financial assistance, at a time when its CEO Jeffrey Immelt was a director of the New York Federal Reserve.

Mr. Immelt has a retirement account at General Electric worth an estimated $59 million and made $19 million in total compensation last year.

He is a member of the Business Roundtable, a group that wants to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to 70, cut Social Security and veterans’ benefits, increase taxes on working families, and cut corporate taxes even further.

GE is also a leader in outsourcing decent paying jobs to China, Mexico and other low-wage countries.

On December 6, 2002, Jeffrey Immelt said at an investors’ meeting, “When I am talking to GE managers, I talk China, China, China, China, China. You need to be there. You need to change the way people talk about it and how they get there. I am a nut on China. Outsourcing from China is going to grow to $5 billion. We are building a tech center in China. Every discussion today has to center on China. The cost basis is extremely attractive. You can take an 18 cubic foot refrigerator, make it in China, land it in the United States, and land it for less than we can make an 18 cubic foot refrigerator today, ourselves.”

Does this support their arguments that the corporate tax rate is too high?

Does this support their arguments that corporations need tax breaks?

Does this support their arguments that they are job creators?

No. But what this does support is that they are a prime example of corporate tax evasion and a leader in outsourcing American jobs overseas.

Yet the Republicans will continue to support corporate-welfare over the welfare of the American citizen, including our military veterans.

It’s plain to see that it’s “all about the money.”

 

Source: Bernie Sanders Presents America’s Top 10 Corporate Tax Evaders!,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monsanto Patented Most Toxic Pesticide as an Antibiotic

GMO 101: Genetically modified corn, soy, sugar from sugar beet, canola, cotton & alfalfa have genes from unrelated species forced into their DNA to make them able to tolerate being drowned in Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, and not die. The weeds are supposed to die but we now have Roundup resistant super weeds, which causes farmers to spray ever increasing amounts of Roundup on your GMO food. Roundup was patented as an antibiotic in 2010 by Monsanto and was recently found to be the most toxic of 9 pesticides tested. A recent study found that chronically ill humans had higher levels of Glyphosate in their urine.

GMO Free USA logoREAD: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2013/07/02/gmo-crops-mean-more-herbicide-not-less/

READ: http://omicsonline.org/open-access/detection-of-glyphosate-residues-in-animals-and-humans-2161-0525.1000210.pdf

READ: http://www.naturescountrystore.com/roundup/

READ MORE: http://gmwatch.eu/index.php/news/archive/2014/15279-pesticide-approvals-misleading-and-roundup-most-toxic-of-9-pesticides-tested

Benghazi – Another Republican Diversion From Truth and Reality

benghazi.facts_

Yes, Benghazi was a tragedy, and could have been avoided. But we all know this latest sham of an investigation by the House Republicans is strictly politically-driven and is meant to divert all thought and conversation away from America’s real problems. Their phony outrage and fabrication of a scandal is hypocritical and a shameful attempt to politicize this tragedy.

The truth is they want to point fingers and hold the White House accountable for Benghazi, but they won’t discuss the budget cuts that House Republicans made to security at our embassies, consulates and diplomatic posts around the world that led to the Benghazi tragedy. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) acknowledged on CNN that House Republicans had consciously voted to reduce the funds allocated to the State Department for embassy security since winning the majority in 2010. When asked if he had voted to cut the funding for embassy security, he replied “Absolutely, look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.

The House Republicans admit they cut the budget for additional security at our embassies because they had to make “difficult choices” and had to “prioritize things.” Yet, over the last 21 months, the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2012, attacks have received unprecedented scrutiny:

  • 9 different House and Senate committees have already investigated the attacks
  • 17 hearings have been conducted
  • 50 briefings have taken place
  • 25 transcribed interviews have been conducted
  • 8 subpoenas have been issued
  • more than 25,000 pages of documents have been reviewed
  • 6 congressional reports have been released

However, that’s not enough for the crisis-hungry GOP. They need a controversial topic that will not only embarrass the President, but plant seeds of disgrace on the next potential president – Hillary Clinton. They need talking-points for their propaganda machine -Faux News – to exploit and cover 24×7.

But we know the real reason…divert attention away from what they are “not doing!”

What they are not doing is passing legislation to address jobs creation, unemployment benefits, immigration reform, climate change, food stamps for the needy, income inequality, water shortages, high energy costs, gun control, our decaying infrastructure, and how about taking care of our veterans after they return from our wars. Obviously this list is not all inclusive, but it does point out there is a lot of reality-based issues that needs to be addressed by our “unproductive and do-nothing” Congress.

However, the GOP would rather continue to play political games that might help them in the next election than to debate and pass legislation that may actually resolve real problems today. Let’s not forget that the House Republicans held 50 votes to repeal ObamaCare. That didn’t work, so now they are wasting more time focusing on Benghazi… Anything to keep our country stagnated under this President.

Where is our outrage at this waste of taxpayer dollars and time lost not addressing America’s real needs?

If you and I were as unproductive as our Congress, we would have lost our jobs a long time ago. But when you have a Congress that has absolute no accountability for getting anything done and consists of mostly millionaires, what do you expect. Like all slackers, they will continue to do as little as possible until they are called out for it…

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-barbara-boxer/the-gops-benghazi-witch-h_b_5315857.html

http://www.huntingtonnews.net/74502

http://posttrib.suntimes.com/opinions/24455727-474/do-nothing-congress-is-not-doing-its-job.html#.U4H1PyhKaes

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/01/millionaires-club-for-first-time-most-lawmakers-are-worth-1-million-plus/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/10/jason-chaffetz-embassy_n_1954912.html

 

 

Old West Had Stricter Gun Control Laws Than We Do Today

Tombstone Gun LawsSince the extreme proponents of the “Open Carry” gun laws want to openly carry and flaunt their guns anytime and anywhere they go, I’m sure a lot of them are fantasizing about the good Old Wild-West days when every man carried a gun, without any gun control or rules. Once again a little research into history will burst their ignorant bubble.

Even in the Old West the citizens didn’t want everyone walking the streets of their towns packing a gun. They had first-hand experience with what this causes – violence and death. Even then there were reasonable people who were smart enough to know that gun control was the only answer to the problem. Many of the large Old West cities passed laws restricting, and in some cases outright banning, carrying guns. In many frontier cities, the law required those entering town to turn their guns over to the sheriff. In the Dodge City of 1879, a large billboard announced to residents and visitors alike “The Carrying of Firearms Strictly Prohibited.”

Tombstone’s infamous “Gunfight at the empty lot near Fremont Street” — later dubbed the “Gunfight at the OK Corral,” which was nearby, for marketing reasons — developed precisely because the Earp brothers were trying to enforce the law against carrying firearms in town, which the Clantons were flouting.

As history shows, gun control laws were actually put in place prior to the Old West. A brief history of gun control laws:

  • In 1813, Kentucky enacted the first carrying concealed weapon statute in the United States.
  • In 1837, Georgia completely banned the sale of pistols
  • In the early to mid-1800’s Indiana, Alabama and Arkansas all had concealed carry laws
  • In 1911 New York City passed the Sullivan Act
  • The 1920’s and 1930’s saw many states imposing “A Uniform Act to Regulate the Sale and Possession of Firearms,” which prohibited unlicensed carrying and possession
  • The National Firearms Act was imposed in 1934
  • The assassinations of JFK, Bobby Kennedy, and the Reverend Martin Luther King were the prime motivations behind the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968
  • And more…

So how did we get to this point where we have regressed to be worse than it was even prior to the Old West? I guess America’s love for our guns and our right to openly carry them anywhere, anytime, apparently trumps everyone else’s rights to not be exposed to this nonsense.

I’m just waiting for the “Gunfight at McDonalds” to erupt…

Sources:

http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/mark-mellman/294353-even-the-old-west-had-gun-control

http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=2429

 

 

Sen. Ted Cruz says Democrats plan to ‘repeal the First Amendment’

Credit - Reuters

Credit – Reuters

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) drew audible gasps Thursday when he told gathering of Christian conservatives that Democrats intended to amend the Constitution to limit free speech.

“When you think it can’t get any worse, it does,” Cruz warned at the Watchmen on the Wall gathering of pastors sponsored by the Family Research Council.

“This year, I’m sorry to tell you, the United States Senate is going to be voting on a constitutional amendment to repeal the First Amendment,” Cruz said, to the audible shock of the crowd.

Hey, I’m shocked too. I wasn’t aware that a repeal of the First Amendment was in the works—is this some Duck Dynasty thing? I can’t keep track.

“I am telling you, I am not making this up,” Cruz said. “Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has announced the Senate Democrats are scheduling a vote on a constitutional amendment to give Congress the authority to regulate political speech, because elected officials have decided they don’t like it when the citizenry has the temerity to criticize what they’ve done.”

Oooooooooh. It appears Cruz is talking about a campaign spending amendment proposed by New Mexico Tom Udall meant to overturn the Citizens United decision and lessen the flood of corporate money into American elections. That’s the First Amendment he’s talking about, the newfangled one that says corporations are people and money is speech and the oil companies are citizens more than you or I will ever be and how dare you try and limit the ability of corporations to explicitly buy the election results they want throughout the nation because that makes Patriot Jesus cry. Yeah, it’s not going to happen. The Udall proposal would require the Republicans to be on board as well, and Republicans would rather chew their own arms off than take their hands out of that cookie jar.

I should have known Cruz was talking about money. Whenever a tea-party type talks about the Constitution, it’s always something about money. Even when it’s about guns, it’s about money.

Reposted from Dailykos.com

How to tell when a Teabagger politician is lying?  When his mouth is open! Especially when it’s Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz.

GreenB * [new]  Text of 1st Amendment, Post-Citizens United: 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. corporations and billionaires to buy politicians.  By Rithmck

 

Welcome to Your Bright Biotech Future!

Credit - Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

Credit – Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

GMO crops are not about feeding the world…they are about patented ownership of the food supply by large biotech corporations.

Let’s take back control and ownership of our seeds and food system. Boycott GMOs and all the “FrankenFood” products made by large chemical/biotech companies.

GMO Free USA logo

America Has a “Complex” Problem – A Prophetic Warning From 50 Years Ago

Eisenhower

Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

Ask anyone what they know about Dwight D. Eisenhower and you will probably hear that he was the military commander of the Allied forces in WWII and was later elected President of the United States. That’s where the general knowledge of him stops. However, during his Presidential farewell speech on January 17, 1961, he made several profound statements and warnings that have become very prophetic.

During his ten minute televised farewell speech from the Oval Office, President Eisenhower, despite his long and historical military background, surprised everyone by warning the American people about the growing influence and power of the Military-Industrial Complex.

“A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…. Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.

We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.… In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist….

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted, only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Having died in 1969, I think it would be safe to say that President Eisenhower would be very distraught over the current level of “unwarranted influence” that the Military-Industrial Complex has over our councils of government, our society, and the lives of Americans and other peoples around the world.

Since his speech over fifty years ago, this “unwarranted influence” has kept us in a perpetual state-of-war: the Cold War, Nuclear Arms Race, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other interventions around the world. Of course, this perpetual state-of-war also provides perpetual profits for the government with its continuously expanding military budgets and the industrial complex that has been developed to support these on-going and continuously expanding military needs.

The attack on 9-11, orchestrated by a small radical, extremist group based in the middle-east, opened the door to the ultimate Military-Industrial Complex dream…the never-ending “War-on-Terror.”

Seizing the moment after 9-11, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick “Lucifer” Cheney pounced. The Military-Industrial Complex war machine, riding the wave of American patriotism and the need to get revenge on those attacking our innocent citizens on our soil, jumped into high gear. The onslaught of fear-mongering started with warnings that there are terrorists everywhere, trying to get weapons-of-mass-destruction so they can kill Americans. This was enough to send the military might of the United States to Afghanistan chasing those terrorists responsible for 9-11 and the Taliban that was supposedly harboring and supporting them. Thirteen years later we’re still there, so too are the Taliban. The only winner in this war was the Military-Industrial Complex.

Once we had our military forces in place in Afghanistan, the Bush-Cheney cabal advanced the fear-mongering by convincing the world that Iraq was building up their weapons-of-mass-destruction so they could attack America. This was enough to preemptively send the military might of the United States into Iraq chasing Saddam Hussein and his weapons-of-mass-destruction. Eight years later, we left without finding any weapons-of-mass-destruction. Again, the only winner in this war was the Military-Industrial Complex.

By the way, both of these wars were unfunded and cost trillions of dollars, for which we, the everyday taxpayers, are having to pay for and contributes to the stagnation of our economy to this day.

Fourteen years after 9-11, the Military-Industrial Complex has continued to profit exponentially from all this fear-mongering, but how has it affected our lives and society in general…

We are now living in a society that is suffering from “terrorist phobia.” We have been convinced there are terrorists waiting around every corner with a knife just waiting to kill us and our family because they don’t like our freedoms; every middle-east person is a possible terrorist; those that go to pray daily in a mosques are just plotting to kill Americans; etc… So to protect ourselves we pass surveillance laws allowing the government (and God knows who else) to spy on our phone calls, emails, where we go, what we do, where we pray, who we meet with… We pass gun laws allowing everyone to carry a gun, everywhere, so you can be prepared for a shootout when that terrorist tries to ambush you… We are allowing our police forces to become more and more “militarized”; filling the ranks with ex-military specialists and incorporating heavy-duty firepower, armor and vehicles into daily peacekeeping activities; and using military-style, SWAT-team type tactics to break up peaceful protests; etc… Where does it end?

Again, President Eisenhower forewarned us:

“Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government-must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.”

Unfortunately, we have become that “community of dreadful fear and hate” which he said we must avoid.

In closing I believe it would bode well for ALL OF US to take to heart what President Dwight D. Eisenhower offered us in his closing remarks from his farewell speech:

“To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America’s prayerful and continuing inspiration: We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.”

[ Source: Transcript of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address (1961) http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=90&page=transcript ]