Folks: How Do We Personally Believe In The Independence Of OUR OWN: Supreme Court?

Folks: How Do We Personally Believe In The Independence Of OUR OWN: Supreme Court?

 

Well Folks, do We? This is a case where 1/3 of Our National Government is in the hands and minds of just 9 of Our own People. I personally would not want to have to be a judge, at any level. Not with all the sins that I know that I have  committed. I don’t want to have to have a job of being a Judge where what the 9 of you say, is final. Folks, that’s just like being one step away, or below, God! I am not saying that this Job can’t be done, but to be Truly Independent of the Other 2 Branches of Our Government, at every level is necessary. To me, and I know that I could be wrong, but I believe that in Our Country’s Supreme Court Job Description, that Job Description is to make sure that all Laws are Constitutional! Now again, do the Nine Folks we now have on The Nations Top Court realize the weight upon each of them to be in charge of 1/3 of Our Government? Personally, there is no way, no amount of money that could get me to want that Job. Think of the pressure on all 9 of these folks to be, Honest. Has Our Nations Supreme Court become nothing but pawns of Big Politics, and Big Money? Do you have the Intelligence, and the Morals, do you Mr. Kavanaugh? What are you walking into Mr. Kavanaugh, do you really know? Well folks, as a very dear friend of mine used to say once in a while, “we shall see what we shall see.” Fore without an independent Supreme Court, there is no Democracy and as little as 9 people holds in their hands the weight of 1/3 of the Constitutional Government. Their sort of like those “Super Delegates” the Democrats been hosting, aren’t they? Except if you can totally control one of these 3 Branches of our Government, 9 people could control our Country. How much weight is on Mr. Kavanaugh? How much weight is on all 9 of these people? As I said earlier, I wouldn’t want this job no matter what the pay. When we add in the reality that another 1/3 of Our Government is in the hands of just One Person. Folks this means that 2/3 of Our whole Government is the Hands of 10 people. That is too much power if those positions aren’t filled with quality persons, now who decides what “Quality” is. Now Folks, does this help you see why I would not want to ever have to be in the place of one of these nine Folks.

Donald Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes And Outright Tax Fraud

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes
as He Reaped Riches From His Father

The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.

President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help.

But The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.

Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.

These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.

The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.

The president declined repeated requests over several weeks to comment for this article. But a lawyer for Mr. Trump, Charles J. Harder, provided a written statement on Monday, one day after The Times sent a detailed description of its findings. “The New York Times’s allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory,” Mr. Harder said. “There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which The Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate.”

Mr. Harder sought to distance Mr. Trump from the tax strategies used by his family, saying the president had delegated those tasks to relatives and tax professionals. “President Trump had virtually no involvement whatsoever with these matters,” he said. “The affairs were handled by other Trump family members who were not experts themselves and therefore relied entirely upon the aforementioned licensed professionals to ensure full compliance with the law.”

[Read the full statement]

The president’s brother, Robert Trump, issued a statement on behalf of the Trump family:

“Our dear father, Fred C. Trump, passed away in June 1999. Our beloved mother, Mary Anne Trump, passed away in August 2000. All appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid. Our father’s estate was closed in 2001 by both the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State tax authorities, and our mother’s estate was closed in 2004. Our family has no other comment on these matters that happened some 20 years ago, and would appreciate your respecting the privacy of our deceased parents, may God rest their souls.”

The Times’s findings raise new questions about Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his income tax returns, breaking with decades of practice by past presidents. According to tax experts, it is unlikely that Mr. Trump would be vulnerable to criminal prosecution for helping his parents evade taxes, because the acts happened too long ago and are past the statute of limitations. There is no time limit, however, on civil fines for tax fraud.

The findings are based on interviews with Fred Trump’s former employees and advisers and more than 100,000 pages of documents describing the inner workings and immense profitability of his empire. They include documents culled from public sources — mortgages and deeds, probate records, financial disclosure reports, regulatory records and civil court files.

The investigation also draws on tens of thousands of pages of confidential records — bank statements, financial audits, accounting ledgers, cash disbursement reports, invoices and canceled checks. Most notably, the documents include more than 200 tax returns from Fred Trump, his companies and various Trump partnerships and trusts. While the records do not include the president’s personal tax returns and reveal little about his recent business dealings at home and abroad, dozens of corporate, partnership and trust tax returns offer the first public accounting of the income he received for decades from various family enterprises.

[11 takeaways from The Times’s investigation]

What emerges from this body of evidence is a financial biography of the 45th president fundamentally at odds with the story Mr. Trump has sold in his books, his TV shows and his political life. In Mr. Trump’s version of how he got rich, he was the master deal maker who broke free of his father’s “tiny” outer-borough operation and parlayed a single $1 million loan from his father (“I had to pay him back with interest!”) into a $10 billion empire that would slap the Trump name on hotels, high-rises, casinos, airlines and golf courses the world over. In Mr. Trump’s version, it was always his guts and gumption that overcame setbacks. Fred Trump was simply a cheerleader.

“I built what I built myself,” Mr. Trump has said, a narrative that was long amplified by often-credulous coverage from news organizations, including The Times.

Certainly a handful of journalists and biographers, notably Wayne Barrett, Gwenda Blair, David Cay Johnston and Timothy L. O’Brien, have challenged this story, especially the claim of being worth $10 billion. They described how Mr. Trump piggybacked off his father’s banking connections to gain a foothold in Manhattan real estate. They poked holes in his go-to talking point about the $1 million loan, citing evidence that he actually got $14 million. They told how Fred Trump once helped his son make a bond payment on an Atlantic City casino by buying $3.5 million in casino chips.

But The Times’s investigation of the Trump family’s finances is unprecedented in scope and precision, offering the first comprehensive look at the inherited fortune and tax dodges that guaranteed Donald J. Trump a gilded life. The reporting makes clear that in every era of Mr. Trump’s life, his finances were deeply intertwined with, and dependent on, his father’s wealth.

Donald J. Trump accumulated wealth throughout his childhood thanks to his father, Fred C. Trump.

By age 3, Mr. Trump was earning $200,000 a year in today’s dollars from his father’s empire. He was a millionaire by age 8. By the time he was 17, his father had given him part ownership of a 52-unit apartment building. Soon after Mr. Trump graduated from college, he was receiving the equivalent of $1 million a year from his father. The money increased with the years, to more than $5 million annually in his 40s and 50s.

Fred Trump’s real estate empire was not just scores of apartment buildings. It was also a mountain of cash, tens of millions of dollars in profits building up inside his businesses, banking records show. In one six-year span, from 1988 through 1993, Fred Trump reported $109.7 million in total income, now equivalent to $210.7 million. It was not unusual for tens of millions in Treasury bills and certificates of deposit to flow through his personal bank accounts each month.

Fred Trump was relentless and creative in finding ways to channel this wealth to his children. He made Donald not just his salaried employee but also his property manager, landlord, banker and consultant. He gave him loan after loan, many never repaid. He provided money for his car, money for his employees, money to buy stocks, money for his first Manhattan offices and money to renovate those offices. He gave him three trust funds. He gave him shares in multiple partnerships. He gave him $10,000 Christmas checks. He gave him laundry revenue from his buildings.

Much of his giving was structured to sidestep gift and inheritance taxes using methods tax experts described to The Times as improper or possibly illegal. Although Fred Trump became wealthy with help from federal housing subsidies, he insisted that it was manifestly unfair for the government to tax his fortune as it passed to his children. When he was in his 80s and beginning to slide into dementia, evading gift and estate taxes became a family affair, with Donald Trump playing a crucial role, interviews and newly obtained documents show.

The line between legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion is often murky, and it is constantly being stretched by inventive tax lawyers. There is no shortage of clever tax avoidance tricks that have been blessed by either the courts or the I.R.S. itself. The richest Americans almost never pay anything close to full freight. But tax experts briefed on The Times’s findings said the Trumps appeared to have done more than exploit legal loopholes. They said the conduct described here represented a pattern of deception and obfuscation, particularly about the value of Fred Trump’s real estate, that repeatedly prevented the I.R.S. from taxing large transfers of wealth to his children.

“The theme I see here through all of this is valuations: They play around with valuations in extreme ways,” said Lee-Ford Tritt, a University of Florida law professor and a leading expert in gift and estate tax law. “There are dramatic fluctuations depending on their purpose.”

The manipulation of values to evade taxes was central to one of the most important financial events in Donald Trump’s life. In an episode never before revealed, Mr. Trump and his siblings gained ownership of most of their father’s empire on Nov. 22, 1997, a year and a half before Fred Trump’s death. Critical to the complex transaction was the value put on the real estate. The lower its value, the lower the gift taxes. The Trumps dodged hundreds of millions in gift taxes by submitting tax returns that grossly undervalued the properties, claiming they were worth just $41.4 million.

The same set of buildings would be sold off over the next decade for more than 16 times that amount.

The most overt fraud was All County Building Supply & Maintenance, a company formed by the Trump family in 1992. All County’s ostensible purpose was to be the purchasing agent for Fred Trump’s buildings, buying everything from boilers to cleaning supplies. It did no such thing, records and interviews show. Instead All County siphoned millions of dollars from Fred Trump’s empire by simply marking up purchases already made by his employees. Those millions, effectively untaxed gifts, then flowed to All County’s owners — Donald Trump, his siblings and a cousin. Fred Trump then used the padded All County receipts to justify bigger rent increases for thousands of tenants.

After this article was published on Tuesday, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said the agency was “reviewing the allegations” and “vigorously pursuing all appropriate areas of investigation.”

All told, The Times documented 295 streams of revenue that Fred Trump created over five decades to enrich his son. In most cases his four other children benefited equally. But over time, as Donald Trump careened from one financial disaster to the next, his father found ways to give him substantially more money, records show. Even so, in 1990, according to previously secret depositions, Mr. Trump tried to have his father’s will rewritten in a way that Fred Trump, alarmed and angered, feared could result in his empire’s being used to bail out his son’s failing businesses.

Of course, the story of how Donald Trump got rich cannot be reduced to handouts from his father. Before he became president, his singular achievement was building the brand of Donald J. Trump, Self-Made Billionaire, a brand so potent it generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue through TV shows, books and licensing deals.

Constructing that image required more than Fred Trump’s money. Just as important were his son’s preternatural marketing skills and always-be-closing competitive hustle. While Fred Trump helped finance the accouterments of wealth, Donald Trump, master self-promoter, spun them into a seductive narrative. Fred Trump’s money, for example, helped build Trump Tower, the talisman of privilege that established his son as a major player in New York. But Donald Trump recognized and exploited the iconic power of Trump Tower as a primary stage for both “The Apprentice” and his presidential campaign.

The biggest payday he ever got from his father came long after Fred Trump’s death. It happened quietly, without the usual Trumpian news conference, on May 4, 2004, when Mr. Trump and his siblings sold off the empire their father had spent 70 years assembling with the dream that it would never leave his family.

Donald Trump’s cut: $177.3 million, or $236.2 million in today’s dollars.

I Am A Conservative Christian And The Evangelical Leaders Do Not Speak For Me

 

I was already planning to write an article today about the so-called Christian Right and Republican Politics and I was just putting the pieces together in my mind on how to write it. Then just before I clicked over to this platform I checked in once more to the Google news site that I read every day and found the embers on which to start my fire.  The top Google News story a few moments ago was from a Writer from the New York Times named Mike Cohen. The story line was “Evangelical Leaders Are Frustrated At G.O.P. Caution On Kavanaugh Allegation.” There was a picture of a man named Ralph Reed whom the article calls “the Social Conservative Leader”, okay, lets stop right there for a moment. Personally I consider myself to be a social conservative Christian and I personally have never heard of Mr. Reed and after reading some of his opinions I am fully sure that he does not represent me at all. I have often wondered how people here in the U.S. who call themselves Christians can possibly throw their support behind either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. I realize that many do lean toward one Party or the other simply because our system only gives us two real choices here in the U.S. and both are obviously saturated in evil. I still believe that we voters must dump both of these evils and give the voters several more choices. For us Christians to condone the evil that is both Parties is to greatly diminish the love and the teachings of Christ whom we say we are followers of. Back in November of 2016 we all witnessed pure evil at the top of both of the Republican and the Democratic Tickets, we the people had a no win situation, many people were simply voting for what they felt was the least of the two evils. If we Christians condone that which is evil then we are and we will be counted among the evil, we must separate ourselves from them.

 

According to Mr. Reed “the Senate Republicans and the White House are not (PROTECTING) Judge Kavanaugh forcefully enough from a sexual assault allegation.” Mr. Reed goes on to say “if Republicans were to fail to defend and confirm such a (obvious and eminently qualified and decent nominee) that it will be difficult to energize the (faith-based) conservatives in November.” I have a few questions about having Mr. Kavanaugh sitting on the Supreme Court of our Country other than “just” this sexual assault case from when he was 17 years old though, but I will start my thoughts to you with this assault allegation. It appears that the events of that night became quite well-known in the school that the girl attended so it is not some just now made up story. There is a letter that has popped up now about 65 girls that Mr. Kavanaugh went to school with that are saying that he was a great guy who showed no signs of this type of behavior. My question on this is that MR. Kavanaugh went to an all boys prep school and the girl who said she was attacked by him went to an all girls prep high school. So, none of these 65 girls went to school with him, it would be a bit odd that they could have known him so well unless he was quite the ‘party animal.’

 

When Mr. Kavanaugh got his first job on the Bench his boss had a very bad reputation for sexual misconduct and in fact he resigned from the Bench because of all of the allegations against him. Mr. Kavanaugh said this past week that he was unaware of his Bosses reputation even though it was well know where he worked at. So, even now, is Mr. Cavanaugh just oblivious to the reality going on around him, is he just ignorant, or is he a liar? The New York Times also reports about how Court Clerk’s (the women) who wanted to get a job under Mr. Kavanaugh needed to have that certain “Model” look as he wanted all his female Clerks to be very good-looking. So, talent and knowledge didn’t seem to mean as much with him as a tight butt and a short skirt does seem to.

 

Now, another very important issue that is being swept under the table by the Republicans in the Senate concerning Mr. Kavanaugh is his finances and his financial records. Bank records show that he has never had more than $60,000 in the bank at any time of his adult life yet he came up with a 20% down payment on a house note of 1.25 million dollars and $107,000 entrance fee for a local Country Club. His finances do not match up with his expenses and his tax records do not match up with where he got the money for his life style. When a person is being considered for a position on the Supreme Court it is normal for the FBI to do a thorough investigation into the person, this has not been done with Mr. Kavanaugh and the Republicans who control the Senate and Mr. Trump do not want to wait long enough for the FBI to run an investigation before they want to vote him onto the Court, why? There are other hypocrisies in Mr. Kavanaugh’s writings like his opinions on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton because of his low character and how he is now willing to over look President Trumps Plethora of examples of no morals.

 

Here is what I am getting at concerning Judge Kavanaugh and concerning the so-called Christian right. First, sexual assault is something that must be taken seriously and should be investigated by the FBI being that this man is seeking a job in which he will sit in judgement of you, me, our children and grandchildren. For a so-called religious leader to act like even the possibility of such an event is something that doesn’t matter, I beg to differ with you on calling such a person a ‘Religious Leader.’ The White House and the Senate are totally treating the Supreme Court as a Political Toy when it is supposed to be totally independent of Politics all together. Procedures need to be followed, including a full FBI investigation into Judge Kavanaugh morals and sexual assault does fall into this category. Also, the FBI needs to do a full investigation into the financial back ground of Judge Kavanaugh to find out who it is that has been funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to him and why it is that there is no record of this money on his tax reports. We the people need honesty from our government, it is obvious that there is little to no honesty in either the Congress or in the White House so it is very important for we the people to at least have some honest people sitting on the Court Benches and for them to be more than just political monkeys.

So, Trump Is Mad At The FBI For Them Doing Their Job, Are You Mad At Them Too?

So, Trump Is Mad At The FBI For Them Doing Their Job, Are You Mad At Them Too?

 

I am not a fan of Donald Trump nor am I a fan of Hillary Clinton, personally I believe that these two should have gotten married, they are just alike. In November of 2016 we the people of the U.S. knew going in to election day that we were all going to end up with an habitual liar as our next President, the only question was, male of female. I have no doubts at all that both of these people as well as several of the people who are close to them are nothing but liars and crooks. It is my personal belief that Hillary, Bill, Donald, Donald Jr, Erick, Jarred Kushner and Ivanka should all be forced to live out the rest of their lives in one 4×8 jail cell in the basement of Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. In that last election I voted for the third-party candidate Gary Johnson, not because I thought that he could win, I never even knew what he said he stands for, I just couldn’t drag myself to have to say that I voted for Donald or for Hillary.

 

Now to the main part of this article. As most everyone who lives here in the States probably knows President Trump is very mad at the FBI because he strongly feels that they should never ever have been investigating reported crimes being committed during the election cycle by himself and his indentured whores. Yet he does feel that they should have been investigating crimes he says that the Hillary Campaign were/are guilty of. I have no doubt that Hillary and her campaign committed many federal, state and local crimes, yet Trump feels that his campaign should get a free pass from the FBI for their crimes. It appears to me that Donald and his henchmen committed about every election crime that is possible to be committed including treason with several foreign and even hostile governments. Personally I would be very upset if the FBI and several of the other ‘Policing Agency’s’ weren’t still investigating Hillary and Donald’s crimes, after all, that is their job! How do you feel about this issue? Should the FBI just give political campaigns a free hand to do any thing with anyone no matter how many laws they are breaking?I still strongly believe that the Special Council should be working hard on ‘the money trail’ and this would include the filed taxes of these fore mentioned players. Remember, Donald still has not made his taxes public, there is a reason for his lies on this matter. On just one issue, one business, his golf club in Ma-largo Florida shows how crooked his is and how willing he is to commit tax fraud. He tells his visitors and golfing buddies that this business is worth over a 100 million dollars yet when he filed his property taxes on it he reported that it was only worth 1 million dollars so that he would only have to pay 1% of the taxes due. Folks, almost all of the houses around this club are valued at more than one million dollars. Donald, just like Hillary, is nothing but a fraud a thief and a liar and he should be in prison, not the Oval Office!

FBI Raids The Office Of Trumps Personal Lawyer

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

The FBI raided the office of Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer and confidant of President Donald Trump, Cohen’s attorney confirmed to CNN Monday.

One source familiar with the matter told CNN that included in the documents authorities seized was information related to Stephanie Clifford, better known as porn actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had an affair with Trump in 2006 that the White House has denied.
Stephen Ryan, a lawyer for Cohen, said in a statement that the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York had executed “a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications” between Cohen and his clients.
A White House official said Trump had been watching TV reports of the FBI raiding Cohen’s office, and that Trump knew about the raid before the news broke.
Ryan’s statement called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary,” and said federal prosecutors had told him it stemmed partially from a referral by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller.
“I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller,” Ryan said in the statement. “… It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients. These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath.”
The New York Times first reported on news of Monday’s raid.
The special counsel’s office declined to comment on the searches Monday.
A person briefed on the search told the Times that the FBI also seized emails, tax documents and business records, including communications between Trump and Cohen.
The White House official said it is unclear if Trump has spoken to Cohen.
Cohen is a longtime ally of the President, and admitted earlier this year to setting up a limited liability company in 2016 to pay Daniels. She has alleged she had an affair with Trump a decade earlier, and that the payment was hush money. The White House has denied Daniels’ allegations of an affair with Trump.
Asked about the Daniels controversy last week, Trump said he did not know about the payment and declined to comment further, instead referring questions to Cohen.
“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” Trump said. “Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”

Slovakian Reporter And His Girlfriend Shot Dead In Their Home

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

 Prague—A Slovak investigative reporter and his girlfriend were shot dead in their home in an attack likely linked to his reporting on tax evasion, Slovakia’s top police official said Monday.

The bodies of 27-year-old Jan Kuciak and his partner were found on Sunday evening in their house in the town of Velka Maca, east of the capital, Bratislava, national police force president Tibor Gaspar said.

Police went to the house at the request of a worried family member.

Gaspar said the slayings “likely have something to do with his investigative activities.” He declined to elaborate.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said if that if that were the case, it would be “an unprecedented attack on freedom of the press and democracy in Slovakia.”

Fico announced his government was offering 1 million euros ($1.23 million) to anyone who helped the authorities find the people responsible.

Reporters Without Borders, a watchdog group based in Paris, noted that Kuciak was the second journalist killed in the European Union in five months.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, a reporter in Malta who investigated corruption, was killed in October by a bomb that destroyed her car. The crime drew attention to financial corruption on the island nation.

Three Maltese men believed to have triggered the powerful bomb that killed Caruana Galizia were ordered in December to stand trial for murder. Investigators think the men were working for someone, but no mastermind has been identified.

In Slovakia, Gaspar said the reporter was shot in the chest and his girlfriend was shot in the head. He said the killings were estimated to have taken place between Thursday and Sunday.

He added that Slovakia “has never faced such an unprecedented attack on a journalist.”

Kuciak was working for Aktuality.sk news website. He focused mainly on tax evasion.

“We are shocked and stunned by the news that Jan Kuciak and his partner were apparently victims of a cruel attack,” publisher Ringier Axel Springer Slovakia, to which Aktuality.sk belongs, said in a statement.

“We mourn with the family, the friends and the colleagues; we will do everything to support the investigating authorities to bring the perpetrator to justice.”

Kuciak latest story reported on a businessman suspected of selling flats in an apartment complex to his own companies. The reporter questioned the business reason for doing that, and speculated that it could be a method of avoiding taxes.

Last year, Kuciak alleged that the businessman, Marian Kocner, threatened him following publication of a previous story. The reporter said he filed a complaint with police and alleged they failed to act.

Gaspar said everyone who had been in touch with Kuciak will be questioned. Police plan to provide protection for an unspecified number of other reporters from Aktuality.sk, he said without elaborating.

Slovak President Andrej Kiska called Monday for a quick investigation of the crime.

“We have to find those who did it as soon as possible and ensure the safety of all journalists,” Kiska said in a statement.

Editors-in-chief of major Slovak media urged the government to take necessary steps to find the people responsible for the slayings and “to create conditions for the safe work of journalists.”

Reporters Without Borders also pressed for quick action.

“We call for an investigation in order to establish the exact circumstances of Jan Kuciak’s death and we demand that the authorities shed all possible light on this case, especially as he and those close to him had been threatened in recent months,” Pauline Ades-Mevel, head of the group’s Europe and Balkans desk, said in a statement.

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Americans Own Nothing We Are Only Serf’s And Sharecroppers At Best

Americans Own Nothing We  Are Only Serf’s And Sharecroppers At Best

I can see a lot of folks reading this title and thinking that this dude is smoking something. I can especially see the indignation on the faces of a lot of the folks who have worked their hearts out to be able to have titles to land, houses, stocks and bonds, lot of toys and a lot of cash. I can understand why some folks would get upset  with me for making such a statement, and they have a right to be upset. But, don’t be upset with me for speaking the truth. I do agree with these folks, if I am speaking the truth then they and indeed all of the people, even us poor folks should be angry. In this article I will explain my position as to why I believe the way I do about this issue. If you are mad at what I am going to say, you need to direct that anger at the people who make this title and honest and correct statement, not me, I didn’t write any of these laws.

Now I am going to open up my side of this thought for you. I want you to think about this question please, but before you come to an unmovable state of mind please concentrate on what is being said first please. Now, if your possessions can be legally taken away from you, are your possessions ever really ours? I am going to use the house we call home and our cars we drive to push across a plain picture of how we are all being cheated and stolen from. Friends, we are only leasing “our” possessions, in this (our) country, we can never completely totally own them.

I’m pretty sure that you are not surprised that I am going through the tax venue to show you why it is that the governments (city-county-state-federal) that owns absolutely everything. From being a long haul truck driver for about 30 years and logging a little over 3.75 million miles about 3.5 of that in the States the rest in Canada you get to see and hear a lot of changes occurring all around our country. All these things that I would not ever have seen or noticed or known about if I had remained in a factory or law enforcement type of careers. One of the things that you notice is just how much land the Federal Government owns especially in the West. You can drive for many, many miles at a stretch and all the land you see on both sides of the road is Government land. I am going to start east and then go west because a good example to start off with would be the city of Detroit Michigan which is on the border with the beautiful country of Canada and with the city of New Orleans Louisiana which sits as a southern border at the Gulf of Mexico.

Detroit and New Orleans got to where they are from different paths, but still, they are where they are, which is sad and horrible for so many people. Detroit got into the financial possession they are in because of hundreds of thousands of jobs that disappeared during the latest depression. New Orleans got into their current possession because of Hurricane Katrina. In both cities there are massive amounts vacant homes. In Detroit the homes are still there, quickly becoming slums, in New Orleans a lot of the houses were destroyed by wind and water and if they are still physically on the land they are long since condemned. One of the things they do have in common, the people do not own those properties, nor anything that was left in them anymore. This is true even if your property was 100% owned by the tenant. What I am saying is the truth if the owner didn’t keep the property in good condition and of course, if they did not keep up with all of the property taxes. If you didn’t do these things a government agency now own’s (your) paid off property.

Florida would be good place to look at housing issue also but in a lot of cases for different reasons, sort of. As most Americans probably know that Florida is a place were a lot of retired folks from the northern states move to once they have retired. A whole lot of these people who came down there from places like Illinois and Ohio sold their homes and bought a home there. I lived there from  July 1, 1997 till December 15, 2000 and I still have several good friends living there. I put that last sentence in so you would know that I have some knowledge on this issue there. I heard several local area people as well as others on the radio talking about the hard spot they were now in and were going to have to move out of Florida. The reason people kept using was that they no longer had the income to overcome the State’s constantly raising the taxes. I really felt bad for these older people as many didn’t have anywhere they could go to. Some will say well, they can always move in with their kids. There are many who had no one they could move in with. They couldn’t go back to their other house up north because they sold it so that they could buy the home in Florida. If these people were not able to sell their Florida home it will come a time in their near future that one government taxing agencies or another will scoop that property up. There is also the problem down there where the parents have died and the kids who are still up north have a property they cannot afford so they dump it on the market. The problem is when the taxes on that property come due and the kids can’t or won’t pay it the government whom the taxes were owed to now own the property. There is another taxing issue also, it is called the inheritance tax the people who simply don’t have the money to pay the tax or they are not willing to pay it, the Government will take it off your hands for you.

I have now given you three of the four scenarios I am going to give on how and why. You know that once in our recent past when people talked about small town America they had a smile in their eyes because many were born there and raised there but had left. Many small country towns around America are just a ghost of what they were back before, let’s say 1980. A lot of people, especially the younger, and especially the higher educated moved out of small town America and swore that they would never live in that environment again. Many kids cant wait to get to 18 yrs old so that they can go to bigger cities where there is nightlife and better jobs than back in the country. In a lot of cases the industries in these small towns dried up because they couldn’t compete with their bigger better financed competitors who are on the good trade routes into the bigger cities. As I have driven around  our country I have seen so often, especially out west, homes that are being overcome by  grass and weeds. A lot of these homes I have seen look like they are or were nice looking homes, quite often brick homes. There is always a reason for each situation, but for now I would like you to think of a situation as if it were you in the picture. You bought a home for you and your bride out in the country away from the cities and the masses of people, you have kids and raise them and they move away. You and your wife grow old and die. If you are one of the kids the property is given to you, but you don’t want it, you have a job and a life in a city far away. Well for one, you could now have to pay an inheritance tax on the property. You decide you will just sell it before it is taken away from you and hopefully you can make a nice piece of change from the sale. Eventually you start lowering the price of it until you realise that you are not the only one who doesn’t want to live out in the sticks, you can’t sell the house, so the government takes it for taxes due.

I know that there are folks who still think such things could not be possible in our Country, all I can say to that is, O’ really. Do you remember back about 25 yrs ago a Country Singer that most Americans know named Willie Nelson got into hot water with the IRS? Well it seems that the IRS wasn’t very happy with him to put it kindly. Evidentially the IRS said that Willie owed them a lot of money. To make a long story short, Willie had a lot of land and many other possessions, the IRS took just about everything the man owned. Now there is one other case involving a Country Singer named Dottie West, she was nowhere near as well-known or nearly as wealthy as Willie so the government boys really messed with her life. Well, it seems that Ms Dottie got herself in a whole lot of trouble with the IRS also. Ms Dottie did not have the wealth and the possessions that Willie had so the IRS boys showed up at her house one morning with a moving van, they cleaned her out of everything. Now to give the Tax boys some credit, they as far as I know always give you a few notice letters before they come after you. You know, the kind of letters aimed at scaring your shadow right off of your body. When they got to her house, excuse me, to their house and they took absolutely everything, and I do really mean everything, inside and out on the property. Seriously now they not only took the clothes in her closets they took every piece of furniture. They took all of her jewelry even taking the rings and necklace she had on. There is one other thing, before they took her telephones she had to call her neighbor to get a dress to put on because they even took the dress she had on. They left this woman with just the panties and bra that she was wearing. I know several are chuckling at what I just wrote thinking there is no way that she was treated that way. Friends  I would not have ever believed it if I hadn’t heard her on one of those Country talk shows telling this story out on the air waves. If it wasn’t true she was sure taking a big chance that there were no IRS or other government people listening to her on the program. I don’t remember how much time she was given to vacate her/their house, I am pretty sure she said but I just don’t remember what she said.

Back in the mid 1970’s I was only making about seven or eight thousand dollars a year and I started getting very unfriendly letters from the IRS. Back then I just used the W-2 forms to file taxes at the end of the year and when you only worked at one job it should have been pretty much nothing to worry about, I was wrong. Six years after that tax year is when I started getting notices that I missed claiming $400.00 that one year and now, after penalties and interest I owed them $2,200.00. I knew it wasn’t possible being I had only had that one job. The real kick in the butt was that when I called them at the number given I got to speak with a man who was having a really bad day I guess. I asked the man to tell me about this four hundred dollars I had earned and not claimed. You know, on that four hundred dollars, what would the tax have been, maybe $75.00, and now I was supposed to pay them twenty-two hundred. The part that I will always remember to the day I die is the answer he gave me it was “we don’t have to tell you anything, just pay the money you owe”. I have to admit that when people who have the power to rub your butt in the dirt and they have no Spiritual conscience they can really put a hurt on us, the little people.

We all know that when we purchase any item we have to pay the taxes on that item at the store register. About eighteen months ago my wife and I bought a 2005 Chevy so we could have a “back up car”  paying cash at that time. Now we have this piece of paper in our safe that says we own it. Now by law no one can take this car from us legally correct? The problem here is that this answer is wrong. The Courts can take it from you, the Police can physically remove it from you and of course there is a plethora of taxing agencies that can take it for all different kinds of different taxes within the  different Government Agencies. If it can be legally taken from you, is it really yours? Courts even have the authority to freeze all of your banking accounts and disallow you from selling any of your properties.

We all have the Federal income taxes we have to pay on all of our earnings. The last I heard there are six states that do not have a State income tax so that leaves forty-four that still have to pay that also. Then of course we all have taxes on every item that can be construed as income, even gifts. The Federal folks get you, then we have the State taxes on everything we buy and of course we can’t forget the County and City taxes. I guess the biggest gripe I have with our Governments taxing arrangements is the personal property taxes we have to pay. You know, we already bought and paid the taxes at the store, then each year we have to pay the taxes on our possessions year after year. The other big problem the tax system should have to stop doing is their so-called “Death Tax”. Why does any one government or person have any right to tax a person or family after their loved ones just died? Now you have to pay this huge tax bill to the Federal Government, that is just plain wrong. Many people are put into a position of having to sell what you just inherited or the Federal Boys will simply take it from you. When we moved to the state of Tennessee about ten years ago I learned of a tax they have here that I had never heard of before. This is a $25.00 Wheel Tax, it is a tax that you have to pay every year on every vehicle that uses a license plate. There are many other taxes and fee’s, heck, you can’t even go fishing without buying a permit first. We could probably between us name off at least a half a page more, we all know that this system is way broke, but how do we the people change anything when the “Public Servants” control almost everything we own, use or see? These bloated Government Agencies would probably tax our used toilet paper if they could find a way to do it. Heck why not, they tax the not yet used product at the stores.

I think I have made my point about why I used the title I did, that we don’t really own anything, we are just renting it paying on the same things every year. Remember some of the people will stoop so low that they will even take the wedding rings off you and your wife’s hand. You know something, now I love the people of this country, it is the people that make what a country is, not the Governments. When a Government stoops so low as to put a Death Tax on their own people they are sinking so low they are raking hot coals out of Hell. We are all in the end game of our lives, but all our hard work, if we were lucky we rented a piece of land. To the money people at the top of the human chain of life all of us little people are no better than Serf’s and Sharecroppers at best. When we die, none of us can take anything with us, all of our possessions are now gone onto someone else who has to keep on paying and paying and paying. If anyone quits paying for any reason they will lose what they thought they had. I believe that is why every person needs to get in touch with your inner self and attach ourselves toward our Creator. There is a calmness then within you that is not like our hard-earned and worked for possessions, this is a calmness that no one can take from you. You can give it away but not any Government or even the Gates of Hell can take this away from you.

Americans Own Nothing We Are All Just Serf’s To The Government

Americans Own Nothing We  Are All Just Serf’s To The Government

(I first wrote this on March 2nd of 2014, do you believe that anything has changed since then?)

I can see a lot of folks reading this title and thinking that this guy is smoking something. I can especially see the indignation on the faces of a lot of the folks who have worked their hearts out to be able to have titles to land, houses, stocks and bonds, lot of toys and or a lot of cash. I can understand why some folks would get upset  with me for making such a statement, and they have a right to be upset. But, don’t be upset with me for speaking the truth. I do agree with these folks, if I am speaking the truth then they and indeed all of the people, even us poor folks should be angry. In this article I will explain my position as to why I believe the way I do about this issue. If you are mad at what I am going to say, you need to direct that anger at the people who make this title and honest and correct statement, not me, I didn’t write any of these laws.

 

Now I am going to open up my side of this thought for you. I want you to think about this question please, but before you come to an unmovable state of mind please concentrate on what is being said first please. Now, if your possessions can be legally taken away from you, are your possessions ever really ours? I am going to use the house we call home and our cars we drive to push across a plain picture of how we are all being cheated and stolen from. Friends, we are only leasing “our” possessions, in this (our) country, we can never completely totally own them.

 

I’m pretty sure that you are not surprised that I am going through the tax venue to show you why it is that the government’s (city-county-state-federal) that owns absolutely everything. From being a long haul truck driver for about 25 years and logging a little over 3.75 million miles about 3.5 of that in the States the rest in Canada you get to see and hear a lot of changes occurring all around our country. All these things that I would not ever have seen or noticed or known about if I had remained in a factory or law enforcement type of careers. One of the things that you notice is just how much land the Federal Government owns especially in the West. You can drive for many, many miles at a stretch and all the land you see on both sides of the road is Government land. I am going to start east and then go west because a good example to start off with would be the city of Detroit Michigan which is on the border with the beautiful country of Canada and with the city of New Orleans Louisiana which sits as a southern border at the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Detroit and New Orleans got to where they are from different paths, but still, they are where they are, which is sad and horrible for so many people. Detroit got into the financial mess they are in because of hundreds of thousands of jobs disappeared during the latest depression. New Orleans got into their current mess because of Hurricane Katrina. In both cities there are massive amounts vacant homes. In Detroit the homes are still there, quickly becoming slums, in New Orleans a lot of the houses were destroyed by wind and water and if they are still physically on the land they are long since condemned. One of the things they do have in common, the people do not own those properties, nor anything that was left in them anymore. This is true even if your property was 100% owned by the tenant. What I am saying is the truth if the owner didn’t keep the property in good condition and of course, if they did not keep up with all of the property taxes. If you didn’t do these things a government agency now owns (your) paid off property.

 

Florida would be good place to look at housing issue also but in a lot of cases for different reasons, sort of. As most Americans probably know that Florida is a place were a lot of retired folks from the northern states move to once they have retired. A whole lot of these people who came down there from places like Illinois and Ohio sold their homes and bought a home there. I lived there from  July 1, 1997 till December 15,2000 and I still have several good friends living there. I put that last sentence in so you would know that I have some knowledge on this issue there. I heard several local area people as well as others on the radio talking about the hard spot they were now in and were going to have to move out of Florida. The reason people kept using was that they no longer had the income to overcome the State’s constantly raising the taxes. I really felt bad for these older people as many didn’t have anywhere they could go to. Some will say well, they can always move in with their kids. There are many who had no one they could move in with. They couldn’t go back to their other house up north because they sold it so that they could buy the home in Florida. If these people were not able to sell their Florida home it will come a time in their near future that one government taxing agencies or another will scoop that property up. There is also the problem down there where the parents have died and the kids who are still up north have a property they cannot afford so they dump it on the market. The problem is when the taxes on that property come due and the kids can’t or won’t pay it the government whom the taxes were owed to now own the property. There is another taxing issue also, it is called the inheritance tax the people who simply don’t have the money to pay the tax or they are not willing to pay it, the Government will take it off your hands for you.

 

I have now given you three of the four scenarios I am going to give on how and why. You know that once in our recent past when people talked about small town America they had a smile in their eyes because many were born there and raised there but had left. Many small country towns around America are just a ghost of what they were back before, let’s say 1980. A lot of people, especially the younger, and especially the higher educated moved out of small town America and swore that they would never live in that environment again. Many kids can’t wait to get to 18 yrs old so that they can go to bigger cities where there is nightlife and better jobs than back in the country. In a lot of cases the industries in these small towns dried up because they couldn’t compete with their bigger better financed competitors who are on the good trade routes into the bigger cities. As I have driven around  our country I have seen so often, especially out west, homes that are being overcome by grass and weeds. A lot of these homes I have seen look like they are or were nice looking homes, quite often brick homes. There is always a reason for each situation, but for now I would like you to think of a situation as if it were you in the picture. You bought a home for you and your bride out in the country away from the cities and the masses of people, you have kids and raise them and they move away. You and your wife grow old and die. If you are one of the kids the property is given to you, but you don’t want it, you have a job and a life in a city far away. Well for one, you could now have to pay an inheritance tax on the property. You decide you will just sell it before it is taken away from you and hopefully you can make a nice piece of change from the sale. Eventually you start lowering the price of it until you realise that you are not the only one who doesn’t want to live out in the sticks, you can’t sell the house, so the government takes it for taxes due.

 

I know that there are folks who still think such things could not be possible in our Country, all I can say to that is, O’ really. Do you remember back about 25 yrs ago a Country Singer that most Americans know named Willie Nelson got into hot water with the IRS? Well it seems that the IRS wasn’t very happy with him to put it kindly. Eventuality the IRS said that Willie owed them a lot of money. To make a long story short, Willie had a lot of land and many other possessions, the IRS took just about everything the man owned. Now there is one other case involving a Country Singer named Dottie West, she was nowhere near as well-known or nearly as wealthy as Willie so the Government boys really messed with her life. Well, it seems that Ms. Dottie got herself in a whole lot of trouble with the IRS also. Ms. Dottie did not have the wealth and the possessions that Willie had so the IRS boys showed up at her house one morning with a moving van, they cleaned her out of everything. Now to give the Tax guys some credit, they as far as I know always give you a few notice letters before they come after you. You know, the kind of letters aimed at scaring your shadow right off of your body. When they got to her house, excuse me, to their house and they took absolutely everything, and I do really mean everything, inside and out on the property. Seriously now they not only took the clothes in her closets they took every piece of furniture. They took all of her jewelry even taking the rings and necklace she had on. There is one other thing, before they took her telephones she had to call her neighbor to get  dress to put on because they even took the dress she had on. They left this woman with just the panties and bra that she was wearing. I know several are chuckling at what I just wrote thinking there is no way that she was treated that way. Friends  I would not have ever believed it if I hadn’t heard her on one of those Country talk shows telling this story out on the air waves. If it wasn’t true she was sure taking a big chance that there were no IRS or other government people listening to her on the program. I don’t remember how much time she was given to vacate her/their house, I am pretty sure she said but I just don’t remember what she said.

 

Back in the mid 1970’s I was only making about seven or eight thousand dollars a year and I started getting very unfriendly letters from the IRS. Back then I just used the W-2 forms to file taxes at the end of the year and when you only worked that one job it should have been pretty much nothing to worry about, I was wrong. Six years after that tax year is when I started getting notices that I missed claiming $400.00 of income that one year and now, after penalties and interest I owed them $2,200.00. I knew it wasn’t possible being I had only had that one job. The real kick in the butt was that when I called them at the number given I got to speak with a man who was having a really bad day I guess. I asked the man to tell me about this four hundred dollars I had earned and not claimed. You know, on that four hundred dollars, what would the tax have been, maybe $75.00, and now I was supposed to pay them twenty-two hundred. The part that I will always remember to the day I die is the answer he gave me it was “we don’t have to tell you anything, just pay the money you owe”. I have to admit that when people who have the power to rub your butt in the dirt and they have no Spiritual conscience they can really put a hurt on us, the little people.

 

We all know that when we purchase any item we have to pay the taxes on that item at the store register. About eighteen months ago my wife and I bought a 2005 Chevy so we could have a “backup car” paying cash at that time. Now we have this piece of paper in our safe that says we own it. Now by law no one can take this car from us legally correct? The problem here is that this answer is wrong. The Courts can take it from you, the Police can physically remove it from you and of course there is a plethora of taxing agencies can take it for all different kinds of the different taxes within the different Government Agencies. If it can be legally taken from you, is it really yours? Courts even have the authority to freeze all of your banking accounts and disallow you from selling any of your properties so that you can’t get the money needed to hire a Lawyer.

 

We all have the Federal income taxes we have to pay on all of our earnings. The last I heard there are six states that do not have a State income tax so that leaves forty-four that still have to pay that also. Then of course we all have taxes on every item that can be construed as income, even gifts. The Federal folks get you, then we have the State taxes on everything we buy and of course we can’t forget the County and City taxes. I guess the biggest gripe I have with our Government’s taxing arrangements is the personal property taxes we have to pay. You know, we already bought and paid the taxes at the store, then each year we have to pay the taxes on our possessions year after year. The other big problem the tax system should have to stop doing is their so-called “Death Tax”. Why does any one government or person have any right to tax a person or family after their loved ones just died? Now you have to pay this huge tax bill to the Federal Government, that is just plain wrong. Many people are put into a position of having to sell what you just inherited or the Federal Boys will simply take it from you. When we moved to the state of Tennessee about ten years ago I learned of a tax they have here that I had never heard of before. This is a $25.00 Wheel Tax, it is a tax that you have to pay every year on every vehicle that uses a license plate. There are many other taxes and fees, heck, you can’t even go fishing without buying a permit first. We could probably between us name off at least a half a page more, we all know that this system is way broke, but how do we the people change anything when the “Public Servants” control almost everything we own or see? These bloated Government Agencies would probably tax our used toilet paper if they could find a way to do it. Heck why not, they tax the not yet used product at the stores.

 

I think I have made my point about the why I used the title I did, that we don’t really own anything, we are just renting it paying on the same things every year. Remember some of the people will stoop so low that they will even take the wedding rings off you and your wife’s hand. You know something, now I love the people of this country, it is the people that make what a country is, not the Governments. When a Government stoops so low as to put a Death Tax on their own people they are sinking so low they are raking hot coals out of Hell. We are all in the end game of our lives, but all our hard work, if we were lucky we rented a piece of land. To the money people at the top of the human chain of life all of us little people are no better than Serf’s and Sharecroppers at best. When we die, none of us can take anything with us, all of our possessions are now gone onto someone else who has to keep on paying and paying and paying. If anyone quits paying for any reason they will lose what they thought they had. I believe that is why every person needs to get in touch with your inner self and attach ourselves toward our Creator. There is a calmness then within you that is not like our hard-earned and worked for possessions, this is a calmness that no one can take from you. You can give it away but no Government or even the Gates of Hell can take this away from you.

Ignoring The Will Of The People

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT)

 

The $1.5 trillion tax bill, hailed with glee and relief by Republicans eager to appease donors and desperate for the year’s first major legislative win, is the most unpopular major piece of legislation to pass in decades.

That may sound remarkable, but it’s not the only case where public opinion – exhaustively collected, analyzed and reported by pollsters, interest groups and political parties – appears to have had little impact on a matter of public interest. President Barack Obama’s Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals program to allow certain young immigrants to stay in the country is also overwhelmingly approved of by the electorate. But Congress failed to codify that program as it prepared to wind up for the year. Background checks for gun buyers, too, enjoys widespread public approval, polls consistently show – but that idea, too, never manages to get enough votes for passage.



So what’s the congressional calculation? Do they not trust the polls, or care what Americans think? Lawmakers do indeed care, pollsters and political analysts say. They just care more about what certain people think and want.

“If you polled big donors, you’d find overwhelming support for the tax bill,” says Stan Collender, executive vice president at Qorvis MSLGROUP and a leading expert on the federal budget and taxes. The presumption – “and it’s a little risky, is that money can overcome the anger of the individual voter,” Collender adds. “To them, somehow, $1,000 is worth more than 1,000 votes.”

Polls show that the tax bill, passed on party-line votes, gets abysmally low marks from the public, a majority of whom also believe the package was designed to help the rich at the expense of the middle class. An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll taken shortly before the votes showed just 24 percent of Americans thought it was a good idea. A Monmouth University poll found that half of Americans believe their taxes will actually go up under the package, which provides for a bigger standard deduction, but limits on such popular deductions such as state and local tax payments and mortgage interest.

A CNN poll showed 55 percent opposed (10 points higher than the previous month), with 37 percent thinking they will be worse off.

According to an analysis by George Washington University political science professor Chris Warshaw, that makes the tax bill the second-most hated piece of legislation in the past quarter century-plus, behind only Trumpcare – which didn’t pass. Even the bank bailout of 2008 and the failed Clinton health care plan of 1993 were more popular with voters.

Republicans are already nervous about losing control of the House next year, spooked by off-year elections which had Democrats making inroads in the politically critical suburbs and flipping 33 state legislative seats (compared to just a single blue-to-red flip). But lawmakers are more worried about vocal interest groups and wealthy donors who can cripple their campaigns before they get the chance to make their pitches to voters, experts say.

“It has a lot to do with money,” says Lee Miringoff, director of the nonpartisan Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, New York, pointing to the “Citizens United” Supreme Court case which allowed corporations and interest groups to spend massive amounts of money to influence elections.

“We see the tremendous impact of the lobby community in the tax bill. Lobbying interests were very much dominant in drafting and creating this approach.” And that means public opinion, so painstakingly quantified by pollsters candidates themselves hire, is often disregarded.

Not all matters should be decided by public polls, political veterans say, noting that congressmen and senators were elected to exercise their informed judgment on issues and balance public needs. If a pollster asked Americans if they thought schools, infrastructure and other public operations should be top-notch, they’d likely say yes. But they also might want to pay lower taxes, making the first goal harder.

But on several major issues in the news, the views of the public at large appear to have no effect on Congress.

For example, Americans overwhelmingly agree that so-called “Dreamers” – young people whose parents brought them into the United States illegally, and who have known no other home than America – should be allowed a way to stay lawfully, either with a path to citizenship or some kind of legal status. A recent poll by the nonpartisan Marist Institute for Public Opinion shows that a combined 81 percent of Americans want this, compared to 15 percent who believe they should be deported. The stay-here-legally side includes 67 percent of Republicans.

The problem, says Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-immigrant group America’a Voice, is that lawmakers are divided into three broad groups – the pro-immigrant side, the build-the-wall side, and a group in the middle trying to balance a desire to be compassionate to Dreamers with a wish to maintain border security. While the hardliners against legal status may be in the minority, they are also often the loudest and most likely to punish a candidate for defiance, experts say.

“The path of least resistance inevitably becomes more attractive for people in the middle,” Sharry laments.

Special interest groups across the board have outsized influence because of their financial resources to influence campaigns as well as their ability to rile up their rank-and-file members, analysts say. That explains, they say, how the National Rifle Association has been able to quash any effort to tighten up background checks for gun buyers, despite consistent evidence that the public wants it. A Quinnipiac University poll last summer, for example, showed that 94 percent of Americans endorse background checks for all gun buyers.

The current political environment, too, is to blame, says Tim Malloy of the Quinnipiac poll. “We are so polarized and people are so entrenched – either pro-Trump or anti-Trump. I think it’s grown out of anger. It’s an angry disillusioned country right now,” Malloy says. “People at this point are almost impervious to the issues” themselves.

The public can fight back, and has: in 1988, Congress passed a law to provide catastrophic health coverage to seniors. The cost was shifted to the older Americans, who revolted (including by chasing the car of the then-Ways and Means Committee chairman, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill.). Congress repealed the law the following year.

As for the tax bill, “the Republicans are betting that by the time people realize what a turkey this bill is, it will be somebody else’s problem,” Collender says. And that problem may be dumped onto the tax bill-hating Democrats, should they succeed in wresting control of Congress.

Tags: taxestax codecorporate taxesRepublican Partycampaign financeCongress

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