Richmond Progressive Alliance in 500 Words

Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) is at the forefront of showing that people power can beat money power. People can make their lives and their communities better, healthier, and happier.

RPA began in late 2003 when a group of community activists in Richmond, California became tired of having their goals thwarted by people in decision-making power. They decided to run for City Council,

Rather than individual campaigns, they ran a slate of candidates. Greens, Democrats, and independents ran together as candidates struggling for the environment, for equality, for justice, against police brutality, for immigrant rights and many other great causes.

Richmond nomore checkpoints 238pxRichmond was a “company town” and the company was Chevron, the largest corporation in California. Chevron had established an approach of funding candidates, and a habit of not being held accountable for pollution, or for paying its fair share in taxes. The corporation’s relatively small charitable contributions to the city did not offset what it should have paid in taxes. The RPA ran for office, and shook up Chevron’s cozy relationship with city government.

Chevron money was of course out of the question for the new brand of candidate that the RPA nurtured, but they went even further. They rejected contributions from all large corporations. Some rejected contributions even from small corporations, and that policy evolved over the years to the higher bar which required that candidates pledge not to accept any corporate donations at all, not even from small corporations.

Becoming candidates did not stop them from remaining activists. RPA supporters believed in and built both council/board/decision-making power and grass roots/neighborhood/street power. They developed structures, organization, and a platform of ideas that resonated with residents as well as with several concentric circles of general support.

Two candidates ran in 2004 and one won a seat on the City Council. This victory demonstrated how important it was to have even a single person at the table who represented people power rather than money power. Ideas were brought forward that in the old days would not have made it to the council’s agenda. Other resolutions that had stalled moved forward, especially when Richmond residents attended the meetings and rallied in the streets. The decision-making of all councilmembers became more visible and accountable. For its first dozen years, the RPA never had a majority on the city council, and yet major shifts happened, such as decreasing pollution, and making Chevron pay more of its fair share in taxes.

All in all, from 2004 to the present, the RPA has run candidates in 13 races for city council and mayor and won eight of them. They took strong positions on three measures and won two.

The most inspiring win of “people power” over “money power” was the election of 2014. Chevron poured $3,000,000 into the race — unheard of in a town of 100,000 people — against three RPA candidates and two other non-Chevron candidates. In those five elections, Chevron money lost, lost, lost, lost, and lost.

* * * *

And that is the “Richmond Progressive Alliance in 500 Words.” Read more below, you’ll be glad you did. RPA website is HERE. Also, Gayle McLaughlin is writing a book, so watch for that!

(1) “How did the RPA get started?”, by Juan Reardon, an article about the first years of the RPA, with initial organizing documents, and campaign and event flyers.

(2) “Communities Fight for Community Control Over Corporate Power,” by Mike Parker, published in Social Policy magazine, details RPA history from 2003 to present.

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What I Like About Trump

I do NOT endorse Donald Trump. I am Green. I hope and expect Jill Stein to be the Green Party’s nominee for president, and I heard a hashtag idea I like, #BernieOrGreenIn2016.

I despise Trump’s (and anyone’s) blaming of immigrants for everything from terrorism to bad schools to lack of jobs and lousy economic conditions. If this causes you to ask, “Why are you writing this blog?” you will see that addressed further down.

What DO I like about Donald Trump?Donald Trump from website

Social Security and Medicare. Unlike Republicans who have gone off the deep end after Democrats drifted into their conservative waters, Donald Trump does not attack Social Security and MediCare. He has said, “It’s not unreasonable for people who paid into a system for decades to expect to get their money’s worth — that’s not an entitlement, that’s honoring a deal.”

Wealth Tax. Once upon a time Trump said, “I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million.”  I like that, except for the “one-time” aspect. Since then, however, Trump has dumped the wealth tax idea into the same trash bin he placed estate tax. How then can we stop the stupefying inequality of wealth that we can’t even fully grasp, no matter how many staggering statistics we see and hear?

War in Iraq. In the South Carolina debate in February, Trump said, referring to the George W. Bush administration, “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none.”

No Corporate Money. Whether I agree with a candidate’s values or not, I am happy whenever they reject corporate and PAC money. If candidates take that money, what they SAY to people to get their votes will be “trumped” by what they DO for corporations and the super-rich to get their money. A no-corporate-money trend has begun that includes presidential candidates Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein as well as all Green candidates, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, and others.

“Why are you writing this blog?”

I am fed up with our two-party system and so are a majority of Americans. My biggest wish for this 2016 election year is that the two-party system breaks up. Sickening swirls of enormous campaign contributions, reductive if not ridiculous debates, and unaccountable super-delegates are demonstrating the corruption of our elections.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are surprising a lot of people with the strength of their “populist” positions, and they are not fully toeing the line in their “corporatist” parties. I expect that Green Party candidate Jill Stein will also surprise a lot of people before the year is out. These candidates are questioning such things as Democratic-Republican support for the Iraq war, capitalism, and private-over-public banks, education, and healthcare, and the list goes on. There are alternatives.

Maybe this will be the year that we do not let the 1% and their corporations dictate to us the all-important list of “who can win.” Maybe this time we’ll vote, in the primaries and in the November elections, for what we want and need to make our lives and our communities better, healthier, and happier.

No, I do NOT endorse Donald Trump — immigration, inequality, foreign hostility — but I welcome the opportunity to truly look at his and all candidates’ positions, and see if they match what we want and need.

Presidential Elections 2016, with Bernie, Jill, and Plan B

This is the written and expanded version of remarks I delivered at two well-attended and engaging events. The debate/panel “Debating the 2016 Presidential Elections and the Key Issues of Our Time” took place on February 5th and 6th in Oakland and San Francisco. Speakers included:BLOG IMAGE 4 party logos rectangle

Black Agenda Report, special guest Glen Ford
Democratic Party, for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders: Tom Gallagher and Peter Olney
Peace and Freedom Party, and its presidential nomination process: Marsha Feinland
Party for Socialism and Liberation, presidential candidate Gloria La Riva
Green Party, for presidential candidate Jill Stein: Laura Wells
Socialist Action, the convener of the events, Jeff Mackler.

Before I start I want to extend an invitation to all who agree corporations and the 1% should not rule our country. You are invited to declare your intention to vote for people who take no corporate money. Here’s the link: https://www.nocorporatemoney.org/.

It is fitting that I am representing Jill Stein. Many people have come up to me and said, “I know who you are! You’re Jill Stein!” No, but thank you. Jill and I have something in common. We were both arrested outside debates for offices for which we were candidates, presidential and gubernatorial. The specific charge against me in 2010 when I ran for governor pretty well described what I was doing — guilty as charged: “trespassing at a private party.”

Jill Stein is working to make it a “public party.” Her campaigns in 2012 and already in 2016 have helped to smash a chink in the armor of the private parties, and helped make debates and elections more public.

The big question about the 2016 election is this.

 “What are the supporters of Bernie Sanders going to do when the Democratic Party does not nominate him?”

The institution of the Democratic Party has very different values from the people who register as Democrats and who vote for Democrats, and that institution has all the power it needs to push Bernie to the side. They instituted superdelegates who will not be on Bernie’s side, and they have big media. Added to that, I learned tonight about Glen Ford’s prediction that the huge voting block of black Democrats in the South are enough to derail Bernie. Blacks want to back whoever is most likely to defeat the “White Man’s Party,” namely, since the 1970s, the Republican Party.

So, what are Bernie Sanders’ supporters going to do when he endorses the Democratic nominee, likely Hillary? She is the embodiment of all the lousy domestic values Bernie has been attacking so effectively. People may go from feeling the Bern, to feeling burned.

People Power: we have more power than we realize

I have a recommendation for people who are feeling the Bern, and who want very much to reduce the power of the 0.1% and maximize their own power and the power of the 99%. My recommendation is based on maximizing people power.

Ironically, the 1% knows better than we do that our votes are a big power they don’t have. They are happiest when we don’t vote at all, and happy enough when we vote for the two parties they fund and control. Don’t make them happy.

People power means we can organize in solidarity and take to the streets. People power also means we can vote, and change our voter registrations. Yes, voting is important. That’s why they change laws and elections to create more hurdles and restrictions for voters and for independent political parties. That’s why they arrest us. That’s why they flaunt their financial power to make us back away of our own volition.

My recommendation if you’re feeling the Bern

(1) NEVER REGISTER DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN. In California, registering “No Party Preference” allows people to vote for Bernie in the Democratic Party primary.

(2) WAIT as late as possible to switch to No Party Preference. MAYDAY, May 1, is safe. The California deadline is May 23. Why wait? Because if Bernie has already been pushed aside, stay in your independent party, Green Party or Peace and Freedom.

(3) AFTER THE PRIMARY, change your voter registration to an independent party, like the Green Party or Peace and Freedom. By Independence Day, be independent of big money. A majority of people want strong parties outside of the Democratic-Republican Party. Here’s how third parties get strong: you vote for them, and you register in them.

(4) IN NOVEMBER, VOTE, but do not write in Bernie Sanders! He is not a movement, he is an individual. We can use as building blocks what Bernie has brought to the table, like injecting the term “socialism” back into our national dialogue. What this country needs now are organizations, including political parties that serve as the electoral arm of the social movements, that take no corporate money, and that are not controlled by the 1%.

There is a world of difference between registering Democrat-Republican and registering “independent” or No Party Preference. And there is another world of difference between No Party Preference and registering Green or Peace and Freedom. You may see the small parties as imperfect, but to blame third parties for their weakness is like blaming poor people for their poverty. Yes, we’re imperfect and make mistakes, but it’s the system that makes people poor and independent political parties weak. People power makes us strong, and breaks up the two-party system that has given control of our government to the 1% and their corporations.

(5) IN NOVEMBER, DO NOT VOTE DEMOCRAT. Glen Ford’s description of Obama as the more “effective evil” rather than the “lesser evil” is right on point. A link is here: http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/why-barack-obama-more-effective-evil. Sometimes it takes a Democrat to accomplish a conservative agenda, like deregulating and then bailing out Wall Street, and implementing trade agreements like NAFTA and the TPP/Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Supreme Court!

Because the Supreme Court is often presented as an incontrovertible reason to hold your nose and vote Democrat, I’ll spend some time on that question. Ask your friends to do some research. In fact, two Supreme Court justices often regarded as the worst could have been stopped by the Democratic Party. When bad boy Antonin Scalia was up for approval, every Democratic Senator, including Al Gore, voted for Scalia. It was unanimous, 98 to 0. As to Clarence Thomas, Democrats gave him 11 votes which pushed him to victory with a 52 to 48 vote.

Bush was elected by the Supreme Court in 2000 — you remember, that’s when the powers-that-be added anti-Naderism to McCarthyism in order to program people into thinking there is no alternative to this capitalist system and its political parties. The Supreme Court voted for Bush 5 to 4. Did you know two of those who voted against Bush were Republicans? I thought it was a partisan vote, but no.

In the last half century, five of the best judges were those nominated by Republicans: Earl Warren, Walter Brennan, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, David Souter. Researching the facts shows the Supreme Court is not a good reason to vote Democrat.

So, when Bernie is knocked out by the institution of the Democratic Party, what candidate will people vote for?

After the first of the two Presidential Elections panels, people came up to me and said they liked what we all had to say, and why don’t we combine our efforts this year? Can we Greens, Peace and Freedom, and Party for Socialism and Liberation run together? Yes, actually, and we often have. We’ve essentially run slates together; we’ve cross-endorsed; and we’ve run the same candidates. Maybe this year we will run the same presidential candidate in the same year.

I was encouraged to hear that Jill Stein is one of the really fine people who are seeking the Peace and Freedom nomination this year. I would encourage people to rally around Jill Stein — not as a celebrity individual — because she is not that, but as a dedicated, committed person who has done a lot of organizing behind the scenes as well as being a person who is willing to be in front of the camera and microphone. She has not stopped reaching out to build a long-term movement.

Jill Stein and the Greens have strengths that could be put to very effective use this year.

  • Greens have elected hundreds of people across the country including mayors and some state legislators. Elections aren’t everything; we must have strong social movements and labor organizations too. Elected officials do have a big effect, however, as shown by the Richmond Progressive Alliance in California. Long-time community organizers ran as Greens, Democrats and independents, all agreeing to take no developer and no corporate money. When they got elected — against Chevron’s millions — they began to effect the changes they had been fighting for.
  • Greens are international, one of the largest political parties in the world.
  • Presidential candidate Jill Stein achieved ballot status in 2012 in 37 states covering 82% of U.S. voters. Her 2016 campaign is also on track. The struggle to be on the ballot requires a huge grassroots organizing effort across the country.
  • In 2012, Jill Stein qualified for federal matching funds in July. This year she qualified earlier, in January, through individual donors in more than 20 states.
  • Greens never take corporate and developer money. (As to the other notable ballot-qualified political party in California, I’m sure corporations have a policy to not give Peace and Freedom any money.) See No Corporate Money campaign, HERE. .
  • Jill Stein nominated as her 2012 vice presidential running mate anti-poverty activist Cheri Honkala, a founder of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.
  • Jill herself was practicing medicine and realized the political system was the cause of much ill health. Now she’s practicing “political medicine.”
  • Jill Stein made a lot of headway in getting media, including real-time debates on “Democracy Now” during the airing of the 2-party debate “shows.” She also participated in debates moderated by Larry King, and lots of other media.
  • To continue mobilizing the larger movement, Jill’s team made a great start in creating the nonpartisan Green Shadow Cabinet. The Cabinet is filled with wonderful issue-oriented people working on Public Banks, healthcare, peace, justice, Marxist economy, and more.
  • Greens have been out ahead in addressing climate change and environmental destruction, and in pointing out how it’s all linked together: the environment, social justice, peace, and real grassroots democracy, the kind of democracy that de-centralizes power and enables people to have the power they need to make decisions that affect their lives.

Already in 2016 Jill Stein’s campaign is ahead of the game on multiple fronts. Many people who had put their hearts and souls into Obama’s  campaign are working with her to see how much headway the electoral arm of the movement can make this year.

In summary, 2016 is a great year to work together to use all the power we have. Let’s not give our money to the 1% and their corporations — as much as we can avoid it! And let’s not give them our voter registrations and our votes.

Q&A EXCERPT

The basic question “What can we do?” is likely the most frequent question after speaking events. There are many great answers to that question. On Saturday, my response was this:

EMPOWER WOMEN. And always remember that empowering women does not mean dis-empowering men! It’s an additive process. It’s been stated over and over again that if you want a revolutionary movement to succeed, you’ve got to have women strongly engaged. I’m happy to see so many empowered women in this panel and in this room. Also look at the Zapatistas — I just finished reading a book called Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories. Look at Black Lives Matter. Look at the Kurdish Women’s Movement in the Middle East. Look at the Peace and Freedom Party, where four fine women, including Jill Stein, are seeking to become their 2016 nominee for president. Look at Cuba and look at Scandinavia, more than 33% of their legislatures are women. This country is way behind. Let’s mobilize.

What I like about Bernie — and my recommendation

ONE: A movement is building. People are questioning the fairness of capitalism and looking at socialism with fresh eyes. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been a major spokesperson for bringing the term “socialism” back into our national dialogue. I like that about Bernie.

PHOTO Bernie Sanders speakingI should say right up front, I have blogged on questions I have about Bernie Sanders:  his “communist dictator” remark about Hugo Chavez, who did lead a “political revolution” and moved Venezuela toward socialism, HERE; and Bernie’s possibly becoming a “sheepdog” for a corporate candidate like Hillary Clinton, HERE.

TWO: The second thing I really like about Bernie is that he backs up his rhetoric about casino capitalism and the billionaire class by taking no corporate money. The “contribution rules” on his website include:

  • This contribution is made from my own funds, and funds are not being provided to me by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.
  • I am making this contribution with my own personal credit card and not with a corporate or business credit card or a card issued to another person.

Bernie is following the example of Richmond, California. The Richmond Progressive Alliance candidates, whatever their political parties, refuse corporate and developer money in their campaigns. When they win elections — and they have won, even against millions of dollars that Chevron throws against them — they follow through on their campaign rhetoric and stand up to giant corporations, not just Chevron but also developers and Wall Street banks. Good for Bernie for following the Richmond example.

THREE: The third thing I like about Bernie Sanders is that he includes on his website a list of all the states with the rules for voting in primaries in each of the states. The California link is HERE. That leads me to …

MY RECOMMENDATION

Friends who are “feeling the Bern,” and yet who are disenchanted with the two big political parties, have asked me for my recommendation. Here it is for California; much of it applies to other states as well.

(1) Wait as late as possible before the primary to make any changes if you want to vote for Bernie. The last day to change voter registration in California, for example, is May 23, 2016. To be safe, mark your calendar for MAY DAY. On the 1st of May, change your voter registration, if and only if there’s a solid chance that the Democratic Party institution — which is different from the people — would allow Bernie to be its nominee! How could the DP institution stop Bernie if the people vote for him in droves in Iowa and New Hampshire? Easy, it uses “superdelegates” and control of the corporate media.

(2) Use the power of your voter registration to the max. Do the least damage. Don’t give the parties of the 1% your seal of approval via your voter registration. The Democratic Party has made its decision for 2016: people who are registered “No Party Preference” can can vote in the Democratic primary. California online voter registration happens at http://registertovote.ca.gov/.

(3) After the primary, come back! Mark your calendar for June 8, or maybe INDEPENDENCE DAY. Say “No!” to the 1%, their corporations, and their political parties. Help build that strong third party so many Americans want. It’s no surprise to my friends and colleagues that I recommend changing your voter registration to the no-corporate-money Green Party. The practical and idealistic reason is this: the Green Party is the strongest third party that we have for working families in this whole country. You can bet the system doesn’t make it easy for third parties to become strong — that’s where people power comes in: votes and voter registrations. Jill Stein has a good chance of being the Green Party nominee, and your vote for her in November will help build a real political revolution.

Good luck to us all!

Electoral Disobedience Builds People Power!

“NO CORPORATE MONEY” Movement Poised to Replace Corporate Controlled Candidates.

My campaign for State Controller is growing and joining in solidarity with other no-corporate-money candidates who are also stepping up and running for office, like author/activist Luis Rodriguez for Governor, author Ellen Brown for Treasurer, David Curtis for Secretary of State, and many more. Many others are sharing our vision, giving their time and talent, and supporting us with financial contributions! 

As a State Controller who takes no corporate money, I will stand up to the Wall Street bankers — like Green Party mayor Gayle McLaughlin in Richmond, CA — and insist they gamble with their own money from now on. With a State Bank for California, we can create a bank that will partner with local banks and credit unions, and provide good loans to homeowners, students, and small businesses. We will keep the interest low, and keep it in the state, to invest in California, not Wall Street.

In the primary election on June 3, 2014 we have a very real chance to upset the status quo and create a more equal state for ALL Californians.

The way we will do this is by committing “Electoral Disobedience” to build people power by voting only for a new wave of “No Corporate Money” candidates who answer to the people, not corporations. California’s new “top two” primary has lots of problems but one big possibility: any voter can vote for any candidate regardless of political party. Be sure to cast your vote, but not for corporate-funded candidates. If they win, you won’t.

In sharp contrast to the corporate candidates, we don’t need millions. With several big donations of $1,000 or more, many smaller donations of $100 or more, and a whole bunch of encouraging $5 donations, we’ll be on our way to building that critical mass. We are grateful for ALL donations! Together we can spread the word about solutions, and stand up to those that continue to put profit before humanity and the planet.

Your financial contribution helps my campaign and lets people know that their voices and their votes can make a huge difference in the June 3 primary election.

If you would like to donate to my campaign, please click HERE.
https://laurawells.nationbuilder.com/donate

Like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/laurawellscalifornia?ref=hl

Follow me on Twitter  @WellsController

Thank you for all you do!

Laura Wells for Controller 2014
http://www.laurawells.org/

How do we stop fake No Corporate Money candidates?

A supporter of my California Controller 2014 campaign recently sent me an email that boiled down to the question, “How do we stop fake No Corporate Money candidates?” Here is my answer, followed by the question as he put it in his email.

A working draft of the pledge — and we will finalize it in concert with other allies —  addresses PACs:

I, ________________, oppose the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the 1% and their corporations. I pledge to the people of California that as a candidate and an elected official, I will accept money from individual people and public funding only and no corporate money in any form, such as lobbyists, developers, and Political Action Committees (PACs).

From the No Corporate Money (NCM) campaign perspective…
The campaign plans to ensure that listed NCM candidates adhere to the spirit of the pledge. There are a growing number of websites that provide information about campaign contributions. Those websites are great, and what the NCM Campaign intends to do is inspire candidates and voters to ACT on that information, not just KNOW it.  

From the corporate perspective…
Corporations do not want to spread the word that no-corporate-money candidates even exist, and so they certainly will not finance  NCM campaigns. The NCM name is so blatant that corporations know it undermines their power.

From the candidate perspective…
It’s perfect that last night Eduardo Martinez was at an NCM gathering. He is running for Richmond City Council and one of the stalwarts of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, the organization that has made such a difference to the city of Richmond, CA — as well as the nation and even internationally. Eduardo said now that Gayle McLaughlin (registered Green Party) will be termed out as mayor, other mayoral candidates have come to the RPA for endorsement. When RPA tells them they have to pledge they will take no corporate money the candidates say they don’t understand why they would have to do such a pledge. RPA’s answer is along the lines of, “The fact that you don’t understand is exactly why you won’t get our endorsement.”

I hope this helps. My vision is that at some point it will seem obvious to people. “Well, does the candidate take corporate money? If they do, I know they won’t represent me. If they win, I won’t win.” And people will find out who’s running with no corporate money, and vote for them. And if there is no one, they will run and/or encourage others to run. That’s what the No Corporate Money Campaign is all about.

NOTES

The following contains the questions and information as emailed to me. Your comments and feedback are also welcome!

In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission + Speechnow.org v. FEC,  
Corporations can promote (with money) any candidate any amount as long as they don’t coordinate with the candidate . . . or can they?   “However, it is legal for candidates and Super PAC managers to discuss campaign strategy and tactics through the media”  

Therefore, if “No Corporate Money” looked like a killer issue for the candidate, he/she can claim that they don’t accept corporate donations while being supported with big corporate PAC money.    In other words the public won’t know who is getting elected by corporate money and therefore who not to vote for.   

I don’t expect the media to help the public figure out who is corporate sponsored as most media is corporate.   

I suspect you know all of this but I didn’t see Citizens United or Super Pacs mentioned at:
http://www.nocorporatemoneycampaign.org/

Have you an answer to the Super Pac issue?  I hope so, as I don’t.   

Super PACs    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Pac#Super_PACs

<SNIP> Super PACs, officially known as “independent-expenditure only committees,” may not make contributions to candidate campaigns or parties, but may engage in unlimited political spending independently of the campaigns. Unlike traditional PACs, they can raise funds from individuals, corporations, unions, and other groups without any legal limit on donation size.[19]
Super PACs were made possible by two judicial decisions: the aforementioned Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and, two months later, Speechnow.org v. FEC, where the federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that PACs that did not make contributions to candidates, parties, or other PACs could accept unlimited contributions from individuals, unions, and corporations (both for profit and not-for-profit) for the purpose of making independent expenditures. The result of the Citizens United and SpeechNow.org decisions was the rise in 2010 of a new type of political action committee, popularly dubbed the “super PAC”
<SNIP>

U.S. income gap widest on record – that’s what happens when we don’t Tax The Rich!

News stories have hit this week with titles like, “U.S. income gap widest on record.” The stories mention UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, and should point out a strong correlation he found during his research:

If you lower the income tax rates on the highest income brackets,

inequality of income is increased.

If you raise those rates, inequality is reduced.

A blog post with more information and graphs is here,

http://laurawellssolutions.com/2012/12/05/tax-the-rich-to-reduce-the-disparity/

At the end of Eisenhower’s presidency in 1960, the rate on the highest tax brackets was 91%. As we know, the rich could still get richer even with those high tax rates, just not obscenely richer. Now the titanic Dems and Reps haggle over a top rate of 35% and 39.6%. Why wouldn’t CEOs start shifting more wages to their own pockets when they get to keep most of it? It’s too much temptation. When they only kept 9% of the highest portion, greed was not encouraged.

The 0.1% use their resources to keep us thinking all taxes hurt all of us. Not true.

In addition to increasing taxes on the super-rich, we can also reduce government spending, and lower taxes on the rest of us. Which government spending should we reduce first? Let’s start with the dumbest expense: high interest paid to Wall Street banks. When we vote people into office who are not sold out to big banks and other corporations, we can create publicly-owned banks that partner with local banks and credit unions, and provide good loans to students, home owners, and community businesses. And we can fund our own projects without high interest tacked on top. See blog http://laurawellssolutions.com/category/public-banking-state-bank/

 

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