We don't yet know what is in the TPP, because it is still secret and will remain so until shortly before the fast-track process requires Congress to vote. The president says to trust him, telling us that it will be great and "progressive" and create lots of jobs and expand the economy. Great. But the history on our trade deals -- especially those passed using fast track -- has been very bad. NAFTA was sold as creating a lot of jobs and growing the economy, but NAFTA destroyed jobs and expanded the trade deficit. China's entry into the World Trade Organization was sold as creating a lot of jobs and growing the economy, but it turned out to be absolutely devastating for America's working people, middle class and entire manufacturing ecosystem, and the trade deficit with China is now enormous. As a result of these agreements, entire regions of the country look like wastelands. Seriously, go look at Detroit.
Our loophole-ridden corporate tax code creates winners and losers. The winners are a narrow set of large multinationals that boast armies of tax lawyers and accountants, and the losers are average taxpayers and small business owners who are left to foot the bill.
That's the question a French friend posed last year after the Edward Snowden leaks revealed that the U.S. government was, in fact, violating the law by spying on American citizens. Now we have another outrage that, so far, has failed to stir the American public to demand change.
Sen. Schumer urged Congress to craft a stricter definition of inversion and enact a ban on "earnings stripping." Earnings stripping? You'll love this. Earnings stripping refers to a practice by which a foreign-based parent corporation loans large sums to -- wait for it -- itself.
Pfizer's move to acquire British-based pharma company AstraZeneca has proven that too many in the political world have not a clue how markets work, how innovation takes place, or how economic growth is achieved.
The agenda of global finance, carried out via "trade" deals, has diverted attention from the real economic issues -- rising inequality and insecurity for ordinary people, the use of globalization as a battering ram to empower capital and weaken labor, and to prevent government interventions from averting financial speculation and collapse. Amid these real crises of neo-liberalism, enhanced trade has been portrayed as a deux ex machina, which will solve our problems if only we get rid of what's left of the mixed economy. It won't. The proposed deals would only make matters worse. The coming collapse of the quarter-century laissez-faire crusade that began with the 1986 Uruguay round, with its license for global financial speculation, is to be welcomed. If we can kill this diversion once and for all, maybe we can start paying more attention to the real economic issues.
Even in our fragile economy, Americans still want to give back to those who need help the most. However, charitable giving will suffer should the deduction be limited.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is staking out a leadership role for Brazil on the contentious issue of Internet governance. She has prioritized certain legislation amid revelations of widespread electronic espionage by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
The TPP represents "The largest corporate power grab you've never heard of," concluded Rep. Keith Ellison. Ratification of the trade agreement portends disastrous economic consequences, and the death of "democracy as we know."
As President Obama proposed a series of changes to reform the government's surveillance policies and programs, Democracy Now! speaks to Jennifer Hoelz...
It was a busy week in Washington, since all the congresscritters were eager to get out of town for their not-so-well-earned five weeks of vacation. It'll take awhile for the dust to settle, so let's take a look at some of what's been happening while it does.
It's now painfully clear that the president has put out a contract on the Fourth Amendment. And at the Capitol, the hierarchies of both parties are stuffing it into the trunks of their limousines, so each provision can be neatly fitted with cement shoes and delivered to the bottom of the Potomac.
The U.S. Senator who divulged the Pentagon Papers in Congress says Edward Snowden and other citizens with access to classified information should have the same immunity as members of Congress to make public secret documents exposing government wrongdoing.
If government officials can lie to Congress without consequence, we're in big trouble in terms of democracy and the rule of law, especially as these apply to the reform of U.S. foreign policy.
Despite continuing efforts to politicize the revelations about the NSA's domestic spying programs, the leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden transcend America's trivial two-party politics. This isn't Republicans versus Democrats. It's the government versus the people.
Seriously, do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have your boss ask you to get reporters to write about something he can't tell you about? I did it for years and let's just say, it stretches you as a communicator.