Friday, January 21, 2011

Multinationals' tax gimmicks have been the biggest obstacle to Puerto Rico statehood.

United States voters and tax payers are very angry to learn of the large amounts of money spent by Multinational Corporations to influence political candidates, elections and the approval or disapproval of legislation, in order to favor their interests. Worse yet, this escalating custom has not benefited the US economy.
In the US Territory of Puerto Rico, people are still blind and deaf to this fact, and still dream of a patriotic gesture by the US Congress, to right the 113 year old struggle of US Citizens in PR to be treated like our fellow citizens in the several states and help us become a state.  
The Multinationals' tax gimmicks and the economic power they have to protect their interests, have been the biggest obstacle to Puerto Rico statehood. As long as this stagnant status quo is their best deal to scam the US and Puerto Rico of taxes, they're not about ready to give it up.
1/20/11 04:10 PM 

Happy Birthday

  Today is the first birthday of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission (130 S.Ct. 876 (2010)). This, of course, was the landmark decision that overturned the McCain–Feingold Act and dismissed over a century of American election law forbidding multinational corporations and special interest groups from buying US elections. Law scholars have called it the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott.

No matter that the decision was even rejected from the start by 80% of the American people, who think treating corporations like a rights-bearing American citizen in a democracy is both absurd and dangerous. For those of us who detest judicial activism, please remember that when Citizens United came before the Supreme Court it was focused on a specific technical question about a pay-per-view video documentary critical of Hillary Clinton.

But Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas and Alito stretched to rule that corporations could not be stopped from unlimited political spending simply because they enjoy important financial benefits from the government such as limited liability, loans with low interest and no collateral, preferred tax treatment, and public taxpayer subsidies. Also, 501c(3) organizations such as religions no longer have to follow rules about political involvement. And what free citizen would dare to oppose a candidate who was funded and supported by say, SEIU, WalMart and the Catholic Church?

There is a glimmer of hope.
Information has come to light that raises serious questions about the impartiality of Justices Thomas and Scalia in deciding the Citizens United case. On 20 January 2011, the Department of Justice was asked to investigate Justices Thomas and Scalia, because their decision in Citizens United raised critical questions about their impartiality. Apparently, they were present at political strategy sessions in Palm Springs (possibly while the case was pending) with the Koch Brothers, whose financial and political aims were advanced by the decision.

In addition, Justice Thomas may have an undisclosed financial conflict of interest due to his wife Virginia “Ginny” Thomas' role as founder and CEO of Liberty Central, a 501(c)(4) organization that stood to benefit from her husband's decision. Koch Industries and its corporate allies directly benefited during the 2010 elections when Koch suddenly became free to spend over $50 million furthering its chosen candidates.