Wednesday, January 27, 2016

- 10 Taxpayer Handouts to the Super Rich -

- Corporate welfare and entitlements for the top 1 % - .

A few of the giveaways to the rich - and how much they cost the US :

1. Tax Breaks for CEO bonuses ($7 billion/year)

The biggest corporations exploit a 20-year-old loophole that allows them to write off
   inflated compensation packages for CEOs,
   billing stock options,
   performance-based bonuses
to taxpayers.
In 2010,
the biggest corporations cost Americans $7 billion by writing off inflated executive pay.
     - That $7 billion could fund the annual budget for the National Science Foundation —
     - 11,000 scientific research projects each year
     - 26 Nobel laureates in the last 5 years.
Between 2007 and 2010, this loophole accounted for more than $30 billion in corporate welfare.

2. Tax cuts for luxury corporate jets ($300 million/year)

Currently, corporations get huge tax deductions by writing off purchases of
corporate jets, fancy cars-limousines , …
and chauffeurs …
These tax breaks for some of the wealthiest Americans cost the rest of us $300 million each year.

3. Big oil subsidies ( $37.5 billion/year )

Between $10 billion and $52 billion per year on corporate welfare for the fossil fuel industry .
OCI estimated that total subsidies to big oil – approximately -  $37.5 billion in 2014,

4. Pharmaceutical subsidies ($270 billion/year)

The pharmaceutical industry gets roughly $270 billion a year 
This is over $1,900.- per household in corporate welfare.
This is mainly due to the bill that George W. Bush signed into law in 2003,
which prevents Medicare from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
The biggest drug companies also make (a combined $711 billion in profits between 2003 and 2012)
by buying patents for drugs - largely developed with taxpayer-funded research,
then jacking up the price …

5. Capital gains tax breaks ($51 billion/year)

Capital gains, are taxed at a 20 %  -
real, actual work  35 %.
53 percent of Americans own no stock at all,
The richest 5 percent own two-thirds of the stock.
Only 10 percent of Americans have pensions,
The total amount of lost revenue was $256 billion between fiscal years 2012 and 2016,
or $51 billion a year over the last 5 years.
If investment income was taxed at the same rate as wages,
75 percent of that revenue would come from the richest 0.3 % of Americans;
92 % of that revenue from those making $200,000 or more per year.
The chart below shows what percentage of income each tax bracket makes from capital gains -

Chart courtesy of The Century Foundation.

6. Corporate tax subsidies from state and local governments ($80.4 billion/year)

In 2012,  -  tax breaks in 1,874 programs cost taxpayers $80.4 billion every year for corporate welfare in their state.

7. Big Ag ($18 billion/year)

Median income of commercial farm households  was $84,649 in 2011 —
% more than the average American household.
Farmers grow crops on land that is unproductive,
then - make money from insurance claims ...
In 2011, 26 farmers each got an annual subsidy of $1 million, or more .

8. Wall Street ($83 billion/year)

As big banks grow bigger,
the Federal Reserve lets them borrow at lower interest rates than other banks —
essentially subsidizing the continued growth of the big banks.
The 10 biggest banks get $83 billion per year in corporate welfare.

9. Export-Import bank subsidies ($112 billion)

The Export-Import (Ex-Im) bank, had a $112 billion portfolio,
of which $90 billion went to multinationals.
Most of that money went to 10 wealthy corporations.

10. Federal contracts for the top 200 biggest companies ($880 billion/year)

The top 200 companies spent $5.8 billion on lobbying Congress between 2007 and 2012.
Those companies received $4.4 trillion in federal contracts.


The combined cost of these 10 corporate welfare programs is $1.539 trillion per year.

The US spends 10 times as much on corporate welfare and handouts to the top 1 %
than on  welfare for working families …
 Mainly from an article by :
 Tom Cahill | October 28, 2015
a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest.
He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news.
You can contact Tom via email at
with additional material from -

Economic Policy Institute
Oil Change International (OCI),
Pew Research
The Guardian,
Century Foundation
Tax Policy Center
New York Times
Bloomberg report
Sunlight Foundation
Links in post …
And numerous uncredited sources …


Monday, October 26, 2015

- United States of America - 26th or 42nd best country in the world today ?

( ReBlogged – edited from - )

The Case for Bernie  - from an Expat

( with additional material – credited at end - )

- The quality of life in the US has been seriously eroding.
It's difficult sometimes to get perspective on how far our country has fallen.
- from - expat.
“ … in Germany most of the year.
Every year for more than three weeks in August, I travel to the US to visit family and friends.
just spent … three weeks in …Colorado.
I have a generous amount of paid vacation time,
mandated by the German government
(something Bernie supports, …).
By now most of us are familiar with what Sanders means when he calls himself a 'democratic socialist'.
He insists that the US, one of the wealthiest nations in the world,
can afford to provide its workers with paid vacation time, with
universal health care,
free college education
He knows that we have the wealth to improve our nation's infrastructure—
every time I return to the US, I'm horrified by how dilapidated this country has become.
… Republicans are committed to obstructing social progress. - … this attitude reflects just
how far we have fallen,
how far right our discourse has gone,
how deeply disconnected we are from the rest of the world,
Europeans, … view the US with a combination of
disgust ,
They fundamentally do not understand how we still do not have
single-payer health care,
strong public education - through specialty training or university education and beyond,
unemployment benefits,
paid retraining services,
paid parental leave,
and more (much more!). - - …
it should be obvious to all that without a fundamental change of the role of
Wall Street and corporate power in our nation,
none of the social values (we) should support will be realized.
So when you tell me that these "socialist" values are not realistic,
and that most Americans won't vote for them,
I'll tell you that the only way to bring this country back from the abyss the right has taken us is to fight for these values and support the candidates that best represent them.
The choice is obvious."
From :
David Bee originally shared to Bernie Sanders For U.S. President! #mydailybernie: 
(Note: article on Daily Kos, read the entire post here ☛ ) 
The graphic below is from another source: here ☛ 
--- img------

Img- Comparative world well being -

Data source: UNICEF
American children are on average worse off than children in Western Europe
barely better off than their counterparts in the Baltic states and the former Yugoslavia,
- United Nation’s Children's Fund (UNICEF) –
The report, which compares kids in 29 Western countries,
measures well-being across five metrics:
material well-being,
health and safety,
behaviors and risks,
housing and environment,
It ranks the United States in the bottom third on all five measures
and particularly low on education and poverty.
The United States is joined at the bottom by “emerging” European economies,
As noted earlier, one of the report's more alarming findings for the United States
is the degree to which income inequality has increased the population of children who grow up in relative poverty .
Economists rate the U.S. economy as one of the most unequal in the Western world.
… the report, means that significant numbers of American children are so much worse off than the average Greek or Slovakian child as to bring the overall U.S. average beneath those other, relatively less wealthy and developed countries.

Here's a chart 

showing the rankings, overall and across the five key metrics, for 29 countries:

Img-Chart - Rankings - top developed economies

… the United States did do well on some comparative metrics.
( ? ) American kids get more exercise than almost any others studied in the report,
but they’re still, by far, the most overweight.
(Chalk that up to American calorie consumption, which is also one of the world’s highest.)
American kids also are the least likely to drink alcohol –
a finding that matches long-standing alcohol consumption patterns of American adults.
According to the World Health Organization, Americans ages 15 and up have consumed far less alcohol than their counterparts abroad for decades.
… …
Also From -
Caitlin Dewey and Max Fisher - April 18, 2013
Also from - 
Also from -
Also from - 
(( Should due a kid’s comparison – in few months … ))

Thursday, September 24, 2015

- Pope Francis - Speech - Bolivia - July - Good Stuff -


((( Don’t go for all this god stuff, religion … but this pope is pretty good –

               I have consolidated his speech ( left out the local, historical, religious )

               Made it more readable … ( did not add or change anything )…)))

Read it – it’s pretty good -  


Excerpts from -

Pope Francis’ Speech

on the Poor and Indigenous Peoples In Bolivia


 July 9, 2015 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Pope Francis spoke about the problems faced by the poor and indigenous peoples at

the Second World Meeting of the Popular Movements at the Expo Feria Exhibition Centre

in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia .


"I wish to join my voice to yours in calling for land, lodging and labor for all our brothers and sisters."


Good afternoon!

… I have kept you in my thoughts and prayers.

I am happy to see you again, here, as you discuss the best ways to overcome the grave situations of injustice experienced by the excluded throughout our world. …

… I sensed something very beautiful: fraternity, determination, commitment, a thirst for justice.

Today, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, I sense it once again.

 I thank you for that….

The Bible tells us that God hears the cry of his people, and I wish to join my voice to yours in calling for land, lodging and labor for all our brothers and sisters.

I said it and I repeat it: these are sacred rights.

It is important, it is well worth fighting for them.

May the cry of the excluded be heard in Latin America and throughout the world.


1. Let us begin by acknowledging that change is needed.

… I am speaking about problems common to all Latin Americans and, more generally, to humanity as a whole.

Do we realize that something is wrong in a world where there are

so many farmworkers without land,

so many families without a home,

so many laborers without rights,

so many persons whose dignity is not respected?

Do we realize that something is wrong where so many senseless wars are being fought and acts of fratricidal violence are taking place on our very doorstep?

Do we realize something is wrong when the soil, water, air and living creatures of our world are under constant threat?

So let’s not be afraid to say it: we need change; we want change.

… many forms of exclusion and injustice which you experience

in the workplace,

in neighborhoods

throughout the land.

They are many and diverse, just as many and diverse are the ways in which you confront them.

Yet there is an invisible thread joining every one of those forms of exclusion: can we recognize it?

These are not isolated issues. I wonder whether we can see that these destructive realities are part of a system which has become global.

Do we realize that that system has imposed the mentality of profit at any price,

with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature?

If such is the case, I would insist, let us not be afraid to say it:

we want change,

real change,

structural change.

This system is by now intolerable:

farmworkers find it intolerable,

laborers find it intolerable,

communities find it intolerable,

peoples find it intolerable …

The earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as Saint Francis would say – also finds it intolerable.


We want change in our lives, in our neighborhoods, in our everyday reality.

We want a change which can affect the entire world, since global interdependence calls for global answers to local problems.

The globalization of hope, a hope which springs up from peoples and takes root among the poor, must replace the globalization of exclusion and indifference!

… I would like to speak of change in another sense.

Positive change, a change which is good for us, a change – we can say – which is redemptive.

… : in my different meetings, in my different travels, I have sensed an expectation, a longing, a yearning for change, in people throughout the world.

Even within that ever smaller minority which believes that the present system is beneficial, there is a widespread sense of dissatisfaction and even despondency.

Many people are hoping for a change capable of releasing them from the bondage of individualism and the despondency it spawns.

Time, … seems to be running out; we are not yet tearing one another apart, but we are tearing apart our common home.

Today, the scientific community realizes what the poor have long told us:

harm, perhaps irreversible harm, is being done to the ecosystem.

The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished.

And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called “the dung of the devil”.

An unfettered pursuit of money rules.

The service of the common good is left behind.

Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions,

once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system,

it ruins society,

it condemns and enslaves men and women,

it destroys human fraternity,

it sets people against one another …

it … puts at risk our common home.


I do not need to go on describing the evil effects of this subtle dictatorship: you are well aware of them. Nor is it enough to point to the structural causes of today’s social and environmental crisis.

We are suffering from an excess of diagnosis, which at times leads us to multiply words and to revel in pessimism and negativity.


What can I do, as collector of paper, old clothes or used metal, a recycler, about all these problems if I barely make enough money to put food on the table?

What can I do as a craftsman, a street vendor, a trucker, a downtrodden worker, if I don’t even enjoy workers’ rights?

What can I do, a farmwife, a native woman, a fisher who can hardly fight the domination of the big corporations?

What can I do from my little home, my shanty, my hamlet, my settlement, when I daily meet with discrimination and marginalization?

What can be done by

those students,

those young people,

those activists,

those missionaries

who come to my neighborhood with their hearts full of hopes and dreams, but without any real solution for my problems?

A lot! They can do a lot.


the lowly,

the exploited,

the poor and underprivileged,

can do, and are doing, a lot.

I would even say that the future of humanity is in great measure in your own hands, …  

Don’t lose heart!


2. …

 … changes of structure which are not accompanied by a sincere conversion of mind and heart sooner or later end up in bureaucratization, corruption and failure. …

Each of us is just one part of a complex and differentiated whole, interacting in time:

peoples who struggle to find meaning, a destiny, and to live with dignity, to “live well”.

… you carry out your work inspired by fraternal love, which you show in opposing social injustice.

When we look into the eyes of the suffering,

when we see the faces of

the endangered campesino,

the poor laborer,

the downtrodden native,

the homeless family,

the persecuted migrant,

the unemployed young person,

the exploited child,

…. when we think of all those names and faces, our hearts break because of so much sorrow and pain. And we are deeply moved…. We are moved because “we have seen and heard” not a cold statistic but the pain of a suffering humanity, our own pain, our own flesh. …


… You, dear brothers and sisters, often work on little things, in local situations, amid forms of injustice which you do not simply accept but actively resist, standing up to an idolatrous system which excludes, debases and kills


… We do not love concepts or ideas; we love people…

Commitment, true commitment, is born of the love of men and women, of children and the elderly, of peoples and communities… of names and faces which fill our hearts.

From those seeds of hope patiently sown in the forgotten fringes of our planet,

from those seedlings of a tenderness which struggles to grow amid the shadows of exclusion, great trees will spring up, great groves of hope to give oxygen to our world.


 It is essential that, along with the defense of their legitimate rights, peoples and their social organizations be able to construct a humane alternative to a globalization which excludes.

You are sowers of change.

May God grant you the courage, joy, perseverance and passion to continue sowing.

Be assured that sooner or later we will see its fruits.


3. Lastly, I would like us all to consider some important tasks for the present historical moment, since we desire a positive change for the benefit of all our brothers and sisters.

… We desire change enriched by the collaboration of governments, popular movements and other social forces.

I would like, … to propose three great tasks which demand a decisive and shared contribution from popular movements:


3.1 The first task is to put the economy at the service of peoples.

Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money.

Let us say NO to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service.

That economy kills.

That economy excludes.

That economy destroys Mother Earth.

The economy should not be a mechanism for accumulating goods,

but rather the proper administration of our common home.

This entails a commitment to care for that home and to the fitting distribution of its goods among all.

 A just economy must create the conditions for everyone

to be able to enjoy a childhood without want,

to develop their talents when young,

to work with full rights during their active years …

to enjoy a dignified retirement as they grow older.

It is an economy where human beings, in harmony with nature, structure the entire system of production and distribution in such a way that the abilities and needs of each individual find suitable expression in social life.

The available resources in our world,

the fruit of the intergenerational labors of peoples …

the gifts of creation,

more than suffice for the integral development of “each man and the whole man”.

… There exists a system with different aims.

A system which, while irresponsibly accelerating the pace of production,

while using industrial and agricultural methods which damage Mother Earth in the name of “productivity”, continues to deny many millions of our brothers and sisters their most elementary economic, social and cultural rights.

This system runs counter to the plan of Jesus.


Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor is not mere philanthropy.

It is a moral obligation.

It is about giving to the poor and to peoples what is theirs by right.

The universal destination of goods is not a figure of speech found in the Church’s social teaching.

It is a reality prior to private property.

Property, especially when it affects natural resources, must always serve the needs of peoples.

It is not enough to let a few drops fall whenever the poor shake a cup which never runs over by itself.



3.2. The second task is to unite our peoples on the path of peace and justice.

The world’s peoples want to be artisans of their own destiny.

They want to advance peacefully towards justice.

They do not want forms of tutelage or interference by which those with greater power subordinate those with less.

They want

their culture,

their language,

their social processes …

their religious traditions to be respected.

No actual or established power has the right to deprive peoples of the full exercise of their sovereignty. …

Despite the progress made, there are factors which still threaten this equitable human development and restrict the sovereignty of the countries of the “greater country” and other areas of our planet.

The new colonialism takes on different faces.

At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon:


loan agencies,

…“free trade” treaties,

… the imposition of measures of “austerity”

… always tighten the belt of workers and the poor.

At other times, under the noble guise of battling corruption, the narcotics trade and terrorism –

grave evils of our time which call for coordinated international action –

we see states being saddled with measures which have little to do with the resolution of these problems and which not infrequently worsen matters.

Similarly, the monopolizing of the communications media, which would impose alienating examples of consumerism and a certain cultural uniformity,

is another one of the forms taken by the new colonialism.

It is ideological colonialism. …  

poor countries are often treated like “parts of a machine, cogs on a gigantic wheel”.


Every significant action carried out in one part of the planet has universal, ecological, social and cultural repercussions.

Even crime and violence have become globalized.

Colonialism, both old and new,

which reduces poor countries to mere providers of raw material and cheap labor, engenders violence, poverty, forced migrations and all the evils which go hand in hand with these, …

That is inequality,

… inequality generates a violence which no police, military, or intelligence resources can control.

Let us say NO to forms of colonialism old and new.

Let us say YES to the encounter between peoples and cultures.

Blessed are the peacemakers.


3.3. The third task, perhaps the most important facing us today, is to defend Mother Earth.

Our common home is being pillaged, laid waste and harmed with impunity.

Cowardice in defending it is a grave sin.

We see with growing disappointment how one international summit after another takes place without any significant result.

There exists a clear, definite and pressing ethical imperative to implement what has not yet been done. We cannot allow certain interests – interests which are global but not universal –

to take over,

to dominate states and international organizations, …

to continue destroying creation.

People and their movements are called to cry out, to mobilize and to demand – peacefully, but firmly – that appropriate and urgently-needed measures be taken.

I ask you, in the name of God, to defend Mother Earth.

I have duly addressed this issue in my Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’.


4. In conclusion, I would like to repeat: the future of humanity does not lie solely in the hands of great leaders, the great powers and the elites.

It is fundamentally in the hands of peoples and in their ability to organize.

It is in their hands, which can guide with humility and conviction this process of change.

I am with you.

Let us together say from the heart:

no family without lodging,

no rural worker without land,

no laborer without rights,

no people without sovereignty,

no individual without dignity,

no child without childhood,

no young person without a future,

no elderly person without a venerable old age.

Keep up your struggle and, please, take great care of Mother Earth.

I pray for you and with you, and I ask God our Father to accompany you and to bless you, to fill you with his love and defend you on your way by granting you in abundance that strength which keeps us on our feet: that strength is hope, the hope which does not disappoint.

Thank you and I ask you, please, to pray for me.

? Pretty good ???

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015

? Is your shrimp HOT enough ?


Mad Dam Mad

Shared publicly  -  Jul 17, 2015
July 15, 2015 - Are you still eating sushi or any seafood from the Pacific Ocean? 
Well you might want to reconsider after reading this article. 
When it comes to environmental disasters, the nuclear fallout at Fukushima has to be amongst the worst that has happened in the past few decades. 
Andrew Kishner, founder of has put together a great resource of information that tracks what has been developing over time in Fukushima as it relates to the nuclear incident. 
You can check out his research further using the links below.

Exerps from -  Gary Stamper in regards to what has been happening with Fukushima.
 It is,  an out-of-control flow of death and destruction.

300 to possibly over 450 tons of contaminated water that contains radioactive iodine, cesium, and strontium-89 and 90, is flooding into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daichi site everyday.
Japanese experts estimate Fukushima’s fallout at 20-30 times as high as as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in 1945.

There’s a lot you’re not being told. 
... you won’t find it on the corporate-owned evening news.”

( via )

LATEST: TEPCO says they believe 
10 trillion becquerels of strontium-90 
20 trillion becquerels of cesium-137
 have leaked into the ocean from the crippled reactor complex since 5/11.
 ( ? a  low estimate.? )  
... radioactive tritium levels in the sea (seaport) at Daiichi are creeping up ...

In the latest mess at Fukushima, one or more of the hundreds of storage tanks at the nuclear complex holding EXTREMELY radioactive liquid waste are leaking.