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  • #7
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    http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php...
    List of Obamas top contributors include Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan, General Electric, Morgan Stanley.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contrib.php... List of Romney's top contributors include General Electric, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan.

    Some of you on here still think there's a difference between the two parties, like they aren't being bought off by the same people. Like one of the "two" major parties really care about the little guy more than the other.
  • #92
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    Yes, this is a symptom of a greater problem of messed up campaign finance, and if a third party ever became viable, they would be looking for donations from these mega corps as well, because that's how the game is now played. We need to demand that the rules be changed and stop crying when politicians take advantage of our screwed up campaign finance system.
  • #114
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    @Mr_D_ElPaso Really? It's exactly like Clinton. That's rather the point. They're all the same. You're pointing out a guy on the side you don't like. That's the biggest problem of all.
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  • #12
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    This why I get a kick out of some of the conservatives...always saying how great corporations are for the average America...the corporate world is a bunch of greedy scum bags...that are working to corrupt our political system...and screw over as many working stiffs as possible...and most politicians...are just taking the money and doing what ever they ask...this is true of democrats and republicans...and this why regardless of what your political views may be...you should be working to stop this unadulterated fleecing of America
  • #18
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    Unlike some on here, I already believe BOTH democrats and republicans (aka conservatives) have been bought and paid for by corporations.
    Only the fool believes that just one party is/wants a corporate bribed government. They both want it and are working toward that type government.
    Follow the money...
  • #36
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    @stepped_in_it the only thing I disagree with here is the 'aka conservatives' republican does not at all indicate someone is a conservative. particularly since we are talking about money we would be talking about fiscal conservatives. and there are very few of those ..quite rare among republicans and almost non existent among democrats.
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  • #38
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    This chart gives an idea of how screwed up America's tax system is. The US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, even higher than socialist countries! Of course, no corporations actually pay the full rate because of tax cuts, loopholes, and special deals their pet congressmen get for them.

    Congress has created a system where congressmen and lobbyists (a very incestious group) are the ones who benefit. Lower the ridiculously high tax rate, cut out the loopholes, force open disclosure of all campaign funds, and the incentive for such massive lobbying will disappear.

    http://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/services/Tax/ta...
  • #66
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    The US Tax Code is 70,000 pages and counting. Which Tea Party member is in favor of that? However there are a lot of D's and R's who not only endorse it, but have added to it.
  • #71
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    @JMWinPR Every politician is in favor of the current tax status. That those of the Tea Party. If they didn't, wouldn't you think they would be fighting harder for some type of tax reform?
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  • #63
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    What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

    The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

    It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

    If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

    If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

    If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

    There are no insoluble government problems.

    Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,”“inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

    Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

    They and they alone, have the power.

    They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

    Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.
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  • #17
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    MY TWO CENTS...¢¢

    Skip the blaming of any politician and or political party. Accomplishes nothing.

    Cap the limits of all donations ($$$) to any party and all groups, persons in government.
    Tax the donations as income! No gifts allowed either. No special favors allowed either!
    Cap the limit of lobbyists to no more then >two< from any company, group, organization, etc.

    Apply term limits to all congressional persons AND supreme court judges.
    2 four year terms and out they go on their collective asses. Back into the private sector!
    Unable to become lobbyists for 8-10+ years after being TOSSED out on their BUTTS!

    Not very likely to happen. Not in their best interests of protecting themselves from US! Oh Well!

    Your Ships Common Sense Captain. All ship mates man your stations!
    Paying Passengers Welcome Aboard*. Anchors Up. Full Speed Ahead.

    *Boarding Ticket Disclosure Reads:
    Be Advised. COOL-AID free vessel!
    YES! We have lot's of refreshments on board in the lounge.
    We have no Political >COOL-AID!< on Board and none (Zero) is allowed as a carry on!

    Disagree?
    Kiss My GRITS!
  • #70
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    This has about as much as occurring as the doom scenarios as set forth by the AGW kids. The only way to change this course is to only vote for people with a modicum of honesty. That eliminates anyone who supports someone who thinks Guam is going to tip over, looks for the US Flag on Mars, thinks the 3 branches of government are the House, Senate and President, or states we have to pass it so we know what's in it. It also eliminates those who don't actively censure those who make those statements.
  • #76
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    "Cap the limits of all donations ($$$) to any party and all groups, persons in government.
    Tax the donations as income! No gifts allowed either. No special favors allowed either!
    Cap the limit of lobbyists to no more then >two< from any company, group, organization, etc."

    They tried that already....it was ruled that money was speech and corporations were people, remember?

    and yes, I was very much against it, and think the ruling was wrong. Corporations are people about as much as what I crap out in the morning is a person.
  • #86
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    @JMWinPR

    Say What???? Makes no sense. What the hell are you talking about????

    Oh Well! Never mind.
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull shit!

    Read my >LIPS!<
    What we have here is a "Failure To Communicate!"

    My 2 Cents (¢¢)
  • #89
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    @boombatic : So unions can contribute and block vote, but corporations that actually provide goods and services can't?
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  • #44
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    Since the beginning of time things have always been run by the golden rule. Who has the gold rules. Figure out a way to change it. I'm in.
  • #43
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    galt45 - GE has had ties to both parties and every administration for years. They also have an army of lobbyists, and attorneys to make sure laws are written the way they want them.

    Why does anyone think corporations are pushing for a 'fast track' passage of the TPP without any Congressional review? Could it be that people are finally wising up?
  • #191
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    Hell yeah. The CEO of GE was hired as our Jobs Czar and sent ALL of GE's solar work to China with Obama's blessing. Meanwhile the EPA has to eat it while the powers to be get rid of the incandescent light bulb and have to buy GE's patented bulbs and mercury contaminations runs wild where ever someone breaks a new style bulb that isn't very expensive LED. And Liberals like post #16 put it all on one party.
  • #10
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    These (and all) companies have been writing this country's laws since its inception; the politicians are the rubberstampers, the lobbyists, their errand boys.

    In order to restore balance, my business model will create the community confluence, whose consolidation of wealth cannot rationally be ignored. It will have lobbyists who will give voice to the basic citizen again, and it will sway elections like nothing that's come before it.
  • #15
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    @Medicinebow You're never gonna get rid of them (not without drastic changes to the governance of the land), so you might as well have them fighting for the 99%, rather than just for the 1%.
  • #53
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    twinertia - Great idea! I'd call that 'political crowd sourcing'. I sure wish I had the brains, and means, to start something like that.

    I worked for a company that 'monitors' politicians at all levels. As much as I'd like to think they were neutral, they really weren't. They had deep ties to Congress, and an agenda to promote.
  • #140
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    What's the problem with that? These companies were given tax payer financed subsidies to become a cost benefit. Hey where are you going?
  • #51
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    Let th e partisan finger pointing begin. The lobbyists bet on all the ponies in the field. Somee just pay off more often than others. But th hey all pay off.
  • Comment removed for Engagement Etiquette violation. Replies may also be deleted.
  • #9
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    We're getting hung up on a narrow definition of "lobbyist" - influence comes in many forms, and the best example I know of is Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase. He's the CEO, not a lobbyist, but he gained fantastic advantages palling around with Obama and donating money to the campaigns. I don't see what we can do about that.
  • #42
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    Ryuo - The big banks 'pal around' with both sides of the aisle. Chase just paid a multi billion dollar fine for irregularities, and questionable practices. When you make the kind of profits these guys do, that's just considered a 'business expense'.

    Note the 'energy' companies on the list. A lot goes in to making sure regulators look the other way. Who do you think crafts the legislative language for many of the States? ALEC. Why? Because it furthers their shareholders economic interests.

    DoneTwice says it in post 17. Cap the spending. But that will never happen. The Supreme Court has just seen to that. And BTW - The major abusers of corporate donations are still the Republicans
  • #54
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    @eyesonu I didn't mean to imply that Democrats are any worse the Republicans as far as influence peddling goes, except, of course, for Harry Reid. I think that if you could total up the money, legal, illegal, hidden, etc., it would come out 50-50. I couldn't begin to tell you how to find all the hidden and illegal donations, though.
  • #72
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    @eyesonu Yep Lippo Group, Goldman Sachs, GE, Solyndra, GM, Tea Partiers one and all. As for ALEC, what part of Fast and Furious, ACA, IRS issues, NSA surveillance, Consumer Protection Agency, illegal alien dumping, did they sponsor or write? BTW Chase paid nothing in fines, it was all covered and more in the Dodd Frank reform bill. Yep them two are double secret Tea Party members.
  • #77
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    @JMWinPR - That's funny as Hell. Yeah, should have let GM go bankrupt,(brilliant idea) and the NSA wasn't spying under Bush, Fast and Furious, IRS,(you forgot 'Benghazi'), and illegal alien dumping?(As you call it. was a bill signed by Bush, and backed by a majority of Republicans). All of these are too hilarious to even comment on. And the Consumer Protection Agency? LOL. And let's not forget the agency that Rickl Perry couldn't remember the name of that he was so adamant about closing.

    Hey! you forgot to mention the bill that would allow college students to refinance their college debt, just like homeowners can. Oh. I forgot, the Republicans voted that down. Some of their rich buddies making over a million dollars a year would have lost a tax break to pay for it.
  • #78
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    @Ryuo - Like others have said. Limit the amount, and make sure that every donation to every candidate had the personal Social Security number of the donor on it. If you're too embarassed to be associated with the candidates or causes you support, maybe you'll think twice about sending them a donation if the whole world knows.

    I did lots of political work in a particular Congressional district where multimillionaire farmers claimed that they didn't participate in politics because of their 'religious beliefs'. The did however, know exactly how to qualify for government farm subsidies that they absolutely didn't need.
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  • #2
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    Both parties are guilty of being bought off by special interests. Unfortunately other than a very FEW liberal politicians none of these scumbags is likely to do anything to contain lobbyists. Certainly the right wing reactionaries on the supreme court will do nothing about it. Scalia and his fellow conservatives give more rights to corporations than women.
  • #5
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    Say what you will about Ron Paul (I know your opinion), but the man voted for the People and not Corporations.
    He still remains the only GOP Representaitve that voted against Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • #6
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    @Fishbone345 Ron Paul often surprises me. He was a rarity among republicans (or democrats too for that matter) in that he was his own man. He was right far more often than other republicans and although he also had a lot of kookie ideas he was not a hypocrite.
  • #25
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    "Scalia and his fellow conservatives give more rights to corporations than women."
    Seems it doesn't matter whether it's a conservative or liberal court. Both types of courts are bought/paid for by money.
    Otherwise, there would have been rulings that changed this in previous years....SCOTUS doesn't overrule previous SCOTUS very often, do they?
  • #41
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    @stepped_in_it Look at the actual votes on these recent cases that expanded corporate personhood. Invariably the decision come down with the conservative justices ALWAYS voting to expand corporate rights. Disgusting!
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  • #4
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    If you look at the top 10 donors to Obama and Romney in the last campaign they had quite a few of the sane companies on each of their list.
  • #164
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    This is the fuzzy-ist math I've ever seen. I counted two-exactly two that paid more to lobbyists than to taxes--the bottom two! Perhaps a math refresher is in order.
  • #185
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    @joyshusband Fair enough. Or is it? What is the story? To get this sort of 'return' how bad did the company perform? This would seem to indicate that business in the US is a losing situation-that wouldn't be a problem with the company.
  • #153
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    The question almost doesn't need to be asked. What other possible reason could companies have to hire lobbyists if not to influence legislation to their advantage? Oh...let's give one hundred million to politicians just so they know we're here and would kind'a like to be remembered?
  • #151
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    From the point of the little man...this article is a bit infuriating. But then I step back for a second and wonder.....Is GE really happy about having to spend $130M/ year lobbying politicians?? Why would they, and the other companies on the list feel compelled to pay so much into lobbying? I'm more of the opinion that politicians have set up the "pay to play" system and we are now just reaping what we have sown.

    I don't agree with the premise that both parties are the same. What I do think is that most politicians are the same. I think that many may enter politics for noble reasons, but are quickly corrupted by the almost absolute power, the prestige and the financial benefits of being a Congressman or Senator.

    I do think that the only real solution is some form of term limits, with restrictions on allowing former congress critters from become high paid lobbiests.
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