-HOW POLITICIANS CHASE $$$ AND POWER AS WE BECOME THEIR “SUBJECTS!” — By: M. Clayton Baber
Established U.S. #politics suggests the current, and next, elected President of the United States is either a Republican or Democrat; and that he (or she) must work in “bipartisan” cooperation with the other “party” in order to optimize results of their combined governmental responsibilities. Therefrom, questions are being asked by U.S. citizens who do not agree voters get a “fair voice” in U.S. political contests; so much so, many citizens of voting age now abstain from voting at all. A mere fifty-percent-plus of registered voters arriving in 2012 to pull, push or punch voting levers (source: bipartisanpolicy.org) when voting for the office of the President of the United States that year. And that does not account for millions of eligible-to-vote citizens who prefer not to even register; many of those feeling it a waste of time, as the best choice of candidate is neither Republican nor Democrat. Such serious issues create the questions below.
HOW TWO POLITICAL PARTIES WORK AS ONE
Why only two sides, two political teams, two major political ‘parties’ to vote for? Why only two major political parties guaranteed to appear at authorized national debates where serious issues facing U.S. citizens are discussed? And why do electoral candidates, regardless of which, of only two, major political parties they may promote, repeat, campaign-after-campaign, the same stale dance of campaign slogans: “time for a change,” “more jobs = higher income,’ “increase police spending,” “reduce government spending,” “four more years,” “cut taxes,” “the other party’s failed policies,” “together we make a difference,” “working for you,” “time for new leadership,” ad nauseam? Romanesque political theater from ‘both sides of the aisle,’ transmitted by local and national ‘campaign trail’ news-anchors, newspapers, AM/FM radio stations, and social media, reporting the slogans as hard held, uncompromising political beliefs – even as the ‘stale dance’ of slogans, used interchangeably by both parties, invokes the question: “Who is that third party with us in the voting booth, and seen with electorates when you debate important laws on the Senate and Congressional floors?” I speak of a powerful 3rd-party – the almighty dollar.
Clear answers to the questions above may lie within the money-bloated system where politicians function. Where two parties morph into a single party system; both parties continuing to deliver the same platitudes, as they together erect hurdles-after-hurdles to keep-out and distracted any ‘contender’ third-party candidates – while never breaking character as a ‘bipartisan’ single-party, nor their public illusion of a true ‘two party system.’ Is it the “cash cow in the room” that influences such behaviors of Senate and Congressional and State and local representatives, and even the Oval Office? Explaining why both parties argue at each other publically, while privately agreeing when ensconced within backroom quiet, so “king cash” can be the voter-booth-buddy of all U.S. voters everywhere. You can watch it happen for yourself. Professional politicians will stand before tele-prompters and microphones, first to publically denounce the other major party, as they discuss big issues; and then afterwards to privately decree laws in cooperation with that other party. Laws supposedly meant to resolve big issues, when most new laws now only seem to further subjugate citizens while enhancing a growing political power over U.S. voters and legislative processes. Seriously … who is going to give up such power? And if such politicians happen to have been steeped and brewed over years within overt capitalistic influence (Trump and many, many others), one has to wonder about the secret machinations behind their pursuit of political office and the power it wields and the resources that shower those elite professional politicians; which makes for a lot of ‘little hitlers’ in contention for power and money – oops, I mean for the “greater good” of America.
In this way, Republican and Democratic parties became identical, steadfast and each reliant one upon the other. Evidenced first by bipartisanpolicy.org, where their combined power over U.S. politics is clearly exhibited to a hypnotized public as a singular political organization; and next evidenced by their singular ‘bipartisanship’ support for the U.S. citizen’s rights-demeaning Patriot Act; and the ongoing – and failed, but very profitable – ‘War on drugs;’ so local police can connive with Federal, State and local law enforcement to monitor citizens and enact upon those folks, who are typically innocent constituents not charged with, nor convicted of any crime, including drug related offences under the cash-aggressive “civil asset forfeiture” laws, designed to seize – or some say “steal” – U.S. citizen’s civil-rights, legal tender and property. Enough goods and cash confiscated in one State region alone, to greatly enrich (now as a budgetary line-item) the large city-region of Baltimore, MD and the entire rest of the State. As reported by Baltimore Sun journalist Jason Snead in June of 2015, read how senior Maryland State government goons (the State Governor and his State attorneys) re-affirm their private control over State citizen’s $$$, as they obliterate laws passed by duly elected Maryland State representatives (following the specific interests of Maryland citizens), and U.S. Constitutional laws in-line with the obvious American citizen’s right of being “innocent until proven guilty:”
“Last month, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed a civil asset forfeiture reform bill that had been passed nearly unanimously by the State Senate. Senate Bill 528 would have closed the “equitable sharing” loophole that perversely incentivizes Maryland’s law enforcement agencies to circumvent state forfeiture laws for financial gain.
Property owners caught up in the forfeiture system would have had greater due process protections, including the basic presumption of innocence. But citing the objections of the law enforcement establishment, Mr. Hogan insisted that S.B. 528 would jeopardize the state’s ongoing fight against drug crime and human trafficking.
There’s just one problem with that analysis: The Senate bill would do nothing of the sort.”
Usually a ‘kick-back’ share of any booty surrendered from innocent citizens goes to Federal or State offices … to mention only a couple of the many two-party-merged-to-one legislative ventures designed to reaffirm control over U.S. citizens. Do not believe me yet? Read the well documented report the Washington D.C.-based Institute for Justice offers about this matter, (see ij.org for full article “Policing For Profit”) about civil asset forfeiture laws played out by real “I am just following orders” police-troops in real-time against real citizens who were not convicted of any crime whatsoever:
“Given the considerable sums of money that some departments receive and the limited expenditure oversight in many jurisdictions, it is not surprising that investigations have revealed some highly questionable expenditures of forfeiture proceeds:
- in Austin, Texas, running gear for the police department;
- in Fulton County, Ga., football tickets for the district attorney’s office,
- in Webb County, Texas, $20,000 for TV commercials for the district attorney’s re-election campaign;
- in Kimble County, Texas, $14,000 for a “training seminar” in Hawaii for the staff of the district attorney’s office;”
Someone must pay for fast growing Federal, State and local police troop and prison officer payrolls and ‘perks;’ may as well create quasi-laws to “Render onto Caesar(s) that which…” you probably know the rest of that quote. Another explicit example is the Executive Office-tenant who, at the start of his presidential campaign, rails against unwise Republican policies that fund and operate “Gitmo,” and same for the debatably legal killer drone project. Tick-tock-tick-tock, even up to the timestamp of this article both projects operate unendingly, with excuse-littered (“protect my behind”) approval by the current administration.
In 2006 Democrats took the House of Representatives. By time Obama takes office, Democrats control both House and Senate. In the first term, what gets done? Failing banks received from congress an award (of sorts) in bipartisan support for $700 billion-dollars of bailout, funded by U.S. taxpayer money, of course, and as reported by rollingstone.com exposé article Secrets and Lies of the Bailout, by Matt Taibbi:
“ …Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you’d think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we’ve been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right?
It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, un-regulatable, hyper-concentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it.”
Literally millions of U.S. citizens troubled financially by unscrupulous banking policies – policies deliberately ignored by legislatures – pay up taxes due by laws that the self-same legislature (Caesars) enacted; both major political parties and financiers’ citing “greater good” as a collective political mantra, so Republicans and Democrats can keep tax-payer minds and money under control. Delivering soothing postures and phrases unto the eyes and ears of constituents, with help from national media networks – including well known public broadcast organizations like NPR and PBS – and other cash-motivated media conglomerates whose lead reporters focus on reaffirming a popular political agenda, while collecting ‘voter buddy’ resources from readership, listenership or viewer generated advertising profits or, euphemistically described, underwriting revenues; offering in return gossipy political reporting and pop political journalism at its most average. And are examples really necessary? If so, watch or listen to press coverage of any political convention, recent or from archive, for either major political party.
And if you do so, remember this … whenever elections seem to be about “change,” reality is politicians, media, and corporations are about sustaining status quo, or better – though they deny and argue otherwise; which becomes their proof of conviction. We have a faux two-party system unified into a single political voice that quietly commands then sells policy outcomes via influence. Tremendous amounts of money change hands at local to top levels of U.S. government, when contributions and ‘civil asset forfeiture’ funds speak more loudly than voters can, and when re-elections weigh more heavily on the minds of elected officials than scrupulous electoral processes and representational government. Is it true, politicians are in business-collusion to grab the money? Or is it a simple ‘Pavlov’s Dog” response by professional politicians when they cater to special interest groups (PAC) who can wallpaper the honored House and Senate walls with legal U.S. tender, or non-U.S. tender, as may be the case nowadays. In Washington D.C., the individual persons and/or corporate persons with big money to spend in Washington are our ‘voter-buddy,’ when sizable cash donations buy political influence – if not outright policy decisions. Suggesting strongly to dissatisfied citizens, both conservative and liberal alike, today’s politicians are not responsive to regular voters, but are very available to major private donors and lobby-oriented sources of cash; and since the time the Citizens United v. FEC lawsuit outcome emerged, lawmakers are also available to big corporate donors – as if a corporation is an actual U.S. human citizen with a fuller roster of voting rights than true U.S. constituents. Wikipedia.org describes that debacle of voter’s-rights thus:
Voter Booth Buddy Makes Certain You Vote Their Way
“The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) that Freedom of Speech prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.”
The minds of many millions of voters believe our two-party political conglomerate betrays the principles of our democratic republic – suggesting an unrealized, but well deserved, embarrassment for both DEMOCRAT and REPUBLIC-an labeled party members, when so many citizens believe only remnants of democracy or a republic exist in America today; remembering the actual definition of those two concept (by google.com) are: ‘republic’= “a state in which supreme power is held by the people… ;” and ‘democracy’ = “a system of government by the whole population.” Both re-defined today as either: it is the “Golden Rule” that guides U.S. professional politicians, or the “guy with the gold” that rules … which is it really, the first or the latter?
How could we know the true minds of politicians other than by politicians’ actions, and not their words? So let’s peek at those ‘actions,’ then decide.
Evidence shows new members of Congress, when they first arrive, are asked (meaning instructed) to attend ‘briefings’ or “caucuses,” where they help pick committee chairpersons and other senior-level guides who walk representatives through the practicalities of legislative processes. During those meetings new members have other ‘special briefings’ that cover party-line issues to be argued, logistics of doing so, and other party interests. Freshmen Congress members also attend long briefings on fund raising — a primary task assigned to nearly all Congress-persons, especially freshmen members. Why fundraising when they have already been elected? Because members of both political parties are told up-front that their “main job” is to get re-elected, and that lobbyists are a primary source of re-election funding. Further, newbie Congress members are told it is “… more expensive to initially win a seat-in-Congress than to get re-elected.”
As reported by the Huffington Post
“Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) has largely managed to buck his fundraising obligations, he said, thanks to a safe district and, ironically, to the high name recognition he garnered from his judicial career and subsequent impeachment. But the congressman said the emphasis on fundraising makes more sense for freshmen members of Congress, who are contending with the era of ‘Citizens United’ and unlimited independent political expenditures.”
It seems the main job of politicians is to generate money and to start on that immediately. Presumably never to get bogged down in a ‘greater good’ oriented representational government seat. While most new Congressional seat-holders arrive to Washington D.C. expecting to change things for the ‘greater good,’ they are quickly trained by respected senior party members how not to be distracted enough by other Congressional duties to forget to collect the U.S. citizenry’s ‘voter- buddy’ – king cash. So much royalty is rendered ‘unto Caesar(s),’ the cost of funding a Congressional or Senate seat has artificially increased exponentially above the general cost-of-living, raising “seventy-percent” in the last ten years, as the average cost-of-living in the last ten years (as compared) has risen a mere “eighteen-percent,” as reported by CNN. Leaving a strong impression that U.S. individuals seeking the ear of their local, State or Congressional or Senate representative – U.S. individuals usually with little to no in-hand cash donation – is trumped (so to speak) by eager lobbyists whose clients can deliver literal truckloads of cash to politicians at all levels, via a cemented, unchanging political-influence process of funding both major political parties at the same time, so it does not really matter which party is elected. Apparently, with manipulations of a multi-trillion dollar annual U.S. government budget at stake, the funding “goodies” on the table from first-amendment rights protected corporate non-human entities, are indeed mountainous, as compared to typical resources available to share by a real-human U.S. registered voter.
Would, as many past politicians and ‘watch dog” journalists have suggested, a reasonable ten-percent “flat-tax” paid by all U.S. citizens and all legal entities established in or operating within U.S. borders, help reduce some of the unbridled lobbyist funding of political parties? In that scenario the annual flat-tax income – with no deductions, tax-breaks or loop holes allowed – would be the total amount of money the government could use to operate our nation; whereby no fiscal Federal or State or local deficit is allowed by law, nor can lawmakers borrow money, nor create other revenue sources, nor involve themselves with ‘off-book’ financing, and thus fund from taxation alone all areas of Federal or State or County or City or Town or Village oversight, including Defense, Police, Health, Education, the CIA, the FBI and other departments of government. Thereby eliminating, to a great degree, the willingness of big political donors to spend-down their trucks full of money uselessly; as the largest segment of lobbying involves money related to tax lobbying, representing a super-majority portion of lobbyist-client interests in creating legal tax breaks and tax loop-holes which greatly benefit donor entities (corporations). Do not believe it? Here’s what the “CPA Practice Advisor,” a respected CPA-industry awards organization, has to say about ties between lobbyists and politicians and flat-tax economics (source: cpapracticeadvisor.com/blog/10455524/why-the-flat-tax-wont-happen):
“In order to have a flat tax, Congress would have to vote to eliminate most or all of the deductions currently available. They would also have to vote to render themselves powerless. You see, what fills campaign coffers year after year are the promises made to campaign contributors to tweak the tax code in one way or another to benefit one constituent’s need or another. Take that power away, and you take away their value to lobbyists. Not going to happen. “
Would such flat-tax legislation stall the ‘voter-buddy’ partner from pulling voter’s voting-booth levers for them? Or would big donors fight hard, using hordes of tons of hundred-dollar-bills to remove (buy) such flat-tax related laws from the minds of lawmakers, as they have successfully done in the past? Ask ex-politician and corporate titan Steve Forbes his opinion on that topic. He publically cites a “police state” attitude regarding tax legislation that permeates both parties, because of a need to create party funding from lobbyist clients who require political party access, in order to engender manipulations of tax law that benefits corporations. Even our Supreme Court gets on that gravy-train, and as discussed above (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, 558 U.S. 310 (2010)), has handed-down tax-law and lobbyist support related decisions, bringing first-amendment rights-of-speech to non-human multi-national corporate entities with huge bank accounts and thoughts of tax havens. And also consider further evidence of fiscal manipulations originating from the “Oval Office. Obama’s own reversal of policy – to offer his full support, after once “demonizing,” super-PAC organizations like Priorities USA; an organization which financially underpins select areas of Obama’s wider political agenda. He at one time – when convenient – complained that such groups are a “threat to our democracy” – with their ability to spend without limit, even as they keep their goals, payments and donors secret.
Unless such lobbyist over-funding issues and manipulations and reversals of government policy, by both major political parties, ends soon, real voters and non-voters, seen as mere “subjects” to the will of governmental interests, will take drastic actions rather than continue to have to grapple with ‘voter- buddies’ whose well-financed desires trump the voter’s own ideas of democracy and the “greater good.” At that point democracy fails, or has already failed, to truly represent U.S. voter’s wishes for influence-free elections; and fails the interests of our Founding Fathers, too, whom established this republic for “We the people …” not for ‘we the funding corporate sources.’ Who will be the first to buck our failing two-party, single voice system? Where we now see a Presidential election presented by a cashflow-obsessed conglomerate media treating elections exactly as they do a professional sporting event, and not as the respected, honored legal process it should be. Will it be our lawmakers themselves who institute a much needed change regarding the elephant-sized pile of cash in the voting booth? Not likely, but hopefully. Or will it be a disgruntled and armed group of true Patriots, like the patriots of old, perhaps organized and privately funded ex-military specialists ready to organize to defend the U.S. Constitution against unrestricted ‘bipartisanship’ – from Romanesque Senators, Congressmen, and State and local governors who use established media conglomerates and combined political might and power (and corporate $$$) against such servicemen, to deprived them again of their full rights to replace a failed government on American soil? Even as our two-parties-combined-as-one national and State-wide political party representatives call those patriots insurrectionists and illegal militia bent towards destroying America. When in reality, is it money soured, out-of-control politicians that speak, trying to preserve the ‘status quo,’ while their assisting attorneys blindly follow their respective courses of power and action.
Does it now play out again, only bigger and better? Is it true Federal and State politicians with a glut of legislative voting members (and with hidden corporate funding), and a crowd of Federal and State and local attorneys, and legions of policing troops – now estimated past 2-million sworn policing persons – (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_enforcement_in_the_United_States) whom have already perpetrated a clever and quiet attack upon U.S. citizens, deliberately meant to reduce voter’s rights, possess voter’s property, and negatively influence the democratic process? The answer to these questions, as usual, will likely arrive much too late to stall preventable damage, as politicians from both parties often first express self-gratifying and faux ‘greater good’ decisions and actions prior to public disclosure of those behaviors, and then only later eventually give-in to sensible capitulation.
LOCAL POLICE-TROOPS –OR– FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD COPS?
Meantime, is that the sound of approved federal and/or local police deadly-force actions I hear in the distance? Or politically disgruntled ex-U.S. military veterans without a viable political voice? Or possibly even armed groups of U.S. voters weary of a lost democracy and loss of their legally-acquired incomes and property, issuing forth the gunfire I believe I may hear soon there on the Boston commons, and in Washington D.C., and Dallas, and St. Louis, and Miami, and New York City, and Baton Rouge … and so on? There was a time when British governmental overseers received plenty of public warnings from their “subjects” to repair a growing rip in local relations. A plea, many said at the time, for the current government to be respectful to a tax-enriching, over-burdened, over-managed citizenry, or the government to expect a forced change to arrive with or without request or permission. All these 200-plus years hence, has that same message arrived again to a new group of modern governmental overseers, but been squelched by pop-news and social-media memes? Time will tell the outcome of these uncertainties of constitutional rights once declared common and undeniable to citizens of the United States of America.
Till then, regardless of party – test your local and national politicians – those with power over YOU – against the simple and long held adage: “Actions speak louder than words.” Do they do what they say or offer excuses? Do they blame the other party (partner) for their failures? Make promises they do not keep? If so … then analyze what actions they perform, if any. Make public their failures or excessive ‘voter-buddy’ encounters. Find new candidates to support. Someone local whose actions you trust, because they prove their trustworthiness through actions, not words. They do not have to be Republican or Democrat, just honest. But assume that honest attitude will change soon after taking office; influenced by the ‘voter-buddy.’ Watch them, if that happens … replace them. Remove them. The more Congressional and Senate seats re-captured and managed in such a manner may loosen the hold of an unbridled power legislatures hold over U.S. citizenry.
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