October 22, 2004

A Resignation-on-Principle Opportunity

Pete Yost of AP writes:

Bush Signs $136B Corporate Tax Cut Bill: President Bush showered $136 billion in new tax breaks on businesses, farmers and other groups Friday, quietly signing the most sweeping rewrite of corporate tax law in nearly two decades.... The legislation also includes about $10 billion in assistance for tobacco farmers. A Senate provision that would have coupled the assistance with regulation of tobacco by the Food and Drug Administration was dropped by the conference committee that ironed out differences between the two chambers.... The centerpiece of the tax legislation is $76.5 billion in new tax relief for the battered manufacturing sector, which has lost 2.7 million jobs over the past four years. Manufacturing in the law is broadly defined to include not just factories but also oil and gas producers, engineering, construction and architectural firms and large farming operations.... There was no signing ceremony...

Here's what Treasury Secretary John Snow said about the bill:

"A myriad of special interest tax provisions that benefit few taxpayers and increase the complexity of the tax code." "Overloaded with special-interest provisions." "U.S. companies that do not have foreign operations and have already paid their full and fair share of tax will not be able to benefit from this provision."

A Treasury Secretary whose advice on tax policy is not taken should not stick around, for the sake of other Treasury Secretaries who will come later if for no other reason.

Posted by DeLong at October 22, 2004 07:55 PM | TrackBack

There were two more issues with this bill that I thought you'd be blogging about.

1. The claim that the bill is revenue-neutral - Here is a quote from the NYTimes:

"Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation says [the bill] has no impact on the deficit because it also closes corporate tax loopholes and repeals export subsidies... John Kerry's presidential campaign says the assertion that the new law is revenue-neutral is bogus because many of the tax breaks are for only one or two years and probably will be extended by Congress, while revenue-saving offsets are for 10 years."

2. The idea that this bill will resolve the WTO's ruling that the old American tax breaks were illegal, and will appease the Europeans who were imposing retaliatory tariffs. This bill indeed repeals the old illegal tax breaks and replaces them with... new tax breaks! How will that help?

Hope to hear more from you on this boondoggle of an election-timed bill.

Posted by: tjallen at October 22, 2004 08:45 PM

Let's just get this over with, Brad. The people owe corporations and tobacco farmers a living. Christ. Give em' everything, and get it over with once and for all. I'm tired of hearing them whine. Here's the shirt off my back. Take it, please.

Fictional legal "persons" are now more deserving of aid than real people; Latin American peasants get gassed for growing harmful drugs, but socialistic american republican farmers get subsidies to grow a poison the annual health care costs of which dwarfs all "frivilous lawsuits" combined.

I've had enough. I can't take it any more. Despair has replaced anger. Perhaps only when most real people have nothing will things turn around.

Posted by: bobbyp at October 22, 2004 09:58 PM

"Reverse Surfing the Topical Web"

I often use a little-known technique borrowed from
cryptography, taught to me by author Peter Torbay:
Google:reverse-surfing::Chaos Theory:random walk.
And what an interesting seed, "The God Gene", for
what turned out to be a walk on the wild side.

"Nazis weren't the only ones to burn the brand of
"parasite" on their enemies. To Marx and Lenin,
the bourgeoisie and the bureaucrats were parasites
that society had to get rid of. An exquisitely
biological take on socialism appeared in 1898,
when a pamphleteer named John Brown wrote a book
called Parasitic Wealth or Money Reform: A
Manifesto to the People of the United States
and to the Workers of the World. He complained
of how three-quarters of the country's money was
concentrated in the hands of 3 percent of the
population, that the rich sucked the wealth of
the nation away, that their protected industries
flourished at the people's expense. And, like
Drummond or Hitler, he saw his enemies precisely
reflected in nature, in the way parasitic wasps
live in caterpillars. "With the refinement of
innate cruelty," he wrote, "these parasites eat
their way into the living substance of their
unwilling but helpless host, avoiding all the
vital parts to prolong the agony of a lingering death."
(C.Zimmer, "Parasite Rex")


"As the wheels come off the global market juggernaut,
we need to understand that the unfolding collapse has
been programmed into the machine. Stay the course of
capital deregulation long enough and a truly momentous
wreck is guaranteed. The fact is that our political
and market leaderships have ensured no intelligent
thought relating to the actual life needs of societies
has been listened to for 15 years. "No alternative,"
they incanted without a break since the Reagan
revolution of mindless govenment first began stripping
social infrastructures by ever lower tax rates for the
rich and 20% compound interest rates on public debt.
Even now as the government of France pulls out of the
MAI declaration of rights for unaccountable borderless
capital, Ottawa is still prating about "sticking to
its commitments" to the meltdown program.

The problem is a generalized mind-seizure. As
money-to-more-money circuits have become increasingly
autonomous, public consciousness has fetishized money
demand as the sovereign authority of the world. The
lifeblood of societies has been circulated away as
fast as possible to "pay off deficits as a national
emergency," "reduce social costs to attract investors,"
"cool down the employment rate to ward off currency
devaluation," "deregulate the labour and resource
markets economy for greater efficiencies," and so on.
The litany for expropriation of societies' common
heritage and infrastructure has been recited every
hour for almost twenty years, and it has always and
everywhere been the disguise for highly leveraged
money sequences to feed on the social life substance
across the planet.

But even as the meltdown progresses across continents,
the unseen seat of the disease is not yet whispered—
that money sequences are overloaded far beyond the
capacity of social and environmental capacities to
feed them, and that they increasingly attack life-
serving functions to continue their decoupled cycles."
(J. McMurtry, "When Money Eats the World")


"The modern political power structure has its roots
in the hidden manipulation and accumulation of gold
and other forms of money. The development of fractional
reserve banking practices in the 17th century brought
to a cunning sophistication the secret techniques
initially used by goldsmiths fraudulently to accumulate
wealth. With the formation of the privately-owned
Bank of England in 1694, the yoke of economic slavery
to a privately-owned "central" bank was first forced
upon the backs of an entire nation, not removed but
only made heavier with the passing of the three
centuries to our day. Nation after nation, including
America, has fallen prey to this cabal of international
central bankers.

While the arms and legs of soldiers are blown off, the
central bankers loan money to both sides to promote
ruinous wars. War is the biggest debt generator of all.
The suppliers of war profit. Good men and women die.
Families are destroyed. The parasites buy from the
distressed for pennies on the dollar and expand their
control. Meta-Evil.

The success of the central banking scheme developed
into a far-reaching plan described by President
Clinton's mentor, Georgetown Professor Carroll Quigley,
"to create a world system of financial control in
private hands able to dominate the political system
of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.
This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion
by the central banks of the world acting in concert,
by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings
and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the
Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland,
a private bank owned and controlled by the world's
central banks which were themselves private corporations.
Each central bank....sought to dominate its government
by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate
foreign exchanges, to influence the levels of economic
activity in the country, and to influence cooperative
politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the
business world."




"(Corporate) planning will largely take the place of the
industrial tycoon and the democratic voter. Hopefully,
the elements of choice and freedom may survive for the
ordinary individual... But, in general, his freedom and
choice will be controlled within very narrow alternatives
by the fact that he will be numbered from birth and
followed, as a number, through his educational training,
his required military or other public service, his tax
contributions, his health and medical requirements, and
his final retirement and death benefits."



"``Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as
a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been
duly convicted, shall exist within the United States,
or any place subject to their jurisdiction.''
-The constitution of the United States, amendment 13,
ratified 1865-Dec-6 ``the state of subjection to another
that constitutes or resembles slavery or serfdom [...]
it implies in general lack of liberty to do as one
pleases, specifically lack of freedom to determine one's
course of action and conditions of living''
-definition of ``servitude'', from Webster's dictionary
``1: the system of political organization prevailing in
Europe from the 9th to about the 15th centuries having
as its basis the relation of lord to vassal with all
land held in fee and as chief characteristics homage,
the service of tenants under arms and in court, wardship,
and forfeiture 2: any of various political or social
systems similar to medieval feudalism''
-definition of ``feudalism'', from Webster's dictionary

The preeminent establishment commandment is that one
not acknowledge or articulate the broad nature of the
establishment, or its methods and goals. Members of the
establishment act in a manner informed by covert
knowledge of methods and goals, but this knowledge is
evident only to those who already possess it. The
establishment introduces many of its inductees to the
policy of tight lips through shared rituals of a
humiliating and often pathologically sexual character
(in college fraternities, and historically, in
brotherhoods such as the Freemasons) that few
participants would deign to discuss, even with those
who have already undergone them, except by brief
cryptic reference."

(D. Pouzzner, "The Architecture of Modern Political Power")


"Where does money come from? Where does it go? Who makes
it? The money magicians' secrets are unveiled. We get a
close look at their mirrors and smoke machines, their
pulleys, cogs, and wheels that create the grand illusion
called money. A dry and boring subject? Just wait!
You'll be hooked in five minutes. Reads like a detective
story — which it really is. But it's all true. This book
is about the most blatant scam of all history. It's all
here: the cause of wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation,
depression, prosperity. Creature from Jekyll Island is
a "must read." Your world view will definitely change.
You'll never trust a politician again — or a banker."

(E. Griffin, "Creature from Jekyl Island")


Saving Our Sorry Arses

1. Pay off the Federal debt with debt-free U.S. notes

2. Abolish fractional reserve banking. As the debt is
paid off, the reserve requirements of all banks and
financial institutions would be raised proportionately
at the same time.

3. Repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the
National Banking Act of 1864.

4. Withdraw the U.S.A. from the International Monetary
Fund, the Bank of International Settlement and the
World Bank.

(E. Haskins, Review of "The Money Masters")


"Telle l'araignée attendant son heure sur un coin de sa
toile, elle ourdie son funeste projet du fin fond de son
puits décrépit et boueux. Au sein de l'eau croupie le
mal se développe plus aisément."

(F. Flament, "Ring")


Alas, King George or Lord Kerry, Red Army or Blue Army,
it's the same centrist, socialist corporate apparatschik.
Abyssus abyssum invocat. Kiss the ring of Thanatos or die.

(Tante Aime, 10/22/04)

Posted by: Tante Aime at October 22, 2004 09:59 PM

A more directed walk on the history of the Fed. http://www.rich.frb.org/media/speeches/index.cfm/id=13

Posted by: Harry Possue at October 22, 2004 11:56 PM

Surely the idea that the Treasury Secretary would resign over a business tax bill is comical. John Snowe would no doubt prefer to have a career after leaving office, and resigning is surely no way to assure that. Republicans know how to stick together. Democrats are learning.

Posted by: lise at October 23, 2004 06:25 AM

There's a lot of under-the-radar (thanks in part to the distractions of the campaigns) crap going on. This morning I read Naomi Wolf's piece in the 11/1 Nation about Jim Baker, Baker Botts, Carlisle, AND Madeleine Albright's group gettin' together for a big chunk of change connected with Iraq's reparations to Kuwait. Ain't public service amazin'. What do you suppose W's annual income will rise to, say, 5 years after he leaves office?

Posted by: PW at October 23, 2004 08:00 AM

There are lots of problems with this bill. Many of them through add-ons. The premise is
"Supporters argued that would give multinational companies an incentive to bring their foreign profits back to the United States where they can be invested."

Is the mirror image of Kerry's plan to punish those that invest overseas.

Most of what I see is the impossibility of fighting "outsourcing" through the tax code. Tariff's don't work either.

All of these require the passage of a law, and as this one shows, that presents the opportunity to add on one's favorite pork project or tax break.

BTW: O'Donnell of MSNBC descended into Shrill Unholy Madness last night on Scarborough. Find the video..it is a hoot.

Posted by: One Thumb at October 23, 2004 09:38 AM

Those of you who have cross-cultural or cross-class
experience in your lives know what a burden that can
become trying to live sanely in America today. As I
bike-commute home alongside two-ton SUV's crowding me
to the ragged margin of the tarmac, it rages in me.

But what really confounds me is the primacy Americans
hold for racism over classism. No matter how many
times political candidates try to play the class card,
it simply doesn't resonate with the electorate, even
though it's an absolute fact that almost all liquid
capital in American, "hot capital" they call it now,
is controlled by a mere 5% elite that rule over us.

The 10 Most Powerful Words in Offshore IT Outsourcing

Facility Management
Core business
One-stop shopping
Value added
Internal Customers

So what, that the elites are rapidly outsourcing our
jobs, manufacturing and service, to India and China,
and then selling their products back to US, like
feed-lot cattle force-fed ground up chicken guts?
To the average American Joe, so what? Forged abahd et!

What does bother them? Overwhelmingly, illegal aliens!

Immigration is the number one hot-button issue today.
Are Americans fundamentally fascist and class-blind?
Has the myth of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps
so thoroughly inculcated itself in our national psyche,
that even the pull-tab and slots losers will sit there,
pumping their last dollar into Corporate, while they
savage immigrants verbally, and often, violently?

Madison Avenue. Wow. American brown-shirt values. Wow.

Let's make one point completely clear. Any immigrant,
whether they hold a green card, or bought their way
into citizenship, or just crawled across the border,
is your *brother*. They struggle with the same s&*t
that you do, worse, with The Man on their asses. They
pay the same usurous credit card debt, the same gouged
rents, utilities, gas and groceries that we all do.
So today one of them wins a scrap of bread and you
didn't? Show some class, man! Welcome to the Gulag!

Who is the enemy, if not immigrants and poor people?

The enemy are the outsourced-to workers in China and
India, working for $12 an hour for your $50 an hour
computer programming job, working $0.35 an hour for
your $12 an hour manufacturing job! Not one on one,
of course, they're slaves like we are. Slave troops,
in a war of the worlds, they are still our enemies.
Enemies to the American way of life we believe in.

Yet everyone in America bundles up on Saturday AM and
marches off to Wal-Mart to pay homage to that enemy!
I tell my friends a true story from retail. In 1998,
those cheap Chinese plastic gew-gaws were being sold
pre-packaged, pre-bar-coded and pre-TDT'd in *twelve-
packs* for the same price Wal-Mart charges for *one*!
That's right! Your job is going overseas, and WalMart
is making a 1200% profit off selling your job back!

If we were real men and women like our grandparents,
we would wrap our arms around our immigrant and poor
brothers and sisters, and march together in outrage
against India, China and their Corporate collaborators.
Shave the heads of the Ken Lay's and Jeff Skilling's!
They are *traitors*! Tag their rags with big $'signs
and throw them out in the gutter where they belong!

This is all-out war for our fundamental American values!
Sure, it may only cripple 15% of us today, but it grows
and feeds on itself, making patriots into paupers. Soon
all manufacturing will go overseas, all IT, all service
sector jobs, anything that can be accomplished with a
telephone and a keyboard will go overseas. All of retail,
RFID'd by broadband to Indian account consolidators, the
only jobs left being security guards and prison wardens
over our American and immigrant brothers and sisters.

Next time you see a poor person in a food line, smile.
They are you, they just got poor before you did. Next
time you see an immigrant slaving in the fields, smile.
They have found a job you'll soon wish that you had.
Have you seen our militarized police forces lately?
Full body armor, camo, kevlar helmets and full-auto?
Are you blind to the militarization of our country?
Are you blind to theft of Constitutional protections?
Are you blind to Corporate privatization of prisons?

So when you see "Made in China" on a retail product,
rip it, ding it, and hide it back on the wrong shelf.
Next time you reach some Indian help center, hang up,
complain to Corporate how unhelpful they were to you.
This is all-out trade war by traitors and collaborators!

"[World News]: New York, Oct 13 : China and India are
challenging America's supremacy as the world's most
favoured destination for foreign direct investment
(FDI), a new study by a global consulting firm said

"Global executives are more likely to invest in China
and India than at any time since 1998," AT Kearney
said in its latest Foreign Direct Investment Confidence
Index, an annual survey of executives from the world's
largest corporations."

"Demand for outsourcing has continued to be strong
throughout the downturn in the IT industry. During
the past five years offshore outsourcing has become
a mainstream business practice, with companies eager
to take advantage of low-cost countries such as India
and China that offer a highly-skilled workforce.

Companies including Barclays and Citigroup have recently
bought a stake in or acquired their offshore outsourcing
supplier outright. The deals, which are similar to joint
ventures between financial and IT services companies
over the past four years, suggest that the offshore
outsourcing market is maturing and entering a new phase."

The enemy is not US, and not any person living here
and working alongside of us. The enemy is Corporate,
RIF'ing your job to overseas for incredible rewards.
Those outsourced profits must be directly taxed 100%.
They represent a class-one felony against the people
who keep those same Corporates rolling in profits and
comfortably sconsed in secure American business parks.

The only way to defeat Capital is to dis-incentivize it!

Posted by: Teresa Michels at October 23, 2004 11:36 AM

The enemy isn't out-sourcing, it's in-sourcing. American government, every Federal, State and County level, are RIF'ing staff and contract IDIQ'ing everything that they can, ASAP.

Are they saving taxpayers money? Are you nuts? Would you hire a contractor to wipe your ass? They are gutting social and infrastructure programs with second- and third-tier overhead.

All IDIQ does is make the upper-level managers look pro-active and "modern", getting rid of their employee, health care and pension burdens, while cutting a fat hog for future careers on the private side, often over the same IDIQ contracts that they helped set up!

The Boeing - Air Force few-faw is *nothing*! It's been going on there for decades. She was just unlucky and got caught, like that poor gal at Abu Graib. Insourcing is happening *every day* at *every level of government*. You wonder why pot-holes aren't getting fixed anymore, and why consultants are being paid *millions* to study those problems?

Government is in-sourcing Corporate. Bringing Corporate inside for huge favors. Every mil/gov manager's double-dip wet dream.

Corporate outsourcing won't bring down America, although it might just cripple our future chances for decent employment.

But government incorporation will destroy US, just as surely as the fable of El Capitan and the Barrio.

Posted by: aaron haffen at October 23, 2004 12:00 PM

Wow! It gives me new hope, to see all this revolutionary zeal...no I am not being sarcastic or even hip.

Posted by: Neil' at October 23, 2004 06:39 PM

I don't really understand Dr. Delong's point. Is there something in John Snow's biography suggesting that he would take a personal loss to promote a principle? If he had any principles, he would not be the Treasury Secretary in this Administration.

Posted by: Gerard MacDonell at October 23, 2004 07:11 PM