Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Obama's Phony War on Hedge Funds - View From the Far Left

Originally Published on forbes.com on September 2nd,2011
I love breaking my own rules.  In my last post I said that people who want to talk about carried interest without knowing about partnership taxation should just shut up.  So now here is something on the carried interest controversy from someone who knows absolutely nothing about partnership taxation.  Tom Cahill is a life long activist who has previously appeared as a guest blogger.  While I am assembling the views of the experts, he shared his thoughts, which are a little different than mine:
You are so right about Pres. Obama’s phony fight with the GOP over hedge funds.
“Hedge funds,” “capital gains,” “carried interest,” etc. are ideas way over my head since I’ve been low income for 70 of my 74 years, the exception being four years right out of college when, as a “liberal,” I even owned a 1950 Mark V Jaguar drop-head coupe.  This was before I was radicalized in 1967 and have been an “enemy of the state” ever since. 
So I take your word for it that the President is being disingenuous about the hedge fund issue as he has been with other issues.  Like your Irish/American father from Joisey,  mine told me the very same thing about TV wrestling.  “It’s all an act,” he would say, but wouldn’t miss a Saturday night performance.  If someone was hit like they do in TV wrestling, they’d be killed instantly, my dad told me countless times. 
And he should have known since, as a young adult, he was a semi-professional wrestler and boxer. 
I believe the Democrats and the Republicans have been staging phony wrestling matches since the coup d’etat of Nov. 22, 1963.  Since that time we’ve had a corporate dictatorship in the USA in which a few faces at the top change every four or eight years to maintain the illusion of democracy.  As its Ministry of Propaganda, the corporate media has been of major assistance to the corporate dictatorship by  limiting debate, making it prohibitively expensive to run for office, fear-mongering, and using other tricks of the public relations trade. 
For instance, the corporate media is now marginalizing Rep. Ron Paul like it did to Ralph Nader and for the same reason—raising important issues and asking “hard” questions in clear language.  And it may have been the brothers Koch who have been funding the Tea Party, but it has been the corporate media that has been giving them print and air space way out of proportion to their simplistic message.  Had the corporate media given us on the far left even a fraction of the attention, sanity and peace just might prevail on the planet. 
Who can deny the USA today has radical problems?  And it’s the view of a growing number of honest Americans that these problems are being exacerbated by radical  conservatives.  Timid liberals, on the other hand, are just as foolish attempting to place band-aids on Uncle Sam’s major wounds.
The USA needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission like that of South Africa when that country transitioned to democracy.  But I’m not holding my breath.  Instead, I’m praying for a renaissance instead of a revolution.
Tom’s greatest achievement as an activist was as one of the earliest members and president of Just Detention International, which is dedicated to ending sexual abuse in all forms of detention.  I always say it is Tom congratulating the President for signing PREA, but it may be the President thanking Tom for bringing the matter to his attention.

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