American History Lesson: American Liberty League (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

American Liberty League
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The American Liberty League was an American political organization formed in 1934, primarily of wealthy business elites and prominent political figures because they opposed the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was highly active for just two years. Following the landslide re-election of Roosevelt in 1936, it sharply reduced its activities and disbanded entirely in 1940.
Contents [hide]
1 History
1.1 Formation and leadership
1.2 Under attack
1.3 1936 campaign
1.4 Dissolution
2 Goals
3 Education programs
4 Positions
5 Funding
6 Legacy
7 See also
8 References
9 Sources
10 External links
Formation and leadership[edit]
The creation of the League was announced in Washington, D.C., on August 22, 1934, by a group of Democrats and a smaller number of Republicans. Jouett Shouse, who had been prominent in Democratic politics and the anti-Prohibition movement, became the group’s first chairman. The makeup of the League’s executive committee was designed to demonstrate its bipartisan nature. It included: John W. Davis and Al Smith, former Democratic candidates for president; wealthy businessman Irénée du Pont, who left the Republicans to support Al Smith in 1928 and Roosevelt in 1932; and two New York Republicans, Nathan L. Miller, the state’s former governor, and Representative James W. Wadsworth.[1] The moving spirit behind the launch of the organization was John Jacob Raskob, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and the foremost opponent of Prohibition, former director of General Motors and a board member of the DuPont.[2]
Reaction to the League formation was generally skeptical of its non-partisan nature.[3] President Roosevelt told a press conference that the League seemed founded “to uphold two of the Ten Commandments,” stopping at protecting property and drawing no inspiration from the command to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”[4] Arthur Krock wrote a few weeks later, just after the November election, that the League was prepared to announce more eminent members of its leadership group “to eradicate the purely political and anti-administration tinge that colored the league in the beginning.”[5]
The League proceeded to name a National Executive Committee of 25 and a National Advisory Council of about 200. Those named constituted a geographically diverse group, almost all drawn from the upper echelons of American industry. Among the notable exceptions were Hollywood movie producer Hal Roach and naval hero Richmond Pearson Hobson. More typical were Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. of General Motors and J. Howard Pew of Sun Oil Company.[6]
Membership exceeded 36,000 in July 1935, only 27% of whom were contributors. It doubled by January 1936, peaked at 125,000 in the middle of 1936, and then declined rapidly following the 1936 election.[7]
The League targeted college students for membership and had particular success at state universities. There were 345 chapters with more than 10,000 members by April 1936. Academics played a variety of roles. For example, New York University economist Walter Spahr gave speeches that the League reproduced in pamphlet form, though an attempt to organize a committee of academic economists failed.[8]
Under attack[edit]
Main article: Business Plot
Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler alleged in testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee in November 1934 that Gerald C. MacGuire (a bond salesman) and leading figures in the League had been involved in a plot to overthrow Franklin Roosevelt. Those Butler implicated all denied any involvement. The Committee did MacGuire to testify, but did not call any of the others, and its November 24, 1933 preliminary report stated that it had “no evidence … that would in the slightest degree warrant” doing so, and Butler’s allegations were “mere hearsay”. But the Committee’s final report in February 1935 said that MacGuire and others had discussed and planned attempts to establish a “fascist organization” or “fascist army” in the United States. Contemporary reaction in the press and public opinion was mostly amused skepticism. Subsequent historians generally agree. For example, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. wrote, “No doubt, MacGuire did have some wild scheme in mind, though the gap between contemplation and execution was considerable, and it can hardly be supposed that the Republic was in much danger.”[9]
1936 campaign[edit]
Roosevelt’s campaign manager accused the Liberty League of being an “ally of the Republican National Committee” which would “squeeze the worker dry in his old age and cast him like an orange rind into the refuse pail.”[10]
The Republican campaign, not content with the League’s declaration of non-partisanship, asked it to “stay aloof from too close alliance with the Landon campaign.”[11][12] FDR’s campaign manager used that information as the basis for saying that the League had behaved so badly that it “had to be repudiated by the regular Republican organization,” further drawing the League into protestations of nonpartisanship that highlighted its partisan role.[12]
Following the 1936 elections in which FDR won by a landslide and his party expanded its majorities in both houses of Congress, the League eliminated its public activities and restricted itself to reviewing legislation and sending its assessments to members of Congress. A small national staff remained, but all state and local offices closed. Only the three du Pont brothers, Irénée, Lammot and Pierre, financed the organization, until the du Ponts decided to devote as much of their financial resources as possible to Republican Willkie’s 1940 campaign.[13] The League closed its Washington office in September 1940.[14]
The League said in its founding statement that it was a “nonpartisan organization founded to defend the Constitution and defend the rights and liberties guaranteed by that Constitution.”[15] It eschewed participation in elections. Its stated goal was:[16]
to teach the necessity of respect for the rights of persons and property as fundamental to every form of government…to teach the duty of government, to encourage and protect individual and group initiative and enterprise, to foster the right to work, earn, save and acquire property, and to preserve the ownership and lawful use of property when acquired.
It proposed to educate the public and legislators on legislative issues. In particular, it proposed to help the Roosevelt administration with its research and denied it was anti-Roosevelt either at present or with regard to the 1936 presidential election.[16][17]
Education programs[edit]
The League produced 135 pamphlets during its first two years, printed for easy distribution by mail. Half of them originated as speeches or radio addresses delivered by League officers or its most prominent supporters. A total of more than five copies went to newspapers and government agencies, public and college libraries, all members of Congress, and other political groups, often generating new stories and reports in other publications.[18] It also produced two-page monthly bulletins in a more popular style, but distributed to the same audience as the pamphlets.[19] A different promotional tactic that downplayed the role of the League itself was the creation of a syndicated news service. Before its discontinuation near the end of 1936, the League reached 1600 newspapers through the Western Newspaper Union.[20] Finally, the League took advantage of offers of free radio time.[20]
Regarding the controversial National Recovery Administration (NRA), the League was ambivalent. Jouett Shouse, the League president commented that “the NRA has indulged in unwarranted excesses of attempted regulation”; on the other, he added that “in many regards [the NRA] has served a useful purpose.”[21] Shouse said that he had “deep sympathy” with the goals of the NRA, explaining, “While I feel very strongly that the prohibition of child labor, the maintenance of a minimum wage and the limitation of the hours of work belong under our form of government in the realm of the affairs of the different states, yet I am entirely willing to agree that in the case of an overwhelming national emergency the Federal Government for a limited period should be permitted to assume jurisdiction of them.”[22]
The League labeled Roosevelt’s Agricultural Adjustment Administration “a trend toward Fascist control of agriculture” and supported the Farmers Independence Council of America to oppose the administration.[23] Social Security was said to “mark the end of democracy.”
Lawyers for the American Liberty League challenged the validity of the Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act), but in 1937, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the statute. The American Federation of Labor accused the League of hiring detectives to infiltrate labor unions and incite strikes and violence.[24]
On the national level, the League’s total expenditures over its six-year life amounted to $1,200,000, with more than a million of that being spent during its most active months before the 1936 election.[25] Wealthy donors dominated, so that “fewer than two dozen bankers, industrialists, and businessmen” accounted for more than half the League’s 1935 monies on the national level, with the du Pont family responsible for 30% of the total. The next year, 30 donors provided two-thirds of the funds and the du Ponts’ share of the total exceeded 25%. Few continued to contribute after the 1936 elections.[26]
During the 1936 campaign, Postmaster General James Farley, FDR’s campaign manager, mocked it as the “du Pont Liberty League.”[12]
In 1940, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington reporter and later columnist Thomas L. Stokes looked back on the American Liberty League and called it “a very vulnerable straw man” for New Deal Democrats. FDR wanted to run in 1936, he wrote, without emphasizing his Democratic identity. The League’s alliance of conservative Democrats “in whom the rank and file long ago had lost confidence” like Al Smith with “conservative Republicans, among whom were lawyers for great corporations” helped President Roosevelt’s backers to present him as a man independent of traditional politicians and political alliances.[27]
In 1950, Roosevelt’s successor Harry Truman branded critics who labelled his programs “socialism” as the heirs of the Liberty League of the 1930s.[28]
See also[edit]
Portal icon Conservatism portal
Conservative coalition
Jump up ^ New York Times: “League is Formed to Scan New Deal, “Protect Rights’,” August 23, 1934, accessed December 9, 2010
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 21, 25
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 28-33
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 34-5
Jump up ^ New York Times: Arthur Krock, “American Liberty League Soon to Begin Activities,” November 10, 1934, accessed December 9, 2010
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 58-60; Rudolph, 21-2
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 61-2
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 68-9
Jump up ^ Schlesinger Jr., Arthur M. (2003). The Politics of Upheaval: 1935–1936, The Age of Roosevelt, Volume III (The Age of Roosevelt), p. 83
Jump up ^ Phillips-Fein, 20, available online, accessed December 9, 2010
Jump up ^ Rudolph, 31
^ Jump up to: a b c New York Times: “‘Nonpartisan’ Fight on Roosevelt is Opened by the Liberty League,” July 1, 1936, accessed December 12, 2010
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 63-4, 247-9
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 248; New York Times: “New Deal Foe Folds Up,” September 24, 1940, accessed December 9, 2010
Jump up ^ New York Times: “Partisan Aim Denied by Liberty League,” April 20, 1936, accessed April 20, 2011
^ Jump up to: a b Wolfskill, 22
Jump up ^ Rudolph, 29
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 65-6
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 66-7
^ Jump up to: a b Wolfskill, 67
Jump up ^ Shamir, 22
Jump up ^ Shamir, pp 24-25
Jump up ^ Special to the New York Times. “Anti-New Dealers backed farm group”, The New York Times. April 14, 1936. Page 1.
Jump up ^ Stark, Louis. “Links labor ‘spies’ to Liberty League”, The New York Times. April 15, 1936. Page 7.
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 62
Jump up ^ Wolfskill, 63-4: Rudolph, 20n
Jump up ^ Thomas L. Stokes, Chip Off My Shoulder (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1940), 456-7
Jump up ^ New York Times: “Wold News Summarized,” June 7, 1950, accessed December 12, 2010
John Braeman, Robert H. Bremner and David Brody, eds., The New Deal: The National Level. (Ohio State University Press, 1975)
Douglas B. Craig, After Wilson: The Struggle for the Democratic Party, 1920-1934 (University of North Carolina Press, 1992)
Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal (NY: W.W. Norton, 2009)
Frederick Rudolph, “The American Liberty League, 1934-1940,” American Historical Review 56 (October 1950): 19-33, in JSTOR
Hans Schmidt, Maverick Marine (University Press of Kentucky, 1998), ISBN 0-8131-0957-4
Ronen Shamir, Managing Legal Uncertainty: Elite Lawyers in the New Deal (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995)
George Wolfskill, The Revolt of the Conservatives: A History of the American Liberty League, 1934-1940 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962)
External links[edit]
Jouett Shouse Collection, reprints of “Bulletin of the American Liberty League.”
Jouett Shouse Collection, reprints of pamphlets
[hide] v t e
New Deal
Causes and legacy
Great Depression New Deal Coalition Brain Trust American Liberty League Criticism
New Deal
Emergency Banking Act Economy Act Agricultural Adjustment Act Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Civil Works Administration Communications Act Executive Order 6102 Homeowners Refinancing Act Farm Credit Administration Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Federal Emergency Relief Administration Frazier–Lemke Farm Bankruptcy Act Glass–Steagall Act National Industrial Recovery Act National Housing Act National Recovery Administration National Youth Administration Public Works Administration (PWA) Public Works of Art Project Reciprocal Tariff Act Railroad Retirement Act Securities Act Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Second New Deal
Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Project Number One Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Farm Security Administration Judicial Procedures Reform Act National Bituminous Coal Conservation Act National Labor Relations Board (Act) Rural Electrification Act Rural Electrification Administration Social Security United States Housing Authority
Franklin D. Roosevelt Harold L. Ickes Frances Perkins Harry Hopkins Henry Morgenthau, Jr. Huey Long Herbert Hoover Robert F. Wagner
Category Commons
Categories: New DealPolitical organizations in the United StatesOld Right (United States)Organizations established in 1934Organizations disestablished in 1940.






Democrats and Republicans Are Quietly Planning a Corporate Giveaway — to the Tune of $400 Billion (WILLIAM GREIDER)

Democrats and Republicans Are Quietly Planning a Corporate Giveaway — to the Tune of $400 Billion

People attend a rally outside of the office of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) to protest an extension of tax breaks for the wealthiest two percent of Americans in December 2010 in New York City.

This post originally appeared at The Nation.

Young people are the good news of 2016. They see the stressful realities of American life more clearly than their elders and are rallying around the straight talk of Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, the big hitters back in Washington politics are working on an ugly surprise not just for the kids but for all of us — another monster tax break for US multinational corporations.

The bad news is that key leaders of the Democratic Party — including the president — are getting on board with Republicans, despite some talk about confronting income inequality. Influential Democrats intend to negotiate with Republican counterparts on the size and terms of post-facto tax “forgiveness” for America’s globalized companies. This is real money they’re talking about — a giveaway of hundreds of billions.

Why haven’t voters heard about this from candidates? Because Republicans and Democrats both know it would make angry voters even angrier.

The major multinationals complain about a tax problem that most citizens would love to have for themselves: Thanks to a loophole in the tax code, the companies do not have to pay US taxes on profits they have earned in foreign countries until they bring the money home to American shores. Altogether, the globalized US companies have accumulated $2.1 trillion in untaxed profits, most of it parked in overseas tax havens.

The multinationals are waiting for Congress to forgive them their debts.

The facts are obscure but not secret. Even so, political reporters covering the candidates have shown little interest in alerting the public. I blame them for failing democracy.
That is, the US companies insist they won’t bring the money home and pay the taxes they owe until Washington pols steeply reduce the rate to bargain-basement levels. That’s tax “forgiveness” on a grand scale. What the companies also demand is a permanently lowered tax rate on their future earnings. Some leading Republicans advocate eliminating taxation of foreign corporate income entirely.

Imagine if average citizens were given this kind of discretion for their personal income tax. You could tell the IRS you regard your tax liability as unfair, so you’re not going to pay it until Congress enacts a lower rate. Don’t try this dodge in real life. They will come after you.

Many politicians are attracted to cutting a deal with the corporations because they’re in a bind of their own. Given the intense budget battles, the House and Senate often can’t even agree on how to pay for essential government projects and services. The tax-forgiveness scheme could bring home hundreds of billions in supposedly “new” revenue for those vital projects.

For cynical politicians, the deal looks like a “twofer.” You can please constituents with infrastructure projects and reward corporate patrons in the same stroke. In reality, of course, the revenue loss from the giveaway will inevitably be dumped on other taxpayers, either by cutting domestic programs or running up the national debt.

To put it plainly, this trade-off is certain to worsen income inequality, because the money goes to the very people — shareholders and corporate execs — who have already done fabulously well at the expense of other Americans.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, as she often does, found the right words to describe this transaction. She called it “a giant wet kiss for the tax dodgers.” Warren and Senator Sanders have repeatedly charged that the system is rigged. What’s particularly outrageous about this new rigging of the tax code is that even though the politicians are engineering it in the midst of a presidential election, most voters don’t have a clue.

The facts are obscure but not secret. Even so, political reporters covering the candidates have shown little interest in alerting the public. I blame them for failing democracy. Campaign reporters are horse-race junkies who typically take their cues from political insiders, not untutored citizens.

The threat of corporate flight is now made explicit by the lobbyists and cheerleaders: If Congress doesn’t give them a sufficiently generous tax break, some of the biggest corporate names may decide to leave.
The politicians are actually plotting a repeat plundering. Back in 2004, when President George W. Bush was running for re-election and John Kerry was his opponent, they agreed upon a similar proposition. Both were snookered, but it was ordinary citizens who were really screwed. The measure was called the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, and companies repatriated $362 billion at a reduced tax rate of 5.25 percent.

Then they walked away from the jobs promise. In fact, the largest companies killed jobs after they got the money — some 60,000 jobs — moving them overseas to low-wage, low-tax countries. They used their windfall to boost stock prices and thereby enrich investors and CEOs. Now the same crowd is planning a rerun, counting on the wayward press to maintain public ignorance.

Warren’s “tax dodgers” are not what are usually thought of as scumbag swindlers. They are the blue chips of American capitalism, drawn from the high-tech and pharmaceutical sectors as well as the biggest barons of Wall Street. Let’s name some names.

The top 10 multinationals that would reap the largest boodle from this deal are Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Citigroup, Amgen, Qualcomm, JPMorgan Chase, Gilead Sciences, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, these 10 collectively owe $162 billion in unpaid taxes on the $540 billion in profits they’ve parked offshore.

Under the proposal offered by President Obama, the standard statutory tax rate of 35 percent would be reduced to a onetime, bargain-basement rate of 14 percent. This would enable the fortunate 10 to save $97 billion. An alternative Republican proposal would raise the giveaway to $122 billion.

The entire list of winners — the scores of multinationals holding $2.1 trillion in offshore profits — could save as much as $400 billion in taxes owed if bipartisan Washington gives in to the corporate bandits.

Citizens may be weary of Washington scandals, but this squeeze by the multinationals is a grand champion of corrupted democracy. It looks like bank robbery at gunpoint. The corporates are saying to Congress: Give us the money or we pull the trigger.

If average citizens learned about this grand heist, they would be reaching for pitchforks. People who love Donald Trump would be especially troubled to learn that Trump has, in his way, endorsed what the corporate bandits are after.
The trigger in this case is the threat to use another notorious tax loophole called “corporate inversion.” A company can decide for tax purposes to drop US citizenship and move to Ireland or some other inviting nation by arranging a merger or acquisition by a foreign corporation. Some 50 corporations — most recently Pfizer, the giant drugmaker — have announced that they are using this device to escape US tax obligations. They don’t actually have to move factories or headquarters. It’s a tax gimmick (a lot of this offshore money is actually deposited in US banks).

But the threat of corporate flight is now made explicit by the lobbyists and cheerleaders: If Congress doesn’t give them a sufficiently generous tax break, some of the biggest corporate names may decide to leave. Instead of repealing the outrageous loopholes, gullible members of Congress now claim they have no choice but to appease the bankers, the techies and the drugmakers.

If average citizens learned about this grand heist, they would be reaching for pitchforks. People who love Donald Trump would be especially troubled to learn that Trump has, in his way, endorsed what the corporate bandits are after. He tells audiences that corporate inversions are a terrible, terrible problem…but not to worry! His good friend Carl Icahn — the notorious corporate raider — knows how to fix the problem. What Trump neglects to say is that Icahn’s solution is for Congress to enact the monster tax reduction the multinationals are demanding.

The only way to stop the inversions, Icahn insists, is to give the companies what they want. Furthermore, he’s created a $150 million super PAC that he intends to use to punish members of Congress “responsible for this ridiculous and unconscionable situation.” Icahn says in broad daylight what the money guys usually say behind closed doors.

If this deal goes through, Icahn’s investment firm will itself reap $440 million in tax forgiveness on its stock holdings in Apple alone. Of course, Icahn doesn’t need the money. He’s worth $18.5 billion, the 43rd-richest person in America, according to Forbes magazine. If voters grab pitchforks to go after Trump, they should go after his pal Icahn, too.

The informal politics surrounding this issue proceeds more like a silent auction than a public campaign. Starting last summer, various Washington players began posting “bids” on how much tax revenue they think Congress should pay in ransom to the bandits. Not until the lobbyists settle on the correct bid will the companies allow Congress to proceed with the legislation. Nothing demonstrates the corporate stranglehold over both political parties more starkly than this maneuver.

Obama’s business-friendly, onetime bid of 14 percent was dismissed as too little, too late, not just by Republicans but by leading Democrats, too. The president also proposes permanently lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 to 28 percent. Republicans, it is understood, want more generous forgiveness — a onetime rate of less than 10 percent. According to his website, Trump has bid for a onetime rate of 10 percent on repatriated profits and a reduction of the permanent rate from 35 to 15 percent. That should make the multinationals feel loved by the Donald.

Others chimed in. California Senator Barbara Boxer, usually depicted as an arch-liberal in the media, represents Silicon Valley tech companies and has teamed up with Senator Rand Paul, the Kentucky GOP libertarian, to propose a onetime tax rate of 6.5 percent — a very wet kiss for Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and other globe-trotting American heroes.

These preliminaries gained momentum in recent weeks when two GOP leaders — House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Orrin Hatch, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which writes tax legislation — separately announced their intention to introduce broader measures for “international tax reform” in time for debate this fall. Hatch’s grand reform would virtually eliminate the offshore tax problem by telling companies to pay taxes only in the countries where they produce things — inviting global competition among nations to attract factories by slashing rates. The GOP legislators want their groundwork to frame the debate, regardless of which party wins the White House.

An announcement last summer by Senator Charles Schumer of New York was a telling hint of his party’s intentions. Schumer, the senator from Wall Street, is expected to become the Democrats’ floor leader in 2017. He has partnered with GOP Senator Rob Portman of Ohio in recruiting fellow senators for a bipartisan alliance on tax “reform.”

The group hasn’t announced a specific bid, but Schumer and Portman agree that President Obama’s bid is not generous enough to our richest corporations and their CEOs and shareholders. The Schumer group instead described the organizing principles for a two-party deal. Among their goals was “a onetime transition toll charge significantly lower than the statutory corporate rate.” That sounds like the steep tax discount that America’s global champions want.

Democrats are a soft touch for cutting business taxes, one insider told me, because the party of the working class has to vote against business on so many other issues like climate change and labor standards.
Some Dems find it strange — and disturbing — that their prospective Senate leader is making common cause with a GOP senator who faces a tough re-election race this fall. Shouldn’t Schumer be trying instead to defeat Portman and other GOP senators to regain a Democratic majority? Instead, Schumer boasted that he’s recruiting senators from the left and center of his party to cooperate with Republicans. He mentioned Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a loyal advocate for workers and jobs, and Mark Warner of Virginia, a pro-business moderate.

I have been a longtime admirer of Senator Brown, but this news makes me nervous. He has vowed that “under no circumstances” would he support another “tax holiday” for the corporations. Brown sits on the Finance Committee, where maybe he can gather allies to prevent Schumer from making a rotten deal. But he only has one vote, and obviously he wants to do a deal.

In fact, Democrats opposed to the “wet kiss for the tax dodgers” are in a very weak position in the halls of Congress. In their campaigns against inequality and for tax fairness, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren may be describing the Democratic Party of the future, but it’s certainly not the one that exists right now. The insider baseball is rigged to marginalize left-liberal members. The Finance Committee has no Democratic member who is flatly opposed to the deal-making. And 1,500 corporate lobbyists are working for the other side.

Democrats are a soft touch for cutting business taxes, one insider told me, because the party of the working class has to vote against business on so many other issues like climate change and labor standards. This helps to explain the growing alienation of working-class Americans.

Taxation is complicated stuff, and a fog of deceitful propaganda already envelops the subject. To get straight facts, I recommend two tough-minded, truth-telling organizations: Citizens for Tax Justice, led by Robert McIntyre, and Americans for Tax Fairness, run by Frank Clemente, are rallying opponents of this royal scam.

The essential lie peddled by corporate camp followers is that the US corporate tax rate of 35 percent is the highest in the world and crippling America’s globe-trotting companies. As lobbyists well know, this is a load of crap. The actual effective tax rate is far lower than 35 percent (maybe around 20 percent), once corporations apply all their wondrous loopholes and creative accounting. Some major names like General Electric are so adept at dodging that they frequently pay zero taxes. Some years, the government owes money to GE. And this is all legal.

More to the point, the politically neutral Congressional Research Service concluded that the effective US corporate tax rate is actually about the same as the effective tax rate of the companies’ leading competitors in other industrial economies, all things considered.

But never mind facts. It’s very difficult to reason with a robber holding a gun to your head. A good many elected politicians suffer from the Stockholm syndrome; they identify with their captors. It will require a political strike force and more than one election cycle to rescue democracy from the bandits and liberate the country for citizens.

If the big corporations wish to leave America, I say good riddance — call their bluff. On their way to the door, though, Congress should present them with their unpaid due bills. It should cover not only the taxes they have dodged for years but also the much larger debt they owe the country for all the free services and subsidies they received from taxpayers as they developed their profit-making machinery. If accounts were settled fairly, Congress would have plenty of money to spend. If lawmakers found the courage to cut off the corporate free riders, that would be a political revolution.

It sounds improbable, but this scandalous predicament is actually a rare opportunity for progressive reformers. The people can win this fight if they learn the facts and bring this shocking mess out into the daylight. I believe a very public and noisy effort from citizens would break through the silence and shame the players in both parties who timidl — or all too eagerly — go along their captors.

What does Hillary Clinton think about this scandal? Citizens should ask her everywhere she goes. But don’t leave out Republican candidates. Ask them too, and ask those Tea Party irregulars. Are they on board with bank robbers? Or fed-up citizens? Ask your senators and representatives which side they are on.

They say this is the year of rebellion. I hope it’s only the beginning. There is the promising possibility that this time, voters will instruct the powerful rather than the other way around. People are learning they can do more than listen.

The views expressed in this post are the author’s alone, and presented here to offer a variety of perspectives to our readers.


Hillary enters the race Apr 13th 2015

Citizens every where on the planet are screaming for the Americans not to do this;Not to allow this Hillary Clinton person to attain such a position of global power.  Everyone else on earth can certainly see–even if Americans are too stupid.

So first, yes, let’s look at this utterly far-reaching, protracted and beyond-costly quagmire-of-a-war IRAQ, that has turned into a global HELL.

Remember clearly that CIA intelligence reports indicated, BEFORE congress-member Hillary Clinton voted FOR going to WAR, a CLEAR War of American Aggression, remember that there was NO EVIDENCE of ANY weapons of mass destruction and, further, that Iraq was IN NO WAY linked with al Qaeda.

The FACT is that it was Hillary Clinton that willingly voted, WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE, to go to WAR. To invade and occupy [Iraq] and enter a WAR of AGGRESSION. The costs of this 11 year World War were perfectly foreseeable before U. S. even stepped foot in Iraq.

In fact, as of this month, April 2015, there are reportedly 1.2 MILLION Iraqis and Afghanis DEAD…and ever counting;

There are Countless utterly destroyed American youths; WAR Dead, limbs blown off, so many suicided, so many very seriously brain-injured, horribly maimed, changed-for-life; So many and ever counting.

So, a vote for Hillary Clinton? Really? Hillary Clinton, right along with her PALS, Obama, Geithner, Bush, Cheney, and all of the other member of the U. S. War and Bank Fraud Machine, FULLY supported that WAR.

So DO KNOW that Hillary Clinton will support ALL WAR. ALWAYS. The fact is that any one installed in this American government will always go to war with the WORLD.

Why? Well, because the entire U. S. economy has been built on War and still does run on continuous War. The War Industry actively promulgates War as with any WAR-economy, the War Industry perpetrates War and perpetuates War.

So, first the U. S. invasion of Iraq was actually directly in order to profit and impudently steal; These are Crimes. War Crimes and War Profiteering.

And Hillary Clinton is yet another one of “these” attempting to put another notch in her gold-gilt belt, this time with her eye the ultimate brass ring, the U. S. Presidency. Ah, yes… Another money-grubbing, war-mongering, rapacious, downright beastly American “President” who spends their days pandering and whoring to corporate interests, War Interest, Bank interests… No matter WHAT and solely for PROFIT.

So…Clinton’s CHARACTER really ought to be taken into account for those actually considering voting for her in 2016.


Subject: Clinton?????

Date: January 22, 2016

To All Unions who Think that they Support CLINTON for President in 2016:

This System that you are determinedly but so blindly fighting to PRESERVE and SUSTAIN is our REAL PROBLEM!!!

STOP!!! Ask yourselves:

EXACTLY For WHOM am I working, toiling, slaving away my life….FOR NOTHING????? BUT DEBT?????

I sincerely hope that y’all here in Unions work on getting your FACTS STRAIGHT before you back this CLINTON person and actually CAST YOUR VOTES!!

In fact, maybe y’all should READ MORE!!

Divide and Conquer is one of the most effective strategies to keep people away from the fact that WE are being ROBBED BLIND in Broad Daylight. We the people have been working for FREE for Corporate interests for DECADES!!


Real Wages have been Stagnant since 1973!!! EVEN AS PRODUCTIVITY has SKYROCKETED!!!


NO!!! YOU get DEBT!!!!




YOU and WE ALL are stuck paying for EVERYTHING!!!!! Including paying the salaries, pensions and endless benefits of ALL our SOLD-OUT government FLUNKIES!!!! FOR LIFE!!!! And THEY DENY US THE SAME!!!!!

And as because you work harder and harder for longer and longer hours for LESS and LESS compensation FOR YOUR LABOR…YOU LOSE!!!!!! Every time.


Bill and Hillary Clinton are CRIMINALS and should really more appropriately be trialled in a Court Of Law and upon being found GUILTY, sent to PRISON for their CRIMES!!!!


The entire Left v. Right paradigm is now–or always has been–a ruse, LIES, heavily employing fear mongering, Scapegoating “others,” a constant bombardment of hot button “issues,” etc. bandied about constantly.

As you may know, the so-called Progressive movement was surreptitiously and almost immediately usurped by corporate interests and it quickly became another PR campaign to further enrich filthy rich Democrats who have long worked hand in hand with Republicans, all with the exact same agenda. Carter to Reagan to Bush Sr. to Clinton to Bush Jr. to Obama. Not one has EVER represented WE the PEOPLE.

So it is that a huge and dependable military that won’t ask questions as they

are deluded into thinking that they are Patriots and Heroes, will only continue deludedly “Fighting” for “Freedom” and “Democracy;” Killing and slaughtering millions of innocent people around the globe solely for the interests of wealthy corporate henchmen; Forcibly bestowing that unique American “Freedom” and “Democracy” on to every sovereign nation on earth; often through Wars of Aggression (if they have any resources for America to steal); Many times the U. S. brings it’s own wholesome values such as “equality” and genuine “freedom,” to sovereign nations using such enticements as death threats, blackmail, assassination, extortion, coups d’etat, etc., etc. That is the main role of the World Bank, for one example.

In the end, “America” the EMPIRE always “wins!!”

Well…Actually very FEW, about .01% — in America always “win.”

Divide and Conquer tactics uses Brainwashing through relentless campaigns of Nation-State Propaganda; all techniques, all tactics are employed.

A most effective tactic is the sheer fear tactics; Communism, Socialism, Terrorism; We are all force-fed outright LIES, for very specific results, from the cradle to the grave. It works like a CHARM!!!

(US against THEM = Divide and Conquer [tactic])

There are entire manuals and playbooks on How to Control an Entire Society through intensive brainwashing techniques. See one book entitled PROPAGANDA written by Edward Bernays in the 1920s; He was the nephew of Sigmund Freud.

Another example: have you ever noticed that there are a dizzying, indeed countless, number of…”groups of people?” In the last decade, I noticed a new onslaught: Millions of new 501(c)(3)s and 501(c)(4)s, most thoroughly fraudulent. Many of these fraudulent groups’ minions are used as total dupes, as they are tricked into thinking that they are fighting for one thing, yet in reality they are fighting solely for the interests of the wealthy elite.(WEDGE ISSUES = Divide and Conquer)

So…Have you noticed that these same “groups,” fight vehemently amongst themselves and, most curiously, directly against themselves and their own self interests?

Whether members of these groups are genuine in their profound ignorance; or whether the groups were deliberately created to further spread misinformation and lies, so as to stupefy the populace… It works in that the desired result is the same: Significant confusion; total convolution; Bitter Infighting and pitted fights; It leaves many in in a state of fear or hate or confusion; That too is deliberate. Divide and Conquer.

To be perfectly clear, these same exact hand-selected “issues” are also bandied about, in and on, all forms of media, non-stop, 24/7; The same incessant, irritating high hum of blathering morons on radio; the same empty headed television hosts who I now suspect are hired based solely on either 1. a very low IQ score; or 2. a fundamental ignorance so deep that it cannot ever be challenged.

So, WHO is it exactly that calls the shots?

Who does hand-pick and then place idiot-issues

under the collective noses of the idiot-electorate?

And THEN there IS the OTHER SIDE:

The Idiot-Electorate needs to answer this:

So, who is it that, just like Pavlov’s Dog,

Decade after decade, who casts their vote each and every time there comes a ballot for the candidates presented?

So then, do any of us even wonder such things as

1. WHO in HELL is THIS???

2. FROM WHERE in HELL did they COME?


All I know for CERTAIN is ONE THING: The filthy rich get Richer and Filthier.

Apropos, Balzac wrote these words:

“Behind all great fortune is CRIME.”

Issues? Well, it’s safe to say that these deliberate contrivances…these wedge issues…were not dreamt up and presented to the citizenry by the average American or the average human.

This particular layout of the world, of it’s governance and of it’s “leaders” should be CLEAR in it’s obvious IMPLICATIONS for US. We should recognize that every thing that is occurring is 1. Morally and Ethically 100% WRONG for 99.9% of the earth’s population; 2. Morally and Ethically 100% Unacceptable and 100% IMMORAL. PERIOD; 3. THOSE RESPONSIBLE MUST BE STOPPED, TRIALLED and IMPRISONED for their…CRIMES!!

THEREFORE a REAL remedy is required. And it will come whether we want it to or not according to the simplest laws of physics, i.e. THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD.


“Pending Approval”   FUCK YOU

I hope that every last one of you DUPES and PAWNS involved on ANY LEVEL in this MILITARY, this twisted and TOTALLY CRIMINAL little CHARADE, THESE FILTHY WAR GAMES; I hope that all you KILL-HAPPY/GO-USA terminally brainwashed, empty-shell girl and boy-soldiers as YOU ARE IN FACT and IN DEED; YES!! You all who Today RIGHT NOW knowingly and so willingly do “this” around the globe…[INVADE TORTURE KILL]; RUINING IRREPARABLY millions upon millions of REAL and um… innocent people…and their LIVES…for filthy LUCRE!!! OR for Patriotic LUNACY. My patience with you is GONE so I hope y’all READ THIS:’
I hope to god that there will come a day when the poor men and women in the U.S. Military will just tell their “commanders” to go F___ themselves.
Indeed, the TIME is NOW.
OUR dear soldiers are used as nothing but cannon fodder by the filthiest and most despicably venal cabal that has enthroned itself to unchecked power and has indeed perpetuated all American Wars since WWII; That’s continual American Invasions, Occupations, Coups, World WAR, for more than 70 years. LOOK IT UP.
PLEASE!! Wake the f$ck up!! NOW is the TIME.
To every single soldier still engaged in this most dangerous combat,
stuck in hell and far from home; and fighting solely on behalf of
[HORRIBLE LITTLE PRICKS] stingy, rapacious, wealthy assholes that do not give a FUCK about ANY of YOU;
To You Soldiers who forever fight the same endless, needless, heinous,
atrocious Wars of American Aggression for THEM;
To the soldiers who are blown to bits, arms and legs blown off, brains splattered or irreparably damaged, paralyzed, dead, or worse;
To those Soldiers who DO make it back home ALIVE,
Only to find that each of you are then summarily left to die anyway
Scraping at the pavement of the hospital parking lot after having been
refused medical treatment at the local VA…AGAIN.
So, To All of OUR Brothers and Sisters, OUR Soldiers with all
your your brains scrambled and most of your limbs blown off;
On behalf of the most sadistic and criminally insane American Dictators who want nothing BUT non-stop Wars of Aggression, Invasion and permanent Occupation
in order to PROFIT and still STEAL other sovereign nations resources;
And every time, THEY send YOU.
So, Now?
Our collective “Freedoms” [to be imprisoned in cement blocks or to be locked in Debt Servitude to Criminal Bankers];
Our “Liberties” [to be THE most backward, uncivilized, uneducated, indeed the most unenlightened society on earth];
And our, um, “Democracy?”
It is ALL a LIE!!

“Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of a pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this world would be a happier and better world to live in. But if you wish to remain slaves of the Bankers and pay for the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits.”

— Sir Josiah Stamp, President of the Bank of England in the 1920s, the second richest man in Britain

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
— U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864


ABOLISH Corporate Personhood…NOW

“When American colonists declared independence from England in 1776, they also freed themselves from control by English corporations that extracted their wealth and dominated trade. After fighting a revolution to end this exploitation, our country’s founders retained a healthy fear of corporate power and wisely limited corporations exclusively to a business role. Corporations were forbidden from attempting to influence elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society.

Initially, the privilege of incorporation was granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals. Enabling shareholders to profit was seen as a means to that end.

The states also imposed conditions (some of which remain on the books, though unused) like these:

* Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.

* Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.

* Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.

* Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.

* Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.

* Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.

For 100 years after the American Revolution, legislators maintained tight controll of the corporate chartering process. Because of widespread public opposition, early legislators granted very few corporate charters, and only after debate. Citizens governed corporations by detailing operating conditions not just in charters but also in state constitutions and state laws. Incorporated businesses were prohibited from taking any action that legislators did not specifically allow.

States also limited corporate charters to a set number of years. Unless a legislature renewed an expiring charter, the corporation was dissolved and its assets were divided among shareholders. Citizen authority clauses limited capitalization, debts, land holdings, and sometimes, even profits. They required a company’s accounting books to be turned over to a legislature upon request. The power of large shareholders was limited by scaled voting, so that large and small investors had equal voting rights. Interlocking directorates were outlawed. Shareholders had the right to remove directors at will.

In Europe, charters protected directors and stockholders from liability for debts and harms caused by their corporations. American legislators explicitly rejected this corporate shield. The penalty for abuse or misuse of the charter was not a plea bargain and a fine, but dissolution of the corporation.

In 1819 the U.S. Supreme Court tried to strip states of this sovereign right by overruling a lower court’s decision that allowed New Hampshire to revoke a charter granted to Dartmouth College by King George III. The Court claimed that since the charter contained no revocation clause, it could not be withdrawn. The Supreme Court’s attack on state sovereignty outraged citizens. Laws were written or re-written and new state constitutional amendments passed to circumvent the Dartmouth ruling. Over several decades starting in 1844, nineteen states amended their constitutions to make corporate charters subject to alteration or revocation by their legislatures. As late as 1855 it seemed that the Supreme Court had gotten the people’s message when in Dodge v. Woolsey it reaffirmed state’s powers over “artificial bodies.”

But the men running corporations pressed on. Contests over charter were battles to control labor, resources, community rights, and political sovereignty. More and more frequently, corporations were abusing their charters to become conglomerates and trusts. They converted the nation’s resources and treasures into private fortunes, creating factory systems and company towns. Political power began flowing to absentee owners, rather than community-rooted enterprises.

The industrial age forced a nation of farmers to become wage earners, and they became fearful of unemployment–a new fear that corporations quickly learned to exploit. Company towns arose. and blacklists of labor organizers and workers who spoke up for their rights became common. When workers began to organize, industrialists and bankers hired private armies to keep them in line. They bought newspapers to paint businessmen as heroes and shape public opinion. Corporations bought state legislators, then announced legislators were corrupt and said that they used too much of the public’s resources to scrutinize every charter application and corporate operation.

Government spending during the Civil War brought these corporations fantastic wealth. Corporate executives paid “borers” to infest Congress and state capitals, bribing elected and appointed officials alike. They pried loose an avalanche of government financial largesse. During this time, legislators were persuaded to give corporations limited liability, decreased citizen authority over them, and extended durations of charters. Attempts were made to keep strong charter laws in place, but with the courts applying legal doctrines that made protection of corporations and corporate property the center of constitutional law, citizen sovereignty was undermined. As corporations grew stronger, government and the courts became easier prey. They freely reinterpreted the U.S. Constitution and transformed common law doctrines.

One of the most severe blows to citizen authority arose out of the 1886 Supreme Court case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad. Though the court did not make a ruling on the question of “corporate personhood,” thanks to misleading notes of a clerk, the decision subsequently was used as precedent to hold that a corporation was a “natural person.”

From that point on, the 14th Amendment, enacted to protect rights of freed slaves, was used routinely to grant corporations constitutional “personhood.” Justices have since struck down hundreds of local, state and federal laws enacted to protect people from corporate harm based on this illegitimate premise. Armed with these “rights,” corporations increased control over resources, jobs, commerce, politicians, even judges and the law.

A United States Congressional committee concluded in 1941, “The principal instrument of the concentration of economic power and wealth has been the corporate charter with unlimited power….”

Many U.S.-based corporations are now transnational, but the corrupted charter remains the legal basis for their existence. At, we believe citizens can reassert the convictions of our nation’s founders who struggled successfully to free us from corporate rule in the past. These changes must occur at the most fundamental level — the U.S. Constitution.”

Thanks to our friends at the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD) for their permission to use excerpts of their research for this article.

Please visit our Corporate Personhood page for a huge library of articles exploring this topic more deeply. You might also be interested to read our proposed Constitutional Amendments to revoke illegitimate corporate power, erode the power of money over elections, and establish an affirmative constitutional right to vote.
By the way, Corporations are not satisfied with “cheap”” labor…They want FREE LABOR…And they’ve nearly got it!!