Archive for September 18th, 2013

by lizard

Montana’s Economic Summit, held in Butte and organized by Max Baucus, is making plenty of headlines, with CEO’s making big announcements about expanding business in Montana, and providing insights like this:

Jim McNerney, chairman and CEO of Boeing, also used the conference to announce a $35 million expansion of its manufacturing plant in Helena and the hiring of 20 to 25 new employees.

McNerney also called for federal tax reform, a frequent theme of corporate executives at the summit. Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is leading an effort to overhaul the federal tax code before he retires when his term ends in 2014.

McNerney told the summit that the U.S. corporate tax rate – at 35 percent – is the highest in the industrialized world by 10 percentage points.

Corporations would like to reduce corporate tax rates, McNerney said, but Boeing, and perhaps others, are willing to give up multiple tax preferences to achieve the goal of lower rates.

“We recognize that everyone will have to give a little bit to get … in the end zone, for tax reform,” he said. “We all admire your senior senator’s strong-minded efforts to make something happen, in the time that he has left in office … and there is little time left. The ranks of bridge-builders in Congress seem to be thinning with every election.”

Overhauling the U.S. tax system could spur higher economic growth and create more higher-wage jobs, he said.

I call bullshit. Corporations don’t need an overhaul of the US tax system to provide higher-wage jobs, because they are already sitting on an immense amount of cash:

Corporations are hoarding cash: despite dividends and buybacks, cash is likely to hit another record high.

Cash set a record in the first quarter of 2013 on an absolute basis: $1.093 trillion in the S&P 500. It has set a record for 18 of the last 20 quarters.

With 47 percent of the S&P 500 reporting,we are once again on track for record cash levels.

What’s going on? The short answer is that companies are not spending as much…they have record earnings, but they are holding on to a lot of the money.

We continue to be told that if we go along with enriching the upper echelons with tax cuts and lower corporate tax rates, more higher-paying jobs will be created. We are told this by CEO’s who do everything to exploit the current tax system for their investors, not for their employees. And the platform for this event was put together by one of the senate’s most corrupt senators, our very own Max Baucus, the asshole who torpedoed health care reform for the benefit of insurance parasites and legal drug pushers.

But the kids had a great time watching this economic summit “trend” on social media, so why rain on their parade, especially considering technology was a big topic of interest at this summit?

Technology may have been one of the main focuses, but I don’t think a tech behemoth like Google wants to talk too much about being the target of the NSA (along with financial institutions and the president of Brazil, who canceled a state visit in protest).

Maybe it’s just me, but I think it may be important to continue bringing awareness to the increasingly surreal disclosures about the ever-expanding tentacles of our security state, like how General Keith Alexander built a room called the Information Dominance Center, modeled after the deck of the Star Trek Enterprise. Seriously. This quote comes from the PBS Newshour:

“When he was running the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather ‘captain’s chair’ in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.

“‘Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,’ says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.”

Yesterday was the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. If we want to have an honest conversation about where we are at after 5 years of post-collapse “recovery” then it might be important to reexamine the “biggest incident of financial terrorism in US History”.

Occupy Wall Street may not be in a position of influence, but their mottos and slogans still apply.

Because shit is still fucked up and bullshit.

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