You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘taxes’ category.

On Rick Jensen today, some figures gave us pause.  One in five Delawareans live in poverty. Three out of every five children, live in poverty. The numbers of people going hungry has gotten worse since 2012…. not better.

This happened because of the Republican’s cuts to SNAP, the food stamp program. Originally a family of four in 2012 could spend $750 a month in food stamps. Now it is down to a little over $400 dollars thanks to both Tea Party Republicans and Democrats like John Carney who cowardly don’t stand up to them.

Which means a family of 4 making less than $1500 a month working however many jobs, ate off $25 dollars a day in 2012, but now, thanks to bastards in the Republican Party, is down to 13 dollars a day!

Most go that 4th week in the cycle goes with very little or no food.  They would have to stop by charities to pick up a 50 pound box which would get them through that last week…

We all know that the recession was brutal.. But I did not know that by 2011 very few people were needing boxes and most of the charities cut back on handing them out and would only do them to order, at special requests.  In 2011 and 2012, there simply was no need….

Then came the budget cuts.. Those brutal 60% cuts which not only put hunger back into the working people’s daily ritual, but laid off large numbers of grocery and retail store employees are causing tremendous hardship.

So whereas private sector jobs are growing, and unemployment is down, the need for food is not.  One needs $50,000 in family income to stay self-efficient today. Anything less is hurting the economy and is draining some other resource from somewhere… Most often SNAP and Medicaid.

We need to realize that despite as much as we like their entertainment, we cannot afford Republicans.. But until we root out the prime cause, stingy people in power, we desperately need charities to fill the void.  Please make some of your holiday money go to a cause that is probably the most important and most politically correct of a choice you could possibly make in this life…

Big thank you to the Riley family… ❤

Go  here, click on the banner. and donate…

 

Advertisements

As we approach the new year, the clowns will begin dropping out and all begin to take a serious view over who can be our next president.  By now a normal trend; it happens every four years.

The reason we have to put up with the clowns is  because across all of America, there is gross disenchantment over  the way things are.   A gross enchantment so huge, that unifies both the extreme right and extreme left into a larger classification.

These two opposite sides actually have a common denominator.  Both sides are both unhappy how the needs of real human beings are being trumped by those whom they have elected and trusted to serve them.

On the right it is the tea party types who are erroneously easy to dismiss as primitive forms of intelligence.  On the left is its those who exhale in triplicate just to hear themselves breathe, usually with complaints regarding how good programs are not good enough to their liking.

Or so each are characterized by the other side’s talk radio hosts…..

But in reality, both have a deep love of the America they grew up under and see it slipping away by the minute.  Both share the same vision that America needs to be great again, but simply differ on the approaches required to achieve that aim which can be characterized as such.  The left believes we need to change somethings in our system of governing; the right believes we have to change individual people one by one.

The common enemy in both parties surprisingly is the bloc of moderates spanning both parties who compromise too freely against their parties values and who seem  too prone to cater to business at the expense of individual constituent’s wishes and demands.  Rather bizarrely, we three parties, if you include this business class in the middle of both and only when two of the three agree, does anything get accomplished.

In Delaware this is played out in the opt out movement where the Governor (business party) used his veto and the head of the House of Representatives (business party) shows no sign of bringing it up to be overturned.. Enough votes (Dems and Repubs) are present to do so, just little procedural matter is all that is now boxing up the two wings wishes…’

Nationally the same scenario is being played out in that all the candidates are the same except one.  Only one candidate of either party is taking on corporate America.  All the rest are fortressed and supported by Corporate America marking all the differences actually existing between them as petty and insignificant when compared to the pressing needs at hand.

No matter who is elected, we can have no real change over the next four years unless that one who is different and from Vermont, wins.

So despite all the banter our main stream media is giving us, (whose staff is primarily and pathetically reduced to snooping on Twitter and putting that up as “real news”), the real question emerging as voters begin to look seriously, needs to be:  who will actually make that change that benefits me?

Only one.  Right now only one candidate’s platform can make the huge changes required to wean America off its penchant for developing profits, and turn America back to work on developing its people. Which is what the extremes of both right and left believe need to be done.

Because behind all the arguments about trade, abortions, shootings, and economics, the real solution to making your life better, is to put more money into your pocket as well as the pockets of the rest of the 99%.,…

Because you really aren’t politically free, unless you are also economically free. For unless you can quit that job you don’t like, can’t stand, or hate, and quickly find another one, you are not free.  If you have no choice but to work at that crumby job, you simply do not taste freedom.

Only one candidate’s platform will change that now;  it requires raising taxes on the one percent.

According to Fortune estimates, on this planet global households together have amassed over  $250 trillion in assets.   The one percent now owns 50% of that which translates into their ownership of $125 trillion in net worth. If this net worth were conservatively earning 7% per year in interest ($17.5 trillion), and the capital gains tax were raised to 50% marginal levels only on this select group, it would pump a lost $8.5 trillion back into the economy per year.

This is money that could be spent on combating global warming.  This is money that could be spent on making normal citizens earn more.  This is money that could be spent on ending hunger world wide. This is money that could rejuvenate cities providing great future for ones youth. This is money that could be spent on education.

And this money is absolutely free.

For the $7.5 trillion taxed and reinvested through governments around the world will offer (at minimum) a 2:1 rate of investment, meaning that the $7.5 trillion taxed and spent will generate a yield a $15 trillion return on that investment. Which since the wealthy own one half of all wealth, this means they get to re-pocket $7.5 trillion which they just gave up.  And if investment returns are higher, by ratios of 3, 4, 5,  even 10, they make out big time. Win, win, win.

Right now, only one person says he will do this.

Compared to this sea change, none of the other little things matter. If that yearly $7.5 trillion dollars through increased economic activity, is averaged out to all the 7.5 billion of this planets dwellers (of course it won’t be), it actually gives every single person a $1000 dollar increase of money they get to keep… They will see it in two ways; one they will see part of it in expenses going down and part of it in salaries going up.

Only one person across both parties fields has the wisdom take on Wall Street now knowing that it gets more expensive to do so by each hour.  OUT of all the candidates on both parties… ONLY ONE is not beholden to the interests of the top 1%.

You need to send him  money, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat. Both party’s networks are thoroughly tainted by corporate money. But one person isn’t…

In 2002 we gave the top one percent a loan from the American people which was to make us all wealthier over time.  They got their money, and kept it; we were polite and nice about asking for restitution. Apparently enough time has gone by, they think it is theres.  Meaning, it’s now past time we called back our loan which we originally gave to the top 1% via the Bush Tax Cuts. …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin at Exceptional Delaware has already done a review of the 76 page report released today…. It is the official US Department of Education’s own assessment of its own program:  Race To The Top.

One should expect a glowing endorsement.  But even though that would be the normal expectation, that  is not what was gotten… Of course, omissions were there as well.

Let’s begin with the total Race To The Top number..   $4.3 billion….

That stretched out is $4,300,000,000 or roughly 1% of the USA’s non military discretionary budget for one year.

Of that, Delaware got $119,000,000 of that wicked amount of money or in percent….. 2.7% . What did we get?

Delaware got the largest percentage of new students entering college…

RTTT College

Graph courtesy of US Dept of Ed.

Delaware also got an increase in AP scores….

AP Scores

Graph courtesy of US Dept of Ed.

“Delaware, Massachusetts, and Tennessee also get shout-outs for relying on teams of teachers and administrators to provide ongoing feedback. Delaware teachers and state leaders allegedly teamed up to create “rigorous and comparable” measures of growth in non-tested subjects…”

Isn’t this a lie?  We know that some task forces were created but we also know they were handpicked so only those who previously registered support of Common Core (long before its details were made public) were allowed to be on those panels and even then, their recommendations were completely ignored.  If anyone can prove this is not so, please respond in the comments below.

Whether inclusive or exclusive of RTTT funding, independent sources outside the US Dept of Education has reported that spending per child increased in our state by $475 during the RTTT window…. This is in comparison to 4 other states which had not brought per student spending even up to pre-recession levels.  Of those RTTT state increasing, Delaware was at the top.

Funding increase

Courtesy of CBPP

But the report leaves out, or only touches on briefly, several controversial issues where states stumbled or backtracked. That’s especially true with respect to teacher evaluations and policies linked to the Common Core State Standards, especially assessments.

The report seemed to focus less on measurable improvement and more on the new relationships the grants have helped to create between teachers, administrators, and others, and how the grants have refined and enhanced their energy.  Translated into corporate speak that is the equivalent of a CEO requesting down the pipeline if we had achieved his goals for the quarter, only to receive the answer that  “no we haven’t but  we have good news!  Nadine in insurance is dating Jonathan in Finance, which means they are talking to each other a lot,” and expecting that to assuage the expected bosses ire.

Essentially we spent $4.3 billion just to create more urgency and more cooperation…

Today, Arne Duncun admitted as much in his speech on Race To The Top… “My administration, recognizing the urgency of change for today’s students, pushed a lot, fast. We haven’t gotten everything right, and we’ve seen unintended consequences that have posed challenges for educators and students.” 

BUT WHAT WERE THOSE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES AND HOW SERIOUSLY HAVE THEY DAMAGED AMERICAN EDUCATION?

All of the Race to the Top states struggled with  teacher evaluations that took into account student outcomes. Many experienced serious political blowback to the standards, in some cases causing major consequences for state leaders. Plus, indicators of student achievement in the report don’t paint a uniformly glowing portrait. Duncan himself acknowledged in his remarks that declining scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress aren’t encouraging…..

Here is how that $4.3 Billion was divvied up. (all graphs can be clicked on to enlarge)…

RTTT Funds

Courtesy of Ed Week.

Shifting to new tests to measure students’ grasp of the common core has been difficult. That huge issue is ignored in this report…  Instead  highlights of cooperation between teachers in different states are expounded.  It is like praising the recruitment and training of little boys to fight Russian tanks while ignoring the total collapse of Berlin and the Third Reich.  The newest NAEP results represent Berlin in that scenario.

“The Education Department sunk $360 million into two testing consortia, funded by a second RTTT grant. But four of the states that received the grants the report focuses on (Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Tennessee) decided to ditch the PARCC exam for either 2014-15 or 2015-16, while Massachusetts is still undecided about whether to officially adopted PARCC as its state exam. New York has no plans to use that test and  it’s no longer listed as a consortium’s member on PARCC’s website. North Carolina, meanwhile, is still a member of Smarter Balanced, but has so far held off on using the exam.” EdWeek

Today three Race to the Top states—New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee—are formally reviewing the standards as required by their General Assemblies.  Florida and Georgia also made changes to their common core, (Plus a large number of non-RTTT states have ditched or drastically modified Common Core from its original perception.)  No mention in the report, of course.

Unmentioned as well, was the damage RTTT did to top state chiefs… The exalted “chiefs for change” got changed out… It might have gotten hottest for former Tennessee chief Kevin Huffman, who left his post nearly a year ago. But it also made life difficult for John Barge, who is no longer Georgia’s chief.  Delaware’s Mark Murphy mysteriously resigned in the middle of a gigantic all-encompassing state-wide controversy over the right of parents to opt out and not have their schools punished by doing so, and Rhode Island’s former head, Debbie Gist, has downshifted to being in charge of a single district of Tulsa’s school system. Only two Race to the Top states (Massachusetts and North Carolina) and the District of Columbia have the same chief as they did when the program began, by all accounts, a failure…..

The report almost ignores the turmoil surrounding tying teachers performances to the test.  Instead as mentioned above, it applauds areas of cooperation and ongoing feedback, including Delaware’s infamous TELL survey…  Imagine if that was the only true accomplishment of $4.3 billion and Common Core?

Three cheers for RTTT!  We got  teachers to take a survey on their phones…

It’s worth stressing outside this report that it was evaluations  which was perhaps the toughest hurdle many states have faced both internally and with the Education Department. Almost all have argued that tying student test scores to teacher evaluations at the same time that states were shifting to new standards and assessments was misguided. The Department has recently acknowledged this through giving its waivers postponing the implementation of the Accountability piece 2,3,4 years into the future.

Most  astute people can deduce that by having the US Department of Education ignore the problems of Common Core and Race To The Top in its analogy of how their pet project was doing, it becomes obvious by its omission  that in achieving its aims, this program is not working.  This proves once again that you can’t throw money and snap your fingers and make problems go away…

It takes trained people.  And forcing them through constant irrational change-ups to move out of education into other fields, …is something that is not good for America’ s education, …… period.

%

SB 79 was put forth as a protection of student data.  Everyone voted for it because who would want child predators to have access to children’s data?….. it passed 17-4 in the Senate.(Lavelle, Pettyjohn, Lopez, Richardson scoring the no votes) and passed 40-0 in the House.

They were tricked.

An amendment was offered. SS1. Ostensibly to change typos.  “deleting certain definitions; and (9) correcting minor typographical errors.” –– Synopsis. 

What was not seen were these few words…. “The Act is substituted for Senate Bill No. 79 and differs from Senate Bill No. 79 by (1) creating a new chapter in Title 14 of the Delaware Code creating the “Student Data Privacy Protection Act”; (2) deleting provisions addressing data security and privacy responsibilities of the Department of Education in favor of establishing the Student Data Privacy Task Force to study and report on those issues as part of a comprehensive evaluation of student data privacy and security within the State’s public education system;

Did you catch that?

The provisions addressing data security and privacy responsibilities currently in code, are deleted immediately, whereas a task force chokes along at turtle’s pace to discuss and develop appropriate safeguards for child privacy. This creates a time gap where data can be shared to anyone with impunity.

A normal policy would be to set up a task force designed to make changes and after voting those recommendations, the new law takes over. The old law continues intact until the new one takes hold. Instead, this bill (SS!)  gets rid of the “protections” immediately. and sets up a task force to determine what protections our children need. By then, all data has been downloaded to corporate data banks….. It is as if we just let convicted convicts out of prison while investigating human rights abuses alleged to have taken place upon them..

So currently there is no entity guarding your child’s data.

Below is who paid lobbyists to write and push this bill…. Google.  Delaware Business Roundtable, Amazon, Microsoft Corporation, Verizon, Delaware Charter Network,

Here is what is in the bill.

Nothing in this subsection prohibits an operator from using or sharing aggregate student data or de-identified student data

for: The development and improvement of the operator’s Internet website, online or cloud computing service, online application, or mobile application, or other educational Internet websites, online or cloud computing services, online applications, or mobile applications.

The words “or other” means your students info is available to anyone.

for: to demonstrate the effectiveness of the operator’s products or services, including their marketing.

Your child’s data can be freely given to marketers.

The provisions of Section 1 of this Act do not apply to projects relating to the privacy and security of student data approved prior to the effective date of this Act...under the Department of Education’s data governance regulation, § 294, Title 14 of the Delaware Administrative Code, in existence on the effective date of this Act.

This act does not apply to old regulations it just got rid of.

Section 1 of this Act becomes effective on August 1 the first full year following the Act’s enactment into law. Sections 2 through 4 of this Act become effective upon the Act’s enactment into law.

There you have it… Section 1 outlines the general privacy planks of the bill it replaced which are not in effect until one full year after signing.

Section 2: which annuls all previous protections in Title 14 and is effective immediately.

Section 3: establishment of a task force can begin immediately while no protections are in place.

Section 4: establishes that if any part of the act is later deemed unconstitutional or replaced by the General Assembly, the rest of the bill still remains intact. In other words, it is severable.  This is in effect now.

Bottom line: your child’s data is already out there in cyber land, thanks to Dave Sokola and Earl Jacques among others.

So how could the General Assembly have been so completely duped?  Even the educational watchdogs? Rather easy actually.  One has to read the bill with the specific intent of figuring how it will be abused, in order to see it…  Since we know the sponsors Sokola and Jacques.  We know there had to be something evil in this bill and so we looked at it long and hard to find out how it was constructed and that clued us in where the violation was.

But in the General Assembly, if a trusted official tells you an amendment replaces typos, you tend to believe it. You skim the bill and see that it replaces existing policy. it establishes a task force, it protects children’s data from going to marketers, and you vote for it…

What you missed was in the timing, how there would be a gap between opening the gate and closing it…  Very clever actually. And all of them were fooled.

So sorry parents.  Pedophiles (among others) now have your child’s data.

Here are the lobbyists so you can recognized their names when they publish op-ed pieces defending their actions…

  • Christopher V. DiPietro
  • Rebecca Byrd
  • Robert L. Byrd
  • Kimberly B. Gomes
  • Jordan Seemans
  • Rhett Ruggerio
  • Melissa Hopkins
  • Cheryl Heik
  • Rhett Ruggerio
  • Kim Willson
  • Jeremy Kudon
  • Scott Ward
  • Deborah Hamilton
  • Paul Herdman
  • Ron Barnes

It appears the prime motive behind this bill is to allow charter access to explicit private specific data files on public school children so they can be hand-picked, culled, marketed to, and manipulated into signing onto charter schools.

That motive would explain this best. But due to the broad nature of this bill it also now allows pedophiles with enough money to buy reports,, the same exact same access to your child’s data at least for this one year.

Newark City is thinking of privatizing their garbage collection.

Here are things to remember:

  • As a public service, their prime duty is to their customers. Which is you.
  • As a private service, their prime duty is to their investors, not you.
  • As a public service, there is public input allowed on raising the rates.
  • As a private service there is no public overseer of rate rising.
  • As a public service hiring locals, all the money spent on labor, returns to your economy.
  • As a private service the money spent on labor goes to where each employee lives.
  • As a public service if you complain someone follows up.
  • As a private service they can tell you, we just don’t do that…
  • As a public service, a contract is valid as long as the city is standing or until it is replaced by City Council
  • As a private entity, a contract is null and void as soon as the company is acquired by another investor.

These are the grand points to ponder… Another is this…  can a private service perform the operation as well or cheaper than the city.  If savings are sufficient, it may pay to switch….

But this concerns all of you…  Please go to the Church of the Nazarene on Paper Mill Road for the discussion and public airing of this proposal… Set this date… Monday, September 21, 2015 … at 6 pm….  Don’t be pushed around… And don’t believe everything you hear about privatization… some of you still remember what happened with Delmarva Power….

It is just another name.  In today’s reality it speaks of those 5 people who rule the world through their influence. That influence comes strictly tied to shares of ownership…. Those 5 own directly or indirectly enough of the global economy to hold everyone in thrall.

Which when they pull in the direction of our own interests, is ok. When they don’t, we have to modify their power or lose our power..

After the past recession if truth will ever become fact, you will one day learn how we needed them to jump start our post recessional economy. No one had seed money but them. We are now suffering the residuals of that effective policy. Like chemo-therapy, what once was needed for all of us, is now not.

Essentially we continue to let them benefit from the low tax rates then in effect… We used our low tax rates to compensate for other nations use of lowly paid labor in order to help us match their end-costs and stay competitive….

With the global economic implosion the top echelon lost a large percentage and in order to make them willing to throw their leftover good money into saving it, we the people had to make sure they got something back… While profits were low, our plan worked… Now that profits are high, it is working still but to our detriment.

So it is time to change.

Historically that happens with revolutions. France, Colonial America, Ireland, as well as hundreds of documented revolts in ancient Rome line historical accounts of record, where desperate men facing desperate measures had nothing to lose in completely dismantling their society….

And whether that attempt is effective or not, surprisingly…comes down to simply a contest of strength of wills between the two contesting parties. Ultimately that means it depends on your will. Do you yourself have the will for fight for your rights and if necessary risk everything you own to remain a democratic nation?   History implies we don’t; written accounts show us democracy has not been sustainable over the long term. 

Today if every American wanted some type of revolution, there would no way of putting it down. The only way a corrupt government can continue over the wishes of its governed, is to make them prefer the evils they have over what may potentially come upon them if they should ever decide to rise up…..

So as one example the force used against Occupy crowds was there to make others wary of joining in; not so much to wreak havoc on those few demonstrators who were as demonstrators, extremely almost to a fault, well behaved…..

The signal given was “yes, you can have free speech” as long as it is first approved by us…. Those few who picked their battles to demonstrate against Liberals and Socialists do not have cops dressed in intimidation descend upon their displays or bombard their gathering with helicopter backwash… Instead they have tacit approval and are left alone….

Now, none of us alive today felt affinity to those saying… “Rah, rah, rah, Support the Kochs” even though they had corporate America’s and big donor’s support solidly behind them. None of us cared to join. On the contrary in 2011, I think just about everyone felt some affinity towards the Occupy movement in one form or another so the impetus to join their ranks was very high. Many of today’s current politicians and community spokespeople were there at Occupy voting in pure democracy along with everyone else..

As an anti-authoritarian protest Tienanmen Square in China was relatively harmless in what it “did”, but was extremely damaging to the Communist Chinese government for what it “represented”, freedom of expression. Having happy people in a square is not a problem. A problem is that all other Chinese will next do the same and together coalesce and form a counter-government that almost everyone would prefer over the current existing one…

Therefore the brutality at Tienanmen Square was not necessary to clean a square of very harmless happy people… It was necessary to scare all others from doing the same… “Look what happens to you if you challenge your government”…

Now there was a huge risk in undertaking that controversial Chinese governmental policy. It could have flipped Just as easily as having a well cast die turn on its side; in turn it could have created the opposite effect causing a reaction like:… “Oh, no. They are killing us off, All of us need to join and overthrow every Communist Government leader now”… If every village simultaneously lynched, killed, or ran off their communist party, there would be nothing the Communists could do… They are hugely outnumbered.

But the Chinese leader read his population right. The massive numbers of the working class kowtowed and went back into their dutiful trained mode of keeping their head down to keep from having it cut off. On the other hand, the Russian junta two years later got it wrong… Just like the British got it wrong in America prior to 1776. Just like the French got it wrong in Vietnam in 1956. Just like the Russians and Americans both got it wrong in Afghanistan….

When large numbers of people choose to fight… it becomes very hard to regain control… One can only ultimately regain control as is ISIS today, by force and horror, and that force has to be completely overwhelming and destructively horrific enough to wipe out all bad blood, leaving only good available after one takes control… Very messy.

Our forefathers were much closer to violent history. Their ancestors unlike ours were there simply because whenever they attacked, or were attacked, they won and overcame adversity. Whoever lost got rounded up and killed off and their genes were long gone.

The founding fathers scoured history for a way to stop that trend from continuing in this brand new land. Only those of us most astute in historical archives are aware of their knowledge of interstate religious “wars” that took place here, on these shores, primarily between catholics and protestants, or Puritans and the established church… They were “wars” in quotation marks because they really only amounted to raids since so few people were here at the time.. But… they did their damage in spilled blood, but now todays children and most of the general population know nothing of it and think America was always one big happy family.

That big happy family came about solely because of the system established by the founding fathers. A system that was impartial almost to a fault, and left judgments strictly in the hands of society’s members whoever happened to be in power at that moment time…. Each of those people had to constantly receive the affirmation from those governed or lose their position to someone deemed more preferable by a majority of their constituents…..

And it’s worked so far… Just like Democracy in Rome also worked for about 250 years… Today all Americans are 12 years away from that mark in Roman history when at 250 years, Romans gave up their chartered right to rule themselves and instead settled for accepting whomever grabbed the mantel of tyrant or person holding absolute power.

Indeed. Our parallel is not only enumerative, but reflects parallels in our societies as well. We have a media that is controlled. We have the ability to monitor every citizen; to control them by intimidation over “what might happen” based on our knowledge of their peccadilloes. We are treating fellow human beings as things to be exterminated instead of human being fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters, and grandparents who are for the most part, just like us. We are at the point where as serfs we have only two options: accept what our master gives, or starve. There is no opportunity to change or step up. Suck it or else.

Likewise right now we have education slowly closing its ranks to the poor, and giving top income earners a worthy jump in life over those whose lot was to be born in the 99%…. We have corporations poisoning our food, and killing the Monarch butterfly with our representative Congress accepting its private donations and voting willingly to kill both us and many other species, even outlawing counter-studies or discussion to prevent anything bad from surfacing which could cause masses of people to change their minds.. We have energy now monopolized into the hands of very few, and so to live, must accept their price or perish.

Like the Romans we now have continuous war because both parties in Washington now get rich off off it.

So yes. From a historical point, we may very well see democracy disappear in our lifetimes and for most of us if it did, would bode little change. We’d still work, get drunk, entertain ourselves, and go to bed. Romans continued as a dominant society 400 more years after giving up their rights to tyrants. But for others, doing this will mean extermination. It will mean life’s disruption. It will mean a return to slavery… Simply because there is no longer any possible way to override the will of whatever directive each tyrant decrees…

Like every prior civilization, eventually our governmental society will soon become corrupt; since when one is in favor by the rulers one is set for life, the best way to curry favor quickly is to bestow gifts: gifts paid for by you and me. Currently the only thing keeping Democracy in its place now, is the lucky fact that no one is seriously challenging it. But give us one major disruption and someone to effectively blame it on democracy’s inadequacies.. and that tyrant suddenly looks very appealing. That so far is what we have not had, but odds say we will face soon if we do not decide once and for all right now, who we really want controlling our lives: representatives of ourselves or a monarch….

The prime question we currently face right now is how to cut the string running from the handlers to the puppets… The handlers have no real effective power. Do you even know who the top 5 hedge fund holders are? But having Carper cast a certain vote. Have Coons cast a certain vote. Have Carney vote a certain way and with 60 votes in the Senate and 218 in the House, certain policies do quietly get set…. Policies that hurt 99% of Americans, always still squeak by with only a few votes which is all they need.

The reason we are at this point is because when that argument was made, that people with money should have more clout in government over ordinary people who don’t have money… it won. And it stood up in court… Citizens United opened the door for money to takeover our government and leave 99% of our people in its dust. The original idea behind Democracy was that every eligible man had one vote. The new forthcoming idea is that if you have a hundred million dollars, you should have 100 million more times of voting influence over someone worth one dollar….

In effect, the worth of any person through this decision now became more important than the individuality of that same person…

We come from pioneer stock. It wasn’t always that way. Our ancestors knew that worth was based on luck but survivability was based on effort and that every person had an equal share in making Democracy work, and every person should therefore have an equal representation….

What Citizen’s United did was turn this original idea on its head. The idea that money spent was a form of free speech immediately gave power to those with all the money… They now had all the free speech… It was a bad idea and one that disenfranchised 315 million Americans from their own government.

Now. Even if a politician-elect is a great people’s candidate, one who was very humanly oriented in their original candidacy, after one term they too are forced into this reality of kowtowing to those who can break them. This explains the fall of Chris Coons and John Carney. As soon as the reality hits of being in Washington, it becomes explained very quickly to them by their brethren that to stay in power one must acquiesce to power. There are great forces against which if you don’t comply, can flood your constituency with a lot of trouble against which anyone would prefer not to deal.

If you are in a solid party-controlled seat, they make someone with resources primary you. If you are in a close two-party election seat, someone with resources will challenge you.. the money will be forthcoming to them… Amazing amounts of money you can only dream of seeing… (O’Donnell- Coons)…

If you were in power… why on earth would you even listen to a single person like me? Seriously. I can do nothing more than give you one vote. But Acme Corporation, rich off of Wily Coyote’s sales, can buy challengers against you for pennies on the dollar. If you vote no, when its PAC says yes… you have to question which really is the best for your citizens long-termed interests? For if you vote no as you wish, and lose the next election round, someone much worse will be thrust in your place making all those same decisions. It becomes apparent rather quickly that if you wish to keep your values for which you were elected, you need to do the dance of listening to constituents and obfuscating from them all your votes for the power brokers as best you possibly can. Ironically under Citizen’s United, this becomes indeed the preferable course of action… The last thing we need is someone replacing Carney with Copeland in the next election… Then the little people have lost all clout…

So what needs to happen is that all the ground rules quickly change in campaign finance so the power becomes more balanced between those with money and those with numbers who have little money. And that is easily done. We already did it with McCain-Feingold. That is until it was deemed unconstitutional following the Citizens United decision. The court said any containment of influence by wealthy individuals or PAC’s was a violation of free speech… What happened next was that the new influence of unlimited money, in turn violated our rights to free speech by isolating us from all ongoing dialogue, since their ad-buys block my voice out…. I now lack the free speech once afforded me because of the effects of Citizen’s United… Which means if I can no longer speak out for any of your interests, then you too have lost your right to free speech ultimately because you do not have over $100 million dollars to spend simply to get access to listeners.

Unless Citizens United is quickly overturned, our government becomes a shill for those 5 people by default.  What it has done is create an environment very ripe for all the tools we used originally to create a police society protecting us from “terrorism”, to now be used upon ourselves to shift into a new society, one complacent to the loss of our right to determine our own future…..

That scenario is NOT democracy in action….

All it takes is two sources of information… One was Ted Cruz’s rebuttal of Obama’s State of the Union where he castigated Obama for income inequality… His words:  the top one percent earns one fifth of the national income…

Then, take the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revision in August 2014 for 2013 and it lists the national income for 2013 at $14.55 Trillion.  For 2014 we shall just round our estimates up to $15 trillion.

So one fifth or 20% of  $15 Trillion is $3 Trillion…   The income of the top one percent is pegged now at $3 trillion per year. (reminder: this is income, not wealth.  Income is taxible, wealth is not).

So here is the macro of what happens if we raise taxes on the top one percent…..

Raising 1% on  $3 trillion returns $30 billion.
Raising 2% on  $3 trillion returns $60 billion.
Raising 3% on  $3 trillion returns $90 billion.
Raising 5% on  $3 trillion returns $150 billion.
Raising 10% on $3 trillion returns $300 billion.
Raising 15% on $3 trillion returns $450 billion.
Raising 20% on $3 trillion returns $600 billion.
Raising 25% on $3 trillion returns $750 billion.
Raising 33% on $3 trillion returns $1 trillion to the middle class….

Romney payed 14%. So raising rates by the max would make his regular rate at 47%… Ronald Reagan cut the 1%’s taxes to 50% and was a hero… Our nation didn’t tube then… It certainly won’t tube on 3% less.

This is where you begin to see the damage behind the lie being told by Republicans.  We don’t need to tax the one percent less. We need to tax them more…  Just imagine if the one percent paid the same rate they did under Reagan, who they hold up as their hero … We’d have over a trillion extra  dollars each year to spend on making our nation stronger …  That is stolen money we should be spending upon ourselves, but can’t.

Instead, we are cutting back, cutting back, cutting back on all the essentials we need to live as a free nation…

Yet all we have to do,…. is tax the one percent a little more…  It is so simple.. really.

Usually things can be easily grasped if you avoid the details and look at a broader picture…  Of course, I’m not saying never look at details… That would be silly…  But I’m saying that if you approach all situations from the bottom up, you really don’t have a clue unless you luckily enough to reach the summit and look down…  It is like climbing a mountain… If you just walk uphill… you may get there… or you may hit a wall that cannot be climbed… But looking at a satellite photo of the mountain first, you can easily track a general path, then deal with the details discovered on the ground when you get there….

What politics all comes back to, is what I first heard while making the rounds with my dad. That old man on the porch who said between cigar puffs…. “Kid… politics is about who gets the money and who controls it…”

That held for my county then, for our counties now, for our state, and federal too… Understanding  that politics is all about money, makes one understand ahead of time what will pass legislature in any given session, and what will not…

There are many ways to divide the pie…  one can base it on color of skin which has been tried in our history.  One can base it on gender, which has been tried in our history… One can base it on land ownership which as been tried in our history…  But over the course of time, each of those distinctions have fallen.  And good riddance.

Now, thanks to mass media, there is a new distinction… Between those who can buy ads to threaten lawmakers, and those who can’t…  (For simplicity more than accuracy, we will from henceforth, call them the 1% versus the 99%…..)

If one looks at the 1%’s slice of pie, prevailing wage bites into it… They have to pay a higher wage than what they could find in cheaper labor…  I mean who could not be against prevailing wage if it meant you had to pay more money which you could, if the trend were gone, keep to yourself?    So these guys do have motive, one that is dear to each and all of our hearts. Keeping their money.

But even rich people know that an argument saying:  make these people suffer more so I can become EVEN richer does not hold water in any forum.  In fact that argument is the kiss of death… So instead they find a third party to portray as victim… which is the government…  Their argument:  our government is paying more than it has to which is a waste catches more flies especially during hard times….

There are some mis-truths here that need pointing out…

One is that doing away with prevailing wage does not cut cost for government…  It does nothing like that at all in our system of bids …. Our government asks for bids, and it chooses one…. Most often there is only one bid.  That bidder gets what they ask… And with prevailing-wage-principles now gone, the owners pocket that extra incremental which was previously blamed on Prevailing Wage…

So whereas on paper one can anticipate all the labor being used on government contracts and take several dollars off every total and call that a potential savings…. it does not show how other mysterious costs will bite into and suck out those alleged savings, funneling the money over to the 1%’s bank accounts.

In other words, there will be no savings because the 1% will steal them… WE THE PEOPLE will still pay $65 million for a construction job, but instead of 53% going to wages which get spent in our state, now only 43% goes to that place… Losing prevailing wage takes money like a giant vacuum cleaner right out of Delaware’s economy… Instead of funding projects to benefit people working, we are funding the same projects to benefit those who take the money immediately right out of the state’s economy which quickly gets locked up and we will never see it again…..

Bottom line of losing prevailing wage?… A.) No money is ever saved by our government.  B.) Our Delaware local economy suffers net loss. C.) The top 1% grows 10% richer with every project the state funds….

In very surprising language from a very Conservative Pope, (Pope Francis’s predecessor)  Pope Benedict lays it out very clearly…

Today, budgetary policies, with cuts in social spending often made under pressure from international financial institutions, can leave citizens powerless in the face of old and new risks; such powerlessness is increased by the lack of effective protection on the part of workers’ associations. Through the combination of social and economic change, trade union organizations experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers, partly because Governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions. Hence traditional networks of solidarity have more and more obstacles to overcome. The repeated calls issued within the Church’s social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum[60], for the promotion of workers’ associations that can defend their rights must therefore be honoured today even more than in the past…

Hence, by degrees it has come to pass that working men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition. The mischief has been increased by rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different guise, but with like injustice, still practiced by covetous and grasping men. To this must be added that the hiring of labor and the conduct of trade are concentrated in the hands of comparatively few; so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself. 

So, if you read the above you can plainly see  we have a head of the largest Christian denomination the Roman Catholic Church, calling for the continuance of policies like Prevailing Wage, and endorsing it…. “What God has brought together; let no man cut asunder.”

What just happened June 30th, was that the total economic pie of Delaware, the one that gets divided up between the haves and have-nots, just got a little smidgen taken from the Have-Nots and  added to the side of the Haves which already own over 50% of the pie .

  • A.) No money gets saved by the Government.
  • B.) Less money now filters through our grocery stores, our restaurants, our small businesses, our handyman our landscapers, our repair shops, or our mechanics….
  • C.) The noose for 99% of us becomes tighter by another notch, which with a one way slit knot, can never be undone except by cutting away the noose altogether..

The good news is that some form of prevailing wage still stands for larger contracts.   The bad news is that we have less pie than we did a week ago, to feed all 1 million of us living today in what once were the three former counties of Pennsylvania….

But the effects of reducing prevailing wage can be countered by a government and local economy…. If we would just create an excessive tax on the top one percent while giving them the option to write off everything they spent on capital investment that year…. they themselves would have the incentive to pay more and government would not have to step in and support wages with a minimum floor… Pictorially, If the top 1% had to continuously give back the slices of pie they continuously stole from us, they would stop stealing, is basically the point of taxing excessively those only in the top tier.

Or, if we could again legally protect every American worker from being fired if they stopped workage as long as their work stoppage was linked to getting higher wages, then those wages would increase through bargaining under that threat, and laws supporting prevailing wages would no longer be necessary…

But since 1980 we have cut back on those two forms of balance so until they are restored, today’s current political climate which is controlled by the owners of excessive money , demands the necessity of continuing prevailing wage just to keep all wages higher, both private and public, since all wages have to compete for labor against the highest one on the market…

But it is ultimately our failure as a state to jump-start massive local investment by levying huge taxes on all monies the top one percent won’t spend on local capital improvements here within our state’s boundaries,  that causes us to have to defend the concept of prevailing wage.. We NEED prevailing wage just for the simple reason that all of its well-spent money comes straight to us… to all of us in the local economy when those receiving it in their paychecks, spend it!… Without prevailing wage,  it’s the Caymen Island bank accounts which swell with yours and my money…………  instead of our local economy.

Prevailing Wage like every thing in politics… is only about who gets to get their hands on the money….. Why shouldn’t it be you?  There is no reason.  Just that you didn’t ask for it; You didn’t defend your rights to it; you elected people paid for by the other side… Your lack of having enough money today comes down to your own damn fault….

Isn’t it time you did something about it?

This headline explains a lot.

=====

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Acquire Scholastic Ed-Tech Businesses for $575M
=====

So what does that mean.

  • It means with consolidation that many (almost half) high paying jobs will be lost.
  • It means that whereas two independent entities were previously competing on innovative educational techniques, now there will be only one, meaning less innovation.
  • It means that $545 million  (5 Delaware Race To The Top Grants) will not now be spent on education because it was just spent on this.
  • And it means that from society’s overall point of view, that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was overpaid $575 million. We could have gotten our goods cheaper….

But whenever a larger company buys up a smaller company, all of society loses.  Any efficiency you gain, is sucked up right out of daily economic activity.  it goes straight into a vault of the profiteers, never to be used in active economic activity again. And educational companies like everything else have simply gotten too big….

You can regulate companies, but that is a nightmare of arguing and documentation…  There is an easier way… Tax them Tax away the money they are wasting on petty purchases… Tax them fairly, and thoroughly. IF HMH’s money had been taxed fairly and thoroughly prior to this company’s purchase, or if much of that had been put toward research, capital investment, or raising employees salaries just to avoid taxes, all would be better off…

As it is now, there was no benefit to anyone other then those purchasing.  If we were talking about quarters for gumball gum, we could probably live with it… But we are not… We are talking about 5 Delaware Race To The Top Grants, now completely wasted for 99.999999999% of the population…..

This big money is why you are never heard…  If you want your country back, you have better vote on those who promise to raise tax rates on the top 1%….   In truth, we really don’t need more taxes. We need more real investment and every chart the US Treasury and Federal Reserve can procure, show that real investment was a lot higher when any money leftover was taxed before going to the shareholders. I hope you too can through this one example exactly how the Bush Tax Cuts have changed our country from the land of bustling opportunity we had up to 2000…. to today….

The object lesson is that we should have no deficit by always paying our bills and those with most of the money, should be the ones paying them….

Delaware’s 1 percent reported average income of $863,734 in 2012.  There are 4747 filers in Delaware who meet the 1% threshold.

What that means is that half of those, 2424 have to make more than $863,734…

Currently everyone making more than $60,000 each year, pays the same marginal rate. … So all these 2424 pay the highest rate of 6%…..

So if all 2424 average above $863,734 then the minimum income available to be taxed would be this product of both.

2525  X  $863,734  =   $2,093,691,216   That is as in two billion…

Therefore, if we raise tax rates on this group, with each percent, we would raise $20,936,912. ($21 million) Enough to fund all of Delaware’s casino losses for a full year or the average spent on Race To The Top per each of its 5 year cycle; or a one percent raise for all of Delaware’s state employees.

Keep this in light of the startling fact that this group grew incomes at 15%….  15% of $2 billion is $300 million.   So whereas this group of 2424 top 0.5%’rs grew incomes at $300 million yet paid the same rate as someone making $60,000… that person stuck making $60,000 lost income at 1.6% but still paid the same rate as those earning a combined $300 million a year….

Which is why saying we can’t fund seniors credits for school taxes is nothing less than a joke…. Perhaps such might be true, IF WE WERE TAXING THE TOP 0.5% AT ABSURD HIGHLY RIDICULOUS RATES.  But we aren’t.. 

  • California charges 13.3%… It’s economy is booming btw.
  • Oregon charges 9.9%… Doing well too.
  • Minnesota at 8.95%… No harm there.
  • Iowa 8.98%… Those corn huskers are quite happy there.
  • New York 8.82%… Everyone “Hearts” NY.
  • Our neighbor, New Jersey?  8.97%….

Even Republican Scott Walker’s state, Wisconsin charges higher:  7.65%!!!

There is a lot of room to expand….

Here is the recommended rate schedule that Delaware needs to implement.

  • Incomes over $400 billion   @ 12 %
  • Incomes between $400 and $100 billion  @ 11%
  • Incomes between $100 and $1 billion  @ 10%
  • incomes between  $1 billion and $400 million @ 9%
  • incomes between $400 million and $100 million  @ 8 %
  • incomes between $100 million and 1 million.   @  7%
  • No change for incomes under $1 million…

The reason for the above is contingent on how much each level of income impacts the local economy.  Those who don’t provide a local benefit with their purchases, should be taxed higher than those who do.  And keep in mind this is all taxed marginally… That means the the first million for all of the 2424 is taxed the same, and only those amounts that expand over into the higher brackets will pay out at a higher rate….

For any sacrifices to be borne at all by those losing income at rates of 1.6% without ramping up the donations exculpated from those whose incomes rose 15% over the same identical time frame, is simply unjust, immoral, and positively Un-American.

These people have to be taxed more.  No if’s; No and’s; No but’s.

It is so obvious… Like hitting you in the eye with a big Pizza Pie!