The decision came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders strained late into the night to try to repair the schisms among their own moderate and liberal ranks, whose distrust of each other turned the public-works bill into a political bargaining chip in a fight over the full array of new spending that Biden seeks.
I love how the Post tries to paint Pelosi as some sort of hero, fighting to bring peace and unity to her troubled party. The problem here is that “strained late into the night” is code for calling all the lobbyists who have donated to all the caucus members who are sitting on the fence, and working out deals to balance their votes against public backlash and continued campaign contributions.
Say… Why is it that what lobbyists want and what the public wants are so often at odds?
A big question hangs over Janet Yellen this week at her confirmation hearing to become U.S. Treasury secretary: How much debt is too much?
In the past four years, U.S. government debt held by the public has increased by $7 trillion to $21.6 trillion. President-elect Joe Biden has committed to a spending program that could add trillions more in the year ahead. At 100.1% of gross domestic product, the debt already exceeds the annual output of the economy, putting the U.S. in company with economies including Greece, Italy and Japan.
There it is, and Biden hasn’t even taken office yet! For the first time in four years, someone in the press noticed the national debt. We only care about the debt when a Democrat is President. Search and see for yourself. WashPo, CNN, Pro Publica all wrote articles about the debt in the past 5 days.
I don’t even know where the WSJ got their number. According to the Debt Clock, the current figure is $27.8T.
We added $7T to the debt under Trump, including $4.5T for two rounds of corporate welfa… — I mean, “stimulus” — and now we worry about adding another $1.9T? Are you trying to tell me that another 7% is suddenly going to topple the world’s economy or something? Trying to inflame political tensions about this just before Biden takes office is as disingenuous as it is completely predictable, and Lord knows we don’t need any more political inflammation right now.
Through the 90’s, lots of people, including myself, advocated for a flat tax, thinking it was “fair.” Well, without anyone in Congress stumping about it, that’s what we’ve quietly wound up with:
The problem is that it’s piling up debt. There’s never any money to do anything extra. So we just print more money. That sounds very scary to us normal people, who view the country’s economy like our own household’s, but apparently it doesn’t matter, because we’ve been doing just that for several decades now, and we’re just now reaching levels of debt, relative to GDP, that some other first-world countries have.
My thinking on taxation has flipped 180º, fast and hard. If we ever want to actually fund the government, and pay for all of these bailouts and stimuluses and old-fashioned “safety nets” like welfare and social security, we’re going to have to go back to a steeply progressive tax scheme, and cut out shelters that cater to the ultra-wealthy. But just like Congress voting for a pay cut or term limits or killing corporate political PAC’s, this will never happen, because these desperately-needed changes would affect the people that fund campaigns.
Cummins Inc. has said it will consider whether lawmakers voted last week against certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory before making future donations to their campaigns, joining a growing list of companies that have said the GOP-led effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results will factor into their political giving. Through its political action committee,
According to their 10K, Cummins made $2.26 billion on sales of $23.6B in 2019. (Income for 2020 hasn’t been posted yet, and it’s probably safe to assume it will be significantly lower.) According to this article, they donated $268,694.50 to political candidates last year through the Cummins Inc Political Action Committee.
According to Forbes, Cummins is the 128th largest company in the country. So the 128th largest company in the country donated an amount of money that represented 0.0012% of their income. I’m certain that there’s a whole lot more spent on toilet paper in their facilities. In fact, I would challenge anyone to tell me a category of spending that was less.
The very best part of this arrangement is that, according to this report, CIPAC is completely funded by voluntary employee donations! They direct contributions to candidates, according to a committee, with other people’s money. That’s a PAC, and that’s all perfectly legal, thanks to Citizen’s United v. FEC.
Paccar is another transportation conglomerate, which is 118th on the Fortune 500. They had income of $2.4B on revenues of $25.6B in 2020, so they are very similar. For comparison, according to opensecrets.org, they donated $73,747 in the last election cycle through their own PAC. So Cummins’ donations are actually quite a bit larger, by comparison, but both are in the same ballpark of a literal floating-point rounding error, compared to their incomes.
As I continue to point out, the truly depressing thing about our “democracy” being for sale to corporations is that it can be bought so cheaply. To be clear, I don’t begrudge any company from taking advantage of the situation. I’m arguing that the Supreme Court decision needs to be overturned. The Supreme Court is NOT the final say under the Constitution. Congress can pass a law to change it. But this would be akin to them voting for a pay decrease, and we all know how that would go.