61 House Democrats Are Taking A Stand Against Corporate America

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There is a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life.” Now, if Roosevelt were alive today he would certainly not envy corporations that have had an incredibly easy life since Republicans allowed them to control of America and take inordinately huge profits and benefits without exerting any effort, or bearing any costs. Oh it is true there are costs involved in guaranteeing that already highly-profitable corporations continue making obscene profits without putting forth much effort, but with pro-corporate Republicans running the government for the past 14 years the costs have been borne by the poor, the vanishing middle class, and the elderly; it is just the way things are in corporate-controlled America.

Unfortunately, if President Obama, some Senate Democrats, and all Republicans have their way, the American people will continue paying to ensure that corporations have easy lives and continue getting a free ride as a result of the corporate-written Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). It is the corporate trade agreement the cabal running America lusts to see President Obama fast-track to fruition and it is a lust he appears incredibly eager to satisfy. It is likely that after nearly six years of being hated by Republicans and corporate America, he does long to please more than just his liberal base and cement his legacy as a friend to all; including corporate America.

It is bad enough that the TTP will certainly undermine Americans’ jobs, environmental and financial regulations, and give corporations an easier means of hiding their obscene profits offshore to avoid paying taxes, but it is worse that Republicans and some Democrats in the Senate want the elderly to pay for the consequences of the bad trade deal. To soften the damage to workers who will lose their jobs to the trade deal, a couple of Senate Democrats fought tooth-and-nail to include  an incredibly petty provision, the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, to garner enough votes to give the President authority to fast-track the TTP and cement his legacy as a pro-trade, or is it pro-corporate, Democratic President.

The TAA is the program that provides retraining services to the workers who will lose their jobs after the TTP is finalized, and assist them to buy health insurance with tax credits out of their pathetic unemployment benefits when they are poverty-stricken. Since corporations cannot be bothered, or expected, to pay for retraining American workers who lost their jobs to the trade deal, Senate Republicans and some Democrats decided that the least the elderly can do is pay for the TAA program out of cuts to their Medicare insurance benefits. For dog’s sake this is America and no red-blooded corporate puppet would think to ask, or expect, the corporations that wrote and will profit from the trade deal to pay for the TAA program; it would be an abomination and so unfair. It just is not the way America under corporate ownership operates and nearly every politician in Washington knows it and votes accordingly.

However, although the Senate believes the elderly should relieve corporations of any burden for funding TAA training and tax credits for American workers displaced by the corporate trade deal, 61 House Democrats sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stating that although the TAA is an essential part of even a devastatingly bad corporate trade agreement, it is patently unfair to pay for it with “cuts to critical social programs like Medicare.” The 61 House Democrats led by Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva are demanding a new funding mechanism for the cost of TAA for displaced workers; but they did not call for a corporate tax hike to cover the cost. Why? Because this is America and corporations get a free ride which is precisely why Washington politicians let corporations write the trade agreement in secret.

There is some opinion that House Democrats may use the TAA funding issue to thwart the TPP altogether, either by watching House Republicans refuse to fund anything to help American workers and effectively kill a vote on TPP. It is possible that House Democrats will not vote for TPP unless 90 House Republicans first vote to fund TAA and Nancy Pelosi is concerned enough that she is negotiating with GOP leaders to find a new way to pay for TAA and replace the Medicare cuts since keeping them in place could end up killing it, and TPP altogether.

The only given in this whole sordid TPP and TAA affair is that no-one in Washington will demand that the only beneficiaries of the trade agreement, the corporations that wrote it in secret, at least absorb the cost of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program; and why should they? There are millions of elderly Americans who paid into Medicare throughout their entire working lives who can suck it up and do right by corporate America and pay for retraining Americans who will lose their jobs to international trade. Plus, what red-blooded retired American dare refuse to forfeit their health insurance to pay for tax credits to help out-of-work Americans buy health insurance? Republicans have been demanding for years that the elderly give up their Medicare and Social Security to fund tax cuts for the poor beleaguered corporations, so it is not out of line that they, and some Democrats, believe the elderly should pay to relieve corporate responsibility for training out-of-work Americans after killing more of their jobs.

The elderly, soon-to-be displaced workers, and all Americans for that matter, should be livid that the people who wrote the trade deal in secret, big pharma and other corporations, will make even greater profits at the expense of American jobs, environmental and financial regulations, and the elderly’s Medicare. Apparently, it has become so normal to make other Americans pay to increase corporate profits, that only 61 House Democrats see what President Obama and the Senate refuse to even acknowledge; at least out loud. America is under complete control and run by corporations to such an extent that big business can rape and pillage the population with impunity simply because the rich are well aware that only a handful of Democrats are unafraid of standing up to their thievery.

It is worth noting here, right now, that since the provisions of the TTP were written in abject secrecy by corporations over the past three years, it is highly unlikely that, like the entire Congress, President Obama has read much more than a very brief summary of the TTP’s provisions. As more than one pundit has acknowledged, the President and Democrats understand that, with only about a year-and-a-half left of his presidency, Republicans are not going to pass anything that might be attributed positively to President Obama’s legacy. A significant benefit to corporate America like the Trans-Pacific Partnership will add to the President’s legacy, and because this is corporate America, it is left to the people, whether it is the elderly forfeiting their Medicare insurance benefits, or the poor forfeiting Medicaid and food stamps, to ensure that a positive corporate profit legacy will be at the expense of anyone but the people that wrote and will benefit from TPP; corporate America.

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13 Replies to “61 House Democrats Are Taking A Stand Against Corporate America”

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- TPP is just another way of saying: Grab Yer Ankles!

    61 True Patriots vs 47 Traitors.

    No difference between the parties huh?

  2. If this is such a good deal, why is there a provision for retraining workers that will lose their jobs? Wasn’t this deal suppose to protect American workers? What happened to that?

    Boehner, McConnell and all the Republicans are for this, which means it is good for the 1-2% and bad for the other 98%.

    NAFTA pretty much screwed the American worker, Looks like TPP is going to finish them off and get the elderly all in one fell swoop.

  3. Five times above the author uses the letters “TTP” and there is no such thing. I believe he means “TPP” or he means “TPA” but it is confusing nevertheless as to what the author is talking about.

    TPA is what they are now addressing in the house and it isn’t mentioned at all above.

  4. As to the actual letter signed by the 61 members of the House, that is very reasonable and brief. It rightly says the money would be from the “trust fund savings” not directly out of the elderly monthly check as the above author makes it out to be.

    The TAA is for displaced workers. With trade deals of this magnitude, there are jobs opened on the west coast and perhaps moved from the east coast to be closer to the transaction hub. Or to industrial cities in the mid-west having a boon and maybe SC closing a shipping facility.

    That is what it is about and why they are providing for training. No hysteria necessary – just the way the world functions.

  5. Now the part about it being an evil corporate written 3 year long secret deal to take over the world and screw the little man to the wall and undermine jobs, environment and financial regulations.

    Well, most of the rhetoric is absurd. Some of it is just wrong. Some of it is unknown for good reasons.

    Those unions were in on it too – they were allowed to read it – they are going to overthrow the world… no.

    Our legislators have read it. Our finanical wizards have too. Business is what trade deals are about! They surely need to discuss business deals with the other 11 nations.

    One candidate for President had the ability to read it and refused to even go read the thing and stated he opposes all trade deals but will put an end to this one – even though it isn’t what he claimed it is – and then when he becomes President he will make a new trade deal!

    Seriously?!

    TPA – needed to be secret to the world (not the principals) till done. POKER hand you must keep secret…

  6. To use your own words, the money would come out of the “trust fund savings”. If the money comes out of the “trust fund savings”, that means there will be less money in Medicare to pay out for the elderly’s medical needs. So in fact the money taken would affect the elderly’s health care.

    The Republicans and corporate America have lusted after SS and Medicare since Reagan was in office. You can attempt to honey coat this all you want, it isn’t going to work.

    What comes next, Social Security?

  7. It has always been utilized for temporary loans as other programs have too. SS for example, has been used for decades till budgets pass and money is appropriated and then returned to those funds. Grown up way the world works. Check it out, decades of doing that…

    As I said it was reasonable to not do so and to find another source.

    It is a moot point anyway. TPA is bound to pass this week or on the 15th or so if pushed ahead a bit.

    They are only one or two votes short and those people are holding out for deals they want to secure.

    They are around 215 now and need 217 to pass it.

  8. Do you know any politician who went home poor after he/she left office?

    How did Hastert has millions to pay hush $$? Was it the greasing of the hand during the pork barrel explosion of his tenure?

    How are those poor representatives going to live after they are no longer getting free lunches at the congressional cafeteria?

    They are not there to watch for the nation’s welfare, they are there to watch after themselves first.

  9. Rmuse – what do you pin your flat statement upon that TPP is ‘corporate written” since it is an international treaty that bars precisely that? This country has consulted with every conceivable group including environmentalists and labor in 1700 meetings. Yes corporation – exporters – have been heard but so has organized labor. The frenzy is based on rumor not fact. If this president hears corporations, he is automatically assume to be capitulating to them. NOTHING could be further from the truth. Until we read it there is no statement that can be made about what’s involved other than what can be extracted from the earlier framework of 2013-14 in S.1900 that you can read at Thomas.loc.gov That shows that ILO labor standards are required – these are anathema to corporations. The Koch brothers HATE TPP for precisely that reason. Stop with the assumptions. Until we can read the current version, this is just hype.

  10. Clady4044, my thoughts exactly. Prez Obama has not only shown his dedication to the American people, until I read it: Answeres are Prop Uganda. Uncle Marty says “he ain’t drunk”, I believe him till I get a whiff of his breath. If the Republicans think it’s good for America, what makes us think there’s not another one of Smoothe’s traps in it. Stay tuned everyone and let’s see what this is. If I’m mistaken I’ll be designated a “Dumbass” by the man. (DJ). And I’ll probably have it coming.[wink]

  11. And do you think republicans or corporations will care if this country is attacked and we find ourself unable unable to carry a sustained war against another major country due to the loss of our manufacturing base and trained workers. You can’t fight with hamburger flippers. I’m old enough to remember the $50 PH union jobs. Their a fantasy now thanks to these traitor politicians and corporations. its time to go back to taxing them 90% and jailing the traitors.

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