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Economy Government Labor and Unions President Obama

Corporate Crybabies – People vs Corporations _UPDATED

Yesterday, President Obama addressed the tax breaks that corporations receive for sending our jobs overseas.  Yes, corporations are making millions and millions of dollars and NOT paying taxes and then sending OUR jobs overseas so that they can continue to not pay taxes to our government.  Keep in mind, these same corporations pay their executives millions and millions of dollars and pay their employees the low wages of India and China.

The proposal takes aim at what corporate executives consider to be one of the most critical features of the U.S. tax code: permission to indefinitely defer paying U.S. taxes on income earned overseas.

Currently, U.S. companies can avoid paying taxes on foreign profits until they bring the money back home. So a U.S. company doing business in Ireland, for example, must pay the Irish tax of 12.5 percent, like every other company doing business in Ireland. But the U.S. firm would owe an additional 22.5 percent to the U.S. Treasury (the difference between Ireland’s tax rate and the 35 percent U.S. tax rate) unless it reinvests the money overseas.

Hum, “permission to indefinitely defer paying U.S. taxes”, that sounds like a good deal.  What that means is there is no incentive to bring  jobs back to the United States.  It provides incentive to keep sending jobs overseas.

If we are to recover from this depression without continuing to bailout banks, then we need jobs, here, on the U.S. soil.

Some in Congress are hesitating support for this change in our Government tax plan.

“Further study is needed to assess the impact of this plan on U.S. businesses,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over U.S. tax law, said in a written statement. “I want to make certain that our tax policies are fair and support the global competitiveness of U.S. businesses.”

The American worker has always produced superior products.  Back in the ’70’s, the mantra was buy “Made in the USA” because purchasing products made here, gave an American a job and was always of high quality.  It’s difficult to find something “Made in the USA” anymore.  Most items are made in sweat shops that employ children in third world countries.   While these sweat shops produce cheap and inferior products, like all (slave labor) sweat shops do, the corporations make millions of dollars and do NOT pay U.S. taxes.

(President) Obama proposes to move in the opposite direction. He argues that the current system gives tax breaks to U.S. multinationals at the expense of companies that operate solely on American soil. In 2004, the most recent year for which statistics are available, U.S. multinationals paid an effective U.S. tax rate of just 2.3 percent on $700 billion in foreign profits, according to the administration.

“It’s a tax code that says you should pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York,” the president said yesterday.

The President is correct.  Why should multinational corporations receive tax breaks while companies that operate solely on American soil not receive a tax break.  The Republicans are always chanting “small business”.  Most small businesses operate ONLY on American soil so they don’t get these tax breaks.

President Obama plans on helping small businesses.

To level the playing field, Obama would bar firms from taking deductions for expenses that support their overseas investments until they pay U.S. taxes on the profits. He would also crack down on firms that overstate their foreign tax bills. And he would reverse a Clinton-era rule known as “check the box,” which permits firms to more easily transfer cash between countries. In practice, Obama officials said, “check the box” has been used to shift income away from higher-tax countries and into tax havens such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, allowing firms to reduce their tax bills both at home and abroad.

Those provisions would take effect in 2011 and would raise about $190 billion by the end of the next decade. In return, Obama proposes to make permanent an existing tax credit for companies that spend money on domestic research and development programs, worth about $75 billion over the next decade.

Then there are the “tax shelters”, the banks where the “rich” hide their money from the U.S. Government.  They shelter their wealth while you and I pay taxes and they don’t.

Obama also proposes to crack down on wealthy people who evade taxes through offshore bank accounts, primarily by targeting financial institutions in tax-haven jurisdictions. That plan, which would net another $9 billion over the next decade, appears to have few opponents.

All this money being denied to the U.S. Government.  No wonder the Republicans are yelling that the U.S. Government can’t provide health care for all Americans.   All this hidden money in taxes and all this avoidance of paying taxes leaves the Government funds short.

UPDATE:  About those “green jobs”

Now read the rest of this whiny fallacy….

Categories
Labor and Unions

More on Specter and Employee Free Choice – UPDATEbb

UPDATE:  The Plumbers Unions are outraged at Joe the Plumber… read about it here

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Oh no… looks like Arlen Specter has just been given the kiss of death… death of his political career, that is.  Joe the non-plumber, is lobbying Arlen Specter’s on the Employee Free Choice Act.

(h/t Huffington Post)

Americans for Prosperity’s National Save My Ballot Tour Travels to Pennsylvania, Mar. 30-31 Wednesday, March 25th 2009

Americans for Prosperity’s National Save My Ballot Tour Travels to Pennsylvania, Mar. 30-31
Events in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia will feature special guest speaker Joe the Plumber

AFP urges Senator Sen. Arlen Specter to vote against Employee Free Choice Act

HARRISBURG─ Americans for Prosperity (AFP) will defend workers’ rights to cast secret ballots in Pennsylvania as part of its nationwide Save My Ballot tour in opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as “card check,” which would strip workers of their rights in union organizing elections.

“Some lawmakers want to abolish private ballot elections through the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, and allow unions to organize just by collecting signatures on union cards. This would give them the ability to pressure and intimidate workers in public,” said AFP President Tim Phillips. “We support the secret ballot so every worker has the right to vote on such an important matter without coercion or retaliation.”

AFP will be joined by Joe the Plumber in taking its Save My Ballot Tour across Pennsylvania– Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia– to urge U.S. Senator Arlen Specter to vote against card check legislation.

“Senator Specter may be the deciding vote on this key piece of legislation,” said Phillips. “We need to send him a strong message that the so-called Employee Free Choice Act is an enormous assault on our democratic values and on our rights here in Pennsylvania and across the nation.”

Beginning in North Carolina, the nationwide tour kicked off in Greensboro and Raleigh last month where over 500 citizens urged Senator Kay Hagan to vote ‘no’ on card check legislation. After Pennsylvania, the tour will travel to Virginia and Arkansas.

Speakers will include business, community, and political leaders concerned about what “card check” legislation could do to hurt economic prosperity in Pennsylvania.

All events are free and open to the public. Food will be served.

Now for another point of view… below is a copy of a comment that was posted to the Arlen Specter and the Employee Free Choice Act by EFCANOW:

EFCANOW Says:
March 25, 2009 at 11:27 am e

EFCA Senator Specter A victim of FEAR, Intimidation and Coercion Tactics

by Employee Free Choice Act News
Wednesday Mar 25th, 2009 7:08 AM

Employee Free Choice Act: Senator Specter is No Different than a Worker Faced with an Employer Union Busting FEAR Campaign.

In an essay Senator Specter recently wrote for the Harvard Journal on Legislation, he states that for people like himself, “finding a practical solution is more important than political posturing.” That’s why we’re dismayed by those who say they support the democratic process, yet refuse to allow meaningful debate and a democratic vote on critical legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act.

Yesterday Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) had a change of heart after he announced that he would support a filibuster this year in an attempt to block the legislation from coming to a Senate floor vote.

What made Senator Specter change his mind after years of supporting cloture and the Employee Free Choice Act?

Surprisingly to most Senator Specter who was a sponsor of the original Employee Free Choice Act in 2003, supported the bill again in 2005 and voted against a Republican filibuster of it in 2007, was the newest victim to feel the wrath of a powerful union busting campaign built on FEAR, Intimidation and Coercion by Corporate Front Groups such as the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace who have embarked on a multi-million dollar public Union Busting campaign, against workers rights, the Employee Free Choice Act and targeted senators in key states that included polling, television, radio, Internet ads and direct mail.

Like most union campaigns workers who originally support unionization are faced with an all out assault by Employers who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in hiring Union Busting consultants who’s job is to instill FEAR, Intimidation and Coercion tactics in an effort to defeat these workers from forming or joining a union.

Senator Specter who faced a primary from his own republican party caved into the pressure by these Corporate Front Groups NOT because he doesn’t believe in the Employee Free Choice Act and workers rights, NOT because he doesn’t believe in democracy or the right to debate legislation that could improve the lives of millions of working Americans but because the FEAR, Intimidation and Coercion tactics were enough for him to bare.

While labor unions such as the AFL-CIO, SEIU, USW, UAW, Teamsters, Change to Win and the SPFPA continue to fight for The Employee Free Choice Act, which has now become the biggest Union Busting campaign in history, the record will show that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) like many workers who originally support unionization, higher wages, better benefits, better working conditions, a voice on the job, can be persuaded to vote against their beliefs if enough FEAR, Intimidation and Coercion tactics and pressure is bestowed upon them either by an Employer or a Corporate Front Group such as the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.

Senator Specter new position denouncing the Employee Free Choice Act on the senate floor yesterday is just one more reason why both congress and the senate need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act NOW!

For more information on Employer Intimidation and Union-Busting FEAR Tactics Press Below

http://efcanow.blogspot.com/2009/02/just-say-no-to-employee-free-choice-act.html

http://www.TheTruthAboutEFCA.Org

http://efcanow.blogspot.com/

“Americans for Prosperity”… what a name.  The Republicans really know how to choose deceptive names for their organizations.  Reminds me of the “Clear Skies Act” which in reality added more polution to the air that we breathe.  Now if only the Republicans would tell the truth instead of trying to hide their lies.

Categories
Labor and Unions PA Senators Pennsylvania Politics

Arlen Specter and the Employee Free Choice Act

Yesterday, I sent an email to PA Senator Arlen Specter asking him to support the Employee Free Choice Act.  This is his response.

Dear Pennsylvania Constituent,

After giving exhaustive consideration to the Employee Free Choice legislation, I have decided to oppose the bill for reasons specified in my Senate floor statement which is contained below or you may read here and watch here.

I remain open to working to correct the imbalance which exists with so many jobs being exported and substantial labor losses in areas like pensions and health care.

In my floor statement, I have also laid out some suggested revisions to the National Labor Relations Act which could provide the basis for correcting the current imbalance.

Sincerely,

Arlen Specter

Here is Senator Specter’s full floor statement:

Senator Specter’s full floor statement, including the appendix, follows:

I have sought recognition to state my position on a bill known as the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as card check. My vote on this bill is very difficult for many reasons. First, on the merits, it is a close call and has been the most heavily lobbied issue I can recall. Second, it is a very emotional issue with Labor looking to this legislation to reverse the steep decline in union membership and business expressing great concern about added costs which would drive more companies out of business or overseas. Perhaps, most of all, it is very hard to disappoint many friends who have supported me over the years, on either side, who are urging me to vote their way.

In voting for cloture – that, is to cut off debate – in June 2007, I emphasized in my floor statement and in a law review article that I was not supporting the bill on the merits, but only to take up the issue of labor law reform. Hearings had shown that the NLRB was dysfunctional and badly politicized. When Republicans controlled the Board, the decisions were for business. With Democrats in control, the decisions were for labor. Some cases took as long as eleven years to decide. The remedies were ineffective.

Regrettably, there has been widespread intimidation on both sides. Testimony shows union officials visit workers’ homes with strong-arm tactics and refuse to leave until cards are signed. Similarly, employees have complained about being captives in employers’ meetings with threats of being fired and other strong-arm tactics.

On the merits, the issue which has emerged at the top of the list for me is the elimination of the secret ballot which is the cornerstone of how contests are decided in a democratic society. The bill’s requirement for compulsory arbitration if an agreement is not reached within 120 days may subject the employer to a deal he or she cannot live with. Such arbitration runs contrary to the basic tenet of the Wagner Act for collective bargaining which makes the employer liable only for a deal he or she agrees to. The arbitration provision could be substantially improved by the last best offer procedure which would limit the arbitrator’s discretion and prompt the parties to move to more reasonable positions.

In seeking more union membership and negotiating leverage, Labor has a valid point that they have suffered greatly from outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries and losses in pension and health benefits. President Obama has pressed Labor’s argument that the middle class needs to be strengthened through more power to unions in their negotiations with business. The better way to expand labor’s clout in collective bargaining is through amendments to the NLRA rather than on eliminating the secret ballot and mandatory arbitration. Some of the possible provisions for such remedial legislation are set forth in an appendix to this statement.

In June 2007, the vote on the Employee Free Choice Act was virtually monolithic: 50 Senators, Democrats, voted for cloture and 48 Republicans against. I was the only Republican to vote for cloture. The prospects for the next cloture vote are virtually the same. No Democratic Senator has spoken out against cloture. Republican Senators are outspoken in favor of a filibuster. With the prospects of a Democratic win in Minnesota, yet uncertain, it appears that 59 Democrats will vote to proceed with 40 Republicans in opposition. If so, the decisive vote would be mine. In a highly polarized Senate, many decisive votes are left to a small group who are willing to listen, reject ideological dogmatism, disagree with the party line and make an independent judgment. It is an anguishing position, but we play the cards we are dealt.

The emphasis on bipartisanship is, I think, misplaced. There is no special virtue in having some Republicans and some Democrats take similar positions. The desired value, really, is independent thought and an objective judgment. It obviously can’t be that all Democrats come to one conclusion and all Republicans come to the opposite conclusion by expressing their individual objective judgments. Senators’ sentiments expressed in the cloakroom frequently differ dramatically from their votes in the well of the Senate. The nation would be better served, in my opinion, with public policy determined by independent, objective legislators’ judgments.

The problems of the recession make this a particularly bad time to enact Employees Free Choice legislation. Employers understandably complain that adding a burden would result in further job losses. If efforts are unsuccessful to give Labor sufficient bargaining power through amendments to the NLRA, then I would be willing to reconsider Employees’ Free Choice legislation when the economy returns to normalcy.

I am announcing my decision now because I have consulted with a very large number of interested parties on both sides and I have made up my mind. Knowing that I will not support cloture on this bill, Senators may choose to move on and amend the NRLA as I have suggested or otherwise. This announcement should end the rumor mill that I have made some deal for my political advantage. I have not traded my vote in the past and I would not do so now.

***

First of all… this is NOT the “card check” bill.  There is no “card check” in this bill so the Senator needs to stop being dishonest with his constituents.  Senator Specter does have a habit of bending the truth.  Remember the bouncing single bullet that killed President Kennedy?  That story is unbelievable.  Then there was Specter’s attack on Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings.  He dismissed her accusations as lies.  Senator Specter should have spoken with other women about sexual harassment on the job.  Maybe he would have learned that it is not easy for a woman to speak up and accuse her manager of sexual harassment.

So Senator Specter has decided to NOT support labor and unions in Pennsylvania even though Pennsylvanians are losing their jobs to places like China and India.  If he doesn’t care about us, then we won’t care about re-electing him in 2010.  This seat has now become very viable for any Democrat to fill.  Republicans really don’t care about “Main Street”.