279 Comments

The top 1% have created The Divided States of America

In my opinion the The Most Important things that have put our country in a state of civil unrest are:

1. Citizens United which has allowed the rich to corrupt our government.

2. Corporate Media that only cares about their ratings! Journalists who have integrity will be leaving.

3. Simple Minded people who swallow Trump’s Verbal Diarrhea instead of listening to the experts in their fields.

4. The collapse of the once Conservative Republican Party who are now MAGA.

For a true picture of America today and a historic capture of how we got here, everyone should read Heather Cox Richardson’s Substack from Saturday , April 13th.

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Apr 15Liked by Robert Reich

These are all good points, some better than others, but don't you think the underlying cause is too much money concentrated in the hands of people who don't have the best interests of society in mind when they make decisions on what to do with it? e.g. Musk buying Twitter....I always think of him as a small boy, pissed that people are being mean to him and this is his way of getting back. And looked at individually, I don't know of one case where the $$ is being used to benefit anything but their narrow interests.

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If American oligarchs were taxed at a fair rate, and campaign finance laws were implemented, they wouldn't be so powerful. If they then still want to spend their money sending gullibles to Mars*, let 'em!

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Have you seen the guest list of the White House Dinner in honor of the Prime Minister of Japan? It’s worth and instructive to look, also a picture of Bezos with his fiancé is a stunner. Why are these people invited to a dinner party at the Whitehouse?

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Despite the villanization of him Bezos is an orphan who was adopted by a Cuban family here in Baghdad By the Sea. He says that he has seen the light.

He has a fund to support homeless families, part of a $2 billion commitment Bezos made in 2018 to support homeless families and to run free preschools. The latest round of charitable donations brings his total giving to an estimated $3 billion, just under 2% of his net worth. Jeff Bezos, the world's third richest person and the chairman of Amazon, announced his most recent round of donations to groups helping with housing for those in need.

Since her divorce in 2019, ex wife McKenzie Scott has donated nearly $16.6 billion to various causes, including $2.2 billion in 2023 alone. Despite this, she remains the fourth-richest woman in the world.

I know that this is often perceived a "blood money" but we are in a war for democracy and I'd rather have him (and Gates) neutralized than as political opponents.

If you know anyone like this, ask them to donate. https://www.fieldteam6.org/

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Daniel: Bezos and his Amazon make life possible for me. I live on an island in the Salish Sea. We have only one small "supermarket" resupplied by ferry and it can't keep items on the shelves, not the ones that I use, no clothing store, save a second hand store, our drug store has a bigger selection for the tourist trade, than over the counter items, like compression socks. No big box or franchise stores. Mom and Pops are geared to tourist trade, and that is late spring, summer and early fall, and the still have to shutter.

Amazon gives me 2 day delivery, in most cases, every thing from Polygrip to Cat Food

Ordering from Amazon is safe, and I have had great success with returns and undelivered items. I don't worry about my credit card being compromised or identity theft, which I do from other online retailers. In fact I have had to have my credit card replaced more times than I can count, because my spouse will buy stuff she sees on Facebook.

It is fashionable on the left to pile on "villains". some influencer defines someone or something as a villain and the rest pile on.

Average Amazon.com Warehouse Worker hourly pay in Washington State is approximately $19.40, which is 22% above the national average.

That is $3104 a month, about the size of my retirement check.

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Amazon is the only one selling my books, but that's not why I posted. Some of these people do have some conscience. And WE can use them. https://www.fieldteam6.org/

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Well said, Daniel. Those who are not against us are with us. Defending the Constitution is our duty and highest priority. Tax reform is something we negotiate.

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I did not mean to vilify Bezos and you are absolutely right. Where would the arts and universities be without the rich and their charitable contributions?

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founding

We shouldn't have to rely on rich people for arts and education, don't you think?

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Hartmut - maybe it's return on investment? or the other way, better press from the Washington post?

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yeah yeah they all do it . All corrupt. No diff between the two Parties. Don't bother voting. blah blah blah.

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I know right I absolutely hate people who say both parties are bad. My God when Democrats are in power things get better for everyone. - helllooooo!!

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People who do that have opted out. Why are they even here on this SS? To win converts? According to them it doesn't matter anyway who's in charge.

This is not what the commenter said, to be accurate, but it seemed clearly implicit.

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Historically there has never never been more than a tiny middle class. It has mostly just been the wealthy rulers and the poor serfs. The rule of law and economics of technology, especially after WWII, created wealth and a large middle class. The problem is there are a lot of the wealthy that want it to go back to rulers and serfs, especially so the rulers can be above the law.

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why do people like this? This is patently false. Don't sacrifice accuracy to a simple narrative you find appealing.

The share of adults who live in middle-class households fell from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2021, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/04/20/how-the-american-middle-class-has-changed-in-the-past-five-decades/

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The class war is real whether you think so or not. Even Warren Buffet said that his class was winning it.

"middle-class households fell from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2021"

Well yeah. That's the point and worse still, in that time the remaining middle class has two people working now, can barely afford housing or health care. ... And often can afford health care only because of Obama Care.

And then it gets far worse for those born later. Yes, the middle class is being destroyed. It's called the class war.

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I said characterization of the middle class as being always "tiny" is false.

Of course there is a class war. The more the middle class shrinks the less power there is to fight against wealth inequality. In addition, many below middle class don't recognize when policies they support hurt them. It's a double whammy. Yes, people have to run faster just to stay in place.

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The Republican strategy is to use fear and bigotry to divide America's middle class.

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I sense a significant difference in how Steve Reed and MikeyB define ‘historically’. I agree with MikeyB - over millennia, two classes, rulers and serfs, has been the norm. The middle class was nonexistent or tiny.

Steve provides data over a mere fifty year period, during which the middle class shrunk by 18%, from 61% to 50%. This is a significant drop.

18%?? Yes.

61% - 50% = 11% drop

0.11/0.61 = 0.18 = 18% drop

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❤️ Reich ❤️:"But why has the public been repeatedly willing to go along with trickle-down economics when nothing ever trickles down? What accounts for the collective amnesia?"

I'm sorry but your"nothing ever" failed to notice a tiny desert town that became Las Vegas due to INTERMITTENT REINFORCEMENT:

Rat A is fed for every unit of work.

Rat B is fed for every 10 units of work. But meals arrive randomly.... with the AVERAGE amount of work being 10.

When the food runs out,

Rat A walks away.

Rat B remains at work, believing he'll "STRIKE IT RICH" any day now.

Everyone would know this human defect, except for the human defect of BLINDNESS DUE TO THE EGO.

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books.google.com/books?id=XX0VFH7TXvoC&pg=PA216

Dr.Burns:..... in a rare admission on page 216:"... we're all defective. You can view your"defectiveness" as a reason for suicide or a cause for celebration... acceptance... is like trying to describe... the Grand Canyon...It takes your breath away..."... "... acceptance involves... laughter..."

... the implication being that the "size of the hole in our heads" can best be characterized by the Grand Canyon... aka"the biggest hole on Earth"... 😁😁😁😁... visible from outer space... but ( because the Ego blinds us to our faults) NOT VISIBLE TO US!😁😁😁

... thus... like the denial of the Climate Crisis that can be "seen from outer space"... our capacity for "denialism" is vast!😁😁😁😁

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bigger than we can imagine

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Just watched "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town" with Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. Everyone needs to watch this movie. I absolutely love Frank Capra movies. When the farmer threatens to shoot Mr. Deeds it brings me to tears.

https://youtu.be/AgYw53XddVs?feature=shared

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Too much money at the top and too few laws to keep them from buying political influence and dominating mass media with their propaganda.

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Elon Musk, whose social skills are a product of his being on the spectrum, is at the same time a selfless brilliant man who has done more to limit climate change than any other living person. The fact that he has single-handedly invented the focus on reusable rockets, has given the US the market on space and orbiting technology, along with enabling of people who are quadrupeds to be able to have a life just by thinking about communication and interaction with computers and now is about to give the gift of sight to people even those born blind. Besides, in 2022 he paid the largest payment ever in income taxes of $11 BILLION dollars. And while you may wish to belittle "X", the fact is that it is the ONLY social platform that is truly open and of free speech, whether you agree with it or not.

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Apr 16·edited Apr 16

I didn't say it before but after reading this, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/social-media/x-twitter-elon-musk-nazi-extremist-white-nationalist-accounts-rcna145020

Earnings were secondary to absolute control. Right Wingers know they can't compete with a free mass media. Look at who is heavily invested in X..... a mishmash of Saudis, and Harlan Crow types. After Musk, the largest shareholder of X is Kingdom Holding Company, controlled by Saudi prince and billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, who rolled over $1.89 billion in former Twitter shares at the time of the deal.Mar 21, 2024

X has now become one gigantic cesspool. Before Elon it was a great place to stay up to date with current events and such. Elon has for the most part done nothing but destroy Twitter's value. Genius he's not. Just a petulant authoritarian.

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Apr 16·edited Apr 16

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/20/investing/elon-musk-11-billion-dollars-taxes/index.html

Yep, sometimes this happens, and its good PR. Elon is making enormous sums from the projects you mention but because he owns stock which has gone up in value so has his net worth. What he's really good at is spotting opportunities and having the $$ to invest in it. He has good accountants and financiers and so he makes $$. There's a difference between stock options and stocks. Both can go up or down in value but no taxes are owed until they're cashed in. Meantime Elon is holding onto the other billions and letting them accumulate in value. And on those he owes no tax. But he can borrow against them and deduct the interest. The gift that gives and gives.

While all the projects you mention certainly benefit humanity, they also benefit Elon financially or he wouldn't be involved. His primary reason is to make $$ not help humanity. Elon started from money so when the time came he had the $$ to invest. He's kinda the Donald Trump of the world he works in but without the mob connections.

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The problem is too much CAPITAL!! Capital is the problem, not money! Money is spent, while capital is invested. We have a huge imbalance of our dollars that are invested in the financial market's vs the consumer markets. If the stock market drops 50% there will be millions of workers who will not have enough income to retire. I have a sister-in-law, college educated, she gets about one thousand a month pension, social security, and around three hundred thousand in a 401k that provides some dividends. If the market drops 50%, she will fail financially along with millions of others! Soon after the dollar will collapse . . . game over!

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Much of the capital is also invested in real estate, in rent-inflating tourist rentals, in water-depleting agribusiness. We need tax reform, not just higher or lower taxes. Addressing business expense deductions is of paramount importance. Trump's tax corporate cut led to stock buy-backs, not economic growth. The illusion of trickle down was created with a miserly tax cut for workers.

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David I appreciate the difference however the issue I'm addressing is possession not form. Whatever it is the 1% has it and the 99% don't.

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founding

Thank goodness for Mackenzie Scott.

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@ Keith. How about a %*! insurrection!!!!!

How about those pathological criminals?????? That orange antichrist? ?????????

Our only hope is to sweep the elections. Register Democrats, save democracy.

https://www.fieldteam6.org/actions

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We don't have democracy. We have oligarchs in charge of capitalism.

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Not if we overwhelmingly vote BLUE this November.

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Ummm....the oligarchs have been back in charge since probably the late '50s. It's just that, since Citizens United, they don't hide it anymore.

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Gloria, you are wrong, and you are defeatist. If we have an oligarchy it is because of gullible, misinformed voters, not because they are denied the voted, as is the case in so many other countries.

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It’s the Republican Cult Party over Country! The Governor of New Hampshire gave an interview on ABS proving that point.

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This is the third time this morning I've aid this:

Sununu comes from a political family. As a governor he requires brand loyalty. Issues may have something to do with his loyalty, but peer pressure, paternalism and greed are more likely. I don't think he has the ubiquitous Jungian collective racial subconscious that drives most MAGATs to vote contrary to their personal economic and physical health, he just wants power. So much for "live free or die."

Our only hope is to sweep the elections. Register Democrats, save democracy.

https://www.fieldteam6.org/mission

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I’m unaffiliated but Color Me Blue Through And Through

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That doesn't mean you can't pass on the link on your Substack.

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My Substack is free and will be as long as I keep writing it. This is the only social media platform I use. I never have been nor do I want to be on other platforms. I see enough negativity without them!

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I know like most on this SS know how we got here, well enuf anyway. The more important thing is how we get out.

Dems must win the conversation on prices. Stats on the macro economy (unemployment rates, GDP, etc) don't mean as much to voters as their personal economics. Her column on 14 April is good also. The rich and powerful hedging their bets with T, like Sununu.

Also, protecting social security and medicare is by far the Dems most important message.

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The Citizens United decision is absurd. No person has green blood.

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Professor Heather Cox Richardson gave me hope that the Democrats may prevail in November.

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Good Monday! So much is already fermenting here in comments! My contribution may be missed, still it is Robert’s second sentence that hinted for me a much more important note: “As Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.””

It’s hard to miss, even through a historical lens, the patronizing tone. After all, kings and emperors imposed usurious taxation on serfs and subjects — but I don’t think we consider those systems of patronage/taxation the “civilized society” we’d bargain for today. Rather better to emphasize the concept undergirding Justice Holmes’ view (or at least certainly mine 😉), which is that taxes are expressions of our shared values. Collecting and expending requires our will to sustain them for all — meaning the underlying conversations/debates/resolutions on the era’s challenges and issues have to be centered with tax policy. Collectively, not just by this or that leader, we have shifted ourselves away from that kind of fulsome understanding. That is what I want to revivify in our election year of choices — at all levels of contest.

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Leslie: Serf's weren't taxed by Kings. Serf's were bound to the land, and the landowner baron was taxed, by the headFreemen were men who owned land, or tradesmen like mason, potters, tinkers, carpenters, listers (wool dyers), ferror;s (makers of steel)

After Guillaume le betard conquerant, defeated Harold Godwinson in 1066, he commissioned a tax survey of his possession (England) called the Domesday book, it recorded every hectare, chicken, villein and cottager, for purposes of imposing taxes on the barons

In 1377 Richard II levied a poll tax (head tax) every lay person over the age of 14 years who was not a beggar had to pay a groat (4d) to the Crown. By 1379 that had been graded by social class, with the lower age limit changed to 16, and to 15 two years later.

By the way for a genealogist the subsidy role(poll tax) is useful.

BTW I do not begrudge my taxes, they are the cost of civilization, what I begrudge is people like Trump, and billionaires not paying their fair share, because without the commons (roads, utilities, sanitation, defense) they would not be billionaires or millionaires.

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Yes Keith, an informed and honest public debate won't grow, when you print editoriials on the backside of advertisements.

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Trickle down economics is like saying, “Yes, we see you are starving but we’re not going to give food to you. Instead we’ll give it to people who already have food so that their plates overflow and then you can have what falls off their plates (if anything does).”

It has NEVER worked and has ALWAYS been just another obvious lie by Republicans so they can give more to those who already have.

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Wow, Christopher, that was a perfect picture of trickle down economics!!

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The answer to trickle down economics isn’t that it doesn’t work but that a bubble up economics works better. My guess is that if more money was given to the workers it would make its way up and those on top would benefit. The money would be spent, the stock market would rise and the investor class would reap the biggest benefit. This approach would also not be as divisive.

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“We’re going to give money to you and, in the end, some benefit will trickle down to those who actually need the help.” The rich are all for that.

“We’re going to give money to those who actually need the help and, in the end, some benefit will bubble up to you.” Oh the howls from the rich of how doing that is so wrong!

Tells you all you need to know about the hypocrisy, greed, and bad faith of the rich.

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I think it also largely is a control issue.

Doing it that we where money is constantly distributed away from workers , etc ,unto those that already has lots of resources, that keeps them in control, and that's how they can keep up the idea of that they give us something of theirs .

But it's only "theirs" because of the system which they have skewed to their extreme favour.

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Control, and greed.

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We keep getting told that people vote with their pocketbook, yet the evidence of history is that people vote with the amygdala. Authoritarians know that, democrats (small d) don't. People vote with their gut, not their head. Just look at the results of Dobbs as regards the voting public.

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bottom up middle out-that's the Prez message

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Tricking Down economics is like peeing on some one’s leg and telling them it’s raining…

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founding

If the current system of taxation is not substantially, modified, the ultra wealthy will continue to suck up most of the available money, which means the purchasing power of the rest of us. If that occurs, anything the day is coming when the consumers on which are capitalistic consumer driven society is based, will be unable to purchase anything but their bare necessities. Given that our version of “capitalism off the rails” depends on consumption of unnecessary goods, there is a risk that the system will tumble down in the same way, though for different reasons as the Soviet union crumbled seemingly overnight. In other words, if the foundations are no longer strong, it will not be able to hold up an unsustainable form of capitalism.

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Different reasons as the Soviet Union? Wish that was true. Isee the clps of the political debates in the House and think: why don't they talk about the needs of the U.S. and the world?

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founding

Tom, the MAGA republicans don’t talk about the needs of the US and the world because they are more concerned about their political future and the support of the wealthy donors whose financial support is needed in order to be reelected. Trump has threatened retribution to anyone who is not loyal to him and in his past presidency, he has proven that he is serious about following through with his threats. Donald Trump is following the dictator’s playbook, and the MAGA Republicans are falling into line. Progressives, such as ourselves, will need to become vibrantly politically active in order to stop this march towards autocracy.

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Yes Marc, we agree on that. I read Heather Cox as well: how can the world be as compliant as it is today to the threats of would be dictators?

Question is what vibrantly politically active means and how to change it. Robert Reich is an example for all progressives, but does it help?

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founding

Tom: Robert Reich, Heather Cox Richardson and others do make an important difference. Their bravery in speaking truth is an inspiration to all of us. Should Donald Trump win this election you can be sure that Robert, Heather and others will definitely be in Trump’s gunsights . They are taking significant risks to speak truth to the rest of us, and we should follow their example when we talk to our friends, relatives and coworkers. This is a time in American history that calls for bravery and not timidity.

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Absolutely agreed; great respect for them...

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founding

In addition to what Marc said, this forum (and Heather's, etc.) provides a place to exchange information, such as where and how to volunteer. Very important.

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Vibrantly politically active means volunteering or making donations. Write postcards, clipboard, table, phone or textbank with pro-democracy, pro-voter organizations like the League of Women Voters, Neighbors On Call, Common Cause, or YouCanVote. We MUST get out the vote. In Durham, NC, the Dems hired a paid organizer for the first time; we’ve had low turnout in the past.

Longer term, support pro-voter reforms like ranked choice voting & proportional representation; these will reduce polarization and eliminate the spoiler effect. We are all more anxious with RFK on the ticket this year. Check out the anti-corruption strategy laid out by RepresentUS, RanktheVote, and FairVote. Learn about these improvements to our plurality voting system and support them if they make sense to you: with money and/or time.

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And of course many Magats think Trump will ascend into heaven with Jesus.

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The wealthy are like a herd of cows in need of a good milking. Cut their taxes and they will "utterly" belong to the guy with the softest hands and the biggest mouth. How thankful they are that Trump sucks.

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I don't know about you but I still play the lottery. I hope to be lucky enough to hit and still do my patriotic duty, fulfil my posse comitatus, donate to charity, and support the entire US economy by paying my fair share.

I'm sure some wealthy people do too.

And I hope to be able to stay proactive. What about you?

https://www.fieldteam6.org/actions

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Daniel--My lottery days are over; I can't even afford to own a car.

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I had a relative who played free games in retirement. She was the first caller to radio shows offering free tickets many times She played all the coupons for free stuff in the papers. Won free vacations, etc. Made more in retirement than when she was working. Probably was an addict.

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Daniel--I tried entering all those things related to winning stuff by entering various games that offer prizes. I spent so much money on stamps, I felt like I personally subsidized the Post Office.

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Donald, you won the most valuable lottery ticket ever: you were born in the USA. Congratulations!

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Victor--And that country was geographically placed between two oceans protecting it from both European and Asian made men.

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I send you my wishes to win the lottery. The winnings will be in good hands & not wasted.

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founding

🤣🤣🤣

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It really is a Monopoly game. The question I have asked myself many times, is what do these people think will happen when they have all the properties ? They win the game but then what? In our world we either quit and go do something else or start a new game. How does that work in their world?

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Everybody will work for them as we enter another "dark ages."

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Or rebel & topple them.

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Not a happy thought. :) But how will they manage us all?

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There are some creepy indications that they are building elaborate shelters and plan to hire ex-military to protect them from the mobs. They aren’t sure how to control the military; maybe shock collars. I read an article once; some journalist interviewed some really rich people and toured some of these bunkers. 21st century version of castles with moats & bears.

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founding

What a way to live. I hope they enjoy their prisons.

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nobody wins it all. So they continue on hoping to do so. To outbest the competition. It's mindless activity which had great evolution advantage. Less so today.

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founding

Nothing is ever enough for them.

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founding

Yup. They fail to see that they're killing the golden goose.

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Professor Reich: the reason the poors protect the wealthiest peoples' wage and productivity theft is because the poors operate under the lie that hard work = big wages. i was just attacked online this morning on this very issue: according to the white man who attacked me, the wealthy are wealthy because they worked hard, and if i don't like it, i can work harder too.

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founding

GrrlScientist, when you speak truth, those who are committed to untruth will react, sometimes viciously. Consider the attack you just endured a badge of honor. Any of us that publicly speak truth against Trumpism will soon have a collection of such badges. The more “badges” the greater the honor.

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Nicely said, Marc!! I wear my 'badges' proudly!! When those who repel the truth come at you spewing hate and anger, it just tells me that my truth is causing them to think and they don't like to do that. GrrlScientist, you keep right on speaking your truth and don't let anyone piss on your petunias!!

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Mostly cultural -- hatred of "the other" and WE B THE OTHER.

Repeat the mantras "Trump hates dogs" and "Trump stole from kids with cancer" and render them holy!

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It simply doesn't work, GrrlScientist! I have watched my grandson work so hard and he still struggles to make ends meet! The working class can work as hard as they can but the wealthy will continue to strip it from us using whatever means necessary!

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Peggy, you’re talking truth too. I’ve earned some badges countering “this gen won’t work”, “they’re lazy”, etc. I graduated from college in 1981; I’ve lived Reaganomics and all that’s followed. (Which means very few in the workforce have any experience under pre-Reagan conditions.)

I can rattle off the increase in higher education costs, salary stagnation, and more. But you know the answer: what worked after WWII was torn apart over time. Reagan seems the designated instigator, though I believe there were shadow players making moves earlier.

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I agree, Gypsy. This has been growing and festering even before Reagan. It seems Americans woke up to what was happening when trump descended the moving stairs! So much of the take over plan has been set in motion, I don't know if it can be stopped. I do know I will do all I can to inform with the truth. I will earn a lot of 'badges' but it is absolutely necessary for our country to remain free.

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how will he vote?

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Unfortunately Steve, my grandson, like my son are republicans and they will vote for trump. It is hard for me not to shout at them to wake up; however, I love them, they are my family so I simply do not talk politics with them. It keeps our relationship healthy and strong.

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I thought that might be the case. How did we lose them ? Rhetorical question mostly.

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I believe that my ex-husband was the reason. We are still good friends even though we are divorced. My son loves us both; however, he wants to be like his dad in every way. I am a Democrat but his dad is a republican. Of course, my grandson wants to be like his dad. My daughter is a Democrat like me. We are all still a family and we love each other. We refuse to let politics tear our family apart as it has done for so many families. That's just another thing we can thank trump for. Divide and conquer must be his motto!

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It sounds like you've managed the divide better than most families.

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founding

Ha! That's complete nonsense.

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The misinformation gets worse.The lack of financial knowledge gets worse.Is this spreading of division and hate not causing the rise of Trumpism and the far right.

You don't work harder,you make your money work harder and or smarter.Why not educate people how to to do that (as I do).

This nonsense is worldwide .Pre - conceptions are the padlocks on the doors to wisdom.Any tax office will give you the details of how tax is raised.They provide the data on a lagging basis as the data is tabled.

The IRS data is the top 1% of earners ( income) pay 25.9% of the tax collected. The top 5% pay 42% of tax collected The top 50% pay 97.7% of the tax collected.

As Abe Lincoln said,you don't strengthen the poor by weakening the rich.You destroy yourself with envy.

Teach people how to improve their wealth/ income,this nonsense will never do that.

The Wal mart museum ( online) tells you exactly how to do that.How the company is built and how employees can get richer. The simple things that 99% of people will deny,the rich get richer,I get richer.

Norges investment bank have a podcast "in good company" I think it is called.Norges investment bank do the same as most first world countries.Your pension (401K in the USA) is invested in companies around the world. Your 401K increases because of rising stock prices,and rising dividends.

After wasting my time there you need to help yourself.Don't pull other people down,lift yourself up.

If that is the wrong title for the podcast then google Norges bank podcast.

The legal obligation of the board of directors of a company is to provide the best return for shareholders.Whether that shareholder is the guy sweeping the floors,or the guy with the expertise to produce the most complicated things you could ever imagine They are both treated exactly the same,they are both shareholders.

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founding

Aussie, the person “sweeping the floors” has no money to invest. They are faced with “Do I pay my rent, feed my children or pay for the medical help I need.?” It takes money beyond necessities to earn money the way you suggest. The working poor do not have that opportunity. In the U.S. earning the minimum wage puts a person below the poverty line. first everyone should be able to earn sufficient purchasing power for food, clothing, housing, medical care and education. Only then do they have the choice of what to do with any earnings above that.

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Aussie lives in Australia.

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The top 1% don't get most of their $$ as earned income. Therefore it's not subject to the same income tax. These conversations really need to take this into consideration as otherwise we're not really having an apples to apples conversation.

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They can borrow from themselves to avoid tax liability.

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Yes and no.In general a tax code will have an all encompassing law .Should it be demonstrated the purpose was to avoid tax,then it will be disallowed.It can happen,and should be highly regulated. The easy way for tax compliance is to just sell some shares.You need $20 million for income that year,sell the shares and pay CGT.

CGT is lower than income tax. What you say is easy.Go to the bank,offer up $30 million of shares for a loan of $20 million.You don't pay tax,in theory.However you will pay a lot of interest on $20 million,and then run into trouble with the all encompassing law of,this is for tax avoidance purposes only.

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Remind then not to take tax advice from a foreigner.

All They have to do is borrow against their holdings -- which is exactly why I pay more in tax than they do. No IRS involvement, not a taxable event.

Another variation on the theme, perfected by Peter Thiel and perhaps Musk is contribute to a tax free Roth IRA. https://www.propublica.org/article/lord-of-the-roths-how-tech-mogul-peter-thiel-turned-a-retirement-account-for-the-middle-class-into-a-5-billion-dollar-tax-free-piggy-bank

Disclaimer I don't give anyone advice.

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Amazing how many can avoid paying their fair share.

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Yes, tax reform is a lot more than tax fairness.

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You are correct.The same law that applies to Musk applies to everybody else.Income tax is paid on income,CGT is paid on capital gains.

To make it simple we'll say that the only company in the world is Tesla.Musk owns 10% of the shares and a 401 K owns the other 90%.Obviously the collective is far wealthier than that one person.Market cap is ( shares on issue X share price) $2 trillion .Musk is worth $200 billion,the collective is worth $1.8 trillion .No govt anywhere is going to say you! Musk! You will pay more tax,the rest of you carry on,you needn't pay any tax.

The facts are still the same , the rich pay most of the tax.From memory the data supplied by the IRS said the top 1% had an income of $3.6 million,and paid $630,000 in tax on that income.The idea is exactly the same,try to earn more money so you can pay more tax,thus making a larger contribution to society.What you don't want to be is the person on a low income,paying very little tax and having very little money in your pocket.

I've been there and done that,I ain't going back to that.

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So who owns the 401k? Obviously people who can afford to invest in it and are working for Tesla. Is this a good example?

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You don't invest in a 401K.It is a tax wrapper.401K is the tax law/clause..You either do it or you don't.Contribute money to Vanguard funds,Blackrock funds,or state Street etc. Some countries it is compulsory,Australia being one of them,since 1992..

A %age of your wages is taken off you.Put into a 401K ( called superannuation here ) and paid out when you retire. Simple financial maths at an average compound growth rate means that you will retire with between 4 and 8 yrs of your income.Depending on the growth of share prices and dividends in the future.

I'm not splitting hairs on everything across a 100 what if,what about.You either do it,or find excuses not to do it.You are forced to do it in Australia .I have my own thoughts on that and could take you through many many end results depending on what discount rate you plug in,and what growth you expect on stock markets and wages.A small change in any of them is a complete waste of time. A common DCF analysis.The financial industry likes to make things complicated,it isn't complicated.

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What you're telling us is Australian rules? What are Australian limits? What is the maximum you can put into a 401k each year from your salary/wage?

Here in the US the max has increased from 22,500 to 23,000 per individual regardless of how many jobs that individual might have. So in your example Musk could have a maximum of 23,000 per year put into his 401k. As I said, is this a good example?

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Are we supposed to be upset by your numbers? What’s your source?

Top 1% hold 30.6% of wealth yet only pay 25.9% of tax collected.

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Aussie dazzled them with lower arithmetic....the ole soft shoe.

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Gosh Aussie, It makes sense that those who have by far most of the income of the population pay a higher percentage of the taxes. The stats you give mean little without knowing what % of the wealth the 1% or 5% own. The stat that 50% of the population pay 97.7% of the taxes can be viewed as a real indictment of the system; that half the population have so little income to be taxed that it only amounts to 2.3% of the taxes raised.

People's motivations (envy, etc) are relevant for change but not whether there should be change-- so should not be part of the conversation. This can be argued.

I agree financial literacy should be taught widely. As well as the logic of collective action.

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Self-improvement is the key- learn a valuable skill for which others will gladly pay a high wage.

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It's time to enlist in the class war started by the rich in 1980. They've been gaslighting us for more than 40 years, even accusing the working poor of waging a class war against them, those self-righteous maddafakkas. Tax their asses! They've concentrated all the wealth up at the top, and the country is falling apart. We need infrastructure, research, and basic human services like affordable health care and education. Tax their asses!

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The predicate is to sweep. Simon Rosenberg says we can get to 55%

Adelante!

https://www.fieldteam6.org/actions

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The tax on the wealthy needs to return to at least 1979 rates to propel the USA into the 22bd Century economically via infrastructure for modern transportation for cars & high speed rail can be built as well as complete the circle for non carbon non polluting energies for homes businesses etc.

Big carbon’s and her murderous benefactors grip on the world economies needs to end! They’ve created & caused enough pain & suffering ,…

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The wealthy and many economists in their textbooks will say that creates inefficiencies the best way is to increase corporate profitability and all will prosper. They kind of slide over how that means all will prosper. Looking for the slope chart showing this. They did not include that. Economic theory seems to be as much about what is not included as what is. No wonder Piketty said thanks but no thanks to economics American style.

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Exactly who I was going to quote! When 806 Americans possess more wealth than every country in the world but 2, we are in very dangerous territory!

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Gwartney and Stroup in their 1995 textbook argue that increased wages from organized workers don't help workers overall. Their argument, as much else in their book, assumes that growth -increase in GDP, means an increase in wages. They also resort to intutive appeals to the readers for some of their core economic beliefs rather than providing data. I can see why behavioral economists are making noise since this book and I assume other standard texts is based on a narrow view of human behavior. Adam Reich specializes in economic and cultural sociology. It is my working assumption that thinking about fundamental "principles" of economics are generally avoided. Free book https://open.lib.umn.edu/principleseconomics/

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Right you are, Prof. Reich! Indeed, you've pointed to the main economic trend over this past half century around the entire world: the filthy rich getting even richer. But I'm predicting that the climate crisis of global boiling will turn things around for us Democrats this summer. Why, we've just witnessed the 10th consecutive month (this past March) of intense heat all over the planet, from water rationing in Bogotá and breakbone fever in Buenos Aires to sinking islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans, from sewage filled rivers in England to starvation in Sudan and Gaza, flooding, excessive heat, etc., etc., etc. So when Trumplestiltskin cries "drill, baby, drill!", Americans will recall that the last time he was in power over 1 million MAGA-deaths occurred due to his stupidity in refusing to follow sound scientific advice. And they'll also feel on their skins, from the scorching sun and searing winds caused by heat-driven hurricanes coming from the ocean that if he has another chance there'll be 1 billion MAGA-deaths all over Earth from globl boiling. Go Joe and Kamala! We'll soon have an issue that's much more powerful than abortion to guarantee your relection and the Democrrats retaking control of both houses of Congress this November.

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Climate change costs the US economy about 150 billion a year, and rising.

A terrible summer will help Dems, a little.

The primary issue is rising prices.

I say this as someone who has been hoping climate crisis would be decisive at the polls for a very long time. We're getting there. It ranks about 7th or lower.

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In order to bring the country under control... the government... has to take control...which it can't do because it is underfunded. The guy/politicians who has/have the power to launch WWIII should have the "power and intelligence" to maintain the guard rails that "control" and "guide"the the economy. The government should set policy, regulations, code of ethics, and have the funding to afford to enforce the laws which should protect us against the threats both foreign and domestic... it does not. It is hopelessly underfunded.

Tax funding is supposed to protect the majority of the population although those taxes are not fairly regulated, when the few hold all the $'s. And thanks to Citizens United and the many other policies that favor the wealthy, our government is impotent, powerless, and no longer concerned for the people or controlled by the people.

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I've known trickle-down was a lie for decades, and I'm sure many others have, too, but we're not being heard, or if we are, we're ignored. American is now a country designed only for people with money. The rest of us, especially seniors, are being left behind. We aren't even close to being able to keep up with current prices in this overpriced market.

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Do something!

https://www.fieldteam6.org/actions

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the website gives several different activies you can do depending on your interest, time available, etc.

If we engage we will win. If we think the other person should do this, or your effort means nothing, most surely we will lose.

The advances society has made are often through a sense that we are all in this together.

For the long haul.

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Inequality by design.

Vote for ME! I'll continue politcies for economic inequality portrayed as helping working families.

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Poor people especially the working poor are burdened with a disproportionate share of taxes .

Trumpet 🎺 reviled he paid 1,500 ( one thousand five hundred dollars in federal taxes ) while I paid a similar amount my taxable income is less than 50k a year .

This tax system is a joke if a rich guy like trumpet 🎺 Chan chisel his way out of paying taxes but the working poor are the true foundation of this society are are doomed to die tired.

Trumpet 🎺 gave tax breaks to those who can more easily pay the taxes and retain a great deal of their disposable income .

Very popular guy with the well off because of his tax cuts that lit off the 8% true inflation currently under reported…

If I were rich I guess that explains trumpets 🎺 popularity with some individuals .

The rich get richer the poor get babies…

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We should tax the $9,184 Trillion in payments made each year instead of our income.

If we taxed payments at 0.25%, we'd no longer have to pay any income taxes, Social Security taxes, sales taxes, or property taxes! Collectively we earn $22 Trillion, only 0.28% of the total payments in the economy. We're taxing the wrong thing when we tax income.

see https://www.thefoundationforabettereconomy.org/

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This is the method most other countries use. E.G. VAT.

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Why hasn't the Alternative Minimum Tax calculation worked? For several years, my wife and I got hit with AMT even though we weren't swimming in income and enjoying a lot of deductions. How about reforming that so it doesn't allow the wealthy (like the Quadefendant) to avoid paying their fair share, or in fact, having their lifestyles subsidized by the rest of us? Also, how about making sure it doesn't apply to middle class folks who are paying plenty?

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One reason is they stopped it. Another is the ultrarich borrow from themselves to avoid paying. We also have a collection problem.

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This whole "trickle down" economics is a complete and total failure!! We are constantly drawing in our purse strings even tighter than before!! I wish that the richy rich would follow the example of Mark Cuban who paid a huge amount in taxes. He hasn't whined about it or tried to use loop holes to maneuver out of it. He just paid it! If the richy rich would stop being so selfish and greedy and started to pay their fair share, we would be a lot better off.

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We can be sure Cuban’s accountants took advantage of every deduction available. Even loopholes. It’s their duty to properly complete tax forms for their clients. If it’s legal and applicable, it’s used.

But his willingness to pay his required taxes without whining is commendable. And unusual.

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Wrong then, wrong now..... always wrong. End Citizens United and end the free flow of cash to buy elections. End elelctoral college to make every citizen's vote count. Pass Voting Rights. Viva the return to democracy.

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On the same day that Most people have to pay their fair share I am happy that today is (hopefully) the beginning of citizen trump having to also pay up - once his trial is concluded by being found guilty of his felonies.

Plus, the do-nothing House is now scraping their plans for bs voting for freedom for appliances of all things now that Iran attacked Israel and finally looking at passing “something”. Ukraine goes through this type of bombardment almost daily but they don’t seem to care about them. Citizen trump put us in this mess by pulling out of the pact that kept Iran from enriching itself but the republicans seem to not remember that.

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"Sell what you have and give to the poor", said Jesus of Nazareth, a Samaritan immigrant. "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." Greed, arrogance, and a corrrupt sense of entitlement in America's top 1% are indefensible according to the teachings of Jesus.

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This proves that Trump never read the Bible.

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