A "Balancing Act" We Can All Lean Toward!

A "Balancing Act" We Can All Lean Toward!

On Tuesday, President Obama urged Congress to put off the looming sequester of nearly a trillion dollars in spending cuts. But if he wants to find a suitable replacement to reduce the deficit, and stimulate the economy – he should look to the left-wing of his own party: the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

On Tuesday, the CPC announced it will introduce legislation known at the “Balancing Act”, that will scrap the sequester – raise new revenue from the rich who aren’t paying their fair share – and make critical investments in our economy and infrastructure. To begin with, the CPC’s proposal will raise $960 billion in revenue to replace the sequester, by closing tax loopholes for the billionaire hedge fund managers, closing loopholes for corporations that ship American jobs overseas, and by cutting off billions in taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil. The plan also cuts our war budget by $300 billion.

With the extra revenue, the CPC proposes new investments in education, in infrastructure, and in the middle class, with new tax cuts that actually help working people. Altogether – the proposal will slash the deficit by $3.3 trillion – and at the same time create more than a million jobs. Voters spoke loud and clear last November, when they re-elected President Obama, and elected a more progressive Congress.

Now it’s time to give the American people what they want: policies that revive the middle class, and make the rich and corporate American pay their fair share in taxes again. Call your Member of Congress and tell them to support the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ Balancing Act.

Comments

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 45 weeks ago
#1

Yeah, well good luck with that! I'll get really excited when something concrete happens. But, until then, it's just a bunch of talk and empty promises. Much ado about nothing! I also hear the government is going after some of the S&P criminals from 2007. Yeah, good luck with that, too! I'd be overjoyed if these banking, Wall Street, and corporate crime lords got some serious jail time and have all of their ill-gotten wealth taken away from them...and a kind of homeostasis of our economy through new laws, or reinstatement of old laws, and proper enforcement of them return to America. And as Max Keiser said (sort of)....instead of bailing out criminal banksters...double minimum wage...and watch our economy boom.

Global's picture
Global 1 year 45 weeks ago
#2

I get tired of this mantra about subsidies for oil companies from people that have no idea what they are but it is always hate the oil companies first. The number that gets thrown around is 4 billion dollars per year.

But look at the breakdown. The single largest expenditure is just over $1 billion for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is designed to protect the U.S. from oil shortages. The second largest category is just under $1 billion in tax exemptions for farm fuel. The justification for that tax exemption is that fuel taxes pay for roads, and the farm equipment that benefits from the tax exemption is technically not supposed to be using the roads. The third largest category? $570 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. (This program is classified as a petroleum subsidy because it artificially reduces the price of fuel, which helps oil companies sell more of it). Those three programs account for $2.5 billion a year in “oil subsidies.” The remaining portion of the so called tax breaks--- Last year CNN did a story where they put together their own list of the so-called oil subsidies, and in their list the “largest single tax break” — amounting to $1.7 billion per year for the oil industry — is a manufacturer’s tax deduction that is defined in Section 199 of the IRS code. This is a tax credit designed to keep manufacturing in the U.S., but it isn’t specific to oil companies. It is a tax credit enjoyed by highly profitable companies like Microsoft and Apple, and even foreign companies that operate factories in the U.S. Further, the deduction for oil companies is already limited. Apple is able to take a 9% manufacturer’s tax deduction, but ExxonMobil is only allowed to take a 6% deduction. Now , do we want to start picking winners and losers (croney capitalism) in the tax code?

fbacher's picture
fbacher 1 year 45 weeks ago
#3

Of course we are not all experts in the minutia, but looking at the fairness of the revenue earned by the oil companies and the taxes paid does not pass the smell test.

fbacher's picture
fbacher 1 year 45 weeks ago
#4

It seems the proponents of austerity and supply side economics don't understand macro economis.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 45 weeks ago
#5

So, now old Leon Splenetic is ragging on us for the possibility of spending cuts to the military. Maybe instead of having all of those hegemonic US bases all around the world they can save us real taxpayers some big bucks by pulling all our our troops and resources back to within our own shores and 'protect us' from here. Keep the 'bad guys' out in the first place.

No GIGO (garbage in..garbage out) no-nonsense homeland defense instead of hate mongering and greedily grubbing around for foreign natural resources that we don't even need anymore because America no longer makes things except FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) bubble fantasies and empty promises.

I am wondering just what will be the next false flag that the MIC (military industrial complex) will come up with next to scare people out of their power, money, and overall well-being. Crashing airliners into tall buildings worked once...maybe they can engineer something like that once again.

Oh, gee, Bin Laden is dead, but did he arise within 3 days, and will return someday to wreak his vengeance, perhaps by a "son of Bin Laden"? Who will be the next unfortunate patsy? It's not easy being a CIA asset! You'll likely get terminated eventually.

The US still has the ability to remotely guide airliners to their targets...all they need is yet another patsy 'mastermind' sitting in some dingy cave in the Middle East. Yes, another fake attack will have unwitting Americans shaking in their shoes and wetting their pants and just begging to increase military spending.

You know, of course, that we have created millions of potential enemies in the Middle East (that we deserve to have hate us for what we have done.), many of whom may not have the resources or planning it would take to do a repeat of 911 but all the planning and coordination happens right here in America.

Just make it easy for a few patsies to get into the country, wire them lots of money, have them take free flying lessons, and make sure they have tickets to fly on the designated airliners. Tell them that they are all going to visit Disneyland or something. That's all it takes, the American planners and coordinators will do all the rest. They'll even set up a military exercise to act as a cover in case someone not in on the deal gets a clue and tries to blow the whistle. Just confuse them with a 'military exercise' including the scenario of jet airliners being hijacked and crashing into tall buildings. What was that being said after 911? "Who could have thought that men would hijack airliners and crash them into buildings?" That's so glaringly obvious a clue that 911 was set up from the very get-go as a false flag operation. But wait...there's more...lots and lots more. But, sorry, you'll have to wait for the next episode.

ChiLiberty51's picture
ChiLiberty51 1 year 45 weeks ago
#6

I created a petition to repeal Postal Reform Act of 2006. Help save the Post Office. Sign the petition. Needs 150 signatures to get on the White House site.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/save-us-post-office-repeal-postal-reform-act-2006/k4jKqBPB

We the people have to stand up to the those trying break up the largest unionized employer in the United States. Please spread this link to others that you know.

Mark_Pash's picture
Mark_Pash 1 year 45 weeks ago
#7

Your article is all true but hides the fact of the real cause and solution to creating a quality economy. The monetary system of new money creation of the commercial banks crashed the economy causing tax revenues to decrease and safety net expenses to increase. This caused a deficit in most governments involved with our monetary system. Therefore, the real solution is complete monetary reform by eliminating fractional reserve banking-debt money. You can find the answers at www.monetary.org and www.cpe.us.com in the Monetary Reform Section on the right of the home page.

Center for Progressive Economics

Outback 1 year 45 weeks ago
#8

Palindromedary - I'm not above buying into conspiracy theories (for example I think LBJ had JFK whacked: motive and means) but why is it more logical to believe 911 was planned and executed here in the USA? As you point out, US policy in the world has generated more than enough hatred of this country to account for a Bin Laden planned and executed attack. We have ourselves to blame, either way.

Kend's picture
Kend 1 year 45 weeks ago
#9

"The Balancing Act" most of that was what Romney was going to do if he was elected. except the big oil part. Or at least that's what he said he was going to do. So does the CPC thinks no jobs would be lost when these companies have these tax hikes. Hmmm

I don't understand I thought when you raised the taxes to the top 2 percent all of Americs and they started paying thier fair share all of Americas problems would be solved. What went wrong?

I also though the last 5 million Obama spent was going to infrastructure. Oh sorry that went to failed green projects.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 45 weeks ago
#10

Outback, regarding the #30 comment from the previous blog......a facetious description of drone usage was in fact my first impression of your reply, but then I read it slowly and screwed up, sorry about that. I guess I'm a little defensive lately.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 1 year 45 weeks ago
#11

Palindromedary - You had me in your corner on your first comment, but your still clinging to the idea the government flew the planes into the Towers, Pentagon and almost the Whitehouse and that somehow makes me think your drifting into the state of paranoia. Just because they can do it, does not mean they would do it. Bush did not need an excuse to go after Al Qaeda, they already knew they were responsible for the bombing of the naval vessel, the Cole in 2000 and several other bombings they were linked to and took credit for. I believe Bush was evil enough to kill thousands of people (he killed up to a million in Iraq), but to hijack four aircraft and have actual recordings of Americans fighting with the terrorist on the fourth plane that went down before making it to the Whitehouse is just too far out there for me. I guess I must be too naive to believe that 2011 was planned by Bush and his crew. They could not even set up Saddam Hussein in order to prove he had nukes without looking stupid and that did not stop Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld from invading Iraq for oil! Too much risk for Bush and with very little payoff if found out. And, with his record of doing nothing right, we would have discovered it was him and his cohorts, if they did it.

Question: Why do the Conservatives like Global and Kend keep defending the Corporations and the Wealthy when it comes to taxes, but cannot wait to cut benefits on the elderly, sick and poor? Why is health care okay if you can buy it, but if you’re unable to afford it, it is just your own problem. Does being a Conservative somehow make one contemptuous of those who have less? I really do not get the logic.

If we could add cutting the pay for the Conservatives (politicians) in Washington as part of the Sequestration, I bet they would come up with an answer in a matter of days. Obama has already given away the threat of higher taxes on the Wealthy and the Corporations, I doubt he has any chance of having any effect on the Sequestration that is about to harm America.

Personally, I have no problem with using drones to take out any confirmed terrorist, whether they are American or from any other country. It beats putting U.S. Air Force personnel in harm’s way to accomplish the job.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 1 year 45 weeks ago
#12

Kend - Obama and the Democrats failed at actually raising taxes on the Wealthiest Americans. Obama caved in and settled for a mere 5% increase on the Capital Gains, had he actually raised it to the rate he and the Dem's said they would, which would have been up to 38% and closed all the tax loop holes, it would have helped in the long run. But as usual, the Democrats and Independents wimped out again when it came to actually doing what they said they would. Why is a Canadian so concerned with American problems, as far as I can see and read, you have a great deal to fix up there in your frozen lake...Oh, I forgot, didn't you mention you ran a sweat shop down here in the lower 48? I still enjoy responding in my usual friendly manner.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 45 weeks ago
#13

KEN WARE: Welcome back, Ken. If you don't mind my asking, are you a Grandpapa yet? If so, congratulations!

PALINDROMEDARY: There are a lot of good points to support your contention about 911. The simple facts leading up to the tragedy smell pretty strong. Bush and Rice were warned repeatedly and made a spectacle of ignoring the reports. That's enough facts as far as I'm concerned to warrant a serious investigation. Till then, I have to say I don't know. I can add, I don't want to know. As far as that is concerned I side with Ken. However, regardless as to weather we want to know the truth or not, we all must demand the truth. The world deserves to know why those 3,000 innocent people died and why almost a million innocent Iraqis died. We as a people will never rest as long as there are questions about what could be the greatest crime and mass murder of history. Didn't Bush himself once say, "Money always trumps peace." Is that what we want the world to think America stands for?

Let's all admit this, the official story about that war holds about as much water under scrutiny as the "magic bullet" theory did. I'm sick of being lied to. The world is sick of being lied to. Same old story--American Politicians lie, multitudes of innocent people die. This can't continue! If we don't demand the truth and justice, Karma surely will!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 45 weeks ago
#14

It's not a surprise to me anyway that the only sensible group of lawmakers would come up with a sensible plan. The Progressive Caucus both understands and honors the concept of representative democracy and I applaud them for it.

As we all know revitalization of the middle class would create an economic chain reaction where everyone benefits from top to bottom....something I think the Balancing Act would achieve. Those who would be against the Act are in my opinion against this country and are not fit enough to even represent the snakes in my woodpile....which however still qualifys them to represent the Kochs.

I consider the 960 billion in revenue as legal confiscation of loot that needs to be returned to it's rightful owners...hard working Americans, and there's lots more where that came from.

Kend's picture
Kend 1 year 45 weeks ago
#15

Did they not get rid of the Bush tax cuts and raise the income rates to high income earners?

i would have invested more down there but with the threats of more taxes I like many Americans got a little scared and are waiting to see what happens. No sweat shops here Ken I alway pay well. the truth is our politics are so boring here. The biggest difference is our politcions don't become multi millions like yours.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 45 weeks ago
#16

You really got to be more precise. Your spelling is atrocious. You write that Obama spent 5 million on failed green projects but I can't know if you mean 5 million, 5 billion or 5 trillion (if you meant 5 million that's an insignificant amount of money). In addition, you seem - as always - to be willfully dishonest. I mean, you can't be that out of it - or is that the effect of Fox News?

All of America's problems won't be solved if we raise taxes on the top 2% but a very large part of them were caused by the Bush era tax cuts. They have had a spiralling, cummulative effect over the years so simply reversing them at this late date may not, in fact, be the panacea it would certainly have been initially but it's a necessary part of any solution.

The idea that tax increases lead to job loss inevitably is a fiction that a listener to Thom's program should know has been put to rest.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 45 weeks ago
#17

Kend, I don't know who you are, where you're from, what you've been watching or what you've been smoking or drinking to make you misspell so many words. Did Fox News tell you that the Bush tax cuts have been "got rid of"? If they did it is the most blatant lie they have told yet and YOU are the only one who fell for it.

The reason Americans are not investing in the U.S. economy is because consumers have no money to spend, because they have no jobs, because of the conservative, Republican, Bush recession. It has NOTHING to do with taxes. That is why ONLY government will make that investment which is necessary to bring the economy around.

Now come get your $20 for trying to muddy the waters with your post. You get an "A" for effort but you really should stay sober while you are doing it

Kend's picture
Kend 1 year 45 weeks ago
#18

I will work on my spelling just for you. I bought a iPad and it does some odd things. Americans have trillions of dollars they are not investing because they don't know what taxes are coming next.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 45 weeks ago
#19

Businesses, thanks to absurdly generous tax cuts, are sitting on a TREMENDOUS amount of money. They have more money than they'd ever had. What they don't have is CUSTOMERS, BUYERS, SHOPPERS. Therefore, there is NO REASON for them to invest in the economy - unless they want to lose their investment. Taxes have NOTHING to do with it.

The top 2%, my man, are NOT the "job creators". You, I, the consumer is.

If what you say is true why wasn't the Clinton era a period of recession?

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 45 weeks ago
#20

You, in fact, said what I said, "Amercans have trillions of dollars they are not investing". This is thanks to the Bush era tax cuts that wealthy Americans "have trillions of dollars they are not investing". Now, why do they need another tax cut so they could have trillions more "they are not investing"? How many trillions must they have before they invest if the solution is to give them more?

Americans are not falling for that sham anymore.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 45 weeks ago
#21

This Balancing Act sounds like a dream come true. I will definitely be calling my congressmen. But I'm not holding my breath. - Alice I.W,

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 1 year 45 weeks ago
#22

Hooray for the OP that brings the Balancing Act to light!!! The Congressional Progressive Caucus has been proposing real solutions to the 'problems' of US for years, and they have been soundly ignored by the mainstream corporate media and our political duopoly all the while. The CPC Budget for All and People's Budget are markedly different from and score better than the D and R budgets. The CPC budgets also pursue policies that a majority of Americans want - they place people, jobs and the future before banks, warmaking and corporate tax breaks.

Some of the details of the Balancing Act are in the executive sumary at cpc.grijalva.house.gov...

@ Global - you can 'throw around' numbers but the CPC Representatives and their staffers have written hundreds of sections based on budget facts:

Quote CPC: End Fossil Fuel Subsidies ($94 billion) – Secs. 301-311

Repeals tax breaks, financial assistance, exploration and development expensing, preferential tax treatment of royalties, and domestic manufacturing deductions, for oil, natural gas, and coal producers. Despite the fossil fuel industries being among the most profitable on earth, the U.S. government gives them tens of billions of dollars in subsidies through the tax code. The five largest U.S. oil companies earned about $1 trillion in profits over the past decade, yet in recent years, companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron paid zero federal income taxes. These subsidies distort markets and are detrimental to creating a clean energy economy, reducing our reliance on oil, and cutting carbon pollution.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 45 weeks ago
#23

KEN WARE wrote; "Why do conservatives - like KEND and GLOBAL - keep defending corporations and the wealthy when it comes to taxes, but cannot wait to cut bennefits on the elderly sick and poor?"

Well Ken I'll give you my educated perspective. First, as you already know not all conservatives have a "wolf pack" mentality, but for those neo-nazi-conservatives (Romney, Ryan, Ayn Rand, Global, Kend, etc.) that do; the elderly, sick, and poor, are considered the broken spoke (a burdon), that slows the pack down by being needy of extra care/aid.
The Elitis Conservatives philosophy is one that celebrates murderous-rapist-theives such as Christopher Columbus, or the ficticious charecter Gordon Gekko...In other words win (succeed) by whatever means necessary...The ends justify the means; Very Niccolò Machiavelli.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 45 weeks ago
#24

TO: We the People,

There is a very simple solution to the problems and issues discussed on this blog.

What is it you ask??? Well I'll tell you...Our Country is a Democratic Government Of the People, For the People, and By the People. This concept was put into writing 236 years ago. Blood was spilled in order to gain this freedom. There should be no question as to who Rightfully and Justly owns and Governs this Nation...THE PEOPLE.
Yes we are seeing a great attempt by Corporations to over throw We the People, however it is up to us (The People) weither or not they will succeed. The bottom line for any Corporation's success is profit...They need us to be loyal and obedient consumers in order for them to make a profit (succeed). If We the People don't like how Corporations are behaiving then it is up to us to bring them down and hold them accountable without excusses. How??? Boycott the corporations that are deducing the Equal Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It's not just our Right...It's our responsability...When injustice becomes Law...Resistance is our duty.

Global's picture
Global 1 year 45 weeks ago
#25

LeMoyne, don't believe the communist progressive caucus on these numbers. Look it up for yourself And also look up the massive tax bill that Exxon and Chevron have paid over the last ten years, I think you will be stunned. Let me help you out with just 2011:

ExxonMobil in 2011 made $27.3 billion in cash payments for income taxes. Chevron paid $17 billion and ConocoPhillips $10.6 billion. And not only were these the highest amounts in absolute terms, when compared with the rest of the 25 most profitable U.S. companies (see our slideshow for the full rundown of who paid what), the trio also had the highest effective tax rates. Exxon’s tax rate was 42.9%, Chevron’s was 48.3% and Conoco’s was 41.5%. That’s even higher than the 35% U.S. federal statutory rate, which is already the highest tax rate among developed nations.

(The lowest taxpayers among the most profitable companies? Automakers Ford and GM, despite $20 billion and $9 billion in net income, respectively, paid a scant $270 million and $570 million in taxes — simply because they have billions in previous-year losses to balance against recent profits.)

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 45 weeks ago
#26

Global says "I get tired of this mantra about subsidies for oil companies from people that have no idea what they are but it is always hate the oil companies first."

Your devotion to Big Oil is so touching, Global! Maybe you could send them a big check and donate $ to a cause you believe in. However the rest of us would like our tax bucks to go to worthier causes like education, healthcare... you know, all that "socialist" stuff you think is so frivolous. - Alice I.W.

Global's picture
Global 1 year 45 weeks ago
#27

Come on nachos, I am one of the kindest people around. Sometimes the hardest yet kindest thing you can do for someone is to say NO. Have you ever been a parent?

Global's picture
Global 1 year 45 weeks ago
#28

No Alice my devotion is for the truth. And as You know there is always two sides of the story. And yes, I spent a career in the oil business and have become a bit sensitive to the disinformation and hate.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 45 weeks ago
#29

German citizens, during the time of the death camps in Nazi Germany, all claim they didn't know what was going on either. Despite the fact that American soldiers could all smell the stench of the camps from several miles around them the towns that were within that radius all 'just couldn't believe that their government would do such a thing'. Nobody would admit, perhaps even to themselves, that such a horrible thing was going on right under their noses. They too thought they were too civilized, too modern, to do such things. How could their very own government be so murderous and callous? Just doesn't happen, right? When something smells so bad it's time to hold your noses and open your eyes to find out the truth and hold your government responsible and prosecute the bully boys in brown shirts, perhaps, before they haul us all off to some death camp.

9/11 stinks to holy hell and the perpetrators in the US have left a slime trail so unmistakable that you almost have to be blind and very ignoring of the facts (I think the term is 'ignorant') to keep your blinders on to what our very own government (or dominant forces within and without our government) has done. There are many web sites, many very much like Architects and Engineers for 911 truth...that present much of the evidence...just read and watch the videos they provide. Too bad so many people 'just don't want to know'...won't even look. It's called cognitive dissonance. It's just what the German citizens in Nazi Germany had it seems.

Think.. if the US is obviously quite willing to murder so many hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle East...so willing to send thousands of American men and women soldiers out to die over there (and that's not counting all of the many more who are physically or mentally scarred for life) then how can you believe that they wouldn't murder several thousand American civilians right here in America as a false flag operation that they rightly calculated would frighten us out of being able to hold those criminals accountable for their decades long fleecing of Americans and a complete dominance over us? How can you believe that they won't start using those drones, that they are flying over Americans right now, won't one day be armed and used to murder people in the streets or in our homes?

They scared us right out of our liberties and freedoms right into a world of domestic surveillance, clamping down on a citizen's right to demonstrate, special renditions, torture camps, assassination of American citizens decided upon by Herr Obama's White House death squad panel, death drones coming to a city near you...and much, much more. When you start to smell the stench don't just hide your heads in the sand. Your ignorance will adversely affect our future, your children's future. Right now, it looks like none of us really have a future. It'll only get worse!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 45 weeks ago
#30
Quote Kend: Americans have trillions of dollars they are not investing because they don't know what taxes are coming next.

It's not about the taxes...unless you are referring to those very wealthy investors who game the system to their advantage..but for the little guys with a few bucks to invest..like their life's savings....they just don't trust casino capitalism anymore. The risk is too great that those wealthy investors who control and manipulate the markets will steal all of the investments of the little guys. It's sucker capitalism. When it is safer to keep one's life's savings under the mattress than invested in some hokey Wall Street flim-flam casino capitalist gambling venture or even, perhaps, in a bank savings account (backed by FDIC--get outta town!) then you know the criminals are running the country. And they are trying real hard to make cash obsolete...make all financial transactions...like paying our bills...buying stuff...all on-line transactions. They are trying to get rid of the post office driving everyone, who has to pay bills, to do it on-line. Problem is that on-line transactions are not safe. There are thousands of breaches to on-line accounts every year that get little attention...the banks don't want it known how insecure on-line banking is. When we are all totally reliant on on-line transactions with no solid infrastructure to back us up we'll all be dead in the water. And when people's accounts are all drained by a massive hacker attack..perhaps from China or Europe..or even from our own banksters who use a massive breach as a diversion blaming hackers while they, themselves, do all the stealing.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 45 weeks ago
#31

ACH fraud: Why criminals love this con

Quote article: Fraud involving the Automated Clearing House (ACH—hence the term ACH fraud) Network, which is used by financial institutions to handle direct deposits, checks, bill payments and cash transfers between businesses and individuals, is becoming an increasingly popular way for hackers to siphon money out of the bank accounts of unsuspecting victims.

Fraudsters only need two pieces of information to pull off ACH fraud; a checking account number and a bank routing number. They typically obtain the information with a targeted phishing email that tricks the victim into running malicious software which then allows criminals to install keylogging software and steal bank account passwords.

How pervasive is this crime? According to a report late last year from the FBI, there has been approximately $100 million in attempted losses due to ACH fraud as of October 2009. The FBI reports it is seeing several new victim complaints and cases opened every week.

This article goes on to tell how it is done...very interesting..very scary at how easy it is.

http://www.csoonline.com/article/603461/ach-fraud-why-criminals-love-thi...
--------------------
I have had experience with this problem...but luckily..it was for relatively insignificant amounts and I caught it and had the bank investigate and correct the problem. The bank won't tell you any details of their "investigation" so one is pretty much kept in the dark about it. I don't do on-line banking. I pay all my bills by writing checks..but just about a month before I experienced the ACH transfers on my bank statement I had mailed some bills in an over filled outside mail box just before Christmas. I suspected the checks were most likely stolen (the creditors didn't get the checks) and I put a stop payment on them.

Note: both the checking account number and the routing numbers are on the checks. So, all someone has to do is just look at your check, even a blank check, and they have all the info they need to do an ACH transfer out of your account into a dummy one they set up. But, at least, they have to see your check...if they hack your account on-line they don't need to see your check even. Many of these hackers get away with it and many people don't even know they've been ripped off until it's too late to do anything about it.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 45 weeks ago
#32

Global I am sure amongst your cronies you are considered a great guy...Hell, even Hitler was liked and loved by someone!!!

Sure I have to say "No" at times to my son. In fact between age 2 and 16 it was the most often used word, but no one should be denied affordable Health Care, or an affordable Education.

This country wastes billions of dollars every year on the failed war on drugs; A trillion dollars gets blown on funding the Military Industrial Complex, and over a trillion dollars has been wasted on bailing out the banks. Seems to me there is waaaaaay more than enough money to make available to those that would use it for much better puposess.

I have raised my son to use his brain and be responsable. Why should my son, or anyone who wants to better their future be denied an Education because of money? And no American should be denied medical treatment or have to go bankrupt because a lack of affordable Health Care Insurance.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 45 weeks ago
#33

No your devotion, GLOBAL, isn't for truth...Your devotion is for what suits your pocket while disregarding the truth. Which raises the question; Why do you particapate on this blog.

Global's picture
Global 1 year 45 weeks ago
#34

Sorry Nachos, when I see attacks and misinformation I got to call BS. I am not ashamed of my career in the oil business, look around, where would you be without it. Doing you a favor on here so you don't get all your facts in the echo chamber. I know if you want your boy to go to college and he wants to go you will find a way to make it happen.

RaleighMom's picture
RaleighMom 1 year 45 weeks ago
#35

Here's a report by the Congressional Research Service about military contractors. In particular, go to page 20, "Efforts to Improve Contractor Management and Oversight." Everyone needs to read this and ask themselves if it might not be possible to cut "spending" from this wasteful practice.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40764.pdf

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 45 weeks ago
#36

Oh Global, you are beyond "shame"...Shame requires a conscienence...some humility and a soul. You're self righteous...

Sure I will do what I can for my son...Always have, but you are so blind and outta touch you think that if anyone doesn't make it, that it is by a lack of their own efforts. Well let me lay this on you...My wife and I had a daughter (Krissy)...She would have turned 19 this June...She died of Cancer when she was 8 years old. Both my wife and I felt so guilty - still do - because we could not afford the treatments she needed. We did what we could, just like any parent would do, but it wasn't enough...she's dead, my first born, my little girl is dead because we couldn't afford the special Medical treatment needed. Had we had insurance Krissy would have had all the medical treatment she needed...Krissy would be alive today if we had had medical insurance, but we could not afford it.

So go ahead, you self righteous bastard, strut around pitching your elitist brand of neoconservative politics...dem's da breakes right!?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 45 weeks ago
#37

Global says "No Alice my devotion is for the truth. And as You know there is always two sides of the story. And yes, I spent a career in the oil business and have become a bit sensitive to the disinformation and hate."

WOW how revealing! Global has sucked off the teat of Big Oil and claims to be devoted to The Truth! And now Global feels persecuted. Awww... you're breakin' mah bleedin' liberal heart. - Alice I.W.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 45 weeks ago
#38

Nachos- I'm so sorry about your daughter. This is an ugly, cruel system and it is not your fault she is dead.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 45 weeks ago
#39

Palindromedary- For what it's worth, like you I have never trusted online banking and always pay by check. And if a security envelope is not provided, I wrap the check in a little scrap of junk mail so that a thief can't see those numbers on the check by holding the envelope up to a bright light. I highly recommend this to anyone mailing checks. Even post office employees have been known to rip people off; most of them are honest folks but all it takes is one "bad apple". - Alice I.W.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 45 weeks ago
#40

Thank you Alice for your kindness.
And GLOBAL I appologize for getting salty with you, please forgive my being krass.

My memories of Krissy are always with me & bring a smile to my face. Even just before she died Krissy would smile and lite up the room. She looooved knock-knock jokes, and giving people hugs...She gave the best hugs :) I do miss her.

Global's picture
Global 1 year 45 weeks ago
#41

I understand Nachos, words can not describe the pain of losing a child. Sorry for your loss, may peace be with you.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 45 weeks ago
#42

Thank you GLOBAL, I do appreciate your sentament.

Both my wife and I struggle everyday to keep on keep'in on. As you are very aware our daughter is not the only U.S. citizen to fall victim to a cold and calous system that cators primaraley to those that can afford to play the game.

Peace will come for my wife and I when the U.S. writes and enacts policy for a Universal Single Payer Health Care System for all, so that no American has to suffer loss or bankruptcy - as my wife and I have - do to unaffordable Health Care.

I know that as much as you express your sympathy, you do not support a Universal Health Care system. Why? I ask you to please explain why you are okay with the trillions of dollars the U.S. spends on illegal and unnecessary wars that do nothing more than suck dry the middle and poor working class, as well as slaughter millions of innocent lives, creating false enemies, and continueing to put our country deeper and deeper into debt...So deep that it would take three generation to crawl out of the hole that our generation has allowed to occure over the past 2 decades. Do you rest peacefully knowing this? I don't!
Yes I know that there are no guarentees in life except death...That life isn't always fair, but it sure does seem that we are doing are best to make it even more so...I don't agree one bit that the U.S. would slip into Stalinism by enacting a Single Payer Health Care System. We can do better than we are doing. I'd much rather have my taxes go to a strong and robust Universal Health Care System - as well as Education - than towards furthering the U.S. War Machine; just so a few oil barrons, and war manufacturers can make a few bucks.
My heart goes out to all those innocent men, woman, and children that are brushed off as "collateral damage" because of greed. The same sentament goes for all the children (and adults) that I have come to know whoes time here ended not because of lack of available treatment, but because of not being able to afford treatment. That my friend is the real tragedy.

I encourage you to first as a parent, put yourself in my shoes...Imagine your child, age 8, diagnoised with a fatal yet treatable illness with a 80+% success rate, but the only problem is treatment cost over $100k and you don't have Health Insurance? But its your kid, so you start to scramble to get the money; you talk to family, you get intouch with financle aid...but you don't qualify because your income for a household of 4 is to high... $42k TOO F'en HIGH!?!?! Mean while your daughter is loosing precious time, and in the end after doing everything you know and are told to do your kid dies! All becuase you couldn't afford Health Insurance.
Secondly I would like you to take sometime and read Wendle Potter's book "Deadly Spin; An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out On How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans".
Wendle Potter was the former Vice President of corporate communications at CIGNA, one of the Untied States' largest health insurance companies. In 2008 Potter resigned his position and became an outspoken voice on health care reform. He appeared in 2009 before the United States House of Representatives Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. He said in his opening staement that if Congress "fails to create a public insurance option to compete with private insurers, the bill it sends to the President might as well be called the Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act."
Potter is now a senior analyst at the Center for Public Integrity, a fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy, and a consumer liaison representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Potter also is a bi-weekly contributor to the Huffington Post.
I had the opportunity to attend one of his lectures...What he has to say as an insider you will never hear on Fox faux news...If you GLOBAL are sincere in that you are all about the truth than you will endulge yourself in reading his book and/or attending one of his lectures. I have yet to meet a genuine "truth seeker" that disputes Wendle Potter...Unless of course his truth is tanted with corporate investments.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 44 weeks ago
#43

Nachos- When I hear stories like yours I want to scream. Your daughter was sacrificed to a carnivorous, predatory system where only money is sacred and greed calls the tune. You think having insurance guarantees anything?! These soulless hacks are notorious for refusing to pay, regardless of what the doctor orders. Last I heard, 75% of Americans bankrupted by medical bills are insured! The co-pays and deductibles do them in, leaving 'em high and dry. Had your daughter been born in Mexico, El Salvador or Cuba, or anywhere in Europe, or in Australia or Canada (Yes, Kend!), she would still be alive. You and your wife have suffered such a cruel injustice. Please don't blame yourselves, you have suffered enough.

It tears me up to hear what you and so many have been through. There is nothing worse than having to endure a tragedy of this magnitude, knowing full well it is unnecessary and preventable, when money is the only obstacle to saving a child's life. Those of us who haven't been through it can only try to imagine the unimaginable. I have written articles on this subject and wish to share one of these, which I'll send separately.

You sound like a very devoted family man who'd give his left kidney or right arm for his wife or one of his kids. Every child should be so lucky, to have a father like you. Every word you write about Krissy resonates with love. I would say "God bless you" Nachos, but I am not a religious person.

Damn it, I want JUSTICE! Justice for Krissy and for everyone left to die by a medical system that failed them, that has been hijacked by oligarchs. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 44 weeks ago
#44

I've decided to share two articles I wrote, back in 2009, the first of which follows here:

DEATH PANELS OF AMERICA

(Published in the July 2009 issue of The Advocate)

Health insurance is extortion with a “uniquely American” twist. Does this sound far fetched? According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, “extortion” is “getting money from someone by violence, threats” or “misuse of authority, sometimes applied to the exaction of too high a price.”

The health insurance “industry” is predatory by design. It provides nothing beneficial to us or to society and its only objective is minimizing care to maximize profits. That’s the whole game. It contributes nothing of value to health care, producing a labyrinth of useless paperwork designed only to block access to care. Our current health care industry enriches its CEOs and its shareholders at our expense, rips up off with impunity and lives off us like a parasite. Those who cannot afford the bloated cost of health care premiums have no option but to pray they don’t get injured or sick, because if they do, they are limited to two choices: financial ruin or death.

Even the insured aren’t immune to such a fate. The deductibles and co-pays can strip a citizen down to nothing in no time. Over the past year, 60% of bankruptcies in this country have been caused solely by medical expenses. Among those casualties 75% were “insured”. No one is safe under our current system. A homeowner with a health insurance policy, a perfect credit score, no mortgage and no debt can still wind up destitute, forced to live on the edge of ruin by our uniquely American system of legally sanctioned extortion.

Health care is not a commodity, a luxury or a privilege. Any politician who tells us otherwise is lying. Health care is a simple matter of survival, recognized the world over as a basic human right. Yet each year, nearly 50,000 of us Americans die from preventable causes, diagnosed and treated too late, if at all. That’s roughly fifteen times the number of deaths from the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

It hasn’t always been this way. In the 1950s and ‘60s while I was growing up, health care was not the issue it is today. My brother and I never went without health care, and it wasn’t such a struggle for our parents to pay the bills.

Even back then our fee-for-service approach was inferior to that of other developed countries where health care was guaranteed as a right of citizenship. Most Americans were able to afford health care because in those days it was still non-profit. All this began to change under President Nixon who laid out the red carpet for insurance “entrepreneurs” to hijack and privatize the entire system. It’s gone steadily downhill ever since.

I’ve spent most of my adult life watching this vital element of our infrastructure morphing into the carnivorous oligarchy we now find ourselves hostage to.

For-profit health insurance and “Big Pharma” are the culprits. They are what now drive the cost of health care beyond reach of most Americans. Additional blame rests squarely on the shoulders of politicians who take bribes from the relentless army of lobbyists for “Big Pharma” and health insurance companies. We need to vote those guys out of office.

Campaign finance reform may not sound very sexy or intriguing, but without it, nothing is going to change. If we want a government that truly represents us and serves our interests, we have to weed money out of politics. Until then, we remain at the mercy of a system that is, quite literally, bankrupting and killing us en masse.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 44 weeks ago
#45

Here's another one:

SINK THE BOAT


(Published in the August 2009 issue of The Advocate)

Health insurance is legally sanctioned extortion. The lives of hundreds of thousands hang on decisions soon to be made by Senator Max Baucus (whose own health care, incidentally, happens to come from a public option paid for by us). Yet it is the health insurance industry whose huge campaign contributions helped put Baucus in office. Seems unlikely there’s anyone in Congress with more interests vested in the status quo than this guy. Here he stands, as Big Chief of the Senate Finance Committee, deciding what kind of healthcare system you and I get to have!

While roughly sixty percent of Americans want a tax supported, single-payer system and seventy percent favor at least a public option, Senator Baucus has predictably fought it all, tooth-and-nail. “Off the table!” went the Baucus mantra. Single-payer advocates were silenced; in some cases, even arrested.

Were it not for the life-and-death seriousness of this issue, I might have found comic relief in Baucus’s bumbling attempts at defending the indefensible. Asked at a press conference why he favors mandatory insurance payments over single payer, universal coverage, Senator Baucus responded only with platitudes, stating simply that it’s “not going to get to first base.”

What I found conspicuously lacking was any attempt on his part to explain why. Instead, Baucus fumbled his way through a thicket of barely comprehensible rubbish, comparing this “big” country of ours to an “ocean liner,” a “battleship” or a “PT boat, not a speed boat,” explaining that it “takes time to turn those big, big ships,” that we “can’t just turn ‘em overnight,” ad nauseam. Then came his lame, strident assertion that “We are the United States of America!” The longer Max rambled, the deeper the ideological hole he dug for himself. “Umm, we’re constituted differently than European countries and Canada! We’re, umm, we’re a younger country, umm, we’re a different country, there’s more of an entrepreneurial sense here in America than other countries; ‘go-west-young-man’ and so forth.”

This is how Senator Baucus justifies keeping us in harm’s way. In his realm of reality, someone’s entrepreneurial ambitions are worth subjecting you and me to the threat of financial ruin and early death. Only here in America must we endure endless debates over health care, whether it’s a right or a privilege, and oh dear, how do we pay for it while all around this country people are losing their homes, their savings and their lives. So much controversy and uproar, over something guaranteed with citizenship everywhere else in the developed world!

“We have to come up with our uniquely American result,” Baucus preached. “And a uniquely American result will be a combination of public and private insurance…umm… one in which everyone is covered… umm… just… my judgment is… and every member of Congress agrees with me, I think…” his voice trailed off, mumbling the qualifier that it’s everyone he’s spoken with who agrees. Problem is, that’s not everyone in Congress. And he never bothered asking us, the ones forced to live and die by his decision.

Here’s where His Majesty the Committee Chairman speaks with forked tongue: “This is not the time to push for single payer. Maybe it’ll happen later. But it’s not going to happen in America in my view. I’m not going to waste my time pushing for something that’s not gonna happen.” Had Baucus opted for an honest assertion, it would have sounded more like “It’s not gonna happen while I’m steering the boat.”

What better example than our healthcare crisis can there be to illustrate the inevitable outcome of life under corporate rule? It impacts us all and threatens our very survival.

What shall these parasites hijack from us next; the fire department? Our water system? This is no joke.

Politicians subordinate to the corporate elite, accepting bribes from their lobbyists, pose a greater threat to our wellbeing and quality of life than undocumented workers, drug cartels and terrorists (foreign and domestic) combined. The real Public Enemy #1 comes in suit & tie, disguised as an “elected official,” bought and paid for by a tiny elite minority from the top of the corporate food chain. The very system which is robbing and killing us, and running our country into the ground, exists to uphold a status quo that serves their interests and keeps them in power.

This is why we have Max Baucus and his ilk deciding what kind of healthcare policy the rest of us will be stuck with for the next twenty years, doing their utmost to keep insurance hacks and their bureaucrats between you and your doctor. This translates to a death sentence for countless people whose only “crime” is the misfortune of having been born in the United States of America.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 44 weeks ago
#46

Aliceinwonderland: Thanks for the articles...and these were written back over 3 years ago.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 44 weeks ago
#47

Nachos...that's is so, so sad! I am so sorry that you lost your young daughter.

The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...

Even in the face of the so-called Recovery, poverty and inequality are getting worse in our country, and more wealth and power is flowing straight to the top. According to Paul Buchheit over at Alternet, this is the end result of winner-take-all capitalism, and this destruction of the working class has all been by design.

From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World