The Case Against Hillary: Taxation with Unequal Representation

By | January 26, 2016

I have already discussed previously how much Hillary received speaking to Wall Street. Its an amazing look at how someone who was a First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State went and spoke to the rich and powerful, yet wants you to believe she will hold these same people she schmoozed with accountable.

Let’s be honest. She does not want you to focus on this. Heck, she doesn’t want you to know what she told them. Daily Caller says that:

Reporters were routinely prohibited from covering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speeches before some of the nation’s most exclusive Wall Street financial investment firms, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

The list of Wall Street firms that barred reporters from covering her speeches reads like Who’s Who of the country’s largest and most prestigious wealth management companies. Those confirmed by TheDCNF to have excluded reporters include: the Goldman Sachs Group, UBS Wealth Management, Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts and Company, the Carlyle Group, Apollo Management Holdings, Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley and Golden Tree Asset Management.

Combined, the companies represent $10.5 trillion of assets under management.

The issue here is that these wealthy, powerful Wall Street entities hold inordinate political power. They can afford to bring people that are looking at White House runs, as well as other offices, to speak with them. The speech is not the important part, however. Wall Street wants to back a winner that they feel won’t screw up with the slot machine that keeps giving them a jackpot. Politico noted this in 2014:

But here’s the strange thing: Down on Wall Street they don’t believe it for a minute. While the finance industry does genuinely hate Warren, the big bankers love Clinton, and by and large they badly want her to be president. Many of the rich and powerful in the financial industry—among them, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, Tom Nides, a powerful vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, and the heads of JPMorganChase and Bank of America—consider Clinton a pragmatic problem-solver not prone to populist rhetoric. To them, she’s someone who gets the idea that we all benefit if Wall Street and American business thrive. What about her forays into fiery rhetoric? They dismiss it quickly as political maneuvers. None of them think she really means her populism.

Although Hillary Clinton has made no formal announcement of her candidacy, the consensus on Wall Street is that she is running—and running hard—and that her national organization is quickly falling into place behind the scenes. That all makes her attractive. Wall Street, above all, loves a winner, especially one who is not likely to tamper too radically with its vast money pot.

The fact is, Wall Street is not paying Hillary. They are buying influence. Wall Street is many things, but they know a good investment. And the influence they have on the decision makers that will be tasked to possibly reign them in is disproportionate to the influence the middle and lower class holds. Americans for Tax Fairness notes these facts:

The richest 1% of Americans own 35% of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 80% own just 11% of the nation’s wealth.

In the 1950s and 1960s, when the economy was booming, the wealthiest Americans paid a top income tax rate of 91%. Today, the top rate is 43.4%.

The richest 1% pay an effective federal income tax rate of 24.7% in 2014; someone making an average of $75,000 is paying a 19.7% rate.

The average federal income tax rate of the richest 400 Americans was just 20 percentin 2009.

Taxing investment income at a much lower rate than salaries and wages are taxed loses $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

1,470 households reported income of more than $1 million in 2009 but paid zero federal income taxes on it.

CEOs of major corporations earn nearly 300 times more than an average worker.

30 percent of income inequality is due to unfair taxes and budget cuts to services and benefits.

The largest contributor to increasing income inequality has been changes in income from capital gains and dividends.

Do those at the top want to change this? No

Do those at the top want to help those being oppressed and unequally represented? No

There is a quote from Scott Adams of Dilbert fame about the advice of successful people:

Beware the advice of successful people; they do not seek company.

The rich are the same. If others are able to gain equality in wealth, their wealth will go down. If they give up power to others, their power will diminish.

As such, they will fight tooth and nail to keep this power. This is why you won’t see them inviting Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to speak to them. Bill and Hillary, however, are more than welcome.

Bernie Sanders has discussed that the solution to this is to break up the banks. In his policy statement on reforming Wall Street, Bernie discussed that:

The six largest financial institutions in this country today hold assets equal to about 60% of the nation’s gross domestic product. These six banks issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards and over 35% of all mortgages. They control 95% of all derivatives and hold more than 40% of all bank deposits in the United States.Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue to enjoy taxation with unequal representation.

This is counter to what Wall Street wants. This is why you will not see Wall Street supporting a Sanders campaign. They will not support Warren, either. Meanwhile, Wall Street is continuing to support Clinton, including at a gala event today in Philadelphia, according to the Intercept:

Clinton will appear in Philadelphia at a “gala” fundraiser hosted by executives at Franklin Square Capital Partners, a $17 billion investment fund. Rocker Bon Jovi will reportedly play an acoustic set for “friends” who pledge $1,000 and hosts who bundle up to $27,000. (Giancarlo Stefanoni, a Clinton campaign staffer, confirmed that as of Tuesday afternoon, the event is still on.)

The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that “Franklin Square employs Ivy League-educated money managers and salespeople with experience at big Wall Street firms — plus four personal trainers and a dietitian to keep staff happy and productive amid the gym, yoga and nap rooms, Sol LeWitt art installations, and fancy cafeteria.”

In comparison, Bernie Sanders is headlining an event in Minnesota:

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders energized a crowd of about 6,000 people at a campaign stop here Tuesday, days before voters in the Iowa caucuses and potentially give the Vermont senator a jolt of momentum.

“There’s nothing more in this life that I would look forward to than running against Donald Trump,” Sanders told the crowd, referring to one of the GOP front-runners.

Sanders, who is battling former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the party nomination, stuck to his campaign-tested message of curbing growing income disparity in the country. In the hourlong speech, he bemoaned “the grotesque level of wealth and income inequality in America today.”

The choice in this election year is clear. One candidate is fighting and talking directly to the people, discussing issues important to the future of our nation. The other is speaking directly to those who own her, paying her exorbitant speaking fees and $1000 a plate dinners to get access.

Wall Street has their candidate, their access and their influence. Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue to enjoy taxation with unequal representation.

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