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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Koch goals

April 16, 2014

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To the editor:

The April 5 Saturday Column headline asked, “Why do Koch contributions trigger such scorn?” As a lifelong Republican, elected thrice on a Republican ticket, I can answer that.

Although the two Koch brothers constantly belittle elected officials and our tax system, that system has enabled them to each amass a fortune of $38 billion. They’re tied for fourth place on Forbes’ list of wealthiest Americans. They and their heirs can live in perpetuity without working. Yet, for no good reason, they’re trying to strangle the system that made them rich.

It is very disingenuous to compare the Kochs’ $105,907,424 in political donations with donations from ActBlue. ActBlue has collected small donations from 7,900,000 contributors for an average of $61.73 per donor! Many have given ten bucks once or $5 per month for a year. It is no wonder those 7,900,000 citizens have donated more than two oligarchs.

The Kochs direct their money to candidates and elected officials that will support their goal to lower taxes for already wealthy corporations and stockholders; defeat legislation and regulations dealing with global warming and favor their oil and gas industry interests that have made them billionaires.

Republicans at every level have always touted the virtues of our society having self-reliant and industrious citizens. What few concede is that poorly educated citizens without access to health care can’t create that society. Lowering taxes for wealthy won’t change that.

Comments

Larry Sturm 8 months, 2 weeks ago

We as a democratic society won't survive if everybody doesn't pay their fair share.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I think the writer meant 38 billion, not million. 38 million to most of us would take care of our families for several generations; with 38 billion I could take care of many people. Why do these guys want even more money? Think of how many people they could have sent to college or trade schools with the money they use to buy politicians. What power tripping money worshipping people they must be. I am suspect of anyone's morals who defend and support these guys.

Bob Forer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Why do these guys want even more money?

Sociopathological greed.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

So if the Koch companies stop making a profit they will cease to exist. If they cease to exist then 10s of thousands of people will lose their jobs.

But that is better than earning more money right?

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The Kochs laid off thousands of workers as they were earning eleven billion in extra revenue. It's not unusual. Profits do not always correlate to employment. In today's jacked up world, firing workers inflates your stock price and "efficiency" means gobbling up all your competitors and laying off half the workers. If they were to go out of business tomorrow, as you sarcastically suggest, their competitors would pick up the slack. Otherwise, new businesses would spring up to meet the new demand. Going Galt only works in bad novels.

That said, nobody suggested they shouldn't make any money. The objection is to the Kochs making more than any one person could possibly spend in a lifetime and then writing their own laws to make sure they earn even more.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 1 week ago

The Koch business is private they don't have stock prices to worry about.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

I'm aware of that, which is why the statement about stock prices was part of a general description of "today's jacked up world" meant to show that they were hardly unique in laying off staff as they amassed personal wealth. In the Kochs' case, it's more about gobbling up the competitors to lay off workers. They don't deserve to be fetishized as "job creators" when they're often busy being job subtractors.

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2014/apr/18/272103/

Fred Mertz 8 months, 1 week ago

Can you cite an instance where they gobbled up a compete tiro and then laid off workers?

Chris Golledge 8 months, 1 week ago

Who said anything about stopping them from making money? The problem is not with them making money; the problem is with them having too much influence on the politics affecting the rest of us.

Leslie Swearingen 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"Republicans at every level have always touted the virtues of our society having self-reliant and industrious citizens. What few concede is that poorly educated citizens without access to health care can’t create that society. Lowering taxes for wealthy won’t change that."

Perfect, thank you Graham.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Raising the taxes on the wealthy wont change it either. We have plenty of revenue to fund the core functions of government and to provide for societal needs but we squander those resources instead of using them properly.

We waste money by waging unnecessary wars and then in atonement we try to nation build. We waste money by giving foreign aid to countries like China.

We waste money by paying defense and other contractors obscene sums of money.

And taxing the rich won't change anything until we change the culture of the poor. They squander their opportunities for an education. We have always had the poor but some can climb out while others stay mired in it generation after generation. It isn't an opportunity issue, but a cultural one.

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

We HAD plenty of money to fund those things before we lost 1/3 of it, thanks to the recent Koch cut. The rest of your post is mixing up federal and state duties. Two different beasts. Oh, and then there's the fundamental attribution error in which you blame the poor for being poor because they're poor. Yes, it's "culture" to blame. Problem is that it's our culture, and part of the changes we need to make is in the attitude that the rich are worthy and without obligation to the society that enabled them to amass that wealth in the first place.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

James James James....I was talking in general terms, not state or federal.

And yes, I do blame some of the poor for their situation. Some people are thrown into poverty through no fault of their own while others make poor choices that keep them and their children in poverty. It is a culture otherwise we wouldn't see generation after generation suffering in poverty while others rise out of it.

It is a problem that so many people are born into poverty for life. We must be honest about the cause of the problem if we wish to help these people improve their lives.

We all have an obligation to our society. But pretending that some of the poor are there because of their poor choices and failure to take advantage of the opportunities available to them is naive and counter productive.

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Fundamental attribution error. Do I believe some people make choices that seem pretty crappy from where I'm sitting? Yes. But given the circumstances, it's entirely possible that you or I would be making the same decision in their shoes. For example, a low SES student graduating at the top of his high school class is still less likely to graduate college than a bad student with rich parents. Given the odds, it's a rational decision not to bother to try.

If you or I got caught breaking a minor law, we'd get a lawyer and either get it thrown out or get a slap on the wrist. If we were wrongly accused, we'd probably get off. Someone in generational poverty? They're likely to get a felony conviction and have a hell of a time working at a legitimate job after that.

Like I said, it is a culture. It's our culture. We created this. The rich owe part of their success to the infrastructure that allowed them to have success. The poor owe part of their failure to that same system. That doesn't mean that choices don't exist. It's just sometimes the choices are between crappy choices and crappier choices. So give people better choices instead of taking options away.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't disagree that we as a society created this environment where this culture was allowed to take a foothold.

We can't just yank away govt assistance and demand they pull themselves up by their bootstraps They don't have the skills and the resources. We, as a society have to break the cycle and change the culture.

Throwing more money at them won't improve their condition. They will still be poor.

We need to focus on the youngest generation and the unborn generations. Proper nutrition, health care and finding ways to see they relive a proper education are key, but just putting more money into existing programs won't fix the problem.

Want to argue about something then don't pick our justice system because I won't defend it. It is not fair. Many people are railroaded.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The rich got a huge tax cuts during that stupid war. But many of hem are involved with the defense industry and made a lot of money from it. For example, I think it was General Dynamics influenced the Congress to buy tanks the army didn't want or need. Investors and the CEO made money from us taxpayers and had to pay less taxes on that money.

Clark Coan 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Good job, Graham. I didn't know you were a lifelong Republican. Guess you must be a liberal Republican. Must be a few thousand liberal Republicans left in Kansas.

Bob Forer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

There is nothing liberal nor conservative about Graham's position. It is simply an astute factual observation free of intellectual dishonesty. In previous times, both parties were capable of such discourse.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Factual? Let's see $38 million - wrong.

105 million - unless someone can prove this number I am saying its wrong too based on my research.

Bob Forer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Brock that was a typo. And you know it. Do you have anything constructive to contribute?. If not, spare yourself the wasted time and effort, and the rest of us the grief. Your comments are about as annoying as an elusive mosquito that periodically buzzes one's head.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Not very constructive Bob, but thanks anyway.

So can you validate the 105 million dollar number or is that a typo too?

Typo or not, it demonstrates a lack of credibility.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Here Bob is a link showing the major oil companies contributed 105 million since 2011. It goes on to mention Koch but does not say they contributed anywhere near that amount.

I think pointing out false statements is constructive Bob. Care to defend the LTE writers facts?

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/24/1064231/three-ways-big-oil-spends-its-profits-to-defend-oil-subsidies-and-defeat-clean-energy/

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Bob why deflect from the point of my posts. You said the letter was factual and I showed it was not. Not only did the author err when he stated their worth - typo maybe or just sloppy research but he also put forth a false statement about their political contributions.

Why did I point out the false statements and errors? Simple you said it was factual and I wanted to counter that statement with the truth.

The Kochs have donated more to charity then you will ever earn in a lifetime.

Bob Forer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The LJW apparently does not approve of any criticism of the wealthy.
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Mark Rainey 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Due to recent Supreme Court decisions no one can validate any dollar amounts given by anyone, or any foreign country.

Richard Heckler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

These republican economic policies are apparently GOP entitlements that literally destroyed millions of jobs,economies,retirement plans and put families out of their homes. Plus make owning a home a risky investment - now that is remarkable. SAM BROWNBACK WAS THERE!

--- Ask yourself is the market value of your home worth less than your mortgage? How much market value have home owners lost since 2007? Trillions of $$$$.

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT Publicopoly Exposed - ALEC http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/11603/publicopoly_exposed/ http://www.justice.org/cps/rde//justice/hs.xsl/15044.htm

--- Killing Social Security and Medicare Insurance NOT AN OPTION http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html http://www.thenation.com/article/159769/paul-ryans-plan-destroy-medicare

John Graham 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Bloomberg announced he will donate $50M of his money to lobby for gun control legislation and back candidates that are for gun control. I assume the democrats/liberals that are against Kochs donations will be OK with Bloomberg's since he is donating to democrat/liberal candidates and causes.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Of course they will because they have double standards.

Personally, I will attack Bloomberg's policies but not him. I applaud him for using his own money to fight for something he believes in. He is wrong in his position but I won't attack him personally.

John Graham 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Anyone complaining about the Kochs' donations better complain about Bloomberg's as well. Both sides are billionaires spending millions and millions of their own dollars in an attempt to influence legislation and give an advantage to candidates of their choice. If one complains about one, then one must complain about the other.

I doubt many, if any, of the Koch bashers on this site will bother to bash Bloomberg. More likely they will try to explain in some ridiculous manner how Kochs' donations are evil and at the same time praise Bloomberg's.

Bob Forer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Er, John. Guess you didn"t know that Bloomberg ran for NY mayor first as a republican, and thereafter as an independent. And I agree, Bloomberg should not be able to buy an election either.

John Graham 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"Er, Bob" if you bother to pay attention to my post that you want to criticize, I never stated Bloomberg was a democrat. I stated he was donating to a democrat/liberal cause and democrat candidates.

"And I agree, Bloomberg should not be able to buy an election either." That is all you have for Bloomberg? After bashing Koch for doing the same thing, that is all you have to say about Bloomberg? Where are your pithy comments criticizing Bloomberg?

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I imagine I'd be more upset about it if Bloomberg also ran a gun dismantling business that was going to get no-bid contract deals out of it. As it happens, a relatively small (egads where have we gone that 50mil is small) donation that doesn't appear to either be directly financially benefiting the donator or contrary to popular opinion... yeah, I just can't get particularly worked up about.

John Graham 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Whether you personally can get worked up about Bloomberg or not doesn't make it any more right than what the Kochs are trying to do. The facts are similar, billionaires are spending large sums of money in an attempt to influence legislation and get candidates they want elected. If one complains about the Kochs but give Bloomberg a pass then that gives someone the right to give the Kochs a pass because they agree with their agenda.

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Actually, it does. The facts are similar and yet there are differences that count, too. There's no financial gain, and the laws he's fighting for aren't contrary to the prevailing popular opinion in the matter. The net impact is actually amplifying the vox pupuli, not suppressing it for the sake of the elite.

So while I object to the money being used to influence the election, there are worthier battles to fight. As much as you want to keep bringing up these examples in an attempt to make it a gotcha moment, it just isn't. I've already told you that I don't like the spending. Or Bloomberg for that matter, but I just don't see it. I'd say the same thing if it turned out he was spending money on his ridiculous big soda ban. Well, I don't think he has popular support on that idea, but substitute something else that does have popular support that I don't like.

John Graham 8 months, 2 weeks ago

If increasing gun control had such prevailing popular support as you claim then the democrats would have passed legislation by now. Here is some evidence that increasing gun control isn't as "prevailing" a concept as you claim. http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/guns.aspx

At least you admit it isn't the large donations by individuals that you are upset about because if that was the case Bloomberg and Koch should be equal in your scorn. You are upset with the Kochs based more so on their politics. Situational ethics. If someone makes large donations for causes you don't like you will be really worked up, but if you like the cause then not so much.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

There are several flaws with that. First off, you present a poll asking general "gun control" questions and not recent data asking about specific measures. Specific measures such as expanded background checks do enjoy popular support. It's all in what you ask.

Secondly, the fact that those overwhelmingly popular measures haven't been passed by either democrats or republicans with some finger on the pulse of their actual constituents is part of the whole problem with money in politics in the first place. The NRA doesn't even represent the views of their own members on the issue, but they'll be sure to pull out all the stops to destroy a candidate that tries to pass popular legislation on the issue.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/04/03/90-percent-of-americans-want-expanded-background-checks-on-guns-why-isnt-this-a-political-slam-dunk/

And finally, again, again, again. I still don't like Bloomberg or his money no matter how desperately you seem to wish that I did.

John Graham 8 months, 2 weeks ago

So as long as it is a democrat/liberal run shadow government or oligarchy you might not like it but you aren't going to get worked up about it. But don't let the republicans/conservatives prevail or you are going to be really worked up. Nice double standard you have there.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

Again, you don't have a gotcha moment. You have an undeserved feeling of moral superiority to reinforce your preexisting biases and enhance your flawed thinking. The cognitive dissonance came, and you chose poorly. I've got a nuanced view of the matter, which I have explained, but you've chosen to draw false conclusions from it. As I told you would. It's always nice to be predictable, I suppose, even if it means you're not demonstrating rational thinking skills. Have a fantastic weekend.

John Graham 8 months, 1 week ago

Your "nuanced view" is nothing more than you are always right and anyone that disagrees is always wrong. There is no nuance to it. If anyone has an "undeserved feeling or moral superiority" it definitely is you.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

If I could give you twenty irony awards for that comment right now, I would.

Bob Forer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

That "something he believes in" is money.

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

You assume incorrectly, as usual, because I find all the money in politics annoying.

Greg DiVilbiss 8 months, 2 weeks ago

In response to Dorthy Reed...

Koch Industries employs 50,000 people in this country and another 20,000 in other countries. That is a pretty good contribution if you ask me. Take a look at how many billionaires supported President Obama....the problem of money in elections is more than on one side.

Here is an article that you may find interesting...Here is an excerpt:

Koch was the 1980 vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party who campaigned on things like drug legalization and a non-interventionist foreign policy.

“I believe in gay marriage,” Koch told POLITICO. When reminded that Romney and the GOP oppose gay marriage, Koch said, “Well, I disagree with that.”

Koch also said that he believes the U.S. military should withdraw from the Middle East and that Congress should cut defense spending and weigh some possible tax increases as a means to balancing the budget — stances that are distinct from the Republican Party line.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/david-koch-supports-gay-marriage-pot-legalization-and-ending-wars-and-you-shouldnt-be-surprised/

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Only 23 Americans gave more to charity than David Koch. Soros wasn't even close but he did give more than a lot of others.

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

And that makes it OK for him to run a shadow government?

Mark Rainey 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Not to make light of the large amounts given to scienceand cancer research, but great sums are to theings like The American Ballet, The Metropolitan, The Smithstonian, and, the Americans For Prosperity, American Commitment, The Institue For Human Studies,The Mercatus Center. There can be no doubt of the many positive contributions of the Koch brothers, but even their donations to Universities often come with the rights to appoint department heads and control course content.

John Graham 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Sorry but I have to throw a flag on your statement "their donations to Universities often come with the rights to appoint department heads and control course content." Provide some factual proof to back up that statement.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 2 weeks ago

See James beat me to it, I was going to post same link.

John Graham 8 months, 2 weeks ago

OK it happens. Blame the universities that take the money. No one is forcing them to take the deal. Koch wants the influence but that doesn't mean the universities have to give it to him. The universities have the final say in the deal so if they sell their soul that is their fault. They very easily and should have told him to go to hell.

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

No one is directly forcing them to take the deal, but they're stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Koch-funded politicians cut state funding for public universities. The universities get offered "generous" donations with massive strings attached. They should have said no, but I suspect that the Koch-funded politicians would have found other ways to punish the university if they had. It's fun to own the government.

John Graham 8 months, 2 weeks ago

What a stretch. "I suspect that the Koch-funded politicians would have found other ways to punish the university if they had." When you have any real evidence to support that wild accusation be sure to post it. Until then in your words " ya got nothing".

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

It isn't a stretch at all. The Kochs are libertarians that would prefer to have privately funded universities, and they've worked towards that goal for quite some time. They'd tell you that to your face. The candidates they've supported have consistently moved toward defunding education.

John Graham 8 months, 1 week ago

As you said "so you got nothing". When you have proof, not just your paranoid ramblings, get back to me.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

If you say so. If anyone found an actual quid pro quo, there would be jail time involved, so I'm sure it's all just paranoid ramblings to notice that money has influence and note the patterns in recent years. Go on now. Eat some candy. Play with the grandkids. Have a great day.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Then why does he support people who are anti marriage equality and are saber rattlers? They may say one thing, but they support candidates who don't agree? Look at his support of Brownback. Brownback and crew has proposed bills that would make it harder for people stuck in horrible marriages to get divorced. They are scared to death that marriage equality will be "forced" upon them. They make it harder to vote, and one of his supporters in Cheyenne county purged legal voters from the rolls. Didn't see that story in the Journal World did you? If they are libertarians who support personal responsibility, why do they support deregulation of pollution standards and advocate no consequences for companies who pollute?

I don't deny that they give to charitable causes, it gives them a great tax break, but I do not buy into the idea that they are entitled to more governmental power, because they have more money. That's too much like royalty. And I would say our system has been quite profitable for them, but they seem to want more money and more power. Just like WalMart wanting to knock out all the little guys with their underhanded competition. Some see this as good old free market, but the more our economy is concentrated in the hands of a few corporations, the less free market we have.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 2 weeks ago

GOP'ers are firm believers of that with all their actions.

Bob Smith 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Can you get beyond the "I know you are, but what am I?" level of responding to a post? Doesn't seem so.

James Howlette 8 months, 1 week ago

It helps when there's a quality post toward which to respond. You can't exactly expect War and Peace when you're offering up "h8ters gonna h8t."

Mark Rainey 8 months, 1 week ago

Buying input in our universities is a widespread practiceby many interests. Do you think large contributions to our atheletic department help select football coaches? (I do not know.)

Richard Heckler 8 months, 1 week ago

Speaking of Koch goals all voters CHECK your voting status frequently to be sure Sam and Kobach have not purged YOU AMERICANS from the documents.

We say it cannot happen. Yes it it can. By the time voters discover they have been purged it will be too late to vote.

Here is the link to check your status as a registered voter.

http://douglas-county.com/online_services/cl/ve/ve_voterportal.aspx?category_id=alreadyreg

Sam Brownback and Koch special interest $$$$$$$$ have been close political pals since day one of the Sam Brownback political career. Sam has been on tax dollar payrolls for two or three decades. Sam really doesn't despise taxes considering.

Richard Heckler 8 months, 1 week ago

Voter ID and Election Laws

ALEC is directly tied to the emerging trend among state legislatures to consider voter ID laws. Using false allegations of “voter fraud,” right-wing politicians are pursuing policies that disenfranchise students and other at-risk voters -- including the elderly and the poor -- who are unlikely to have drivers’ licenses or other forms of photo ID.

By suppressing the vote of such groups, ALEC’s model “Voter ID Act” grants an electoral advantage to Republicans while undermining the right to vote.

In addition, ALEC wants to make it easier for corporations to participate in the political process.

Their Public Safety and Elections taskforce is co-chaired by Sean Parnell of the Center for Competitive Politics, one of the most vociferous pro-corporate election groups, and promotes model legislation that would devastate campaign finance reform and allow for greater corporate influence in elections.

http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures#Voter

Richard Heckler 8 months, 1 week ago

Presidential Elections Inequality: The Electoral College in the 21st Century

Original article: http://www.fairvote.org/?page=1729

The Electoral College is more than just an antiquated anachronism that can misfire and elect the candidate who loses the national vote; it has come to establish and entrench political inequality.

As proven definitively in FairVote's new reports The Shrinking Battleground and Who Picks the President?, the Electoral College system will, if not reformed, relegate two-thirds of Americans to the sidelines during presidential elections for years to come. Today, record-setting campaign resources are targeted at just a handful of states.

Voter mobilization money, advertising dollars, campaign energy, candidate visits and almost certainly policy decisions are all spent to sway voters in roughly a dozen states. That number of competitive states is far smaller -and more consistent election to election- than it was just two decades ago. The result is rapidly growing inequality in voter turnout, especially among young people. Racial fairness is undermined because these states are disproportionately white.

The American people have reliably supported a national popular vote for president, but public support has not led to change. Reform efforts have started and ended in Congress as Constitutional Amendments. Even in 1969, when more than 80% of House Members voted for direct election and backers included the NAACP, AFLI-CIO, Chamber of Commerce, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, Senate opponents were able to kill direct elections with a filibuster.

The problems the Electoral College created in the 1960s were real, but nothing like what it does to democracy today. Still, reformers' despair about the potential to abolish the Electoral College has severely limited debate about what the Electoral College does to our modern democracy. To correct this failure, in 2005 FairVote established our Presidential Elections Reform program.

We have helped show that our talk of a national vote for president is not just an intellectual exercise. The program has helped develop a coalition of groups and individuals to support the National Popular Vote campaign designed to achieve a national popular vote for president through action in the states.

The program's major reports The Shrinking Battleground and Who Picks the President? have established with clarity and power that electing the president state by state rather than nationally hurts our democracy.

This publication collects these reports and other fact sheets and writings from the Presidential Elections Reform program. We believe it will be an essential resource for those seeking to base American democracy on every American having an equal and meaningful vote.

Brett McCabe 8 months, 1 week ago

Please like: 1010 Lawrence on Facebook if you support Lawrence taking the initiative in the state to be the first community to raise the minimum wage.

Armen Kurdian 8 months ago

EVERYONE ON THIS BOARD IS AN IDEOT!!! :-)

OK, that was a joke, as the misspelling above. Both parties have egregious examples of corporate welfare, funneling money to constituents, and wasting it. Tax cuts do stimulate the economy, create jobs, and have a greater benefit that tax hikes do. However, politics and self-interest are always involved. There absolutely has to be a wholesale rewrite of the tax code, and it could even be revenue neutral, and you'd see a huge economic expansion. No more specific tax breaks for this or that, no more corporate welfare, minimum tax for lower income earners (maybe a couple hundred dollars) to get them to put skin in the game, and make them more conscientious of tax policy, But this country is losing its stature and is dying from the inside.

As for the electoral college, I wholeheartedly disagree. Eliminating it would diminish the stautre of the states. States choose the president as individual units, it should not be direct popular vote.

James Howlette 8 months ago

Armen, I think the only thing you're proving is that you have been sold on a bill of goods. Poor people already have "skin in the game." Sales tax, fuel tax, payroll tax, etc. They don't need to be "made aware" of tax policy. Tax cuts to the rich do not stimulate the economy, and the "revenue neutral" shift you're proposing would result in tax increases to the people least able to afford them. Trying for a "both sides do it" argument is really not the smart move here. The poor don't bribe politicians to give them massive tax cuts in exchange for political donations like the Kochs do.

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