Friday, March 13, 2009


DERAILING THE GRAVY TRAIN: The jibber-jabber over corporate campaign money continued this week with more jabberwockish blather that attempts to keep the argument focused on the price of the whore rather than the whoring itself.

But really the corporate cash issue is only a part of the corruption of democracy that passes for governance in Hawaii and the US. It’s just as easy to donate individual or even “bundled” cash to buy access and influence.

That’s why most people who aren’t too busy pulling bodies out of the river downstream and follow the money to it’s source have discovered that the only hope we have of fixing the system is full public financing of all campaigns.

Part of the Incumbency Protection package being peddled by the pimps of the legislative brothel this year is a bill to kill the hard fought for Big Island pilot project that is actually pretty watered down from the concept of full public financing, much to the delight of the penny-wise pound-foolish anti-taxation crowd.

The knee jerking “me, me, me” crowd- the ones who want all the government services at current levels and are the first to complain when their permit isn’t issued in minutes or there’s never a cop when you need one- keep up a constant drone about their taxes being too high and are the same ones who scream bloody murder at the thought they their tax money will pay for political campaigns under a pubic finance system.

But there’s no better example of the true cost of the private finance system than what is happening right under our noses at this very moment at the state legislature.

Now that the absurd council of revenues system has played out its predestined, mid-session role in the biennial budget dance of the headless chickens, it’s looking like a tax increase of some kind is a foregone conclusion if they can decide who will get the blame.

But will this tax increase be progressive?- which for the uninformed is an ancient pre-Reagan 20th century concept where those who have the ability to pay, pay progressively proportionally more taxes than the oppressed working poor.

Forget it. That doesn’t even appear to be on the table according to almost every media report.

The one tax increase that seems to be the most popular - shockingly-shockingly with the same reps and sens who voted to increase corporate cash- is the most regressive of all, the general excise tax.

Increase corporate taxes? Cut all business tax credits and subsidies? Raise the income tax on those making more than a quarter-million a year?

No way, not under a system where the people who vote on the tax will be bending over and whipping out their begging bowl as soon as the session ends (and even during sometimes).

And guess whose wallets they have their eyes on to pay the people’s tab- the ones they will be asking for money tomorrow?

Do you really think that the legislators are going to tax those who can afford it instead of taking a penny per dollar out of the pockets of the poor- especially when they are about to ask those fat cats for a lot more than some spare change?

The perfect storm has pulled back the veil for a brief crystallizing moment and sheds light as clear as day on exactly how we pay far more on the back end than we ever would by taking the money out of political campaigns and paying for them ourselves.

The only question is if “we, the marks” in this combo three-card-monte/pocket-picking scam will realize that while we’re winning pennies from the quick-hands con-man, the pickpocket standing behind us has just once again emptied our wallet without us even knowing it.

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