Can Democrats Stop the TPP?

by William Skink

It doesn’t matter that we know what NAFTA did to American workers. It doesn’t matter that opposition against the TPP is strong and spread across the political spectrum. It doesn’t matter that people will literally die because the Obama administration prioritizes Big Pharma’s profits over increasing access to life-saving drugs.

None of that matters because people don’t matter when it comes to profit, and the Obama administration has made that abundantly clear. That is why a tremendous amount of political capital is about to be spent to push this through Congress.

I’m not sure if enough Democrats can be inspired to oppose this disastrous trade agreement to stop it. You would think the Big Evil of Big Pharma letting people die so they can protect billions of dollars of profit would be enough, but I’m not so sure. Maybe if Big Pharma was using guns to kill people there would be more interest.

And then there’s Hillary Clinton, who is totally going to have an opinion on TPP soon.

I’m not a paid political analyst, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say Hillary Clinton will say whatever she thinks is most expedient to winning the nomination. Just a hunch.

The Congressional battle to stop the TPP from further destroying our national sovereignty for the benefit of corporate profits is about to begin in earnest. What will Democrats do? What will Jon Tester do? Stay tuned…

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Can Democrats Stop the TPP?

  1. Greg Strandberg says:

    TPP, didn’t we already pass that? It’s a shame there’s these NAFTA/CAFTA deals that lower pay and do away with the need for skilled workers. It’s leveling the playing field, making it so everyone in the Americas is making as little as the Mexicans.

    James Conner over on Flathead Memo had an interesting post awhile back. He mentioned how Germany didn’t de-industrialize after WWII. Well, they still have those manufacturing jobs. They were smart.

    Over here we allowed the corporations to send them all overseas. I guess we should say multi-national corporations – they don’t care about America. Daines worked for one for a time, but I guess we don’t need to worry about attacking him until 2019 or so.

    I have a bit more hope that Tester will oppose this deal, but it seems the corporate-controlled, Wall Street Democrats in Washington will have the numbers. They always do these days.

  2. What will they do? What will Jon Tester do? Count votes! If passage is assured and someone’s reelection might be threatened, that person might be allowed to vote against it. This is not a deliberative body. That ship sailed.

    Bob Dole’s advice to incoming freshman legislators: “You’ll never go wrong voting against something that is going to pass, or for something that is going to fail.”

  3. Big Swede says:

    What would a President Trump do?

    Sign a bill allowing corporations to pay a one time 10% tax penalty to bring manufacturing jobs back.

    And lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to keep them here.

    • JC says:

      Regardless of the corporate tax rate, or a tax holiday for corporations to return foreign holdings, why would they want to manufacture here when it is so much cheaper to exploit third-world labor? Unless they want to create third-world labor conditions in the United States and revert to slavery and/or serf/feudal forms of manufacturing, because no one could live in the U.S. under the wages corporations pay to foreign workers.

    • This will be the 15,001st time someone tells Swede that US corporations do not pay the stated rates, so that “lowering” it to 15% would actually be a tax hike. But that information does not “fit” with his perceptions, so he ignores it.

      • Big Swede says:

        If that’s the case then why are companies and manufactures moving to Ireland?

        “Ireland has a 12.5% corporate tax rate. That’s a big deal on its own. If a U.S. corporation builds a factory in Ireland that generates $10 million in profit, it pays $1.25 million in Irish tax instead of the $3.5 million that it would pay if it built the factory in Indiana, where the federal rate is 35%. But that’s only the beginning of tax benefits available for locating in Ireland. Lax U.S. transfer pricing rules allow the Irish factory to book inordinate profits that rightly should have been taxed in the United States. Suppose that in the example, the Irish factory books something like $30 million of profit in Ireland. It pays $3.75 million in Irish tax, but at the same time, because it shifts $20 million of profit from the United States to Ireland, it reduces its U.S. tax by $7 million. So the choice between locating a factory in Indiana or Ireland is the choice between pay $3.5 million of U.S. tax or net tax of negative $3.25 million (that is, $3.75 million of Irish tax minus $7 million of lower U.S. tax.) In effect, the U.S. Treasury is subsidizing investment in Ireland.”-Forbes

        • The article assumes that a company would actually pay 35% tax in the US, whcih is wrong. We also don’t know what other factors are involved, as it is Forbes – easier pollution, consumer protection laws in Ireland? Fewer worker rights? God I wish you’d read more than snippets pulled from the fookin Google.

          Anyway, the answer to all of this is not your race to the bottom, in which countries get to pick and choose which countries they reside in, but rather strong uniform labor and pollution laws. As it is, your corporations running around the globe have given us immense pollution and sweatshops, the modern version of slavery.

        • Big Swede says:

          So there’s multiple sweatshops and pollution in Ireland. How ’bout tax free Bahamas?

        • Oh, screw it Swede. Like always, there’s no point in having a discussion with you as you seem unable to focus on anything but minutia.

        • Big Swede says:

          Checkmate, right Mark? I knew that the correlation between low corporate tax rates and slavery/pollution/sweatshops in first world countries is a blatant fallacy.

      • Big Swede says:

        Apple paid big time corporate taxes Mark.

        “Apple paid more in U.S. taxes last year than most companies made in total, but its tax bill could have been even higher.

        The California-based company paid $6 billion in federal corporate income taxes in the 2012 fiscal year, according to a statement Apple provided to The New York Times on Friday, in which it emphasized just how much money it pays back to the federal government annually.

        “In fiscal 2012 we paid $6 billion in federal corporate income taxes, which is 1 out of every 40 dollars in corporate income taxes collected by the U.S. government,” Apple said in the statement.”-Seth Fiegerman

        • What percentage of revenue, what percentage of income, and what percentage of net income does Apple have of the corporate sector? these questions matter, You are, once again, doing anecdotal evidence, another thing you’ve never been able to grasp.

        • Big Swede says:

          Anecdotal, kinda like sweatshops and slavery? Apple did pay less than 35% after deducting some foreign taxes but the net rate still exceeded 15%. By the way Apple is in the workers paradise of China polluted Ireland.

          >>>In the report, the committee also disputed Apple’s claim in public filings to investors that it pays an effective tax rate of between 24 percent and 32 percent. It’s actually billions less than that, the committee said, because the company includes what it pays the U.S. government in income taxes, and also what it pays to foreign governments and to states.

          In 2011, for example, Apple said in its annual report that its net income before taxes was $34.2 billion and that the company’s tax provision for payment of corporate income taxes was $8.2 billion — an effective tax rate of 24.2 percent. Taking out other forms of taxes, the rate paid for U.S. income taxes was 20.1 percent, the Senate committee said.<<<- Dallas Morning News.

        • Please undertake a larger study of the US corporate tax system, the overall percentage of income paid by the corporate sector. Please analyze the nature of the corporate tax system:

          Is it an unnecessary burden on that sector dampening investment and employment, or is it just a burden on investors, easily borne?

          What is the nature of the tax itself? Can it just be “passed through” to consumers, or do investors eat it?

          What about the overall effect of corporations being able to leave and set up shop elsewhere to escape taxation – is this healthy for republican governance, or does it give corporations undue power over elected government?

          Please examine the worldwide system of sweatshops, finding a cause and cure if you can.

          Ask yourself if corporations that move facilities overseas are then “importing” to the US, or merely making internal accounting transfers?

          That’s a whole lotta googling, water skipper. Talk to you next week.

          There was a somewhat effective system in place back in the early postwar era – investors and labor struck a deal to tolerate each other, and both got fat and happy. But investors could not long tolerate well-paid workers, and so set out to destroy that system in the 60s and 70s, finally succeeding in 1980.

          On the individual level, while a 70% marginal tax rate seems unreasonable, it was avoidable. That was the key. The tax system was full of loopholes designed to allow investors to avoid that tax, meant as social engineering to force them to do beneficial things with their money like invest in plant and equipment or give it to charity or turn it over to private foundations (a huge miscalculation). It was not a perfect system, but far better than anything we have now.

          The key is that elected government has to have more power than the investing class for us to have any chance at republican governance. You’ve been taught the opposite, Rand and all that. You are very much wrong in that line of reasoning.

          You won’t find that on the Google. It’s hidden in books.

        • Big Swede says:

          Who made you professor of this class? I’m not your student.

          You need to address specifically how Trump’s proposals harms the US, without the slavery BS.

        • Big Swede says:

          And furthermore, how does it feel to be such a pompous hypocrite? You’ve personally made gains in your stock portfolio visa vie Apple and their offshoring ways. You’ve also eluded in the past that you possess tax free munis, and you’ve made a darn good living maximizing profits for your clients with multiple loop holes.

          All the above combined has allowed you to travel the world on the backs of corporate slave masters and what many would describe here as cheaters.

        • I am not your professor, but I don’t care for debating with you as you are a dabbler. You never have enough depth and breadth to grab on to an issue, corporate taxation, for instance, but are loaded with answers. You obviously do not apply your brain to issues in any depth. So I laid out for you some of the real issues that confront us. It is complex and honest people disagree, and right wing talk radio is yet to offer up the simple answer we all need.

          Part of what I wrote above, which you of course did not read before ripping off a reply, was on the nature of “loopholes,” the reason for their existence, why they are not at all a bad thing when put to proper use.

          For myself, I got lucky on a stock or two, and have helped clients with tax planning including using every legal means to minimize their taxes. I have never owned a muni. They are a “loophole” given wealthy people to direct their investments to municipal and state projects. It serves everyone well.

        • Oh yeah, and since the going got tough for you, adios, Swede. No doubt next time we meet you’ll be saying that US corporate tax rates are the highest in the world.

  4. Big Swede says:

    Hillary or Bush? I say rage against the machine.

    • JC says:

      “Rage against the machine”? Really??!! I’ll give you some Rage Against the Machine. Listen the the whole thing during your daily rounds…

      • I am not a Rage fan, but I saw their drummer, Brad Wilk join a group called The Last Internationale. My god, he’s got intense and angry energy back there. I love it. They did a song called Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Indian Blood on Letterman.

Leave a Reply