How much did "fast track" cost the corporate elite?

It cost corporations less than $18,000 bucks per vote to get “fast track” passed in the United States Senate.

According to a recent analysis by The Guardian Newspaper, corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP donated more than $1.1 million dollars to Senate campaigns in the first quarter of 2015. The average Democrat received about $9,700 dollars and the average Republican raked in almost $20,000.

Although last-minute donations may have increased the price of approval, it looks like corporations got a pretty good deal on fast track and the American people got a raw deal from our lawmakers.

For a measly ten or twenty thousand bucks, U.S. Senators were willing to give up their constitutionally mandated power to modify legislation and hand control of our nation over to their corporate masters.

According to what we know about this massive, secret trade deal, our laws and regulations could be on the chopping block for their impact on corporate profits, and our jobs and sovereignty will be gone as well.

And, don't forget that when those who've lost their jobs apply for help from the so-called Trade Adjustment Assistance program, they'll be receiving those funds our of money that should have gone to pay for Medicare. That's because of a last-minute change to the fast track legislation that took $700 million dollars from seniors' healthcare to pay for the inevitable effects of corporate greed and the TPP.

It seems like every time we turn around we learn about another reason that this trade deal is bad news for our nation. But, that hasn't stopped 65 U.S. Senators from doing the bidding of their corporate masters.

We can't stop pushing Congress to say “No” to the Trans Pacific Partnership, and we must hold accountable those who answer to corporations instead of We, The People.

We may not be able to stop corporations from donating to Congress, but we can stop their money from having any real effect. Let's keep up the fight against SHAFTA, and let's make sure that those who support it find themselves out of work in their next election.

Comments

FreddyK's picture
FreddyK 7 years 11 weeks ago
#1

Hi Tom,

I have immense respect for the breadth and depth of your knowledge and for the passion that you display in fighting for progressive causes. However, I am at a loss to understand how you and other progressive voices have failed to learn a lesson about how to effect a change in the minds of the American sheeple from the fight for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). All it took with this segment of brain dead zombies, entertained to a passive, mindless state, was to label it “Obama Care” (OC). It stuck! It replaced ACA in the public vernacular. Hell, countless polls demonstrated that the majority loved most all of the provisions of the ACA but vehemently rejected "Obama Care", not having a clue that they were the same thing, and never having heard of the Affordable Care Act. Ask them the passing completion percentage of the top 10 NFL quarterbacks, the current NASCAR standings, who’s in the lead with Dancing with the Stars or what the Kardashians are up to and you would get well-informed, thoughtful responses.

My point – relabel the “Republican Party” the “1% Party”. It’s already out there, they have all heard it, but they only associate it with the super-wealth elites that they already despise, thinking that they have nothing to do with their morally upright republican politicians. It has not been universally attached to the Republican Party, where it belongs.

My suggestion – remove “Republican Party” from your vocabulary and replace it with “1% Party”. Don’t make a point of it, don’t discuss the change in your nomenclature- ever. Just start using it in any discussion of what they are doing.

My bet is that if you and all the other progressive voices adopted this that “1% Party” would soon become a familiar part of the public vernacular, and you would start hearing it on the streets and seeing it in social media. Obviously the super wealthy and their minions and wannabes would have no problem associating themselves with this label, but all the misguided working class, working poor and poor who have voted republican against their best interest would then have a hard time casting their votes for the 1% Party and maybe we could be on our way to some desperately needed changes. Maybe we could make “Republican” a largely pejorative label like they have made “liberal”. Good Luck! You have the microphone – use it. You are truly exceptional at “preaching to the choir”, but unfortunately I think it will take a strategy like this to bring more into “the choir”.

liz banker 7 years 11 weeks ago
#2

And presidential candidate Hillary Clinton doesn't have much an opinion one way or the other regarding TPP? While serving as Secretary of State, did she not help craft some of the Agreement's general precepts? Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggests that she herself would need to see more of the TPP Agreement language before taking a position. I don't know how MSNBC can continually support Hillary Clinton's candidacy with a straight face or perhaps it has come more to light, to say, that MSNBC is a part of the corporatist structure that provides Hillary, in part, her free, low-cost campaigning advantage. Hopefully, Hillary Clinton will implode, then forcing MSNBC to scrabble and encourage Vice President Joe 'Tax Haven Delaware' Biden to make a last minute effort to enter the race because Bernie Sanders doesn't represent and serve the corporatist Democratic Party as a whole.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 11 weeks ago
#3

Thom ..."Let's make sure that those who support SHAFTA find themselves out of work in their next election."

Thomas Paine....." When we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer."

Clearly with SHAFTA, and other trade deals, the elected have formed an interest to themselves separate from the electors.

As Thom and Thomas both suggest, let's not furnish the means by which we suffer anymore. Vote out the self-serving scoundrels.

FEEL THE BERN.....time for economic revolution!

ChristopehrCurrie's picture
ChristopehrCurrie 7 years 11 weeks ago
#4

An Open Letter to the US Senators Who Voted To Fast-track the TPP!

In order to qualify for your job and a United States Senator, you were required to take the following Oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

When you voted to “fast track” the TPP, you not only ABDICATED your constitutionally required responsibility to control the negotiations of trade agreement treaties, you BLATANTLY VIOLATED the above Oath of Office by voting to hand over control (for most practical purposes) of all three levels of our government to a cartel of greedy multinational corporations that literally “have no god but money” and clearly don’t give a damn how many Americans they IMPOVERISH and/or KILL as long as they can continue to profit by doing so!

Since you are obviously no longer willing to meet that requirement for becoming a United State Senator, YOU SHOULD RESIGN IMMEDIATELY so that your position as a Untied States Senator can be filled with someone who DOES take that Oath of Office SERIOUSLY!

Feel free to publish this,

Christopher C. Currie, 161 Lake Shore Drive, Pascoag, RI 02859 401-568-8266

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 11 weeks ago
#5

Chris C -- You are such an idealist. I am sure those rotten Senators can rationalize themselves out of that part of the Constitution. It would be fun to have Steve Colbert provide the words of their rationalization.

My words are wimpy. One rationalization they might use would be they were using their control when the gave the control to executive branch.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 7 years 11 weeks ago
#6

How much is that US Senator in the window?

If you act now, you can own your very own US Senator for the low, low price of $17,999.99. That's right folks, you can own your very own Senator, if you act now during this limited time offer. Be the envy of everyone on your block! Trade with your friends! Write your own legislation!

If you act by midnight tonight we will also throw in two Representatives and a Supreme Court Justice. That's right! One US Senator, two Representatives, and one Supreme Court Justice for the low, low price of $17,999.99.

If, at ANY time, you are not completely satisfied with your US Senator, simply return the unused portion and we will refund all your money. Please keep the two Representatives and the Supreme Court Justice as our gift.

All Senators must go before the deadline of the passing of the TPP; after which, the value of Senators will be $0.00. Order yours today!

PFNELKAK 7 years 11 weeks ago
#7

FreddyK. -
Clinton is not showing all her cards. For good reasons. Hiding her membership in the 1%-D party. She has lots of jokers up her sleeves.

w1ders's picture
w1ders 7 years 11 weeks ago
#8

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Jefferson seemed to know what he was talking about. Can't think of a better time. Bernie is probably our last chance of a peaceful solution. I could be wrong.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 11 weeks ago
#9

w1ders, there is a way to achieve some of that procedurally. We could do what I call generational term limits. Instead of restricting each member of Congress to the same total amount of time in office, you'd say that in a year that's a multiple of 20, anyone that was there before the previous multiple of 20 can stay. It would cut a sizable top off the seniority pyramid every 20 years. (So in 2020, everyone from before 2000 would be kicked out.)

BTW, I think Jefferson had second thoughts. He might have chosen 20 years because of the span from 1780 to 1800, when his election changed the country. But in 1820, his party was still in power, and in fact won the electoral college almost unanimously.

oneworldatpeace's picture
oneworldatpeace 7 years 11 weeks ago
#10

Hey Christopher I join your disgust but raise you on outrage AT HOW CHEAPLY THEY ARE BOUGHT !

However in regards to the inclusion of Viet Nam with this TRADE ABOMINATION they are DESECRATING THE GRAVES OF 58,000 Veterans that didn't die in Viet Nam to provide the population for Corporate enslavement in poverty just so some rich scumbag Pychos' could steal more profits out of the mouths of the children when there's no way they could spend what they've stolen already!

Oh ! Then there's the pesky fact that Viet Nam has never "honored" a Treaty! So we should compete with that? Ok ! HOW?

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago
#11

How do those Senators who voted for FT of TPP know it's any good? Members of Congress aren't privy to what's in it.
Must be on a "need to know" basis, they only need to know where to pick up the money.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago
#12

Freddy k, I don't think that'll work. Republican opponents of TPP tried calling it "Obamatrade" but it didn't do that much.
There needs to be publc education on the matter.

Freedom1's picture
Freedom1 7 years 11 weeks ago
#13

Thom I am a watcher of your program and agree with your views on large corporations and what these people in Washington are doing to this country and the US citizen, mainly the middle class. I try to post my views on different issues but when I try my computer will blink and my comment is not there any longer. I first thought it was just a problem with my computer but when it does this four to five times I do not think it is my computer and I finally have to give up.If by chance you see this comment I want to tell you to keep up the great work and someday maybe we could talk with each other. I tried to call the phone line and comment but the recording said there was no room and it was full.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 11 weeks ago
#14

Freedom1 -- Have you tried various web browsers? I know Chrome was not letting me into the chat room.

Do you know that phrase "Give me liberty or give me death" was said by Patrick Henry. Patrick Henry was the largest slave holder in Virginia. I equate Pat H saying that to a "billionaire" saying I do not want any government regulations.

KaraGirl's picture
KaraGirl 7 years 11 weeks ago
#15

OK Im gonna swear hear, and I promise to refrain from swearing on all future blogs , but what I have to say is this with regard to TPP

WHAT THE FUCK??? what is TPP? President Obama? WHAT THE FUCK??? I voted for you twice, I cried my eyes out at your inagural ceremony in 2008 with your promise of change. Just like Oprah, I cried and thanked the heavens for you, but seriously what the Fuck? What is up with this TPP? you ran on the card of transparency in the white house, and you put the affordable care act on a website for us all to read, just like the constitution is free for everyone to read we could all read and be informed about the ACA.

Now all of a sudden TPP comes along and all transpairency is taken away, now I don't care if your Joe shmoe, or fucking Jesus of Nazareth come back after two thousand years to fix all of our problems, and defend us against the anti-christ and the devil himself, when you through a deal like TOOK down on the table and it goes like this:

"So president Obama, what is the TPP?"

"I can't tell you."

"Why?"

"Because it's a secret."

"Why is it a secret?"

"I can't tell you, but trust me you will Love it."

"Well that doesn't make any sence."

"I know, isn't it great!!"

WHAT THE FUCK? . Dude put the TPP on a website, just like you did with ACA, get rid of the behind closed doors fasad, and let we the people see it, if it's so great let we the people vote on it. Don't rule us from behind closed doors as a fudal king would, open up your policy on TPP for us all to see, prove to us how great it Is, make it transparent so that we the people can understand, as unless Im wrong by the constitution of the united states of America, the single greatest peice of legislation ever written by mankind, we have a right to know.

Maybe Im wrong, Maybe Im a fool, but it seems that something so life changing, sould be known by we the people before it gets voted into law. That's all I have to say

Kara

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 11 weeks ago
#16

Yeah, KaraGirl. The most annoying thing to me as a kid was when someone told me to do something, but wouldn't tell me why.

"Don't do __."

"Why?"

"Just don't do it."

Grr.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago
#17

Bottom line is they want us to support something without telling us what it is. We must look real stupid to them.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 10 weeks ago
#18

Great stuff -- KaraGirl, Mathboy and Mark S

charliejack's picture
charliejack 7 years 9 weeks ago
#19

The Right has been able to associate liberals with atheist because of FOX and people like Rush Limbaugh; they have replaced pro-choice with pro-abortion; they spin everything Obama and the Left does into something wrong or evil . We know the problems this country is facing but our biggest problem is speaking over the money that is spent vilifying the Party and hiding the truth. The GOP knows we speak the truth, the money has to be spent to vilify us so that people will not trust us and therefore will not listen to us. If we can find a way to get people to listen, their common sense will take over and they will know how to vote.

The Right wants us to just believe them, the Left wants people to find the truth and the truth will set us free.

We should talk to as many young voters as possible because waking up an apathetic young person is much easier than changing the mind of an older Republican; not impossible, I was a Republican for over 30 years and I changed....I didn't drink any kool-aid, I just got informed; I read, fact checked, stopped watching FOX and had to admit that my liberal sister, who I had argued with for years, was right.... it's never easy to admit you were wrong but not doing so would have made me an idiot on top of being wrong.

Note* I am new to Thom's site and I know my comment was off topic, but I thought I was responding to someone's comment but when I saved my comment it showed up with the comments on the trade agreement...sorry. I do have a comment about "fast track". I voted for Obama and this is the first time that I am scratching my head about his judgment. This certainly isn't enough to make me go to the right, but WTF. It is pointless for me to contact my congressmen, Lindsay Graham, Trey Gowdy, Tim Scott etc. I would rather contact congressmen that are on the fence but you can't get through unless you are in their district or state. If there is a way, I wish someone would enlighten me.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places