Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wall Street Bailout

Editor's note, October 16, 2008: This is our most up-to-date alert, reflecting the passage of the bailout bill. But market turmoil continues, and the face of an even more serious recession, we are asking everyone to demand a real reconstruction plan. You can also read our original post, from September 23, below the box.

TELL CONGRESS:

STOP THE CASINO ECONOMY

INVEST IN THE REAL ECONOMY

Members of Congress have left Washington for the campaign trail.

Now is the time to tell them you want strict regulation of Wall Street. No More Casino Economy! Like the $60 TRILLION in "credit default swaps" that are totally unregulated.

Congress must convene for a Lame Duck session in order to:

Create a Public Reconstruction and Development Bank to create jobs at home for the victims of the speculators by investing in

  • energy efficiency, public transportation and decentralized solar/wind to stop the climate melt down
  • our municipal water/sewer infrastructure to ensure safe, affordable drinking water for everyone
  • high quality public education for all

Finance the bank by

  • instituting a tax on all investment transactions including on “new financial products” such as the credit-default swaps
  • heavily taxing speculator profits
  • establishing progressive income and inheritance taxes
  • eliminating the tax preference for capital gains

And tell all candidates you want their pledge to:

  • Establish single payer health care to stop the hemorrhaging from unaffordable health care while private health insurers pocket the profits. Support HR 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act
  • Fully fund public radio and TV to eliminate all corporate sponsorship and ensure unbiased reporting
  • Stop the Casino Economy. There must be strict regulation for all of Wall Street, not just the banks. Congress must not allow risky transactions like the approximately $60 TRILLION in "credit default swaps" to remain unregulated.
“Historic swindle of the American Public...The people should make themselves heard.”--William Greider

URGENT Action Needed Now before Congress Adjourns
Call or Email Congress today.
Click here to send an email to your senators and your representative.

Naomi Klein in “Now’s Is the Time to Resist Wall Street’s Shock Doctrine,”

“...the dumping of private debt into the public coffers is only stage one of the current shock. The second comes when the debt crisis...created by this bailout becomes the excuse to privatize social security, lower corporate taxes and cut spending on the poor....The only hope of preventing another dose of shock politics is loud, organized grassroots pressure on all political parties: they have to know right now that after seven years of Bush, Americans are becoming shock resistant.”

Alliance Action Alert to Wall Street Bailout (Originally posted on September 23, 2008)

CONGRESS MUST STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN BEFORE DECIDING HOW TO SPEND $700 BILLION TO GET THE ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK

STOP: No legislation should be passed during the fog of panic. This may be the biggest scam in US history. Think about how 9/11 panic opened the way to the USA Patriot Act.

LOOK: At What’s Wrong with the Administration Proposal
  1. No one person should be given sole authority to pass out $700 billion in taxpayer dollars—EVER!!! Paulson even wants immunity from review “by any court of law or any administrative agency”
  2. Secretary of Treasury Paulson is hardly a disinterested party, having been head of Goldman Sachs, one of the corporations which would be in line for a bailout.
  3. Those who got us into this mess by speculating on the housing market and destabilizing the global economy should not be given golden parachutes from hard working American taxpayers.
  4. Nothing is being done to help people in danger of losing their homes, their pensions, their savings because of wild speculation.
LISTEN: To What Wiser Voices are Suggesting
Senator Bernie Sanders recommends:
  • “a five-year, 10% surtax on the income of individuals above $500,000 a year, and $1 million a year for couples”;
  • “a requirement that the price the government pays for any mortgage assets are discounted appropriately so that government can recover the amount it paid for them;”
  • “the government should receive equity in the companies it bails out so that when the stock of these companies rises after the bailout, taxpayers also have the opportunity to share in the resulting windfall.”
  • reinstate regulations to prevent banks and others from engaging in new types of risky transactions that are at the heart of this crisis
  • to protect ourselves from being at the mercy of giant companies that are "too big to fail," by breaking them up
William Greider recommends:
  • Create “a new central authority to supervise the financial institutions and compel them to support the government’s actions to stabilize the system” or lose access to government lending or direct assistance
  • For any “financial firms that get to hand off their spoiled assets” require a contract that repays the government from any future profits
  • Order banks and brokers to “keep lending to the real economy of producers and consumers, banks and brokers” if they want to avoid being allowed to go belly up
  • Create an emergency agency, something like the New Deal, that lends directly to the real economy—businesses, solvent banks, buyers and sellers in consumer markets
  • Stop all campaign contributions from financial institutions to members of Congress
  • Suspend home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies for debt-soaked families during the duration of the crisis
Paul Krugman says
  • “the financial system needs more capital. And if the government is going to provide capital to financial firms, it should get what people who provide capital are entitled to — a share in ownership, so that all the gains if the rescue plan works don’t go to the people who made the mess in the first place.”
Chuck Collins says
  • Institute a financial transactions tax
  • Impose an income tax surcharge rate on incomes over $5 million
  • Eliminate the Tax Preference for Capital Gains.
  • Progressive Inheritance Taxes
  • Eliminate Taxpayer Subsidies for Excessive CEO Pay
  • Close Offshore Corporate Tax Havens


Ruth Caplan & Dave Lewit, Co-chairs of Corporate Globalization/Positive Alternatives Campaign (after digesting the above), suggest the following:

1. Use the $700 billion to set up a public reconstruction and development bank to
  • Make whole the victims of the speculators who have lost homes, pensions, and other assets
  • Create jobs at home for the innocent victims of the financial meltdown, not the speculators
  • Ensure high quality public education for all
  • Establish single payer health care
  • Fully fund public radio and TV to eliminate all corporate sponsorship
  • Tackle climate change by investing in energy efficiency, public transportation and decentralized solar/wind
2. Finance the bank by
  • Instituting a tax on all investment transactions including on “new financial products”
  • Heavily taxing speculator profits
  • Establishing progressive income and inheritance taxes
  • Eliminating the tax preference for capital gains.
3. Forbidding banks from engaging in the types of risky transactions that are at the heart of this crisis in order for them to retain their federal FDIC insurance

4. Prohibit corporations and their principals involved in the bailout from lobbying or from making campaign donations.

5. Show defiance of corporatist Washington bailout legislation

  • Engage in tax refusal
  • Form local coalition to feed and house resistors
  • Insist that local print and TV media feature our stories of resistance and creative solutions

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you propose that I not pay taxes? My taxes are collected by with holding from my paycheck. I am not given the option not to pay. I file a return to get money back from the government.

When I go to the store I pay a sales tax.

When I pay my phone bill or electricity bill, I'm paying taxes.

The one person I know who refused to pay income tax on constitutional grounds went to jail for seven years.

Our government is perfectly capable of getting taxes from people through fear and intimidation including the threat of incarceration.

Perhaps I could go off the "grid" somehow. But I have not figured out how.

Anonymous said...

Check the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (www.nwtrcc.org). Also here's a link to something on Ron Paul forums:

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=157055

William Stewart said...

McCain was on his campaign plane preparing to leave Ohio when the House vote became final. McCain's chief economic adviser, however, issued a statement that blamed Obama.


"This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country," McCain senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin said.


When he reached Iowa, McCain told reporters: "Now is not the time to fix
the blame, it's time to fix the problem."
This is a Bush-Texas size whopper lie. Let
me explain.When Senator McCain flew to Washington,
D.C. last week when he said he was suspending his
campaign,he arrived at the hearings,said very
little and then sided with his very conservative
Republican colleagues and demanded LESS
REGULATION OF BUSINESS and TAX BREAKS-EXEMPTION
FOR THOSE COMPANIES WHO BOUGHT FAILED or FAILING
BANKS with SUB-PRIME LOANS. He did not object to
the REpublican style COMMUNIST take over of private
enterprise nor did he worry or care about
rewarding unscrupulous or stupid behavior by Wall
Street executives at CITIZEN'S EXPENSE.He sought
to RELIEVE BIG BUSINESS of IT'S FINANCIAL
OBLIGATIONS and REGULATIONS and NEVER ONCE
OBJECTED TO THIS BILL BECAUSE IT IN NO WAY PROTECTED
the INDIVIDUAL TAX-PAYING CITIZEN. This is NOT
PATRIOTISM -this BEING A LAP-DOG SOLDIER FOR RICH
BANKERS,JUST LIKE THE ONES HE ACCEPTED MONEY FROM
in the SAVINGS and LOAN SCANDAL;ie.Charles Keating.
McCain has MORE EXPERIENCE and HAS NOT LEARNED
from any of it. Dogs would remember better
than he because when they are punished they
remember not to make the same mistake. At least,
my dog did. Secondly,the Democrats were not the
ones to blame for this bill not passing;i.e. the
vote was 133 Republicans OPPOSED,65 in FAVOR and
140 Democrats in FAVOR,95 OPPOSED. So how
can McCain blame the Democrats? ONLY BY LYING.
But the Congressmen/women who opposed got it right.
Government should not rescue,coddle and reward BIG,
UNSCRUPULOUS BUSINESS while MAKING CITIZENS PAY for
IDIOCY. The Republicans should look to the Chinese
Communist government as an example: all those people
involved,who made decisions to put melamine in milk
in CHINA WILL BE SEVERELY PUNISHED,NOT RESCUED AND
EXCUSED like this Administration wants us to do.

I want to congratulate Congressmen Tierney,Lynch
and Delahunt in Massachusetts,Congressmen Courtney
in Conecticut,Congressmen Michaud in Maine,Congressmen
Shea-Porter and Hodes in New Hampshire and Congressmen
Welch in Vermont for opposing the bailout as of yesterday.
They had the same courage and foresight as did Senator
Barack Obama when he opposed the War in Iraq.This
administration has cried wolf every time it has either
gotten into trouble or decided it wants to lie to the
American people. When are our Representatives going to
learn this? All their experience,degrees and money
aren't any good if they DO NOT PROTECT and DEFEND the
CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the
people who elected them.Obviously,the above named
Congressmen have UPHELD THEIR OATH.
Now let me make some
constructive suggestions:

1. REINSTATE the GLASS-STEAGALL ACT in its entirety:
"The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States and included banking reforms, some of which were designed to control speculation.[citation needed] Some provisions such as Regulation Q, which allowed the Federal Reserve to regulate interest rates in savings accounts, were repealed by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980. Provisions that prohibit a bank holding company from owning other financial companies were repealed on November 12, 1999, by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which passed in Congress with 55 Republicans voting for and 44 Democrats voting against the bill in the Senate and by a 343-86 vote in the House of Representatives, before being sent to conference committee; the final bipartisan bill (Senate: 90-8-1, House: 362-57-15) was signed by President Bill Clinton."

2. CREATE a RESOLUTION CREDIT CORP. that is FUNDED
and OWNED by AT LEAST 50% FINANCIAL COMPANIES and 50% U.S.
Government with hundreds of SEC Auditors auditing
continuously with no possibility of leaving government
and working for financial companies until 4 years has
elapsed.

3. AUCTIONING OFF of BANKS with SUB-PRIME MORTGAGE
PROBLEMS to the PRIVATE SECTOR,such as Venture
Capitalist,Private Equity firms,foreign banks in NATO
countries.

4.CREATION of CORPORATE BAILOUT FUND by all
CORPORATIONS with SALES over $100 Million per year
through a 1% of GROSS PROFITS BAILOUT TAX that all
could utilize if a case was made for Uncontrollable
External factors.

5.IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION of NAFTA and WTO RULES
that OVERRIDE the U.S. CONSTITUTION.

6.CREATION of SENATE-CONGRESS OVERSIGHT
COMMITTEE of FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM publicly
recognizing it as a private corporation and
publicly disclosing ownership thereof as well
as Annual PUBLIC AUDITS.
In closing let me remind the reader of the Declaration of Independence
and I quote:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. — The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world."