Tag Archives: Jim Hightower

Guess who is the biggest player in offshore bank scams?

The Hightower Lowdown, 5/3/16

The “Panama Papers” reveal a global web of the superrich hiding their wealth and nefarious deals in shell corporations set up by Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm.

Interestingly, though, very few of our country’s moneyed elite have surfaced as players in Mossack Fonseca’s Panamanian shell game. Perhaps US billionaires and corporations are just more honest than those elsewhere.

Ha-ha-ha, just kidding! Not more honest, just luckier. You see, America’s conniving richies don’t have to go to Panama to set up an offshore flim flam – they have the convenience of hiding their money and wrongdoings in secret accounts created right here in states like Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming….

continue reading at The Hightower Lowdown

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Two thoughts from Sinclair and Hightower

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 12/18/14

Upton Sinclair said in 1935:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

Do we need to know more to see why, in the age of Citizens United, the US Congress doesn’t want to understand anything scientific except the science of gerrymandering

So let’s update to:

“It is difficult to get Congress to understand global warming, when its reelection depends upon not understanding it!”

Jim Hightower asked, in “The Hightower Lowdown,” July 2014: “If the government says that money is speech, and more money can buy more speech, doesn’t that mean that speech is not free?”

That would be the Supreme Court, those nine immortals who are almost the most important branch of the government, because they can tell the other two branches what they can and cannot do, especially when those two have trouble coexisting on the tree.

Corporations run on the principle that the more shares you own, the more votes you cast. So by that reasoning the more money you have, the more votes you should have, right? Now there, Mr. Chief Justice, is an idea whose time is rapidly coming, if you and your friends choose to give it a push.

I didn’t even make that one up. See “Tom Perkins: People With More Money Should Get More Votes” by Jillian Berman, Huffington Post, 2/14/14. Here’s the gist of the controversial venture capitalist’s idea: “The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes…. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes.”

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Filed under Nathaniel Smith, US Congress - other, Voting rights

300 Koch-Led Businessmen Pledge $500 Million to Turn the Senate Over to Republicans

By Jim Hightower, AlterNet, 7/2/14

The Koch boys, Charles and David, live in their own little world. It’s a special world, enshrouded in a rarefied atmosphere created by the fumes emanating from their family’s enormous stockpiles of wealth.

Thus, the two brothers have always felt very special, and they also expect those of us in the down-to-Earth world to treat them special, even heroic. The boys were born rich and right-wing, and they parlayed Daddy Fred Koch’s millions into a huge industrial conglomerate that has made each of them uberbillionaires. This has further bloated their sense of self-importance, while also giving them the financial muscle to try transforming our democratic world of egalitarian ideals into their fantasy world of laissez-fairy, social Darwinism, ruled by supermen like…well, like them, of course.

So, twice a year, the Kochs convene a secret summit of superrich supermen to plot strategy and pledge millions of dollars to their political transformation of America. In June, about 300 of the billionaire brotherhood gathered with Charlie and Dave at the St. Regis Monarch Bay Resort on the Southern California coast. As investigative reporter Lauren Windsor wrote in The Nation, the Koch confab, which bore the heroic title of “American Courage,” took over the entire luxury resort, including its golf course and restaurants, for three days, at the cost of nearly a million bucks—not counting charges for guest rooms.

David Koch provided a keynote talk, modestly titled “Saving America,” and attendees were treated to a feedfest of right-wing boilerplate from a gaggle of GOP congress critters summoned to the summit. The billionaires were especially delighted to hear Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell assure them that he would defend to his last sour breath their right to buy our elections.

Then, reports Windsor, the 300 Koch-headed supermen pledged to do just that, promising to put up $500 million this year to turn the U.S. senate over to Republican control.

You see, the beauty of our country’s present system of government is that anyone is perfectly free to buy a member of Congress….

continue reading at AlterNet

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Wall St. can afford it

Wall St. can afford it

from “America isn’t broke. There’s plenty of money to build an economy worthy of our ideals and can-do spirit,” The Hightower Lowdown, December 2013

“A simple “Financial Transaction Tax” could fund opportunities for all….”

…The powerhouses of Wall Street have tunneled directly into the cloistered backrooms of Washington deal making, extracting trillions of dollars worth of government bailouts, special tax breaks, and regulatory favors every year. Yet, in a stupefying act of hypocrisy, they have also been the major force pushing policymakers to embrace extreme laissez-faire bunkum and to inflict the most austere budgetary minginess on the American people.

Through their lobbyists, front groups, economic shills, media hacks, and the politicians they’ve purchased, these pampered princes of high finance have gained a stranglehold on policy, choking off the public investment that our country desperately needs. In a nonstop drone, their operatives chant: “America is broke. Fiscal doom looms. Government spending is the cause. Austerity policies are our only hope.”

And Washington is buying this snake oil….

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