Thursday, April 28, 2016

Stuff is All Clumped Up and Stuff

With most modern candidates for high office protecting and serving the interests of the plutocrats regardless of their party, it can become a real challenge for the mainstream media to detect even an inch of ideological space between them.  In the last yawn of a presidential campaign, for example, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were in basic agreement about Social Security (tweak it) and foreign policy. (war, terror, yay!). Romney had a particularly hard time disowning himself from the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare, a/k/a Romneycare. Readers might remember that I called that particular team event "Rombama" while others opted for the more whimsical "Obamney."

This year, though, the ideological gap between the two front-runners is actually rather huge. Donald Trump hates women and trade deals. Hillary Clinton loves herself and trade deals. She's even devised a new campaign slogan to prove it: Love Trumps Hate. It's a perfect addition to her other slogan, Fighting for You (FFY, or Double F You).

But they do have three very important traits in common, joining them at head, (degenerating) hip, and tax shelter: Class, Wealth, and Corporate Status. Clinton and Trump may be immense existential liabilities to we the people, but to themselves and their heirs, they are merely limited liability companies.

Clinton + Trump = Clump.

In the interest of bipartisan civility and decorum, Donny and Hill really should consider holding their very first corporate-sponsored debate at 1209 Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware. The event could be hyped by the media as sort of a sentimental homecoming for each of them. It would be an extended family reunion, with the long-lost relatives personified in the form of millions of dollars in hidden assets. In between pretend-sniping at one another before a national audience, they can take breaks to spend more family time with their lonely money. Donny can fondle fellow racist Andrew Jackson on clumps of twenties, while Hillary coddles newly cool banker-hipster Alexander Hamilton as she dreams her feminist dreams of Harriet Tubman eventually trumping Jackson and breaking the money ceiling. (But not advancing the dream as far as repealing the welfare reform that dumped millions of women into outright poverty, or goddess forbid, using some of the Harriet Tubman twenties for reparations to descendants of the enslaved.)
Orange Street is kind of a dump of a building right now. But just think about how all that dark money unleashed by Citizens United could transform this money pit every bit as effectively as it has transformed our representative democracy into an oligarchy. If we must be mere spectators at this quadrennial event, we might as well be dazzled by the spectacle.

I can picture it now: After the elite invitees listen to a pop diva singing the National Anthem and they pledge allegiance to the flag, they will all bow their heads in solemn remembrance of Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley, who famously observed that "Only the little people pay taxes." 

  It can be a true family affair, because it turns out that the same corporate persons funding the elections and the debates have also parked their money at the Orange Street Foster Home for Excess Cash. Although it might seem impossible to you that Walmart, Apple, American Airlines, and 285,000 other rich entities could possibly share one cramped dump for all their untaxed billions, we have to remember that this is all about trust: the Corporate Trust Center, to be more precise. You gotta believe!

As reported by The Guardian last week:
Being registered in Delaware lets companies take advantage of strict corporate secrecy rules, business-friendly courts, and the "Delaware Loophole" which can allow companies to legally shift earnings from other states to Delaware, where they are not taxed on non-physical incomes generated outside the state.
See? All that cash can get clumped into one tiny dump because it is not really physical. Tiny Delaware is actually one of the biggest tax avoidance and tax evasion dumps on the entire planet. It's estimated to shelter about $9 billion in untaxed corporate revenue.

The Clump candidates have not explained why they are hiding their cash in Delaware.
Clinton, who has repeatedly promised that as president she will crack down on “outrageous tax havens and loopholes that super-rich people across the world are exploiting in Panama and elsewhere”, collected more than $16m in public speaking fees and book royalties in 2014 through the doors of 1209, according to the Clintons’ tax returns.
Just eight days after stepping down as secretary of state in February 2013, Clinton registered ZFS Holdings LLC at CTC’s offices. Bill Clinton set up WJC LLC, a vehicle to collect his consultation fees, at the same address in 2008.

A spokesman for Clinton said: “ZFS was set up when Secretary Clinton left the State Department as an entity to manage her book and speaking income. No federal, state, or local taxes were saved by the Clintons as a result of this structure.”

The Clintons’ companies share the office with several of Trump’s companies. They include Trump International Management Corp and several companies that form part of Hudson Waterfront Associates, a Trump partnership to develop more than $1bn worth of luxury condos on the west side of Manhattan.
Of course, this makes Hillary the much lesser Clump evil, since Donny has stashed nearly 400 of his "entities" into the Orange Street building. So, while Clinton weasel-words her way out of her hypocrisy by saying that she didn't actually "save" taxes (as opposed to spending her excess profits for taxes) Trump brags about his business acumen. He's doing Delaware a favor. "I pay you a lot of money, folks. I don't feel at all guilty, OK?"

Ironically, the Guardian Media Group publishing this big scoop also has "holdings" stashed away in Delaware.

It's a wonder that the plutocrats can even breathe in such a cramped, clumped atmosphere. The lack of oxygen might be one explanation for the dismal lockstep political coverage this year. The inbreeding of the media-political complex has resulted in the live birth of an intellectually sterile and deformed clump of sponsored content and click-bait coverage.


annenigma said...

I wonder what Hillary's secret cash stash, ZFS, stands for.

Zone For Secrecy?

Zone For Stash?

Zilch For Society?

Ste-vo said...

Karen, You continue to amaze me. This, IMHO, is absolutely the best thing you have penned in weeks. Absolutely. I am sharing big time. I LOVE IT. THANK YOU. And people have accused me of being cynical and too sarcastic. YOU ARE THE BEST!

Bill Sprague said...

I'm glad you mentioned Romneycare. I live in Massachusetts and of course the model for Obamacare was what Romney put in place here. Before he resigned. Like whatshername. The former governor of Alaska who resigned... Do all G.O.P. members resign?

And it appears you have given up on Sanders. It's WAY past time that Amerika has more than just two parties. Socialism is NOT communism despite what the hoi poloi have been brainwashed to believe. I don't do gender politics (the woman next door painted her door hot pink to advertise her vulva, should I put a penis on my door?), so I'll never switch to HRC, regardless of what the media does or does not say. Instead I'll spraypaint Sanders' name on the side of a ballot box and write him in...

GeneralJinjir said...

On a related issue see NYT editorial "There's no such thing as a free rolex". Absolutely correct afaic, and yet Hillary Clinton is given a pass. It makes my head spin.

GeneralJinjur said...

My mistake. It was Zephyr Teachout who has an op-ed in the NYT with the title: "There's No Such Thing As A Free Rolex". My world makes sense again--it was not the editorial board of the NYT who were responsible for that. : /

GeneralJinjur said...

GeneralJinjur said...

Something's got to give...

The Doktor said...

I keep wondering why no one will talk about Clinton friend billionaire sex offender of under age girls Jeffrey Epstein, who of course had lots of sham corporations at CT Corp. - then I saw this {"He is also a longtime friend of Prince Andrew, Duke of York: they have stayed at each other's homes, and have vacationed together in Thailand. In December 2010, the prince was a guest in Epstein's New York residence for several days, shortly after Epstein completed his Florida sentence for soliciting an underage girl. His dinner with Andrew at the mansion was attended by (among others) Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Rose, and Woody Allen.[8] The 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) 9-story mansion is just off Fifth Avenue and overlooks the Frick Collection. It is reported to be the largest private residence in Manhattan, having originally been built as the Birch Wathen School.

Epstein's other properties include a villa in Palm Beach, Florida; an apartment in Paris; a 10,000-acre ranch, including a hilltop mansion in Stanley, New Mexico;[9][10] and a mansion with guest houses on his private island near St. Thomas called Little Saint James."}
He's friends with all the top so called Journalists of every major network!

The Doktor said...

oopps! Forgot my citation credit!