This will be a brief teaser for labor day… Why, is the middle class (labor) suffering so much today…..

US Corporations get around the US’s high tax rate of 35% by stashing money offshore.  The average corporation pays 12.6% according to the GAO in 2010….  This means that half of America’s corporations pay higher, and half of America’s corporations pay lower…  HALF OF AMERICA’S CORPORATIONS PAY LOWER THAN 12.6%?  REALLY?

During America’s boom times, when the middle class was almost guaranteed a job for life with a pension plan and a gold watch, corporate taxes were set as high as 52.8 percent. Later rates were lowered to 48 percent and then 46 percent.  It was only after 1986 when they were lowered to 35% that the middle class problem begin to emerge….

Across history there is a direct relationship between higher taxes and higher wages… When tax rates are high, wage rates are high. When tax rates are low, wage rates are low.  (As an additional benefit, the higher the taxes, the higher the employment level goes as well.) In fact there is such public good in charging the wealthy higher taxes with no downside, that is is literally amazing we aren’t doing it. Everyone benefits out the gazoo!)

The way America’s corporations get around this 35% rate, is by stashing cash abroad.  There is $2 trillion of America’s money kept overseas, and not brought home to keep it from being taxed… You pay taxes. I pay taxes, yet corporations think they shouldn’t… How fair is that?

Keep in mind.  This is by their own volition. They are not forced to keep that money offshore. They could bring it back anytime they wished.  They choose not to do so… And that money is what funds campaigns for cutting taxes.  That money is what buys both Democrat and Republican allegiance to no-tax pledges.  I would bet that some of that foreign money is in Tom Carper’s, Chris Coons’, and John Carney’s campaign slush funds right now..

$2 trillion at 35% is $700 billion that should have already been in our treasury… That is money we borrowed unnecessarily to cover our expenses which if a proper administration had been in the executive branch would have already been there, from corporations…  The balance, $1.3 trillion would have then been available here and could have been invested in our nation in the form of jobs…

There was some discussion, primarily from Michelle Bachmann, as to give a blanket amnesty on these taxes to get this money back,  But that is like saying you won’t prosecute a bank robber if he comes back and spends his money in your home town…  What bank will he rob next?  And what about all those people who had their money stolen from them?  Michelle and her Republican cohorts seem not to care.

So why are corporations really renouncing their “citizenship?” Simple answer, is they are doing this so they can pocket hoards of “deferred” offshore profits without ever paying the taxes they owe on these profits….

A (different) tax loophole called “deferral” allows companies to avoid being taxed on their non-U.S. profits until they “bring the money home.” Because of this loophole, corporations have been taking steps to make it look as if their profits are made outside of the U.S., and have piled up about $2 trillion in cash that they are keeping out of the country.

Dave Johnson explains. “Here is how the deferral scam works. An American company sets up a non-U.S. “subsidiary” in a tax haven. That non-U.S. company gets or produces goods, services, patents, whatever, at a low price. (This often involves shifting paper (and copyrights, patents) around to make it look like profits are not made in the U.S., but in too many cases this means the U.S. company actually moves U.S. jobs, factories, production, call centers and other assets out of the country.) The subsidiary sells to the U.S. company at a high price. Most or all of the profit is therefore made by the non-U.S. subsidiary, so the profits are considered to be non-U.S. and taxes on those profits are “deferred.” This still counts as profits for the U.S. owner of that subsidiary, but the U.S. company does not have to pay taxes (they are “deferred”) until they “bring the profit home.””

These corporations see that if they renounce their citizenship before the U.S. fixes this loophole, they can just keep the money….

But does this money REALLY stay offshore???  As you would certainly expect, of course not….  The non-U.S. subsidiary company “loans” money to the U.S. parent. So all of the non-U.S. cash actually is available to the U.S. parent. But wait, there’s more. The U.S. parent pays interest to the subsidiary, which is deducted from taxes and reduces the U.S. tax bill even more. ..

If complicated, it isn’t.  I hire you as my buddy in crime.  I give you all my money… I say, look, I’m broke, I can’t pay any taxes!  You lend me my money back to me… I spend it tax free and the money I do make, I write off as interest I give back to you… So I keep everything I make here … No taxes…

Ways to fight this… very important on this Labor Day…

A.  Hold Democrats accountable.  Don’t let them (Tom Carper, Chris Coons, John Carney) get away with helping corporations rob the American workers, who do pay all their taxes and who are subsidizing these corporations money-making schemes.

B.  Support proposals by President Obama to use executive action to stop “income stripping” and to keep “inverted” companies from getting government contracts

C.  Support the Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014 in the Congress… Obviously obstructed by Republicans.

D. Support a proposal to tax companies based on their percentage of sales that occur in the U.S.,..

One must wonder, why is this even in the tax code?  The reason is so U.S. companies can use “offshore” profits to invest in growth. This is a win-win because we want U.S. companies to do well, and because the U.S. is supposed to benefit when profits are brought home and taxes are paid….

A very simple way to fight abuse of deferral is to charge a fee of, say, 7 percent a year on all deferred profits. The full amount of taxes is to still be paid when profits are finally brought home, but we collect an additional 7 percent a year until they are….

So enjoy your Labor Day.  We’ve got some real work to begin tomorrow…..

 

 

 

if you are a Republican, and distraught at how the Republican Party has dissipated over the past 10 years here in Delaware, and wish it would revive, you need to take control of your party from the henchmen, and vote Simpler over Sher….

Simpler was running this race, and Sher came in at literally the last half hour forcing a primary.  The News journal quotes that she had conversations with Charlie Copeland and he convinced her to run.  From her campaign, and her spread in today’s News Journal, it is obvious what transpired…

Simpler was not a rabid Republican.  The party’s ideologues felt he could not become the state’s only Republican winner which he had a chance to become, and now with Chip Flower’s being out of the race, he is running against someone even Democrats don’t like:…. Tom Carper’s little buddy….  So by adding all the Republicans, and half the Democrats who don’t appreciate Tom Carper, you get 60% of the vote… Looks like a Republican can finally take one office….

But in comes Charlie Copeland with assurances of support for Sher, and convinces her to jump in….

It would be wise for Republicans to reflect, that ever since Charlie Copeland emerged into making the upper judgments of the Republican Party, they have literally slid into a hole with slippery mud walls….  From being a strong contender to a joke, that entire party structure has become… And now, finally when a good candidate emerges, he scrambles to scuttle him.

If Republicans don’t want to completely toss in the towel, they need to get off their ass this September 9th, and vote for the most qualified treasurer candidate we have ever seen.  And then, after these elections, begin to change their party from the top down….

 

There’s a Hard Rain That’s Gonna Fall.

Times now are very similar to the sentiments floating around in the early 60’s. There was great dissatisfaction with what the US had become (capitalism) and quite a few people, both American’s and otherwise, were seriously looking to other models to fall upon… 

What had happened was stagnation.  The old aristocracy was sitting on the top; and the new, was boiling underneath….

This hit home these past two weeks when we saw Michael Brown gunned down in Ferguson.  Those old enough to remember the South of the 60’s are scratching their heads… They seen it all before.  The shooting. The whitewash. The legal maneuvering. All of it blatant.  All of it obvious.  All of it for public consumption… 

It is saying… Blacks… You stay where you are….

We also saw it in the frenzy as self-formed militias stormed buses carrying children, (the wrong ones btw) to stop them from being assimilated into our country.  We see it in the completely illogical venomous anti-amnesty movement, when some type of amnesty is the only thing that makes logical excellent sense.

It is saying…. Immigrants… You can’t stay here… You go back now…

And we see it in the numbers of Americans, British, and Europeans flocking to ISIS to carry on the revolution.  One can not say it is all for religion.  it is because people have to survive, and cannot do it in their home lands. Out there, they can be gods. 

The signs are all there.  A hard rain is going to fall… Just as the signs were there in the 60’s when Dylan penned those now famous words.   He could see the signs…  We knowing almost all of Dylan’s lyrics by now, should be able to see the signs as well…..

It is about hope. There isn’t any.

The Republicans chide Obama as being the “hope” candidate who delivers everything else… They have a point. Just as Kennedy was elected with amazing expectations, and things still remained the same… under Obama, the amazing expectations by now are fizzled…

There were successes… but compared a majority of Americans making less now than before the crash,  those successes seem rather distant.  Of course we know that the Republican blockage in Congress is to blame, but that is way, way back in the background.  What we sense is that not even the greatest American president in our lifetimes can defeat the monetary powers controlling everything, so, it is indeed hopeless….

Of course, we know that it could all change for the better instantly, with the passage of higher marginal rates on the 1% and modifying that hike by giving them a tax break, dollar per dollar, for every amount put directly into American capital development (a long way of saying “building things”) each year.

But we know, that without a majority of Democrats in the House, and without 60 moderate or better Democrats in the Senate, that won’t happen… 

We also know that due to gerrymandering, many Republicans are returning with no real competition to throw them out. 

So those who feel under-represented in the world, and that includes in the United States, sees violence as their only option… The only way left to better themselves…. There comes a point, where those radicals with guns stop being the bad guys, and the system that created them, takes their place…. 

WE are very close to there.  

There’s a hard rain that’s gonna’ fall…. 

Great coach…

How did he get picked again?

1. When it is the parent’s right and responsibility to determine a free and appropriate education for their children and no one else’s; not the state, not the federal government, not a district administrator, nor anyone else who does not know the child and no one who is knowledgeable of the child can see a high stakes test before it is administered to determine the appropriateness to each individual student’s challenges; then no one in the Department of Education can say the test is appropriate therefore the Department of Education cannot determine its appropriateness. Therefore, a high stakes standardized test cannot be used or even considered.

This is especially true of every child outside of the normal range of learning involving an IEP. No IEP child should be evaluated on a standardized test, ever. Simply put, that child doesn’t learn by the standard methods so the methods of standardization would simply not apply to them.

2. The high stakes of high stakes standardized testing has created hostile working and learning environments (insert your own examples here specific to your child). Hostile working environments create stressed-out staff. It is difficult for staff to administer these tests without their own anxiety being apparent; this occurs with teachers working with the general population as well, not just special needs students.

3. These tests only reliably and statistically predict race, poverty, and special needs patterns. The Department of Education already knows the statistics of each child and does not need a high stakes test to tell them something they already know.

4. For these reasons above and many more, high stakes tests are not appropriate for any child, let alone a special needs child, but most importantly ( the parents reserve and exercise their parental rights and child’s rights to opt out,refuse the child’s participation in all standardized tests and test preparations….)

Culled from IDEA, federal law in 2004, Regulations: Part 300 / D / 300.320 / a and Statute: TITLE I / B / 615 / d…..

These two tags of Federal Law, give the parent of every child the right to decide their child’s future… It is the basis behind home schooling…. As long as the child learns, it doesn’t matter how. At stake here, is the tenant whether parents will continue to be the dominant force in their child’s education, or has the prevailing weight been now shifted over to the state.

If the Smarter Balanced tests goes forward, unchallenged, then a precedent has been set for the removal of the predominating force of a parent’s stake in their child’s education. And as we know about precedents, they can by used by anyone to defend anything in the future.

This is about every parent’s right over their own children.

Bobby Jindal, once a Republican hopeful for the President’s chair, is now suing the Federal Government over Common Core… Some interesting factors have come to light out of the preliminaries for that suit….

It was claimed by the opposing Louisiana’s Director of Education (which is a supporter of Common Core and the privatization of education), that Louisiana’s scores held steady despite a tougher test that was geared to Common Core… 

That claim was FOIA’s and we now have insight on how that could have been….

For example, in 2013, 4th grade students taking the ELA test needed to get 51.54% of the answers correct in order to get a scale score of 301 for a level of basic, but in 2014, after the annual “equating of test forms”, students only needed to get 44.62% of the answers correct in order to get the minimum scale score of 301 needed for the level of basic.

This gives the general pubic who does not know how test scores are cut, the idea that Common Core is doing it’s job.  Harder tests… same results… they must be learning more….

Based on a sample analysis of the very meager data LDOE finally released under threat of lawsuit it is clear that not only is student performance not increasing or staying steady, it Is in fact declining, and being masked by a lowering of the number of correct answers required to pass LEAP and iLEAP tests….

Proponents of Common Core, and the High Stakes testing required by it, have claimed the comparability of test scores across states will make for meaningful comparisons. To have this meaningful comparison, all states must teach the same curriculum and all must administer identical tests from one of the two federally funded consortiums (Smarter Balanced and PARCC). However neither consortium controls the cut scores; those are entirely in the control of the states. These scores can go up or down as local politics require.

Let me spell this out for you. If you want to show progress in your state you can artificially inflate the scores to show improvement. If you need to make a case for more charter schools and school closures simply lower the scores and take them over and then raise the score back to show that reform worked. That is exactly what Louisiana has done and no doubt other reform markets as well. The actual data shows the Reforms, including Common Core, have had the exact opposite effect, and a very dramatic one.

When in reality, what this means is simple terms is that Louisiana students are about 18% less prepared now in 4th grade in English Language Arts, and 28% percent less prepared in Math by the time the reach 8th grade than they were before John White and Common Core started being used in Louisiana schools.

Inside the Delaware Department of Education, they also know this is true….  All the Delawarean Common Core pilot classes slumped in their performances, and non-Common Core classes continued their rise…  With corresponding data now from two states, Common Core seems to be a very bad way to get children to learn… 

It took a subpoena in a lawsuit for that data to be released in Louisiana…  Once Common Core is data mined, it is dead on arrival… One can lie all they want, but those lies are exposed as direct lies, not mistakes, once the data is released….

And, the best way to rid ourselves of Common Core, is to have 10% or more of Delaware’s children opt out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment being given this spring, which Murphy has already leaked will be artificially cut to fail 70% of Delaware’s students.

One can only think it is done in order to have charters take over schools.   Why else would a billions of dollars have been contributed for an otherwise purposeless endeavor?

No, it is not a day to slice one’s arms.  It is the NFL’s day of saying you are on the team, or you are off…. The training camps are over, the preliminary games are done; the next games are for real…. 

This is something that happens in sports on a regular basis.  Those who can lead the team forward get to stay, and those who drag it behind, get the pink slip…..

No one would expect it to go the other way… 

Yet in our nation’s politics, the other way seems to happen more than not…  The House Republicans have forced Congress to be the least productive in history, had wasted millions on political investigations, only to have them all come up empty-handed; have shut down government and cost the economy $24 billion; by stating they were going to default on America’s debt, one house lowered our credit rating.  And we got nothing resolved for it; the only thing the Republican Congress has done is kick the debt ceiling up the road… It comes due again after the election.

America could be so much better if there were fewer Republicans.   It is America’s duty to make sure the team we put on our field, is the best one we can possibly find.  Stocking it with losers does no one any good at all.

We need the best… and that means people who will put effort into making big plays, not those ones sitting on the bench, refusing to play unless their absurd demands are met…..

It’s cut day for Congress too…. You need to cut them…. 

Opt your child out of taking the Standard Balanced Assessments

Doing so teaches him/her:

  • Civic responsibility
  • Patriotism
  • His parents really do love him.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • Real learning is important enough to fight over
  • Sometimes one has to take risks, when the payout can be so good.
  • Your government is not always right; but its collective people are.
  • The right of authority has to be earned.  It should never be given.
  • Just because someone says so; doesn’t make it right.
  • Some things are just too stupid to get caught up in.
  • When people insist on doing wrong, that is when it most counts that you stand up and do what is right.
  • God put America on this planet.  We are not going to let Common Core dismantle it and take it away.
  • We do not believe in torture, especially for young children. Common Core is child abuse.
  • Never, ever, trust a corporation to do things for your benefit. 
  • Common Core is the stupidest thing we’ve ever seen… Who designed it?  David Coleman?  Oh

It is time to heed to battle cry. or at least acknowledge that there is a battle for your child’s future and that if you don’t decide today on which side you will take, there will come a time where you will have to make that choice.  That is a given. You had better drop your blinders, and start looking hard at facts… You have a lot to lose,… or gain.

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate interests have been attacking education since Bush 2000 said, “No Child Left Behind”… it was a way to get money from public schools into private pockets… 

When you hear some stupid fool talk against tenure…. it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear someone praise Common Core….. it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear someone praising any Charter School…. it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear someone praising Shanghai or Korean schools…. It’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear anyone lie that Common Core is not a Federal program,… It’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that the Smarter Balanced Assessment will fail 70% of Delaware’s children… It’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that a local school board must do merit pay on teachers… it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear teachers get paid too much… it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that teachers have too much time off… it’s the corporate war on education……

When you hear inner city schools are failing… it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that charters don’t have to be accountable the same way public schools do… it’s the corporate war on education.

When you hear that poverty has nothing to do with low scores; it’s due to bad teaching… it’s the corporate war on education….

When you hear that Arne Duncun is coming to Delaware… it’s the corporate war on education… 

When you hear a megalithic charter school is moving into the Bank of America building … it’s the corporate war on education….

When you hear that waivers should be given to failing charter schools, but public schools should be closed if they fail… it’s the corporate war on education….

When you hear that students with disabilities, will now be mainstreamed and put in regular classes,… it’s the corporate war on education…. 

===

You get the idea… It boils down to one thing. If one is concerned about money… they are taking the side of the corporate war on education… 

On the other hand, if anyone is primarily concerned about how new policies and old policies affected the children… they are those playing defense for the children in this corporate war on education…. 

That includes all teachers.  Parents.  Students (themselves of course),  and most district school board members who are accountable not to the Governor or his swaggering Department of Educational Secretary,… but to real people, who work for a living, pay taxes to schools every year, and who have to come home and get their child ready for school the next day….

These people have a different plan. One that worked once before.  One that has much more hope and promise than anything we have gotten from those other people do never did like children, but know a business opportunity when they see one…

To fix education and make our students the most qualified in the world…. we need to do 5 things….

  • Mandate an 11:1 student/teacher ratio in all schools with more than a 50% level of reduced lunch, for all grades k-5 and across the 9th grade as well…. 
  • Tax the top one percent to pay for any extra expense entailed.
  • Remove the high stakes apart from testing.  Use testing as a tool to see what a student has missed solely in order to fill the void that students has.  Technology can do that.  But real information is being covered up by teachers teaching to the test.  Students are learning the test, not how to apply what they know to real world situations.  Changing that will only happen if we stop firing teachers and closing schools based solely on poverty’s influence upon test scores….
  • Fund all Charter Schools by a line item in the state budget.  The property tax funding is meant and must go to fund public schools.  Not some privateer’s investment portfolio.  If a state wants to experiment in education, it must do so out of its General Fund. 
  • Let teachers teach. Stop telling effective teachers with over 25 years of classroom experience that you know how education works, and they don’t…… 

 

 

At the Lee County District Board of Education meeting last night, emotions came to a head when mother Lori Jenkins took the stand. She said her son was on leave from school due to a terminal heart condition, yet the district still sent someone to proctor the FCAT exam at his home. The audience gasped with disgust.

He’s terminal, he’s going to die, but he goes to school! He does the stupid remedial classes! That’s how I know this is all about money,” Jenkins yelled into the microphone before she hit her one-minute time limit and the audio was cut.

 

It’s all about money. It’s always been about the money. No one gives a damn whether kids learn or not. It’s all about the money. Nothing… but …. money.  Just money.,…  Only, money.

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