Adam Johnson at FAIR reminds us that the "liberal" media don't want citizens suing the government of Saudi Arabia because it would violate the principle of "sovereign immunity" -- but seem perfectly happy to have corporations sue governments in "investor-state tribunals," such is their love of "free" trade deals. As always, for the "liberal" media, corporations deserve more rights than people, precisely the opposite of the world you and I struggle to create. Of course, Mr. Johnson also chronicles the "liberal" media arguing that passage of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act would enable foreign citizens to sue our government over, say, drone attacks killing civilians. And they say that like it's a bad thing! Suggesting that our government should be insulated from such lawsuits is not very law and order of our "liberal" media, but then, for the "liberal" media, "law and order" is only for black people.The Tax Justice blog offers help "Making Sense of Tax Issues Raised During the First Presidential Debate." Long story short: Donald Trump is a fool (perhaps I should just stop there?) to suggest that the national debt is a reason to cut taxes, and the debt-servicing costs on his plan alone would wipe out half of his spending-cut proposals, but Hillary Clinton's revenue-increasing proposals wouldn't keep pace with the increase in the national debt, either. Mrs. Clinton's plans are unnecessarily complex, too -- I mean, I'd support a Buffett rule, but most people will fall asleep before anyone's done explaining it. Bring back the 91% tax bracket on millionaire income and strictly enforce the corporate tax rate without all these BS research-and-development tax breaks, that's what I say.
USA Discounters -- the corporation that not only sold overly-expensive goods to soldiers and trapped them in a downward spiral of debt in doing so, but made sure to file its collection suits in Virginia so soldiers couldn't just come in and challenge them -- agrees to pay $40 million in penalties and forgive $95 million in customer debt as part of a settlement. I'd still like people to go to jail over this, but this might finish off USA Discounters -- which became USA Living in 2014 and filed for bankruptcy last year, but still collects on loans made before its bankruptcy filing. Could we maybe all shame and ridicule places like USA Discounters, the way we used to shame and ridicule for-profit colleges? Surely our soldiers deserve at least that much.
The IRS is outsourcing some of its delinquent tax-collection efforts to private corporations, as mandated by Congress last year -- as part of a highway funding bill, naturally, highway funding having so much to do with tax collection. Previous efforts to outsource tax collection were resounding failures, as privatization efforts tend to be for everyone but the corporate CEOs who get the contracts, but of course failure isn't a bug here, it's a feature -- this Congress will do whatever it can to discredit the agency that makes our government work, so that our government doesn't work. Clearly Congress adheres to the teachings of the famous philosopher who once said, "chaos isn't a pit; chaos is a ladder."
Finally, Ralph Nader, a.k.a. America's Greatest Citizen, has written a book called Breaking Through Power, part of which is excerpted here. "Increasing numbers of people in this country are living in a precarious and diminished democracy of minimums because we have collectively enabled the wealthy few to create for themselves a plutocracy of maximums," which is a good way of putting it -- it maps well onto my persistent argument that a society hasn't achieved maximum freedom whenever one individual achieves maximum freedom, because that individual will use his freedom to run roughshod over everyone else's freedoms.