America should know the drill by now. When some sleaze ball conservatives have a new video or audio catching someone in the act, it means they edited the tape like they were on salary from Pravda or it is a hyperventilated story about not much of anything. The latter would apply to this story by a veteran criminal of Wingnuttia, Henry Blodget. BLODGET AND BECK TRY TO CREATE A PARANOIA BUBBLE
” Former SEIU Official Reveals Secret Plan To Destroy JP Morgan, Crash The Stock Market, And Redistribute Wealth In America”
A decade ago, Henry Blodget was caught fraudulently hyping tech stocks and was banned from the securities industry. Now Glenn Beck is peddling a ridiculous story that’s also being hyped by Blodget at Business Insider — a story about (wait for it) the coming destruction of capitalism in America by an ex-union guy and his massive leftist army of … well, you’ll just have to read Blodget’s write-up:
CAUGHT ON TAPE: Former SEIU Official Reveals Secret Plan To Destroy JP Morgan, Crash The Stock Market, And Redistribute Wealth In America
A former official of one of the country’s most-powerful unions, SEIU, is detailing a secret plan to “destabilize” the country.
… The former SEIU official, Stephen Lerner, spoke in a closed session at a Pace University forum last weekend.
… Lerner’s plan is to organize a mass, coordinated “strike” on mortgage, student loan, and local government debt payments–thus bringing the banks to the edge of insolvency and forcing them to renegotiate the terms of the loans. This destabilization and turmoil, Lerner hopes, will also crash the stock market, isolating the banking class and allowing for a transfer of power.
Lerner’s plan starts by attacking JP Morgan Chase in early May, with demonstrations on Wall Street, protests at the annual shareholder meeting, and then calls for a coordinated mortgage strike.
… Lerner was ousted from SEIU last November, reportedly for spending millions of the union’s dollars trying to pursue a plan like the one he details here. It is not clear what, if any, power and influence he currently wields….
First of all, I would be ecstatic if I thought something like this could possibly be done successfully in America in 2011. But not only is organized, widespread progressive action of this kind extraordinarily unlikely, but Lerner’s notion of how it would play out (if the voice on the tape is his — Blodget admits he can’t verify this) is ridiculously naive.
Certainly Mr. Lerner is naive in addition to being a little screwy. First of all its too late. Conservatives, with the help of some conservative Democrats, have already redistributed America’s income.
The report (pdf) “Building a Better America — One Wealth Quintile At A Time” by Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School (hat tip to Paul Kedrosky), shows that across ideological, economic and gender groups, Americans thought the richest 20 percent of our society controlled about 59 percent of the wealth, while the real number is closer to 84 percent.
Timothy Noah at Slate did a thorough report on our lopsided distribution of wealth towards the top in September of last year – The United States of Inequality. Conservatives have never liked the tale of Robin Hood and it shows. We under reward work in the U.S. and over compensate wealth. Part of the argument for such wide margins of income inequality is how we value skills. A roofer or factory worker may work harder than an electrical engineer or programmer, but the engineer has some intellectual training and skills the other workers do not. That makes sense up to a point. But the income disparity there is not that great. Depending on what part of the country they work in the roofer might make $27k to $46k per year and an experienced programmer averages $80k. The CEO of Chevron made $31 million in 2008. Unless he came up with the secret of creating cheap fusion energy there is no way he provided either an intellectual contribution or management skills worth that kind of money. So-called “leftists” ( by the right’s definition that is anyone who thinks our basic system is sound, but the way it is applied is a little unfair) could never, in their wildest dreams accomplish that kind of redistribution of wealth.
Bring down the biggest U.S. banks? We should all know by now that is not possible. The Bush administration’s TARP program was about redistributing money from tax payers to rescue too big to fail financial firms. What is possible is something like the HuffPo’s advocacy for average folks to pull their money out of the big banks and put their basic checking and savings accounts into community banks and credit unions. That will not bring down Wells Fargo or Bank of America, but it will give them less political leverage. If they were truly populist the tea smokers would support such actions, but the Koch brothers supported tea smoker movement is all about deregulating and making sure the too big to fail system continues as before. Ironically a goal our Marxist Muslim Kenyan Anti-Colonialist president does not mind doing his part to achieve, but gets little credit from the Right in that regard.
Perfect timing, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a new report out they could have called the Governors Redistribution of Wealth Plan, but went with, Governors are Proposing Further Deep Cuts in Services, Likely Harming Their Economies. Less-Harmful Alternatives Include Revenue Increases and Rainy Day Funds
The majority of states — at least 39 of 48 — are proposing major cuts in core public services. 
At least 21 states have proposed identifiable, deep cuts in pre-kindergarten and/or K-12 spending. The governor of Mississippi proposes education spending that fails for the fourth year in a row to meet statutory requirements enacted to ensure adequate funding in all school districts. (The three previous years of underfunding have cost over 2,000 school employees their jobs.) The Texas budget proposal would e liminate pre-K funding for nearly 100,000 mostly at-risk children — over 40 percent of the state’s pre-kindergarten students.
At least 25 states have proposed identifiable, deep cuts in health care. In Arizona, the governor’s budget would eliminate health care for 100,000 poor individuals. Washington’s governor proposes eliminating affordable health care for more than 60,000 low-income residents. Wisconsin’s governor proposes canceling health insurance coverage for about 70,000 people. 
At least 20 states have proposed major, identifiable cuts in higher education. Pennsylvania’s governor proposes to cut funding for the state’s system of higher education by more than 50 percent, resulting in less state funding for the higher education system than it received in 1983, the year in which the state established consolidated funding. Arizona would cut state support for public universities by one-fifth; when combined with previous cuts, this would reduce per-student state funding 46 percent below pre-recession levels. California’s governor proposes to reduce funding for the state’s two university systems by $1 billion. For one of those two systems, the University of California system, the cuts would bring nominal spending down to the fiscal year 1999 level — when the system had 31 percent fewer students than it does today.
At least 15 states have proposed layoffs or identifiable cuts in pay and/or benefits for public workers.
Some of these governors are Democrats. Though the biggest cuts in services and pay is by Republicans who are also cutting corporate taxes while they cry for sacrifices from everyone. Corporate taxes are already a joke. If there are corporations that need a tax cut in this economy with all the loopholes and write-offs that are available, you might want to take a long hard look at your business model and management practices, March Madness for Corporate Tax Dodgers
The small companies and public didn’t have a chance in the early rounds. Now it’s down to a few formidable corporate teams, the Cheat 16:
– General Electric made $10.3 billion in 2009, but received a $1.1 billion tax rebate.
– Forbes said about Bank of America in 2010: “How did they not pay any taxes on $4.4 billion in income?”
– Oil giant Exxon made a $45 billion profit in 2009, but paid no taxes in the United States.
– Citigroup had 4 quarters of billion-dollar profits in 2010, but paid no taxes.
– Wells Fargo made $12 billion but purchased Wachovia Bank to claim a $19 billion tax credit.
– Hewlett Packard’s U.S. income tax rate was 4.3% in 2008 and 2.3% in 2009.
– Verizon’s 10.5% tax rate, according to Forbes, is due to its partnership with Vodafone, the primary target in UK Uncut’s protests against tax evaders.
– Chevron’s tax rate was 1% in 2008.
– Boeing, which just won a $30 billion contract to build 179 airborne tankers, got $124 million back from the taxpayers in 2010.
– Over the past 5 years Amazon made $3.5 billion and paid taxes at the rate of 4.3%.
– Carnival Cruise Lines paid 1% in taxes on its $11.5 billion profit over the past 5 years.
– Koch Industries is not publicly traded, so their antics are kept private. But they benefit from taxpayer subsidies in ranching and logging.
– In 2008 CorporateWatch said Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp paid “astoundingly low taxes” because of tax havens.
– Google “cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years by shifting its money around foreign countries.
– Merck, the second-largest drugmaker in the U.S., last year brought more than $9 billion from abroad without paying any U.S. tax.
– Pfizer, the largest drugmaker in the U.S., erased $10 billion in taxes with an “accounting treatment.”
All the above has been documented by US Uncut Chicago members on PayUpNow.org
The only way someone could think the U.S. is becoming a socialist utopia redistributing wealth from the wealthiest to the poorest is if they have severely impaired cognitive abilities or they are so high on the Konservative-Kool-Aid they can’t see reality for their blinding zealotry.
This is right out of the Bush-Cheney playbook. Stock your administration with as many of your cronies as possible, Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) appointments include 26 campaign donors.
If America really was a merit based society Jon McCain would have had to find honest work. He was on the morning news programs yesterday and Newt Gingrich made the rounds this morning. If their combined foreign policy knowledge was harassed as energy they might be able to power a four-inch plastic boat in a calm bathtub, The senator, who met with Moammar Gadhafi in 2009, now complains the dictator has “American blood on his hands”
What McCain is apparently forgetting is that, apart from the past few weeks, the last decade has been a period of rapprochement between the United States and Libya. It started with President Bush announcing in 2003 that Gadhafi had agreed to give up his “weapons of mass destruction” programs. In 2006 Bush removed Libya from the official list of state sponsors of terrorism. In September 2008 Condoleezza Rice traveled to Libya to have talks with Gadhafi. And just a few days before the 2008 presidential election, Bush signed a settlement under which Libya compensated families of victims of Lockerbie and other ’80s-era attacks.
Who else was involved in the effort to forge better ties with Gadhafi? John McCain. In August 2009 he led a delegation of senators, including fellow hawks Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, on a trip to visit the Libyan leader in Tripoli. Discussed during the visit was delivery of — get this — American military equipment to Gadhafi (a man with American blood on his hands no less).
McCain should not be in the Home for Crazy Old Uncles, he should be in the shed out in back of the Home.
I’m not going to link to all of the right-wing criticism of President Obama’s decision to be part of the coalition to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Mitt Romney will do as stand in for the average response. The one in the meme sent to the Conservatives Sycophants to repeat like mindless parrots. MITT ROMNEY, PANDERING ROBOT….
Even the buzz words themselves are ridiculous. The president was “indecisive”? Please. As Kevin Drum put it, “When did it suddenly become a personality defect to decline to intervene in a foreign rebellion the instant it broke out?”
Obama is “nuanced”? Yes, but can someone explain why that’s a bad thing? It’s a complex, “turbulent,” and ever-changing world. Having a chief executive who appreciates and is aware of “nuance” strikes me as positive.
In other words, and head spinning at that, the Right wishes Obama were more like Bush 43 and acted from his gut. Because ,you know, that worked out so well.