Progressive critics and advocacy groups are responding with alarm and anger to the Trump administration’s refusal to disclose the names of more than 4.5 million companies that have collectively received over $500 billion in corporate bailout money through a federal program created to provide businesses with relief from the coronavirus pandemic.
The over $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by Trump in March established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $349 billion in funding for forgivable loans. After the initial capital ran out in just 13 days, lawmakers approved $310 billion more
Documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) show that a powerful corporate lobby front group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is playing a leading role in the right-wing movement to push for early reopening of the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic that has cost the United States 61,680 lives to date.
ALEC is a corporate pay-to-play operation where legislators and corporate lobbyists vote behind closed doors to adopt model legislation on a broad range of public policy issues.
More than 90 large, profitable corporations on the Fortune 500 list effectively did not pay a penny in federal income taxes in 2018, according to a new report published Monday by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
By Dan Feidt, Freddy Martinez, Unicorn Riot
November 17, 2019
Isle of Man, UK – A blast of sunshine has hit a secretive banking network used by global ultra-wealthy figures following a massive hack by “Phineas Fisher“, a notorious self-described “hacktivist”, of Cayman National Bank and Trust, which serves nearly 1,500 accounts in Isle of Man. Transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets has began publishing copies of the bank’s servers, a cache of documents as well as communications among bankers and others. Journalists around the world have been investigating the data for months and have begun publishing the first of their stories.
Remember what Republicans called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”?
As you know (if you’ve been paying attention), the “Jobs” part of the Republican bill was a huge lie.
Corporations didn’t generally invest in their companies, their workforce, or create jobs. They spent BILLIONS buying back shares to boost the stock price (executives’ bonuses get a boost when the company’s stock price goes up).
Five companies blow $55 billion in Q1 to prop up their own shares.
The Seminar Network, which includes the constellation of groups funded by the billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and around 700 like-minded conservatives and libertarians who contribute at least $100,000 annually, will now operate as Stand Together.
Freedom Partners, an entity that was once used to air campaign
commercials, will cease to exist. Americans for Prosperity will now
oversee all political and policy efforts. Groups that cater to specific
constituencies, like Libre for Latinos or Concerned Veterans for
America, have moved under the AFP umbrella.
Corporations, which drove the train, got even more of a tax cut than they wanted. Yet they refused to promise that their huge tax break would hike worker wages. Medium-sized and big businesses got something they had only dreamed of — though in provisions so badly written one tax expert called them a “travesty.”
Rich Republicans lobbied Trump at a Manhattan fundraiser and got 2.6 percentage points lopped off their highest tax bracket.
Deficit hawks, that is, those opposed to creating any new federal debt, hemmed and hawed and finally folded, as one commentator put it, “like a cheap suit.”
An idea that would have raised $1 trillion and paid for much of the tax cuts was soundly defeated by a powerful business lobby.
Republicans used $1.5 trillion in what some call accounting gimmicks to either hide the true cost of the bill or help justify their votes.
The bill was drafted in secret, partly to keep it from Congress’s own members who, it was feared, would leak it to lobbyists.
[And, of course, the Koch brothers and their fellow plutocrats were involved.]
The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in September 2016 looked at its
proposals for individual tax cuts and found that by 2025, 99.6 percent
of its net tax cuts would go to the top 1 percent of earners. The
nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said the plan would cause the federal debt
to rise $3 trillion in its first 10 years and $6.6 trillion by the end
of the second decade.
The oil industry engaged in a secret public relations campaign to undermine U.S. fuel economy standards
One of the main actors was the largest oil refiner in the country, Marathon Petroleum. Marathon, along with others, ran a “stealth campaign to roll back car emissions standards,” the NYT reported. The campaign argued that the U.S. no longer needs fuel economy standards because it is now such a massive producer of oil.