From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Quid Pro Quo in the Big Easy

December 6, 2005 4:19 PM

Now BellSouth is freaking out about new free services in Katrina-ravaged areas.

BellSouth promised to donate a building, but apparently the city didn't realize it was just an empty gesture to buy goodwill so they could install their for-profit wifi system. As soon as New Orleans announced their free wifi plans, BellSouth took the building back.

More from the archive in Business.

Quid Pro Quo in the Big Easy (12.06.2005)

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Read the 16 comments.

Dave E.:

And Katrina continues to expose corporate avarice. It's the hurricane that keeps on hurricaning.

Consider that 3 months ago an American city was rendered uninhabitable. Virtually destroyed. Will cost BILLIONS to rebuild, while the nation is concurrently mired in a pointless war to maintain a pseudo-occupation of Iraq that also costs thousands of lives and billions.

Okay. Now consider this:
"But the centerpieces of the bill are the extensions through 2010 of the capital-gains and dividend tax cuts, which lowered the tax rate on investment income to 15 percent from as high as 38.5 percent. Those measures alone are estimated to cost $20.6 billion over five years and $50.8 billion over 10 years.

...

But few would dispute that the bulk of stocks and bonds belong to the rich. The Tax Policy Center, run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that the bottom 80 percent of households would receive 15.8 percent of the House tax cut's benefit. The top 20 percent would receive 84.2 percent of the benefit. Households earning more than $1 million would get 40 percent of the tax cut, or an average cut of nearly $51,000."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002673229_taxcut09.html

Makes you wanna swell your chest with some of that Walmart brand (chinese) American pride, doesn't it.

War. Famine. Disease. Destitution. Death. Pestilence. None of these biblical forces are strong enough to overcome the GOP desire to aggregate their already massive wealth.

And the dense will follow...

Sat Dec 10 2005 12:53 AM


NJGuardsman:

Just so we're clear:

The Top 50% pay 96.54% of All Income Taxes, The Top 1% Pay More Than a Third: 34.27%

Another myth about "the rich" – namely the conventional wisdom that they are all Republicans – thanks to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. A December 18, 2002 Washington Times editorial reports that donors giving "small and medium amounts" in 2002 overwhelmingly supported the GOP, while "rich or deep-pocketed givers" hugely backed the Democrats!

Those giving $200 to $999: GOP $68 million; Democrats $44 million. Those giving $1,000 to $9,999: GOP $317 million; Democrats $307 million. The "fabulously wealthy" donors of $10,000+ gave $111 million to the GOP – a whopping $29 million less than the $140 million they lavished on the Democrats! Among those who gave $100,000+, the Democrats raised $72 million – more than double the $34 million the GOP took.


http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/03in05tr.xls

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/57xx/doc5746/08-13-EffectiveFedTaxRates.pdf

Sat Dec 10 2005 11:54 AM


QueenBitch:

It really makes me sick when issues like this are made political. The fact is that, repug or dem, BellSouth is more worried about amassing more money from the already victimized than about actually helping to rebuild a city where they are headquartered. It's disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves. To make a gesture like that, supposedly to help the needy (in this case an entire city), and turn it around to expose their lust for profit is profane.

Sat Dec 10 2005 7:20 PM


Tom from Madison:

I'm more interested in what the results of people giving $ are than in who is doing the giving. Big $ given to Republicans has gotten us 1-party rule. We're all worse off for that.

Campassionate conservative has been a lie. In the last 5 years rich people have gotten richer, yet most Americans are worse off.

We need to get back to pay as you go with regards to government financing. This used to be known as fiscal conservatism. Then Bush took over.

...and regulating corporations rather than blindly trusting in their benevolence is also necessary. BellSouth's immoral behavior is a fine case in point!

Sun Dec 11 2005 11:01 AM


Anonymous:

"Big $ given to Republicans has gotten us 1-party rule." - And what were you saying for the 40-some years the Dems were in power before 1994?

"Campassionate conservative has been a lie. In the last 5 years rich people have gotten richer, yet most Americans are worse off." - I would not call 1/4 BILLION in aid to those affected by storms in the Gulf Coast a lie.

"and regulating corporations rather than blindly trusting in their benevolence is also necessary." - Oh yeah, bring back the days of the U.S.S.R., why dont you go to Cuba to see how the Govt runs things down there, in fact why dont we just put ALL money making entities under the government so they can be told how to make what they make, how to sell what they sell, what price to charge (talk about $300.00 hammers).

My previous post was to illustrate that the: Rank & File, Middle class/working class was donating to the GOP while Lib elites like: Moore, Soros and the rest were busy writing HUGE sums of money to the Dems.

N. O. was supposed to be the model Dem/Lib city it was suppose to be the yard stick to which all cities were to be measured – yet it had more (minority) people on public assistance then it had people who have jobs. It had a disproportionate population of minorities then mean greedy Caucasians, more corrupt police & more crime then 90% of other U.S. cities .

America (and especially the Gulf Coast) deserve better


Mon Dec 12 2005 9:57 AM


NJGuardsman:

The above post is mine.

Mon Dec 12 2005 10:17 AM


Tom from Madison:

A compassiionate conservative would not have cut funding for the levees in New Orleans to begin with. George Bush did. Today he is largely ignoring the whole issue because it only serves to remind Americans of how incompetent FEMA and the new dept of homeland security have become under Bush's "leadership".

Democrats never tainted the election process in this country the way Republicans have. We have voting machines w/o paper trails thanks to Bush cronies.

Our government has "owners" thanks to the debt owed by Bush to his pioneers and rangers. This is country-club government, not the government by, for, and of the people! This is democracy subverted.

Then there are the sleezy henchmen. Tom DeLay's corruption is multi-dimensional. The Supreme Court will now review the Texas redistricting plan he managed to get through thanks to his money laundering.

Bush and Cheney managed to bring oil-corruption to the Whitehouse in unprecedented fashion. We have secret energy meetings, cozy agreements with Saudi Arabia, and no-bid contracts with Halliburton. Yet, still no plan to reduce dependency on oil-foreign or otherwise.

This President even has fake journalists [e.g. Jeff Gannon] doing his bidding and regularly uses federal $ to purchase propaganda.

Health care is another corruption-riddled Bush screw-up. Think prescription-drug benefit. No wonder this corrupt fool is so unpopular. We are measureably worse off than we were 5 years ago. Let's blame those who got us there--AND REPLACE THEM WITH AN ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT!

Mon Dec 12 2005 11:40 AM


Dave E.:

Numbers certainly don't lie.

"Over the ten-year period, the richest Americans—the best-off one percent—are slated to receive tax cuts totaling almost half a trillion dollars."
http://www.ctj.org/html/gwb0602.htm

"I would not call 1/4 BILLION in aid to those affected by storms in the Gulf Coast a lie."

That's not a lie; that's an insult. This was an American city. However, the insinuation I've seen in other places than just here is that, because the city is misperceived by conservative nuts as a "liberal oasis", it somehow deserved the post-disaster disaster or, even worse, isn't worthy of any real revitalization. Because they were just a bunch of stupid libtards.

I say again: this was an American city. People's true colors are beginning to show. O'Reilly wants San Francisco blown up by Bin Laden (remember him?) and wingnuts are incredibly twisting this half-assed approach to rebuilding -- I say one more time -- an American City as "hey, New Orleans should feel lucky we're paying them a cent, the dirty libs". True colors. Your American-ness is now measured by your party affiliation, who the mayor of your town is, and who the governor of your state is. Pathetic.

True colors.

And a couple final points about the concentration of wealth. Those tax cut numbers don't account for off shore tax shelters the wealthiest use to simply cheat the system that those who can't afford Arthur Anderson to cook their books abide by. These numbers, EMPIRICAL FACTS, are virtually universally accepted as the true nature of the Bush tax cuts (Trillions of dollars, remember -- and during times of War and Disaster; absolutely shameless).

It defies logic to actually take a position that the wealthiest are somehow persecuted and deserve a moral defense from anybody. And really, I don't think anyone's arguing for Central Planning. That's a reductionist, simplistic way to look at the issue. Irresponsible too.

Soros? Moore? Honestly...the unsubstantiated wingnut rhetoric is getting really tired. One need only try to keep up with the sheer number of scandals the GOP is involved in to understand where the real source of this nation's ills originate. Tom mentioned quite a few in his post, and that's sadly only the tip of the iceburg.

Mon Dec 12 2005 11:29 PM


Tom from Madison:

Thank you Dave.

The subject of what sacrifices are appropriate in a time of war is one that Bush doesn't EVER seem to address even though he crows loudly and often about being a "war time" president.

What sacrifices have the very richest people made to win the Iraqi war? What sacrifices should they make? If this war is as important to our future as Bush says, we can't afford his tax cuts. They should be repealed immediately.

However, if we really can afford these tax cuts the war can't be all that important after all.

So Neocons, which is it?

Tue Dec 13 2005 10:24 AM


NJGuardsman:

“A compassiionate conservative would not have cut funding for the levees in New Orleans to begin with.” – First of all it wouldn’t matter how much money the administration would send for the levies because the state and local governments pissed it all away on other things, the federal government’s warnings to: Louisiana and New Orleans that it was not a matter of IF but WHEN a storm like Katrina would hit the gulf coast were blown off.
The deaths of those approx 1200 people lie squarely on the shoulders of the Governor of Louisiana & the Mayor of New Orleans and sadly they’ll probably be elected to office AGAIN.

“Democrats never tainted the election process in this country the way Republicans have.” – Oh really, anyone remember hanging chads – not wanting to count ballots from the military? Arguing that the voting form in Florida was misleading. Democrats own the monopoly on playing dirty.

“Our government has "owners" thanks to the debt owed by Bush to his pioneers and rangers.” – I’m not going to dignify this with a response.

“Bush and Cheney managed to bring oil-corruption to the Whitehouse in unprecedented fashion. We have secret energy meetings, cozy agreements with Saudi Arabia, and no-bid contracts with Halliburton. Yet, still no plan to reduce dependency on oil-foreign or otherwise.” – Oh wow aren’t we clean and pure! Let’s see can anyone say: Tyson Chicken, how about turning 1000.00 into 100,000.00 or maybe trying to hijack 1/7 of this nation’s economy by some one was unelected & accountable to no one having closed door meetings.

I have no comment on Jeff Gannon.

“Health care is another corruption-riddled Bush screw-up Think prescription-drug benefit.” – I happen to agree with you here, the President should never have signed that prescription plan. I agree, the faster we get government out of health care the better off we’ll be!

“We are measureably worse off than we were 5 years ago.” – Lets see now, inflation is at an all time high? - No, we’re still in a recession?-no, housing is at an all time low?-no, in fact more people own a house now then ever before. We have created another 250,000 jobs so the economy is going great so I say yes we ARE better of then we were 5 years ago.

Is it fair that the Top 50% of Americans pay 96.54% of All Income Taxes and The Top 1% Pay More Than a Third: 34.27%?

“This was an American city.” – Yes it was and I never: said, wrote, implied in any way shape or form that New Orleans “DESERVED” what happened and I defy you to prove that I did!
So 400K per person isn’t enough for you? So how much is???
Under a different heading on this website I wrote that these people are my fellow Americans, they deserve our compassion and a helping hand BUT not a free ride and I stand by this statement.
For the federal government to give ¼ BILLION (not including private donations) of our hard earned tax dollars to a state and city that didn’t know what to do with the huge amount of $$$$$ it already received and couldn’t follow it’s own plan to save it’s people makes me shudder to think what’s next in store for the population of New Orleans.

“And a couple final points about the concentration of wealth.” – You’re jealousy simply astounds me, contrary to the way you want people to believe the majority of those people (top 1%) are good and moral people who give untold amounts of money to charity. They deserve to do with their money what they want.
If you don’t like the fact they have off shore accounts, call your local government official, get a law passed! Run for office, Become President.

“…universally accepted as the true nature of the Bush tax cuts (Trillions of dollars, remember -- and during times of War and Disaster; absolutely shameless” – its happening the tax cuts are invigorating the economy all while we are fighting a war.

No no no Dave try it this way;
Bush Lied? Halliburton? Honestly...the unsubstantiated leftist rhetoric is getting really tired. One need only try to keep up with the sheer number of accusations of the GOP to understand where the real source of this nation's ills originate.

Tue Dec 13 2005 3:28 PM


Dave E.:

"Is it fair that the Top 50% of Americans pay 96.54% of All Income Taxes and The Top 1% Pay More Than a Third: 34.27%?"

Please post where you're getting these figures.

Wed Dec 14 2005 1:14 AM


Dave E.:

Also, please enlighten me on where you get this,

"because the state and local governments pissed it all away on other things, the federal government’s warnings to"

this,

"Tyson Chicken, how about turning 1000.00 into 100,000.00 or maybe trying to hijack 1/7 of this nation’s economy by some one was unelected & accountable to no one having closed door meetings."

this specious claim,

"more people own a house now then ever before. We have created another 250,000 jobs so the economy is going great so I say yes we ARE better of then we were 5 years ago."

this absurd statement,

"For the federal government to give ¼ BILLION (not including private donations) of our hard earned tax dollars to a state and city that didn’t know what to do with the huge amount of $$$$$ it already received and couldn’t follow it’s own plan to save it’s people"

*cough, cough* this bizarro gem,

"contrary to the way you want people to believe the majority of those people (top 1%) are good and moral people who give untold amounts of money to charity. They deserve to do with their money what they want."

Apparently you know enough of them to refute the lengthy history of white collar malfeasance.

And I'd really enjoy seeing what magical ether you've divined this gem from,

"its happening the tax cuts are invigorating the economy all while we are fighting a war."

Oh, and your attempt at snark? Not so smooth.

"One need only try to keep up with the sheer number of accusations of the GOP to understand where the real source of this nation's ills originate."

Doesn't really jive with That Which is Known, aka current reported events (Libby, Ohio GOP corruption, Dukester, Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff, Delay, the GOP's use of Indian casinos as slush funds...it's called 'preponderance').

Good luck defending the indefensible.

Signed,
Eagerly awaiting substantiation to your crazy ideas.

Wed Dec 14 2005 1:40 AM


NJGuardsman:

Dave E.

"Is it fair that the Top 50% of Americans pay 96.54% of All Income Taxes and The Top 1% Pay More Than a Third: 34.27%?"

Please post where you're getting these figures.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/03in05tr.xls

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/57xx/doc5746/08-13-EffectiveFedTaxRates.pdf

Wed Dec 14 2005 1:19 PM


Tom from Madison:

NJ:

No sale on your idiotic levee comment. The army corps of engineers can certainly do the job when they are given the funds. They weren't. It was Bush's idea to cut the funding. That a flood was coming was known. Deaths and destruction resulting from that decision are an Albatross he will wear. He earned it!

You didn't mention the record high level of credit card debt or the record level of Americans without health care. That's measureable. You didn't address the prescription drug 'benefit' debacle--you remember where Bush lied about what it would cost!

Personal bankrupcies are also at an all-time high. Didn't you notice?

Nor did you mention the per capita portion of the federal budget deficit owed by the average American. Bush accomplished this by cutting taxes and radically increasing spending, especially in the military, especially for his cronies in Halliburton and Bechtel.

Americans agree. Bush poll numbers and congressional approval poll numbers are abysmal. People think they're government can do better. They're right!

Wed Dec 14 2005 3:50 PM


NJGuardsman:

For you Tom:

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/9/7/90925.shtml

Thu Dec 15 2005 4:30 PM


Tom from Madison:

For you NJ:

http://www.alternet.org/story/24871

Thu Dec 15 2005 5:36 PM


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