Thursday, May 25, 2017


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OBAMA-CLINTON-TRUMPERnomics: The Massive Transfer of Wealth to the Super Rich Ratcheted up!
The American oligarchy, steeped in criminality and parasitism, can produce only a government of war, social reaction and repression. In its blind avarice, it is creating the conditions for unprecedented social upheavals. It is hurtling toward its own revolutionary demise at the hands of the working class.


The WSWS has reported several times that during Obama’s administration the wealth of the richest 400 Americans grew from $1.57 trillion to $2.4 trillion and the stock market enjoyed one of its most successful runs in history.

The 2017 Whitney Biennial—a survey of contemporary American art: What does it show?

By Clare Hurley 
25 May 2017
Whitney Biennial, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, March 17–June 11, 2017
Every two years, the stated goal of the Biennial exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City is to capture the zeitgeist“spirit of the times”—through a selection of what is considered representative contemporary artwork.
How effectively or exhaustively the outlook of the curators actually permits them to accomplish this ambitious goal, of course, is one question that might be asked before any other. That is to say, do the organizers of the Biennial almost inevitably tend to discover that the zeitgeist coincides with their own vantage point and social concerns?
In any event, this year’s Biennial features art by 63 individuals 

and collectives whose work, the curators note, “arrives at a 

time rife with racial tensions, economic 

inequities, and polarizing politics.”
John Divola, Abandoned Painting B
On that basis, one might reasonably expect to find at least some interesting artwork reflecting aspects of the social reality confronting the majority of the population in 2017. Unfortunately, despite the wide variety of forms and media, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design, almost all the artists selected have framed their awareness of the present situation in terms of personal “identity,” be it race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Social class, if it is included at all, is just an adjective in a longer list. Self-absorption and a devotion to the secondary remain very much on the order of the day.
Intended to showcase a new or rising generation, fully 75 percent of the artists (excluding the six collectives) in the Biennial are less than 50 years old, and more than half the artists were born since 1979. These younger artists have come of age in the US in the midst of almost permanent war and waves of social reaction. They have also matured during a period in which intense subjectivity, eclecticism and disregard for broader historical processes, influenced ideologically in general terms by various strands of postmodernism, have dominated in the visual arts.
The reactionary implications of this outlook erupted immediately upon the Biennial’s opening in mid-March with the call for the suppression and even destruction of Open Casket, a painting by white artist Dana Schutz based on a photograph of the mutilated corpse of black youth Emmett Till, murdered in 1955 by white racists. The attempt to censor the painting was justified on the grounds that Schutz, as a white woman, had no right to “appropriate” the suffering of a black mother, or by extension of African Americans as a group even in artistic form.
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Trump Rally (and Some of Them I Assume are Good People)
The outcry only died down after Schutz promised she would 

never profit from the sale of the painting. There was also 

undoubtedly the general feeling in the media that the identity 

politics crowd had gone too far in this case with their demand 

that the painting should be physically destroyed.

Henry Taylor’s painting THE TIMES THAY AINT A CHANGING, FASTENOUGH!, a representation of Philandro Castile slumped back in his car moments after being shot by Minnesota police, an image that was live-streamed on Facebook in June 2016 by Castillo’s girlfriend, provoked no protests, presumably because the artist in this case is black. It is ironic that in addition to treating generally similar subject matter, Schutz and Taylor both employ a boldly colored, modernist figurative style to interpret their photographic sources.
Unhappily, the baleful influence and absurdities of gender and racial politics were widely on display at the Biennial. The descriptions of the works themselves all too often spoke the jargon of the upper middle class layer obsessed with itself and its experiences, passed off as “the intersection of the personal and the political.”
Notable among the more intriguing work were paintings and drawings by Celeste Dupuy-Spencer (b. 1979). Her rough-edged work has been compared to that of French painter, and socialist, Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), whose manifesto On Realism (1855) became a rallying call for a new generation of artists to focus on the everyday life and physical settings of middle- and working-class people.
Dupuy-Spencer’s work includes a drawing of Trump supporters at a rally, the interior of a gay-bar turned sports-bar, and a group sitting out on the furniture-strewn lawn of their house after its sale. Her images are frequently cluttered with books, posters, record albums and computer screens indicating the various cultural and political influences on these lives, often of a left-leaning character. (See accompanying interview with Dupuy-Spencer.)
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, St Tammany Parish
Other work of interest included a series of large-format photographs by John Divola (b. 1949), who since the 1970s has been photographing the interiors of abandoned houses in his native California. The photos are visually striking for their play of structure and color. Each image incorporates one of a trove of abandoned student paintings that Divola discovered in a dumpster. Those add an element of the human (most of the paintings are figurative) and suggest lives once lived in the otherwise geometrical spaces, adding another layer of loss and abandonment.
Vozkal (2016) by Leigh Ledare (b. 1976) is an hour-long multiscreen video shot in the area connecting three Moscow train stations. Commuters come and go engaged in the seemingly unexceptional behavior of such public, urban spaces. However, the armed police monitoring the scene, as well as a woman relieving herself behind some construction material, hint at a more grim social reality. Similarly, a documentary-style series of photographs by Oto Gillen (b. 1984) of New York City assembles fragments of life at street level juxtaposed with eerie shots of the artificially lit night sky and skyscrapers under construction.
Finally, in Liquor Store Theater, Detroit native Maya Stovall (b. 1982) and other dancers perform a mix of ballet and modern dance in the parking lot of a Detroit liquor store and interact with neighborhood residents as they speak about the conditions in the economically ravaged area.
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Fall With Me for a Million Days (My Sweet Waterfall)
However, the more compelling works are outnumbered by others that are overwrought conceptually, not very interesting artistically, and leavened with artwork that is fanciful, colorful, abstract, “lighter.” Many of the works addressing economic issues are installation, or otherwise conceptual pieces with little or no aesthetic component. Remarkably, Irena Haiduk’s piece, presented as text on the wall, invites female visitors only to buy shares in a Frauenbank to purchase land in the former Yugoslavia.
Debtfairby Occupy Museums, a group aligned with the Occupy protest movement that emerged in the US in 2011, is “ a series of experimental market-actions to highlight—and potentially—redress the crippling debt many artists are incurring.” Interesting and relevant information perhaps, but it requires the artist’s working through social, even scientific material and transforming it by means of imagination to become art of a far more satisfying sort.
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, After Party
And noticeably absent among all the issues, many of them entirely legitimate, addressed in the Whitney Biennial—undocumented immigrants, the US-Mexico border wall, HIV-AIDS, the plight of the Aleut in the Bering Sea—are US imperialism’s endless wars, the Obama administration and the political crisis emerging from the 2016 election, the attacks on democratic rights, social inequality—in short, the most fundamental issues confronting the population.
More thoughtful and farsighted artists of the rising generation will find they need to look beyond their personal “identities” and turn to the big historical and social issues of our time to create a new and more rewarding basis for their work.

Half of US Fortune 500 companies pay next to nothing in state taxes

By John Marion 
25 May 2017
As the Trump administration and Congress prepare to cut federal taxes on corporations by trillions of dollars, a new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) documents that, among the 258 Fortune 500 companies which were profitable in 2014, the average effective tax rate levied by all 50 states was only three percent of profits.
ITEP was able to analyze state and local tax payments for 240 of the 258 companies in question. If these companies had paid the average state corporate tax rate—which was only 6.25 percent—on the $3.7 trillion in US profits that they reported to their shareholders between 2008 and 2015, they would have paid $126 billion more in taxes than they actually did.
Just a few examples give the lie to claims that there is not enough money to fund public education, infrastructure repair, public transportation, Medicaid, and other social needs.
In the eight years between 2008 and 2015, according to the ITEP analysis, International Paper and Levi Strauss had negative effective tax rates (-2 percent and -1.7 percent, respectively). Facebook and Intel had effective rates of 0.3 percent during the same period. United Technologies and Honeywell International, which profit from US military contracts, had rates of 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
In some cases, states have lowered their tax rates on corporate profits in recent years. Massachusetts, for example, had a rate of 10.5 percent until January 1, 2010, but has since stepped it down to 8 percent. The state has also set an absurdly low minimum excise tax amount of $456 for any corporation that cries poor.
According to the ITEP report, North Carolina has a rate of 3 percent this year, Mississippi between 3 percent and 5 percent, Colorado 4.63 percent, Utah and South Dakota 5 percent, and Florida 5.5 percent.
Individual corporations which threaten to move their operations from one state to another are often mollified with special tax breaks. Tax breaks are also given by states to large corporations in order to entice them to move. In just one example, Massachusetts and the city of Boston agreed in January 2016 to give General Electric nearly $150 million of tax breaks and other incentives when it committed to moving its headquarters from Connecticut to Boston. Given that GE promised to bring 800 jobs in the move, the cost per job of the government incentives was $180,000.
In addition to these two factors—low base rates and giveaways that are essentially extortion payments—are a variety of tricks used by corporations to shuffle assets and profits between states. According to the ITEP report, 27 states have enacted or partially enacted combined reporting rules in an attempt to quell the use of bogus subsidiaries in other states that have lower tax rates.
Some of the tricks commonly used in states without combined reporting are just a boardroom version of Three-card Monte. A June 2007 study by the Economic Policy Institute and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center described some:
• Captive REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) pay dividends to their shareholders and can then deduct the dividends paid from the trust’s taxable income. The dividend recipient can then take a dividends received deduction. A “captive” REIT is a shell company for the parent, which owns a controlling share even though REITs are legally required to have at least 100 shareholders. By this means, the parent company avoids paying taxes on its real estate profits.
• Income Shifting: Not only is income moved to shell companies in states with lower (or no) tax rates, but intangible assets can be assigned. “In a recent case, a Massachusetts company had royalty income from third parties. The company simply contributed the intangible asset (a trademark) to a Delaware subsidiary. The subsidiary receives the income and pays no state tax. It then pays dividends to the Massachusetts parent, which qualifies for the 95% dividends received deduction.”
• Factoring of Accounts Receivable: A distributor or wholesaler sells its accounts receivable to an out-of-state affiliate at an artificially low price and says that the affiliate will collect from its customers. Because the price at which it “sold” the receivables is much lower than what the customer owes, the parent company takes a loss on its taxable income. The affiliate then sells the receivables to a third party at a higher price and claims that the resulting revenue is not taxable in Massachusetts.
• Captive Employee Leasing Companies: In one example, “a major publicly-traded corporation paid most of the employees through a separate affiliated corporation that ‘leased’ the employees to the operating entity. The employees then … were not included in the operating company’s payroll for apportionment purposes.”
These practices result not only in low effective tax rates on corporate profits, but also in low corporate tax revenues for states. In Massachusetts, for example, revenues from the individual income tax were $12.1 billion between July 2016 and April 2017, and the regressive sales tax added $5.1 billion to the state treasury. During the same period, corporate taxes contributed only $1.7 billion.
A January 25 report by Kim Rueben and Richard Auxier of the Urban Institute, titled “State Budgets in the Trump Era,” found that in all but 13 states corporate taxes make up less than three percent of revenues.
From National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) data, the authors report that in 2016 half of US states took in less revenue than they budgeted, and 31 states are struggling with shortfalls in their fiscal year 2017 budgets even though states are legally required to have balanced books at the end of each fiscal year. Moreover, “after adjusting for inflation, 32 states spent less in fiscal year 2016 than at their prerecession peak in fiscal year 2008.”
One other practice, codified in law, deprives state governments of billions of dollars in potential revenue. Hospitals, universities, and other large “not-for-profits” are not taxed, despite the size of their revenues or endowments. Partners Healthcare, for example is one of the largest employers in Massachusetts and owns some of its most renowned hospitals. Its yearly revenues are more than $12.1 billion, and according to its 2014 Form 990, $2.7 million was paid to CEO David Torchiana.
Harvard University, with an endowment of $35.7 billion, paid its chief executive $14.9 million in fiscal year 2015. Nonetheless, it is not satisfied with the growth of its endowment. The Boston Globe recently interviewed a recruiter of university investment executives who said, “Harvard was paying their people top Wall Street money for performance that would’ve gotten them fired on Wall Street.” From these commanding heights, Harvard pays the city of Cambridge a small “payment in lieu of taxes” and pays the state nothing.
Many states tie their individual income tax calculations to the federal Adjusted Gross Income, and federal tax expenditures like the deduction for state or local taxes are designed as indirect ways to increase state tax revenues. Federal tax changes under Trump, therefore, will have a cascading effect on individual income taxes in each state. It is too soon to predict the effects on state revenues, but it is certain that workers will be made to pay more taxes.



A Nation dies young, poor, addicted and homeless…. It’s the American dream as the rich get super rich!

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the number of elderly persons who are homeless in the US will have doubled by 2050.

"In the first part of the Lancet series, “Inequality and the 

health-care system in the USA,” the British medical journal’s 

researchers found that these income-based disparities in US 

life expectancy are worsened by the for-profit US health care 

system itself, which relies on private insurers, 

pharmaceutical  companies and health care chains. It is also 

the most expensive health system in the world."

$1.4 trillion in cuts to health program for 
the poor

Whatever its immediate fate, however, the Trump budget 
serves a definite political purpose. It lays down a marker 
for phony budget “debate” in Congress, in which both 
Democrats and Republicans will claim to oppose Trump 
cuts as too drastic while they settle for a “compromise” that 
imposes devastating and unprecedented cuts and serves as 
the prelude to the destruction of Medicare and Social 

Trump budget aims to fatally cripple Medicaid

By Patrick Martin

25 May 2017
The budget plan announced by the Trump administration on Tuesday would cut more than $1.4 trillion over ten years from Medicaid, the main federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled, according to detailed analyses of the budget document by both conservative and liberal think tanks.
While White House officials sought to conceal
this truth, the impact of the budget would be 
to dramatically worsen access to health care 
for the 74 million people now covered by the 
program, half of them children. The 
inevitable result will be greater sickness and 
suffering, and earlier deaths, for vast 
numbers of Americans.
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney initially claimed that the $610 billion in cuts in Medicaid proposed in the budget overlapped extensively with the $834 billion in Medicaid cuts already mandated by the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Obamacare repeal legislation that was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month and is now to be taken up by the Senate.
However, studies by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and other think tanks confirm that there is actually little overlap. The White House has proposed massive additional cuts to Medicaid on top of those in the AHCA. The two numbers should be added together, bringing the total level of cuts to more than $1.4 trillion over a ten-year period.
By 2027, the end of the period covered by the Trump budget projections, annual Medicaid spending will be reduced by 47.2 percent, nearly half.
The budget document presumes that the AHCA will be passed by the Senate and signed into law by Trump. The AHCA effectively repeals the expansion of Medicaid that was a major component of Obamacare and led to the enrollment of 10 million more people in the program, mainly by raising the income ceiling for beneficiaries to 133 percent of the poverty line.
The AHCA converts Medicaid from an entitlement program, where every eligible person is able to enroll and receive guaranteed benefits, to a program based on block grants to the states, the value of which will be capped, forcing states to tighten eligibility, limit enrollment and cut benefits. Under the AHCA, the Medicaid caps would rise at the inflation rate of health care costs generally, a figure much lower than the inflation rate of spending for Medicaid recipients, who are generally poorer and sicker than the general population.
The Trump budget makes the caps even tighter, allowing them to rise only at the general rate of inflation for consumer prices as a whole. Since health care costs have outpaced the Consumer Price Index by a wide margin every year, this amounts to decreeing an annual cutback in the level of Medicaid coverage.
Who depends on Medicaid? About 18 percent of Medicaid spending is for elderly people confined to nursing homes, whose care is not covered by Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those 65 and over. Medicaid pays all or part of the cost for 60 percent of all US nursing home residents, more than a million people.
Another 42 percent of Medicaid spending is for the disabled: the blind, the deaf, those physically crippled and unable to work, and those suffering from serious mental illness.
The remaining 40 percent goes mainly to low-
income parents with children, although some states 
have extended eligibility to childless adults. More 
than half of all births in the United States are to 
mothers covered by Medicaid, with the figure rising 
to as high as 65 percent in a poor state like 
In addition to the gutting of Medicaid, there are other health care-related cuts that will affect millions of working people and their children. One of the most nefarious is a reduction in spending for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The budget proposes to reduce funding by about 20 percent over the next two years, and $6 billion over ten years. CHIP covers the children of working people whose incomes are slightly above the level for eligibility for Medicaid, but still far too low to be able to afford coverage on the private insurance market.
The budget also cuts $1.2 billion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the premier agency in the world for detecting and fighting epidemics like Ebola and Zika. The resulting CDC budget would be its lowest in 20 years. The cuts include a 26 percent reduction in research on birth defects and developmental disabilities, under conditions of a Zika epidemic in the US territory of Puerto Rico, and a 10 percent reduction in the CDC’s office of public health preparedness and response.
In an angry tweet, former CDC Director Tom Frieden said the Trump budget request for the agency was “unsafe at any level of enactment.” He added that the cuts “Would increase illness, death, risks to Americans, and health care costs.”
Budget Director Mulvaney spelled out the real concerns of the Trump White House when he responded to criticism that the budget was heartless in its treatment of the poor, sick and disabled. “Compassion needs to be on both sides of that equation,” he said Tuesday. “Yes, you have to have compassion for folks who are receiving the federal funds, but also you have to have compassion for the folks who are paying it.”
“Compassion for the billionaires”—the new mantra of the Trump administration and of American capitalist politics as a whole!
But not even the American corporate media could sell such a political slogan. Instead, press reports have sought to muddy the waters and dispel popular outrage by dismissing the Trump budget as unlikely to be enacted. There has been much attention to declarations by congressional Republicans that Trump’s budget plan was “dead on arrival,” and that the budget committees in the House and Senate would write their own budget plans without regard to the White House document.
Whatever its immediate fate, however, the Trump budget serves a definite political purpose. It lays down a marker for a phony budget “debate” in Congress, in which both Democrats and Republicans will claim to oppose Trump cuts as too drastic while they settle for a “compromise” that imposes devastating and unprecedented cuts and serves as the prelude to the destruction of Medicare and Social Security.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan hailed the Trump budget document as a starting point. “At least we now have common objectives,” he said, adding that the “last president never proposed, let alone tried, to balance the budget.”
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said Republicans “dislike this budget almost as much as we do.” He continued: “Democrats and Republicans will tell President Trump and his minions to stay at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Let us work out a budget together that will make America a better place.”
The top congressional Democrat thus held out the prospect of bipartisan collaboration with Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican reactionaries, whose main objection to the budget plan is Trump’s refusal to call openly for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
Health care, pensions, food stamps, education, housing, science, art, environmental regulations are being gutted to pay for a multitrillion-dollar tax cut for the rich and increased military spending. Programs that are 
essential to maintaining the rudiments 
of civilized life in a modern, complex 
society—enacted under the pressure of 
mass struggles of the working class—
are being destroyed by two political 
parties of big business and a 
government of, by and for the financial 




Will they finish off America as they serve themselves and the super rich???



REGIME and GOD FATHER, GEORGE SOROS… .global looters of the poor!

OBAMA-CLINTON-TRUMPERnomics: The Massive Transfer of Wealth to the Super Rich Ratcheted up!

The American oligarchy, steeped in criminality and parasitism, can produce only a government of war, social reaction and repression. In its blind avarice, it is creating the conditions for unprecedented social upheavals. It is hurtling toward its own revolutionary demise at the hands of the working class.


“The massive transfer of wealth will not go to investment, but to acquiring bigger diamonds; more luxurious mansions, yachts and private jets; new private islands; more  security guards and better-
protected gated  communities to segregate the financial nobility from the masses whom they despise and fear.”

 “Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike,

has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.

This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen


America’s Super-rich Live 15 Years Longer!

………….. America’s Bludgeoned Middle-Class Dies Young, Addicted and Poor!

.... A Glimpse...
$640,000 and breeding anchor babies like bunnies


$640,000 and then they go breed anchor babies for more!

America’s Super-rich Live 15 Years Longer!
………….. America’s Bludgeoned Middle-Class Dies Young, Addicted and Poor!


“Millions of middle class families have been driven to bankruptcy by illness and medical bills.”

“This dramatic contrast in life expectancy between the rich and poor is directly correlated to the growth of obscene wealth at the top among a tiny elite and entrenched poverty among growing numbers of people at the bottom.”….. BUT AMERICA STILL FINDS BILLIONS TO HAND TO MEXICAN INVADERS, WHICH INCLUDES “FREE” HEALTHCARE.

In the first part of the Lancet series, “Inequality and the health-care system in the USA,” the British medical journal’s researchers found that these income-based disparities in US life expectancy are worsened by the for-profit US health care system itself, which relies on private insurers, pharmaceutical companies and health care chains. It is also the most expensive health system in the world.




"These figures present a scathing indictment of the social order that prevails in America, the world’s wealthiest country, whose government proclaims itself to be the globe’s leading democracy. They are just one manifestation of the human toll taken by the vast and all-pervasive inequality and mass poverty.”

Under Obama-Clintonomics, the rich became VERY rich and we got the tax bills for their bailouts and crimes! Trump and his Goldman Sachs regime will double the numbers of rich and quadruple the number of LEGALS living in poverty. 

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