Obama: Just Do It the TPP Swoosh Way, Brother Milton Friedman

The prez comes to Portlandia and here we are, stuck in 5 hour traffic while his motorcade plows right by the real people

So his motorcade comes to Portland and clogs traffic. The mainstream news yammers on about where he might end up for pie or a smoke or which trendy place Barack might get an artisan beer or vegan cheese sandwich. All the rotten facts about his bullet and missile proof Cadillac. How the Murder Incorporated Entourage will have secret service, local SWAT, special forces and a slew of private mercenaries around to protect this GQ guy? America, 2015, and that 3 billion dollar Obama smile, in stumptown.

Portland, Oregon, hobbled by high taxes to the middle class, gentrification, no affordable housing, a style that is featured in that comic and dead way, in another gross TV series, Portlandia, and then there is “the Nike guy” and all that represents. This once was a wild place carved out after Lewis and Clark plowed through, and now Portland is all paved over or corralled in.

I like Portland, don’t get me wrong, but it is going the way of the dodo – it’s beginning to smell and look an awfully like Seattle-Number-Two.

Rich people move in, poor people move to the outskirts. Traffic jams, almost as bad as POTUS coming to town to raise money for Hillary Libya Clinton. Coming into town to preen the other sell-out democrats looking for fast-track and NAFTA on steroids a la brave new world TPP. Ron Wyden, Oregon democratic senator, of course, he is for TPP, for all the liberal-neoliberal reasons.

Schmucks.

Barack Obama is going to Beaverton Friday (more clogged, Secret Service, FBI road blocking for us suckers trying to work for $15 an hour) to meet the billionaire welfare cheat, Phil Knight, to chat that pathetic point.one percenter chat about the TPP.

It expands the anti-democratic/anti-worker provisos of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Nothing like impoverished workers and fat-cat bosses in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, expanding into those 11 countries in Asia and South America.

All negotiated by billionaires and transnational companies in secret, these TPP negotiations. Sections of the draft have been uncovered by WikiLeaks which  exposed the economic hit-men nature of the agreement – the right of corporations to sue national governments to overturn laws that, gulp, threaten profit margins and crack down on the production of more affordable generic drugs, just for one example.

Democrats and unions support Obama and Hillary, and here in Portland last month, around 500 protested TPP and Wyden’s role in the kleptocracy of the thing:

Get this, though, local unions gave Democrats over $150,000 while big corporations gave over $6 million. Yet, we will never hear for a stop to funding a party that creates and implements policies that kill the working class, and in fact, is a climate change changer.

So, I have to hear about traffic sightings while working for the most disadvantaged people. I have to see my other state, WA, protest over an underfunded education budget, largely pushed by Democrats, the One Percent, Microsoft creeps, the likes of Obama and Knight and Bezos and any number of folk who look and act blue and green, but are as red hot as any devil. And republicans.

May 13, walkout – One Day.

The under-funding will increase class sizes for students in grades 4-12 and those in high-needs schools.

Washington state K-12 teachers and support staff have gone six years without a state cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) so the Republican Senate budget throws crumbs at a 3 percent COLA over two years ; additionally, there will be no increase in health care funding – so, teachers will take home less money next year as health care costs rise.

Fun sleaze factor – legislators are in line to get 11 percent raises.

Several budget proposals would also unjustifiably restrict school districts’ flexibility to make local decisions about teacher compensation and staffing for student programs.

“Instead of making the investment in public education that our children need and the Constitution mandates, the state Senate majority is lowballing the schools budget and passing bills that scapegoat teachers,” Shirley Potter, president of the Bellingham Education Association, said in a statement.

But GQ Barak isn’t coming over the Columbia River to speak to the real backbone of the Pacific Northwest – teachers, parents, education supports, students! Instead, Obama courts the mafiosi of Nike –

Nike, like companies such as Apple, Dell and Microsoft, has a huge stash of offshore profits that it hasn’t paid U.S. taxes on. We also know that Nike, like these other corporations, has paid little or nothing in foreign taxes on these profits either. And we also know that all these companies have many offshore subsidiaries in tax-haven countries.

Nike’s latest annual report, released earlier this week, shows just how blatant multinational corporations have become in using offshore tax havens to avoid their U.S. tax responsibilities.

Nike reports that its cache of “permanently reinvested offshore profits” ballooned from $5.5 billion to $6.7 billion in the past year — meaning that the company moved $1.2 billion of its profits offshore. Nike also discloses that if it were to pay U.S. taxes on its offshore stash, its federal tax bill would be $2.2 billion, a tax rate of just under 33 percent. Since the federal income tax is 35 percent minus any taxes corporations have paid to foreign jurisdictions, it’s easy to deduce that Nike has paid virtually no tax on its offshore profit hoard.

Nike’s long list of offshore subsidiaries includes twelve shell companies in Bermuda alone, ten of which are named after one of Nike’s own shoes! To wit: Air Max Limited, Nike Cortez, Nike Flight, Nike Force, Nike Huarache, Nike Jump Ltd., Nike Lavadome, Nike Pegasus, Nike Tailwind and Nike Waffle!  Read more here.

This fight for the school yard is a fight for sanity and sanctity of American and Western and global educational foresight. How do we even inch toward global social-economic-environmental-species-geological justice when we have a constant sucking sound of a few hundred thousand families, little mobsters, running amok in the world, controlling vast amounts of economic and social capital, or social capital futures.

Obama and Phil Knight and the rest of the Paul Allen types, they wouldn’t dare get into a rumble in the jungle – the very jungle they have helped create as survival of the fittest and dog eat dog world where the profits are privatized and the costs, externalized, we pay, the world pays, future generations yet born into the plastic, Monsanto, world, pay.

Here, the story of Nike and Obama is a never-ending intellectual shit storm:

“Single-Sales” – A Modern Robber Baron
by Michael Leachman

When your W-2 form arrives, think of this: Certain multistate corporations are paying much less in corporate income taxes today because Oregon has changed the way multistate firms calculate state income taxes on their profits. That means you pay more than your fair share.

Multistate corporations make profits in more than one state, so there needs to be a way to decide how to allocate their profits for state taxation purposes. States have different rules around this. Most states use a formula that considers the state’s share of a corporation’s total property, payroll, and sales.

Prior to 1991, Oregon used a formula that equally weighted the three factors – property, payroll, and sales. In 1991, Oregon switched to a formula that “double-weighted” the sales factor. The change produced a tax break for companies that had a high share of their property and payroll in Oregon but a small share of their total sales in the state. Companies with sales in Oregon but little property and payroll here saw their taxes increase.

In 2001, Oregon began phasing in a “single-sales factor” formula. Under this formula, only in-state sales relative to all US sales matter in determining how much of a company’s profits are apportioned to and thus taxable by Oregon; it doesn’t matter how much of their property or payroll is based in Oregon. The Legislative Assembly in 2005 cut short the phase-in process and fully phased-in the “single-sales” formula for tax years starting on or after July 1, 2005. [Here, Schools Matter!]

Sacred Cows, Nike and Intel. Sacred to the max. I have had near fist fights with Oregonians who say Nike and what it does it next to godliness. You try and talk $15 an hour, mandatory rent controls, massive public transportation projects, mandatory sick and maternity leave, and well, how can we pay for that?

No championing teachers, daycare workers, health care workers, vocational counselors, disabled supports, social workers, garbage workers, nurses, and the like, but it’s all about fat-cat Paul Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks Allen.

Just do it, my ass. So, Obama is in Portland, Thursday and Friday, looking for a cool $2 million or more for the war chest of the second rottenest political party on earth – Republicrats. Money for sapping the youth, the people of color, the downtrodden, the smart and educated, too, and everyone in between.

As I close this little diatribe, those F-16’s and other military planes are circling above, so POTUS has landed and is schmoozing with the elite, just to taste the air he exhales. Smell it? Sulfur in the air?

While the recovery does nothing for us, the 80 Percent, the stylists and cultural wars creeps make it seem all is okay with out-going Barack and in-coming Hillary. The lesser of the most evil? It’s really difficult to see this unfolding, the media mush and the rotten to the core democrats and money launders. Paying both sides of the Murder Inc. Mobsters.

Paul Kirk Haeder has been a journalist since 1977. He's covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/community journalism situations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and beyond. He's been a part-time faculty since 1983, and as such has worked in prisons, gang-influenced programs, universities, colleges, alternative high schools, language schools, as a private contractor-writing instructor for US military in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Washington. He organized Part-time faulty in Washington State. His book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his autobiography, weekly or bi-weekly musings and hard hitting work in chapter installments, at LA Progressive. He blogs from Otis, Oregon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.