Saturday, February 28, 2009

The $700 billion bailout if divided among all 300 million Americans equally comes out to about $2334 each. What if that money went directly to the people instead having to pass thru the hands of the greediest SOB's on the planet 1st (which almost guarantees it won't do us any good) ? Wouldn't the economy be better served by putting that $$ directly in the hands of the people who would actually spend it on goods which create jobs like clothes & food & transportation ?? Isn't that the shot in the arm the economy needs ? Or is this bailout simply the excuse those in power needed to again steal even more from the Amercian people & get them to foot the bill ?
Even tho millions of Americans are hurting most of us are not. We simply have been scared into not spending any $$. Isn't this mess being created by the media ?

Ani DiFranco on Folk Label

"folk music is not an acoustic guitar — that's not where the heart of it is. I use the word 'folk' in reference to punk music and rap music. It's an attitude, it's an awareness of one's heritage, and it's a community. It's subcorporate music that gives voice to different communities and their struggle against authority."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama To Target Tax Havens In Budget

Obama To Target Tax Havens In Budget

Finally !! A president who is capable of standing up to corporations' evil ways ... they have been hiding money away in these tax havens for decades & all of society suffers for it ...

.... A GAO report from December revealed that 83 of the 100 largest publicly traded U.S. corporations had placed subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions to, ostensibly, pay less on their tax bills. This included a number of firms that had received billions of dollars in bailout funds from the federal government, such as Morgan Stanley (158 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands and recipient of $10 billion in TARP money), Citigroup (90 subsidiaries and $45 billion in TARP funds), and Bank of America (59 subsidiaries and $45 billion).

Eleven giant recipients of our bailout tax dollars - American Express, AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, General Motors, GMAC, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Together they've collected more than $227 billion.

Even as they benefit from tax money, they operate hundreds of subsidiaries in places widely known for helping people evade taxes.

Although proponents say most business in tax havens is perfectly legal and legitimate, it's estimated that tax havens cost U.S. taxpayers $100 billion a year in lost revenue.

$100 Billion a year

The stakes are so high that one tax haven insider was put under witness protection after he exposed hundreds of tax dodgers, and testified to Congress about his job. One favorite among the bailout companies is the Cayman Islands. There's no income tax, no corporate tax and no capital gains tax. Goldman Sachs has 15 subsidiaries there. Bank of America: 59. Citigroup: 90. But Morgan Stanley beats them all with at least 158 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands - seven times the number of hotels. When asked about how hard it is for the U.S. government to "get at" what is going on in some of these tax havens, Dean Zerbe, a former congressional tax investigator, said “it's incredibly hard.”

Zerbe believes the Treasury Department should demand that bailed-out banks cough up details of their offshore interests. “Here we are sending taxpayers' monies to you. Tell us, banks, what you're doing to ensure that you are not helping folks avoid taxes coming the other way,” Zerbe said. None of the bailout companies contacted would talk about their subsidiaries in tax havens, except insurance giant AIG which told us their operations do not "exist solely for tax benefit."

So the next time you're reminded the U.S. economy is in shambles, remember - there are places where business is still booming. Places where some bailed out companies are getting your tax dollars, and may be helping others pay less.

Barack Obama: "There is a building in the Cayman Islands that houses supposedly 12,000 US-based corporations. That's either the biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam in the world, and we know which one it is."[33]

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How to Recycle

Wondering what to do with your stash of old batteries or the cans of unneeded paint taking up space in your garage? You know you shouldn't throw them out, but it really is time to get rid of them.
Resist the temptation to toss them in the trash anyway. The reason: They (and everything on the list below) contain toxic chemicals capable of contaminating the environment if not disposed of properly.
Unlike items that are picked up at the curb, you'll have to make a special effort to unload these ones responsibly. But, with a little advance planning and some good info, you'll see that it's really quite simple to dispose of these seemingly mysterious items. Here's how:
Batteries. Recycling rechargeable batteries is fairly easy. Home Depot, Staples, Radio Shack, Best Buy, and other retailers take them back free of charge. There are fewer options for single-use batteries, but look for bins at your local Whole Foods Market, Ikea, or library. Otherwise, your best bet is the local household hazardous waste drop-off site. Where is it and what are your closest drop-off options? Search here for answers.
CFLs. These energy-efficient bulbs are becoming easier to get rid of. Just drop old bulbs off at any Home Depot or Ikea for free recycling. Or ask about CFL recycling at your local Ace Hardware or home improvement store. You can search for other nearby solutions.
Electronics. Every retailer that takes back rechargeable batteries also accepts mobile phones, as do most wireless providers. For computers, cameras, televisions, and others it's worthwhile do a little homework because some stores charge fees depending on item and brand. Check out Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot to see what's the best fit. Some places, like Radio Shack, have trade-in programs where you can receive store credit for your old gadgets.
Motor Oil. In case you need some motivation, consider this factoid from Earth911: Every gallon of used motor oil that's improperly disposed of can contaminate one million gallons of drinking water. Bring it to Wal-Mart, Autozone, Jiffy Lube, or search online for more convenient choices.
Paint. It's among the harder items in this group to dispose of, but it's worth it and totally doable. If the paint is still in good shape, consider donating it. As of now, there aren't any retailers that accept used paint so you'll need to make a special trip. Search Earth911 for a comprehensive list of options.
Environmental journalist Lori Bongiorno shares green-living tips and product reviews with Yahoo! Green's users. Send Lori a question or suggestion for potential use in a future column. Her book, Green Greener Greenest: A Practical Guide to Making Eco-smart Choices a Part of Your Life is available on Yahoo! Shopping and