Stunningly, Goldman Sachs is trying to buy a GE Capital online banking organ worth some $16 billion. I was just saying to myself, self, you know what the real problem with America is? Banksters just aren't big enough! What would this acquisition do for the American people? Spoiler alert: it would do nothing for the American people, though it would do something for ideologues who think you should be able to buy whatever you like and push the consequences onto others. And it would make Goldman Sachs bigger, at a time when we really should be making sure banks are smaller and thus more responsive to a community's needs. I know, I know, that sounds so conservative, but it's also right. Anyway, the Federal Reserve can quash the acquisition if it so chooses; it may not be inclined to choose to do so, being as it is populated with former Goldman Sachs execs, but our duty is no different. So CREDO helps you demand more public scrutiny of the Goldman Sachs/GE Capital deal. It's good that GE is trying to get out of banking, by the way, but no law of physics compels them to sell their assets to someone even bigger.
"Corporations are channeling unprecedented amounts of secret money into our elections," Public Citizen's latest email missive begins. "Even worse, they're doing it with our retirement savings." How, you ask? Pension funds invest in big corporations that spend money secretly -- which means your money could be going to Congressional and Presidential candidates who would, once in office, go around screaming WE'RE BROKE!!!! and then "fix" the "problem" of "being broke" by stealing your retirement savings from you! Nice work if you can get it! Hence Public Citizen asks you to tell America's largest retirement savings manager, the Vanguard Group, to keep our money out of political campaigns. Will this work? It's hard to tell -- on one hand, Vanguard's executives no doubt want to keep making money, and this will make that task a bit harder, but on the other, bad PR is bad PR, and Vanguard has a lot of leverage, leverage I imagine it would hate to lose. But you know what won't work? Doing nothing. So let's not be those people who do nothing because we're afraid of failure.
Meanwhile, H.R. 2889/S. 1686, the Carried Interest Fairness Act of 2016, would close loopholes that allow hedge fund managers to have their income taxed as "capital gains," rather than, you know, as "income." The capital gains tax rate is, as you know, 15%, which is considerably lower than the income rate most hedge fund managers would pay on their millions (that would be 39.6%) -- and that means hedge fund managers pay a lower tax rate than the police officers, firefighters, nurses, and teachers who do a lot more to hold our civilization together. Praise the Lord that some Democrats have finally figured out that maybe instead of folding such initiatives as the Carried Interest Fairness Act into these Leviathan bills that nobody understands, putting them up as single-issue bills would do better! Certainly it would force Republicans into defending the loopholes hedge fund managers enjoy, which even Donald Trump and Jeb Bush won't do. So Americans for Financial Reform helps you tell your Congressfolk to support the Carried Interest Fairness Act.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell our Justice Department to investigate whether Exxon covered up climate change research while pumping millions of dollars into climate change denialism, then Food and Water Watch still helps you do that. There is, as you know, precedent for this sort of investigation -- the landmark tobacco settlement began with an investigation into whether they covered up knowledge that cigarettes cause cancer -- and there is also, as you know, evidence that Exxon knew the disastrous consequences of human-aided climate change but chose to "emphasize the uncertainty in scientific conclusions" about climate change and "urge a balanced approach," the "balance," presumably, being between the vast amount of scientific research (including Exxon's own research!) and the funhouse-mirror "science" corporations prefer folks to believe. And by their own hand they damned themselves, saying they chose the path they chose because the impact of regulatory efforts would "come sooner" than the impacts "from climate change itself." I'd say there's certainly enough there for an investigation.