Introduction to American friends of comparative fiscal policy driven by party financing
This article belongs to a series of the author for German readers and is a continuation of his article “Grover Norquist and the Donors of Evil – Crash at Fiscal Cliff by ATR’s ‘Tax Pledge’?”, reader-edition.de, Nov. 28, 2012. The author, a German privately researching fiscal economist and financial consultant, has written the article in German and then tried to translate it into English for American friends of comparative fiscal policy as it concerns both systems. The US-data have been conscientiously studied, but suggestions of American independent economic researchers would be appreciated.
Pressure on lawmakers by donations of evil
Crossroads GPS is one of the two major “donors” to the Republican top tax rate cutter Grover Norquist and his “non-profit” self-service organization “Americans for Tax Reform” (ATR). He pressed most of the Republican lawmakers to underwrite his tax pledge, which forbids now any return to the top tax rate effective before George W. Bush cut it down ten years ago. (Cf. here “Grover Norquist and the Donors of Evil – Crash at Fiscal Cliff by ATR’s ‘Tax Pledge’?”, Nov. 28, 2012, which is the second part of this series on the 2012 presidential campaign.)
This cutback by Bush contributed largely to the exploding of US public debt doubling during that time to 15 Trillion Dollars (cf. “Hitting the Debt Ceiling”, faithandheritage.com, retrieved December 6, 2012). The pressure is so imperative that Norquist expects the Republican pledgers to risk a crash of the US economy at the fiscal cliff. But “… even that’s less catastrophic than a default on American debt”, said Gerald F Seib rightly in his article “President Has Small Edge On ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Leverage”, wsj.com, Nov. 20, 2012.)
In fact, CBO-predictions show that by going over the “fiscal cliff” without concessions to Norquist and his self captivated pledgers, the outlook in the medium term will be sound (cf. here “Grover Norquist and the Donors of Evil – Crash at Fiscal Cliff by ATR’s ‘Tax Pledge’?”, Nov. 28, 2012). Such policy would also be helpful against similar minded German neo-liberal upwards distributors and would deliver us from this evil of public poverty growing by private wealth of very small minorities.
These complaints about purchasing the US democracy might be heard by the Federal Election Commission FEC if such billionaires don’t keep enough formal distance to their financially dependent candidates and party using their Super PACs. Such “freedom” to purchase democracy is granted by the Republican nominated majority of the US Supreme Court only if the Super PACs keep this formal independence for their “independent expenditures” from their distribution boxes. (Cf. for example Wikipedia Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission.)
Big spenders justify their freedom to manipulate majorities by millions of dollars for example arguing that also the media capital makes enormous “independent expenditures” for upwards distribution (which choke the consumption demand and the labor market). These manipulations are driven only by the interests of their capital donors in accordance with their best paid mercenaries and are not even presented as campaign advertising but as independent expressions of opinion. Such commitments are in Germany probably still higher than all other manipulative expenditures.
If those “independent” millions are not formally assigned by the donors to be forwarded to their dependent candidates or party but only covertly agreed to this purpose, then such Super PACs insist that they themselves act “independently” and that their donors, therefore, have not to be disclosed. By this twist, Crossroads GPS blamed the FEC for: `Misstatement of Law’ on Disclosure”, go.bloomberg.com, Nov. 30, 2012, because “their money wasn’t earmarked to fund independent expenditures” and that the non-declaration of its “donors” and receivers was, therefore, not illicit. In this way, Republican donation receivers try all pseudo-legal tricks to conceal their generous million dollar donors to the voters.
They also try to maintain their wrongful tax-exempt status and to keep their “donors” anonymous by cheating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about their campaign “donations” telling them with regard to their “shaping legislation and policy” that “any such activity will be limited in amount, and will not constitute the organization’s primary purpose”. The rest is for manipulations called “public education” and the correspondent “research”. String-puller for Crossroads GPS and other “Dark Money spenders” of Republicans is their strategist Karl Rove. In fact, they “raise and spend hundreds of millions to influence candidate elections” (cf. “Campaign 2012 – Revealing Dark Money and Big Data – Karl Rove’s Dark Money Group Promised IRS It Would Spend ‘Limited’ Money on Elections”, propubica.org, Dec. 14, 2012).
Other examples of these democracy buyers are the Tea Party financiers Charles and David H. Koch, who “generously” donate millions for the “welfare of billionaires”. (Cf. “Koch Brothers PAC Identified as Source of Illicit $11 Million Contribution in California“, dailykos.com, Nov. 5, 2012. )
More obvious to everybody are just now again the effects of evil donations by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights groups to the lobbyists of their “Grand Old Party” as opensecrets.org explains it:
Gun rights groups have given more than $17 million in individual, PAC and soft money contributions to federal candidates and party committees since 1989. Nearly $15 million, or 85 percent of the total, has gone to Republicans.
(Cf. “Gun Control vs. Gun Rights”, opensecrets.org, retrieved 12/14/2012, and “Connecticut elementary school massacre: At least 27 dead, including 20 children”, tv.msnbc.com, 12/14/2012.)
Examples for the purchase of democracy in Germany can be found on the site rossaepfel-theorie.de/Meinungskauf/Demokratie-Kauf.htm, which is still temporarily blocked after a “written warning” (Abmahnung) of the German now formally bankrupt big capital news agency dapd ( “Heuschrecke im Größenwahn”, taz.de, Oct. 3, 2012) claiming illegal quotations in an analysis of rossaepfel-theorie.de from their texts (unspecified by them) but later on withdrawing their claims without the demanded statement of grounds and thus without any legal certainty. (Cf. http://www.rossaepfel-exkurse.de/).
A German example of “independent expenditure”
A German example of such „independent expenditures“ could be an amount of 650.000 DM spent admittedly by the direct marketing entrepreneur Carsten Maschmeyer in 1998 using an intermediary for an advertisement campaign against the candidate for chancellor Oskar Lafontaine (SPD). Maschmeyer thus propagated the slogan: “The next chancellor has to come from Lower Saxony” (“Der nächste Kanzler muss ein Niedersachse sein”) . Another expenditure of this kind was denied by Maschmeyer. (Cf. „Maschmeyer bestreitet anonyme Parteispende“, daserste/ndr/panorama, 4/28/2012, and Wikipedia: Carsten Maschmeyer.) With the origin of Lower Saxony Maschmeyer meant the later chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) who was rightly expected by Maschmeyer to oppose the Social Democrat Oskar Lafontaine and to betray the Social Democracy by upwards distribution.
In fact, Schröder cut down the top income tax rate by 11 percent so that Maschmeyer got, by tax reduction amounting to 110.000 DM plus Solidarity Tax per one more million of income, the return of his 650.000 DM within very short time. This, together with the rest of Schröder’s neoliberal “Agenda 2010″, is the basis for the ardent applause that he gets still today by the profiteers of the upwards distribution and their neoliberal lobbyists. But the assignment of these expenditures could be independent in the US sense only if it was not agreed with Gerhard Schröder. This cannot be excluded and is not really incredible. But with or without any such agreement, the uncovering of the source of money before the elections would not have been meaningless for the later result.
Privileges and corruption of “Conservators” in Germany and elsewhere
The neo-liberal and conservative privilege conservators in Germany continue to block the ratification of international conventions against corruption, especially the United Nations Convention against Corruption of 2005, which has meanwhile been ratified by 164 states. This blockade is thus sustained by those “Christian” and “Free Democrates” who support the upwards distribution, all the more as the opposite left party or left wing parts of parties don’t experience the “generosity” of those “donors” in any way.
These “rightly thinking” conservators of “traditional” power against the people try everywhere to keep and to enlarge their political stranglehold by money or force, not only in the USA, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Greece, but actually very fiercely in Russia, Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Israel etc., increasingly also within the communist painted state capitalistic predatory regime of Chinese kleptocrats.
The problems in Germany are not only big donations to the “Christians” (Wikipedia: CDU-Spendenaffäre) or the annual 600.000 DM for Helmut Kohl in recognition of his support to right wing media interests („Leo Kirch zahlte Kohl jährlich 600.000 Mark“, ftd.de, August 1, 2003), neither the generous donations for fostering the “political landscape” to the Christians and “Free Democrats” (“Pflege der politischen Landschaft” – cf. Wikipedia: Flick-Affäre) but also their continued refusal of legislation against the corruption of certain lawmakers (cf. „Unternehmen fordern härtere Gesetze gegen Abgeordnetenbestechung“).
Especially, they continue to conceal their indirect “Sponsoring” acquisitions on their party events ( „Sponsoring – Einblicke in das Schattenreich der Parteienfinanzierung“ wdr.de/tv/monitor, Jan. 12, 2012) and to block the limitation of donations to 100.000 € which are given in recognition of their upwards distribution ( „Nicht auf Euro und Cent“, das-parlament.de, Nov. 12, 2012). But the German Constitutional Court cannot let pass any law or court decision once submitted in complaint that supports the purchase of democracy because this would be an attack on human dignity, which is the first principle of the German Constitution. Therefore, this principle stands clearly above that freedom, particularly of plutocrats trying to put their elbow room (Ellenbogen-“Freiheit”) above human dignity.
The former General Secretary of the Christians Democrats (CDU) and actual member of ATTAC, Heiner Geißler, said during a talk show on December 6, 2012, that the party financing by public money should absolutely be preferred to private “donations”. The alleged proximity of such public money to the actual Governments would not be established by the sole fact that this money is forwarded by the president of parliament to the parties in accordance with general law (sh. maybrittillner.zdf.de). The efforts of lobbyists to restrict those moneys have to be considered under the aspect of big spenders enforcing, under this pretext, the primacy of their manipulative “donations”.
This critique is here continued on December 28, 2012 by the article “Tea Party: Down with Top Tax Rate or down the Fiscal Cliff”.