The Best "Democracy" Money Can Buy: For Every Dollar Spent Influencing US Politics, Corporations Get $760 Back

Tyler Durden's picture




 

The first time we read the recent analysis by the Sunlight Foundation in which it combed through 14 million corporate records, including data on campaign contributions, lobbying expenditures, federal budget allocations and spending, in order to determine the "rate of return" on lobbying and spending to buy political goodwill, we were left speechless.

To be sure, we had previously shown that when it comes to the rate of return on lobbying, the rates were simply staggering, and ranged anywhere between 5,900% for oil subsidies, to 22,000% for multinational tax breaks and even higher for America's legal drug dealers.

 

But nothing could prepare us for this.

According to the foundation's analysis, between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 billion (with a B) on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. What they gave pales compared to what those same corporations got: $4.4 trillion (with a T) in federal business and support.

Putting that in context, the $4.4 trillion total represents two-thirds of the $6.5 trillion that individual taxpayers paid into the federal treasury. Said otherwise, by "spending: a paltry $6 billion to bribe the US government, or just a little more than what GM will spend on stock buybacks alone, US corporations are getting the direct benefit of two-thirds of US taxpayers' labor!

And here is the visual representation of this stunning finding: for every dollar spent on influencing politics, the nation’s
most politically active corporations received $760 from the government.


Which translates into an Internal Rate Of Return of, hold on to your hats folks, 75,900%!

Like we said, speechless.

* * *

Some more details from the Foundations' must read report:

Do political donors get something in return for what they give?

 

Four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court suggested the answer to that question was no. Corporate spending to influence federal elections would not “give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,” the majority wrote in the landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.

 

Sunlight decided to test that premise by examining influence and its potential results on federal decision makers over six years, three before the 2010 Citizens United decision and three after.

 

We focused on the records of 200 for-profit corporations, all of which had active political action committees and lobbyists in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 election cycles — and were among the top donors to campaign committees registered with the Federal Election Commission. Their investment in politics was enormous. There were 20,500 paying lobbying clients over the six years we examined; the 200 companies we tracked accounted for a whopping 26 percent of the total spent. On average, their PACs, employees and their family members made campaign contributions to 144 sitting members of Congress each cycle.

 

 

After examining 14 million records, including data on campaign contributions, lobbying expenditures, federal budget allocations and spending, we found that, on average, for every dollar spent on influencing politics, the nation’s most politically active corporations received $760 from the government. The $4.4 trillion total represents two-thirds of the $6.5 trillion that individual taxpayers paid into the federal treasury.

 

Welcome to the world of "Fixed Fortunes," a seemingly closed universe where the most persistent and savvy political players not so mysteriously have the ability to attract federal dollars regardless of who is running Washington.

It's not a "Republican" issue, nor a "Democrat" issue - it is a "Political" issue. Worse, it is a "Democracy" issue. Or lack thereof.

During the six years we studied, newly elected Democratic majorities took control in the House and Senate. Two years later, the White House shifted from Republican to Democratic control, and two years after that the GOP came back to take the House. The collapse of the housing bubble in 2007 led to massive bailout efforts by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board, two massive stimulus bills and the loss of more than eight million jobs. Congress passed laws that overhauled health care insurance and financial industry regulation. Troops surged in Afghanistan and withdrew from Iraq. There were 16 separate “continuing resolutions” to fund the government, a debt ceiling standoff that caused a downgrade in the nation’s credit rating and a “super committee” to wrestle with the federal budget. As middle class Americans lost ground, the Fixed Fortune 200 got what they needed.

 

What they needed included loans that helped automakers and banks survive the recent recession while many homeowners went under. It included full funding and expansion of federal programs started in the 1930s that, year after year, decade after decade, help prop up prices for agribusinesses and secure trade deals for our biggest manufacturers. It included budget busting emergency measures that funneled extra dollars to everything from defense contractors to public utility companies to financial industry giants. The record suggests that the money corporations spend on political campaigns and Washington lobbying firms is not an unwise investment.

With a 75,900% IRR, we tend to agree.

The Fixed Fortune 200 come from a wide range of industries. There are a host of familiar names among them, like Ford Motor Company, McDonald’s and Bank of America, as well as some less famous, like MacAndrews & Forbes, the Carlyle Group and Cerberus Capital Management. (For the complete list, including what they gave and what they got, click here.) There are retailers and investment banks, construction and telecommunications firms, health insurers and gun makers, entertainment conglomerates, banks and pharmaceutical manufacturers, among others.

 

 

Overall, the Fixed Fortune 200’s PACs, employees and their family members gave $597 million to political committees and disclosed spending $5.2 billion on lobbying. They make this enormous investment in politics in large part because their businesses are inextricably entwined with government decisions — including spending decisions.

In short, government is the best "business partner" money can buy:

For example, the federal government issued contracts to purchase goods and services that totaled a little more that $3 trillion during the period; companies among the top 200 corporate political givers won $1 trillion of that, a third of the total. The Treasury Department managed $410 billion in loans and other assistance issued under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, created by Congress to cope with the 2008 financial crisis; of that amount, $298 million, about 73 percent, went to 16 firms among the Fixed Fortune 200. When the Federal Reserve took extraordinary measures in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, it funneled nearly $2.8 trillion through 29 Fixed Fortune firms. The companies that participated the most in politics got huge returns.

 

Of the 200 corporations we examined, we could sum the financial rewards for 179. Of those, 138 received more from the federal government than they spent on politics, 102 of them received more than 10 times what they spent on politics, and 29 received 1,000 times or more from the federal government than they invested in lobbyists or contributed to political committees via their employees, their family members and their PACs.

 

As for the other 21 companies on our list, while we could not quantify the financial benefits that some received, we were able to identify them. Some examples:

  • Arch Coal lists the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the government corporation that’s the largest public electricity producer, as one of its three biggest customers. TVA does not release data on its coal purchases.
  • Forest City Enterprises does not appear as a landlord in the Government Services Agency’s database of federal rental agreements, though its annual report notes that the U.S. government is the third-biggest customer for its pricey New York City office space.
  • Occidental Petroleum has leases on federal land to extract natural gas, but the government does not release information on how much that gas is withdrawn or how much it is worth.
  • And while the government has so far refused to release information on what retailers get the most purchases via food stamps, Wal-Mart went so far as to acknowledge in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that reductions in the now $78 billion-a-year Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or food stamps — could have a significant impact on the company’s earnings, which totaled $476 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

Of the 200 companies analyzed for Fixed Fortunes, 28 are in what the money in politics research organization the Center for Responsive Politics classifies as the communications and electronics sector, 21 in healthcare, 13 in defense and aerospace, 13 agribusinesses, 11 in energy and natural resources, and 7 in transportation. The biggest sector, accounting for 48 of the 200, was finance, insurance and real estate, which is consistently the largest source of campaign funds for politicians cycle after cycle. Congress and the executive branch have paid particular attention to the industry, approving hundreds of billions in aid to help it weather the financial crisis. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve advanced trillions in credit, which the nation’s central bank hoped would trickle down through the rest of the economy.

And then there is the military industrial complex:

Weapons
manufacturers like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, both of which disclosed spending more than $10 million each year on lobbying, also made the list.
So did McKesson, a pharmaceutical wholesaler that is the biggest vendor for Veterans Affairs, and the Carlyle Group, a wealth management firm started by former government insiders who invest in firms that have significant involvement with government, such as defense, telecommunications and health care.

But nothing, nothing, compares to the return that Wall Street got on their "investment" in government. And the biggest irony: some of the firms bribing, pardon, lobbying the US government and generating the greatest returns were not even American!

Companies with the biggest returns on their political investments include three foreign financial service and banking firms, UBS and Credit Suisse Group from Switzerland, and Deutsche Bank of Germany, all of which benefited from the Treasury Department’s taxpayer-financed rescue of American International Group. Investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as well as commercial banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Bank of America also received far more from government than they put into politics: They benefited from the bailouts of the financial industry undertaken by Treasury and the Federal Reserve.

Ironically, one thing the Fixed Fortune 200 did not do, for the most part, was take advantage of the "new opportunities" to spend on politics that the Citizens United decision afforded them.

The 200 corporate donors gave just $3 million to super PACs, with the bulk of that amount a single $2.5 million donation from Chevron to the Congressional Leadership PAC, a super PAC that’s been linked to House Speaker John Boehner. It's important to note, however, that contributions by these companies to politically active nonprofits (a category that includes the Chamber of Commerce) are impossible to track because of tax laws that allow those entities to shield donors.

And while one may be disgusted at the unprecedented crony capitalism and corruption that has taken over DC, the root of that frustration should be the very fabric of what passes for democracy in the US - a fabric that is now mutated beyond recognition in all three branches of government.

More than seven years after Washington passed the first measures to stimulate the economy as the housing bubble started to burst, more and more Americans are living on less and less, without as much savings and other assets to fall back on in hard times. Washington policies that have restored corporate profits and made the stock market boom have left much of the country behind. Perhaps that’s why a whole host of polls, from networks and news organizations and nonprofit groups, show large majorities of Americans, year after year, saying that the country is on the wrong track.

 

In its Citizens United decision, the court took for granted that “favoritism and influence” are inherent in electoral democracy and that “democracy is premised on responsiveness” of politicians to those who support them. We found ample evidence of that.

 

“The appearance of influence or access,” the court said, “will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.”

 

It appears that the electorate — who stayed away from the polls this year in droves — might not agree.

But don't worry: at least under Obama regime of daily choreographed distraction, gays and lesbians can legally marry, illegal immigrants will no longer be deported and women have never been more "equal" with men. Oh and the repeat invasion of Afghanistan is solely to punish a few head-cutting terrorists (who got their funding, training and weapons with the blessings of Qatar and the CIA).

And don't forget to bash that evil, evil regime in Russia where democracy is being trampled on a daily basis: the mainstream media which is also controlled by a handful of US billionaires, will have you know.

In fact, whatever you do just please ignore what is happening in the US right under everyone's noses.

And just in case what is happening is still unclear, here is the breakdown of the Top 25 contributors (full data set can be found as spreadsheet, html, or csv), or rather beneficiaries, of America's so-called "democracy."

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Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:40 | 5895809 yogibear
yogibear's picture

The best government China and the multinationals can buy.

Almost every one iof the political scum in DC has a for sale sign on them.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:54 | 5895838 sam i am
sam i am's picture

Ukro-NATO fascists that occupy Donbass killed a mother and her little daughter today in small village Konstantinovka.

 

Surrounded by NATO Nazi troops locals are rioting and burning the military barracks. Among locals many already arrested and killed.

 

Pics of a child and a video of riots here:

http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/2093951.html

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:11 | 5895883 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I find it interesting that the article did not examine the disparity between stock returns (11%) and the returns on lobbying (many thousands of percent).

Logically, if the capital markets worked properly, stockholders should realize the lions share of those returns on lobbying. After all, virtually all of these corporations in question are publicly traded, right? And profits are (nominally, at least) owned by the shareholders....right?

What everyone seems to miss is that "corporations" do not get these returns, corporate EXECUTIVES do. Via stock option compensation schemes and stock buybacks, virtually every penny that corporations make is looted by corporate executives. And, given the revolving door between corporations, politicians, and the regulatory agencies, that observation really should be expanded: every penny that corporations make is looted by corporate executives, politicians, and regulators.

What we have in this country is an elite class which controls both government AND the means of production. While the means of production is nominally "owned" by many americans via the stock markets (and, following on, via mutual funds and 401k plans), the fact is the profits and power are retained by a tiny elite.

What is another name for a tiny elite, controlling all profits and power, while the means of production is nominally owned by the "workers", who get virtually nothing? And are continually miseducated, lied to, and abused?

Communism.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:43 | 5895957 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

"Communism."  Ironic.

But the Supremes say money is free speech, and since the corporations by their very nature and organization have more money, they obviously have more free speech.  Ironic.

I declare this The Age of Irony.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:19 | 5896057 Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

"For every dollar spent on influencing politics, the nation's
most politically active corporations received $760 from the government."

Damn! Once, I made the mistake of donating to a campaign, and all I got was a mailbox full of spam.

Forward (over the cliff)!

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 21:01 | 5896202 spamfan
spamfan's picture

Life is short.  Some people want to make that life count. Hence the donations. Seems wise.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 21:19 | 5896276 Publicus
Publicus's picture

USA is finally #1 in something. The Best "Democracy" Money Can Buy.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 21:18 | 5896278 MonkeyKnutz
MonkeyKnutz's picture

*seemed wise* FIFY

Full disclosuer--I made the same mistake, once.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 21:57 | 5896422 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

so..... if I spend $1000 on bribing 'lobbying' politicians, I'll get $760,000 back - netting a quarter million dollars?

 

do I get that in a check or is it a credit against income tax owed?

 

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 03:33 | 5897163 Seahorse
Seahorse's picture

Irony has been impossible for some time now

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:18 | 5896055 Escrava Isaura
Escrava Isaura's picture

 

 

Buckaroo Banzai

While the means of production is nominally "owned" by many Americans via the stock markets (and, following on, via mutual funds and 401k plans), the fact is the PROFITS AND POWER are retained by a tiny elite.

 

Well stated, Sir. Wonder why?

 

Americans are for a rude awakening in Ponzi scheme:

“If you add all the profits that the banks made from 1998 through 2008; in which the “ever-increasing” bonuses were paid from; 2008/2009 losses exceeded the ‘entire’ profit for those 10 years [1998 through 2008]” Simon Johnson, of Baseline Scenario

 

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:22 | 5895841 junction
junction's picture

To see how corrupt the USA is, just look at how the FDA gave exclusive rights to colchinine, a gout medicine, to URL Pharma.  URL Pharma spent less than $50,000 to complete a worthless one week study where 185 subjects were given free colchinine or placebos.  Once URL Pharma got exclusivity, it raised the price of colchinine from 10 cents a pill in 2009 (when colchinine was sold by independent drug manufactirers) to $5 a pill in 2010.  Colcrys, the URL brand version of colchinine, is its only drug of note.  In 2012, Takeda Pharmaceuticals bought URL Pharma for an upfront payment of $800 million, just to gain exclusive control of Colcrys.

I was unable to find any other example of where the FDA gave exclusivity to a grandfathered drug after minimal research, under the terms of the Hatch/Waxman Amendments.  What a lying germ former congressman Henry Waxman was.

More recently, in October 2014, the FDA made it possible for drug companies to add 5 years of exclusivity to a drug if they add another ingredient.  If that FDA rule had been in effect in 2008, the FDA could have extended Sanofi-Aventis' drug patent on Lovenox (a blood thinner that was the #1 hospital drug in use then in the USA, with some $4 billion in sales), since many batches of Lovenox then were made using OSCS contaminated pigs' mucosa.  Thousands of patients were poisoned and killed by the contaminated Lovenox.  Those sort of patient deaths are collateral damage to the FDA, which is owned by Big Pharma and the hedge funds that control American drug companies.    

--- 

6 October 2010

With last week's announcement by the FDA that it was ordering unapproved colchicine products off the market, the year-old debate over the agency's handling of the popular gout treatment has flared anew.

----

In June, Aaron Kesselheim, MD, and Daniel H. Solomon, MD, published a letter in the NEJM berating the FDA for the negative impact that patients with gout and familial Mediterranean fever would suffer as a result of this policy as applied to colchicine.

Colcrys has three years of exclusivity in treatment of acute gout flares and seven years for familial Mediterranean fever, an orphan disease. The drug is also approved for preventing flares, with no exclusivity.

Whereas the unapproved products cost around 10 cents a pill, Colcrys comes with a sticker price of nearly $5 a pill, Kesselheim and Solomon wrote.

They also questioned whether URL Pharma's one-week, 185-patient trial in acute flares added significantly to scientific knowledge of the drug, which has been in clinical use for centuries.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Rheumatology/GeneralRheumatology/22600

---

Deerfield, Ill., Osaka, Japan, and PHILADELPHIA, April 11, 2012, – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) and URL Pharma, Inc. (URL Pharma) jointly announced today that Takeda’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda America Holdings, Inc. and URL Pharma have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire URL Pharma – a privately-held pharmaceutical company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for an upfront payment of $800 million and future performance-based contingent earn out payments. Upon completion of the acquisition, URL Pharma will be managed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. The acquisition will contribute significantly to Takeda’s revenues, operating income, and free cash flow beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2013. Pending the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to close within 60 days.

URL Pharma is a pharmaceutical company with 2011 calendar year revenues of nearly $600 million. Its leading product is Colcrys (colchicine) – used to treat and prevent gout flares. Net sales for Colcrys in calendar year 2011 were more than $430 million, and continued growth of Colcrys sales is expected through the product’s lifecycle.

---

By David Sell. The Philadelphia Inquirer http://www.post-gazette.com/business/businessnews/2013/03/03/URL-Pharma-...

The future looks dicey for the Philadelphia operations of URL Pharma, a decades-old drug company that succeeded in raising the price of a popular gout medicine by 100 times despite an outcry from sufferers of the painful affliction.

The price increase was an expected, but unintended, consequence of a Food and Drug Administration program that began in 2006 that tried to lay scientific foundations under medicines in use for decades or centuries, but whose safety and efficacy has not been tested in clinical trials.

To get a drug company to pay for such trials, the FDA had to offer something in return, such as market exclusivity.

Colchicine, the extract of the autumn crocus plant (also known as meadow saffron), has been used for centuries to deal with the pain of inflamed joints.

URL Pharma's subsidiary, Mutual Pharmaceuticals, did enough testing to get approval in 2009 for single-ingredient oral colchicine, which it marketed as Colcrys for the treatment of gout and familial Mediterranean fever. Once the drug was approved, the FDA ordered the nonapproved versions of colchicine removed from the market. URL Pharma took advantage of its new monopoly, raising the price from as little as a nickel per pill to $5 per pill.

"This was a case of a well-intentioned FDA and a company that took advantage of a regulatory situation to build a business model that was fantastic," said Audrey Kunis, Temple University Hospital doctor, not entirely approvingly. Dr. Kunis is the president of the American College of Rheumatology, which criticized the decision in 2009.

URL Pharma's patented version of colchicine attracted the interest of Takeda Pharmaceuticals Ltd., based in Osaka, Japan, which bought URL Pharma for $800 million in June.

But Takeda's only interest was Colcrys, which Takeda said accounted for about 72 percent of the nearly $600 million in sales for URL Pharma in 2011. To reinforce that point, Takeda waited only five months before selling all of URL Pharma -- except for Colcrys -- to India's biggest drug company, Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd., for an undisclosed price.

URL Pharma's other products and its Philadelphia facilities are now part of Sun Pharma. Will Sun Pharma continue operating the Philadelphia facilities?

"No decision has been made," Sun Pharma spokeswoman Mira Desai said in an email. "We are still evaluating."

Richard Roberts, who led URL Pharma before the sale, makes no apologies about the research or profits from the sale.

"If we had discovered nothing of significance, we wouldn't have gotten the patents or the approval of the FDA," Mr. Roberts said. "This is not your father's colchicine."

Mr. Roberts' late father, Albert, was trained as a bench chemist at the University of Pittsburgh and started URL Pharma in 1946 by going around to Philadelphia slaughterhouses collecting the pituitary glands from pig brains, from which he extracted ACTH, a steroidal hormone that helped treat pain.

"Now, URL Pharma is a scientifically driven company, but growing up, the packaging department was our dining room table," Richard Roberts said.

URL Pharma was near bankruptcy several times before venture capital firms bought control from Albert Roberts in 1997, leaving Richard as CEO with a minority stake. Mr. Roberts said he got "less than one-third" of the $800 million that Takeda paid for the company and that employees held 10 percent of the company stock. At the time of the Takeda sale, the company had about 500 employees and about 380 contract sales representatives.

---

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized a new policy which will for the first time allow new fixed-dose combination  (FDC) drugs consisting of at least one new drug product to be eligible for five years of so-called "New Chemical Entity" (NCE) exclusivity. But in a setback for companies with existing FDCs, the agency will not apply the policy retroactively.

http://www.raps.org/Regulatory-Focus/News/2014/10/10/20544/New-Fixed-Dos...

 

 

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:03 | 5896001 Arnold
Arnold's picture

Yo da peeps is da word.

Gots to hev da rite peeps.

(sent by my second hand cray)

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:21 | 5896067 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

"you're a righteous soul 
who went down the rabbit hole 
discovering everything is manufactured 
everyone is bought and sold 
now your blood runs cold 
your teeth come out as the truth unfolds 
discovering your true calling 
the wolves are prowling 
the flock lies sleeping 
behind the gate you keep 

when the sirens sound 
you will stand your ground 
when the hammer comes down 
you will stand your ground 
when it all goes down 
you will stand your ground"

-The Gooch

One time @ bandcamp -"Sheep Dog"

http://supercolliders.bandcamp.com/releases 

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:22 | 5895920 cornfritter
cornfritter's picture

if that sh*t flies in cowtown for long i'll be surprised... i didn't read the article thru, musta been some sugar in it for city officials... having said that, austin, san antone, dallas are, on average, pretty liberal (increasingly non native folks moving in for past 20 yrs.)  i won't worry too much, they can't feed themselves except with fiat, and thats on a slow burn - belt tightening coming at a minimum

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:28 | 5896090 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

What???  The gubmint is corrupt??? Elected poiticians are corrupt?  Corruption in Amerika???  Nah! No way!  Never happen...

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:29 | 5896093 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

What???  The gubmint is corrupt??? Elected poiticians are corrupt?  Corruption in Amerika???  Nah! No way!  Never happen...

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 23:29 | 5896785 chilli sauce
chilli sauce's picture

my roomate's step-mother makes $79 hourly on the laptop . She has been fired for 10 months but last month her pay was $18694 just working on the laptop for a few hours. see here... www.globe-report.com

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:40 | 5895810 kowalli
kowalli's picture

AHAHAH ROFL

i ask again - let's kill them

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:43 | 5895816 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

It's almost as if there was some kind of corruption and/or crony capitalist tumor causing the brain to go all koo koo like....

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:46 | 5895819 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

We're koo koo for corruptionpuffs!

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:59 | 5895851 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Paul is Dead

Kookookajoo

War is a Racket by the Incomparable Smedley Butler and the Bonus Army!

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:07 | 5895873 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Ask not what the corporate FSA can do for you, ask what you can do for the corporate FSA feckleben!!!

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:36 | 5895909 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Feckleben Not sure I have the Trivia and Current Events education to keep up.

Greece has nothing to fear but fear itself, and Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Venezuela, Argentina...

Ask not (Words of a Dead Man, Assassinated, who asked for Interest Free Money, and who's Organized Crime Fighting Brother was Assassinated)... Ask not what your Country can do for you, ask what you can do for the Kiretsu (or Zaibatsu if you Prefer).

Ask what you can do to spread taxpayer money to wealthy and corporate interest regardless of the fact that their is no payoff for the US MIDDLE CLASS... and don't ask if their is a financial war against the Middle Class or that the Poor and Middle Class have to become Financial Warriors to face the Reality of...

Corrupt America!!

- Free Shit Army
- Flexible Spending Account
- Full Speed Ahead
- Farm Service Agency
- Financial Services Authority

Lots of room for Confusion.

But Fickle Ben Bernanke seems to fit the Socialist Welfare for Corporations...

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:45 | 5895818 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

All of those coporate headquarters didn't move to the DC suburbs for nothing.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:46 | 5895820 BullyBearish
BullyBearish's picture

The worst government (for the people of the United States) money can buy...

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:48 | 5895824 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

But I thought the real threat was the FSA getting Obama phones ?

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:53 | 5895837 Luckhasit
Luckhasit's picture

Made you look.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:51 | 5895825 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Yeah, I spotted a pattern of Bombing, war making, with Fraud, Scandal, and US Crisis... Financial Events.

-------------------------------------
--- Counter Intelligence Operations -
-------------------------------------

1913 - Federal Reserve Act,
1914 - World War I, US Involvement
1939 - World War II, US Involvement
1964 - Gulf of Tonkin,
1964 - Vietnam War,
1968 - US Discovers that some Wealthy People don't pay tax due to Tax Law Loopholes
1976 - Intelligence Finding Signed by Jimmy Carter,
1980 - G.H.W. Bush CIA Director becomes US VICE President,
1985 - Iran Contra Affair,
1989 - Invasion of Panama,
1990 - Persian Gulf War,
1992 - Energy Policy Act (H.W. Bush)
1994 - NAFTA, Deregulation of Trade, 3 Nations (W. Clinton)
1994 - Free Trade Begins to Devastate US Manufacturing Jobs,
1996 - Energy Deregulation (W. Clinton, followed by ENRON Scandal)
1996 - Telecommunications Act (W. Clinton, cross ownership)
1998 - Clinton's Kosovo War (over 60 Days)
1998 - Citicorp & Travelers Insurance Merger
1999 - Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (Phil Gramm, W. Clinton, followed by 2008 Financial Crisis)
1999 - bombing campaign in Kosovo (W. Clinton, over 60 days)
2000 - Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (P. Gramm, W. Clinton, derivatives)
2001 - Afghanistan War
2001 - Subprime Home sales & Financial Derivatives Take Off,
2002 - McCain–Feingold Act (G.W. Bush, Campaign Finance, soft money unlimited)
2003 - Iraq War, Fake Evidence of WMD
2005 - Energy Policy Act (G.W. Bush, subsidies, excluded clean air Water acts)
2005 - Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA).
2005 - CAFTA-DR Ratified, 2006 El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala
2005 - US Military Spending Exponential by any measure
2005 - US Housing Market Bubble Tops out in October
2008 - After Presidential Election Financial Crisis is Declared out of the Blue
2008 - Liberal Darling B. Obama becomes War Monger, Rights taker, and Elevates Drone Assassinations "Obama Doctrine"
2008 - 2014 QE & LIRP/ZIRP (B. Bernanke, J. Yellen, B Obama)
2009 - 2014 Continuing Resolutions in which Congress gives up Budget Powers
2010 - Affordable Care Act (ACA)
2010 - Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (money is free speech for corps)
2011 - US combat in Libya (B Obama, over 60 days)
2014 - lift ban on crude oil exports (B Obama, Commodities Deregulation)

-------------------------------------
--- Counter Intelligence Operations -
-------------------------------------

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:21 | 5895913 Toxicosis
Toxicosis's picture

What pieces of shit would give downvotes for stating obvious and literal facts.  Too many fucking apologist warmongers who lovingly lick the balls of their masters.  Aggression and sovereign destruction are the acts of an uncivil civilization.  So to all who downvoted this, FUCK YOU!!   And the next war we fight, your ass takes point.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 21:49 | 5896218 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Thanks. I can't figure why people don't post similar Gant charts or some thing similar. Maybe intersecting circles to show relationships.

- Analysis is an Investment Activists best friend, right?

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:13 | 5896030 MEFOBILLS
MEFOBILLS's picture

Teethvillages has it right.  In 1912 the U.S. ceased to be a republic and became a democracy.  Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner --- Democracy is the worst form of government.

Here is quote from author of this article, "It's not a "Republican" issue, nor a "Democrat" issue - it is a "Political" issue. Worse, it is a "Democracy" issue. Or lack thereof."

This is completely backward... it is too much democracy.   The press is paid for by money powers and entrenched corporations, and therefore they spew propaganda that serves power interests.  It is part of a slavery paradigm, where one is born into this environment, and hence they unconsciously accept it as truth; welcome to the matrix.  

 

In a republic, state legislators send their "Lions" to Washington.  These Lions are beholden to their Legislators and hence their states.  In effect, State Senators are beholden to a polity, and that polity in turn is beholden to the people.  A republic has political representation.

A democracy is led by power interests (usually money powers), where money influences voting.  Democracy is populist and populism can be bought through the press and buying off of Senators.  Senators cannot run for election if they don't have money.  It is that simple, they need money, they are bought off, and they then represent corporations (especially banks) instead of their political constituency. 

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:32 | 5896101 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Where's my pack of cigarettes then!

 

 

Yeah, sure...the smack is back and cheaper than dirt.  Dear, God...look what you did to the brewing industry!

 

Have you no shame, sir?!!!!

 

No?????

 

Well Generalplan Ost it is!

 

 

Dotrmund!!!!

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:14 | 5896040 MEFOBILLS
MEFOBILLS's picture

Teethvillages has it right.  In 1912 the U.S. ceased to be a republic and became a democracy.  Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner --- Democracy is the worst form of government.

Here is quote from author of this article, "It's not a "Republican" issue, nor a "Democrat" issue - it is a "Political" issue. Worse, it is a "Democracy" issue. Or lack thereof."

This is completely backward... it is too much democracy.   The press is paid for by money powers and entrenched corporations, and therefore they spew propaganda that serves power interests.  It is part of a slavery paradigm, where one is born into this environment, and hence they unconsciously accept it as truth; welcome to the matrix.  

 

In a republic, state legislators send their "Lions" to Washington.  These Lions are beholden to their Legislators and hence their states.  In effect, State Senators are beholden to a polity, and that polity in turn is beholden to the people.  A republic has political representation.

A democracy is led by power interests (usually money powers), where money influences voting.  Democracy is populist and populism can be bought through the press and buying off of Senators.  Senators cannot run for election if they don't have money.  It is that simple, they need money, they are bought off, and they then represent corporations (especially banks) instead of their political constituency. 

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 21:34 | 5896131 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Well I think I am glad of your response since a ZH poster with sunglasses on quoted you... although we don't speak since she opposes use of Economic terms quoted by you in my responses. lol She quotes you all the time btw.

I have said that we have a military republic in the usa and I feel this is what military service members learn in service.

Well this is open to debate.

- Plutocracy
- Corporatocracy
- Kletocracy
- Military Republic
- Democracy
- Stratocracy (rule by the military)
- Oligopoly

Truth: there are many terms that need to be debated.

Fact is: we need biannual sweeping reforms in government to really be honest.

Status Quo-ocracy is what we got. It is US Empire driven by Wealthy Corporations... for profit, conquer, superpower status and more.

I question you directly: I don't believe we have a democracy in the USA. Perhaps you don't know the power of the "power players in Congress"?

-

I'm trying to think this through more:

"In a republic, state legislators send their "Lions" to Washington."

Perhaps the law is that States, Counties, and Cities have the power in the US System?? Are you planting false info here?

I grant that the USA is not run like a legal Entity. It seems the USA is run by Money and the Wealthy Interests. Is that either a Democracy or a Republic? I Don't think so and don't think you would concur.

"These Lions are beholden to their Legislators and hence their states. In effect, State Senators are beholden to a polity, and that polity in turn is beholden to the people. A republic has political representation."

"A democracy is led by power interests (usually money powers), where money influences voting."

Bull F***ing Shit.

All Government are governed by Humanism.

All people and government employees can be manipulated, bribed, coerced, Blackmailed, and controlled.

Politicians have learned Intelligence Operations and Counter Intelligence Operations.

And all of us are now Financial Warriors who can go to Jail and have our records, credit, destroyed... by the winners of the Economy, the powerful corporations, the Elite.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 22:15 | 5896496 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

I question you directly: I don't believe we have a democracy in the USA. Perhaps you don't know the power of the "power players in Congress"?

In a democracy, does the mob suddenly decide to do this or that or is there someone who stands up and leads them to this or that?  Without leaders (power players), democracy would be nothing but anarchy.  Otherwise, who would even decide that there should be any voting at all, much less what to vote on?  The key to democracy is presenting the mob with two choices, both of which will benefit the power players.  This is how it works, you see?  This is why socialism leads to communism and communism is really democracy. 

Oh well, democracy much be good because the people of Athens never executed brillant men as a way to excuse their own follies and it won't happen here either.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 23:27 | 5896774 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

I'm actually unequal to the task of explaining why we are a Republic.

Did you vote for Obama Care, the Iraqi War, the Vietnam War?

We have a representative Government and if you look at the documents of our country: it says Republic not Democracy.

How much clearer can I get.

-

I'm not sure there is a Historical Example of a Democracy and don't see where you can prove anything about a Democracy.

- There was a brief period of Anarchy in Spain, the people took over a town and the factories for like 10 years (Maybe this was democracy)

- A constitutional Republic is what occurred after the French and US Revolutions

Where do you get your information??

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 22:38 | 5896596 jerry_theking_lawler
jerry_theking_lawler's picture

Happened way before that....the 'elites' were trying to get back in on September 18, 1787....the process was completed on April 12, 1861 when one of the 'soverigns' wanted out and wasn't allowed. The rest is just events leading up to where we are at right now.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:57 | 5895844 wmbz
wmbz's picture

Lovers of big gubmint are always the same. Either work for it or live off of it.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:58 | 5895845 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Well, Fuck........

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 18:58 | 5895846 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

No No No they gave for Patriotic reasons. God bless each and every ONE. tearful sarc

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:02 | 5895857 DrData02
DrData02's picture

MegaBucks you can believe in.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:02 | 5895862 Racket
Racket's picture

what a sick world

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:07 | 5895871 Questan1913
Questan1913's picture

Tylers hitting every pitch out of the ball park today and especially this article on a subject close to my heart.  I have no doubt that the ratio is at least that high.  Respect to this site.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:25 | 5895926 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Not a bad return!

However, I don't think bribery is the right thing to do.

I don't suppose I'd do well in government.

But then, there's no such thing as good government.

Can't do much good in a corrupt system.

 

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:56 | 5895989 Arnold
Arnold's picture

Don't be such a Debbie Downer!

 Set all things resembling morality aside and have at it.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:30 | 5895938 JailBanksters
JailBanksters's picture

You can't have greedy corporations without greedy politicians, and versa visa. Out of this only comes one thing, if your not a Corporation or a Politicians your going to get screwed. This is the New World Order where everything is owned by Corporations and everything you do is controlled by Corporations.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:35 | 5895941 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Government and Big Business.....

Conjoined twins......

Joined at the corruption.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 22:52 | 5896645 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Yeah but they all work for the bank.  All that bribe money and payout came from whom?  To whom does it need to be paid back with interest (and fees)?

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