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If anything indicates how warped and corrupt our nations elites have become, it is this statement by billionaire investor Tom Perkins:
"The Tom Perkins system is: You don't get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes," Perkins said.

"But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How's that?"

The audience at the Commonwealth Club reacted with laughter. But Perkins offered no immediate indication that he was joking. Asked offstage if the proposal was serious, Perkins said: "I intended to be outrageous, and it was."

Tom Perkins is exactly the kind of human being that is an example of the sort of folk who have become the ruling class in our country. Harvard, a felony conviction for killing someone with his yacht (for which he paid a $10,000 fine), and has never created or invented anything in his life. He's made his money purely through high finance. He's the same guy who wrote for the Wall Street Journal last month that if rich people had to start paying taxes like the rest of us, it would be no different than the Holocaust.

These are the people, with their sycophants who run the Washington Establishment and the Traditional Media, that rule over us and are presiding over the national decline in this country.

I'm telling you this not because I expect you to be outraged. One cannot be outraged when such people are so common. But I do expect you to be aware of the sorts of individuals who are presiding over the New Gilded Age. These aren't even the robber barons of old, who at least left the nation richer they they found it. These aren't inventors, builders and growers. They're vampires of the worst sort who are sucking this nation dry, and will gladly private jet on over to the next victim once America is completely broken. And the reason you should be aware is that history is replete with examples of what happens when a nations wealthy class becomes so insular and greedy that it begins to kill the goose that laid them their golden eggs. No nation puts up with it forever.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And I would like to amend that to: (8+ / 0-)

    1 vote per percentage paid in taxes.....13% marginal tax rate?  13 votes.  28%?  28 votes.

    Us workers, the actual tax-payers in this country, win.

    Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

    by PsychoSavannah on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:22:48 AM PST

  •  Oh I get it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, Caddis Fly, HCKAD

    He is about as funny as cancer.

    “He talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans.” James Carville

    by Mokislab on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:24:08 AM PST

  •  Five evil supremes agree nt (6+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:27:25 AM PST

    •  More likely nine. (6+ / 0-)

      The Obama and Clinton appointees may be with us on social issues, but on economic issues they're not that far away from the conservatives.

    •  Exactly. (7+ / 0-)

      Since the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling enshrined the notion that money = speech, these five people would likely agree that wealth = votes.

      In my view, this is why Citizens United was incorrectly decided.

      If we do not all have equal wealth, then we cannot, by definition, have equal speech.

      There is a large divide from standing on a soap-box or handing out a leaflet in the days of the 'Founding Fathers', compared to the reach of modern day communications that is the provenance of those with more money.

      There was a time when the Supreme Court was respected, nowadays, not so much.

      •  Speech is "free"; the evil framers didn't believe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Panama Pete

        In equality or write it in the POS called the Constitution. Freedom ain't free & can be bought by the highest bidder. Evil rich people have the best government our money can buy them.

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:49:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The concept of money equals speech (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PrahaPartizan

        was established in Buckley v Valeo in 1976 and has been enshrined ever since. None of the current members of the SCOTUS were on the Court at that time.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:53:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd rather a constitutional amendment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ichibon, RUNDOWN

          to overturn that than going down the "corporate personhood" rabbithole.  If you're going to amend the constitution, why leave in place all the pre-Citizens United problems with campaign fin?  

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:13:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I too think it would take a Constitutional (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ichibon, nextstep, PrahaPartizan

            amendment to take big money out of politics. The First Amendment makes legislating campaign financing legislation problematic.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:17:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, as interpreted by SCOTUS . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              I have a hard time seeing curtailing lobbying or issue advocacy, but treating donations to candidates or even independent expenditures on candidates' behalf as protected seems a stretch.  It's not content neutral but is viewpoint neutral, and the interest in clean elections seems a legitimate and important state interest, to put mildly.  

              Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

              by Loge on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:24:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The first amendment link to money is that (0+ / 0-)

                exercising the right to speech and press requires money if one is to go beyond shouting on a street corner.  Money is required to broadly spread the content of speech and press.

                The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                by nextstep on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 11:03:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  we'll they're not unrelated, (0+ / 0-)

                  but that doesn't mean spending "IS" itself expressive advocacy, especially if the net effect is to reduce on side to the equivalent of shouting on a street corner through the deluge of unregulated spending.

                  Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                  by Loge on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 11:41:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Spending is essential to meaningful freedom of (0+ / 0-)

                    speech and press.  

                    In regards to some voices being overwhelming and therefore some voices must be restrained, in that measure we should also consider major media such as Wall Street Journal, NY Times, major TV and Cable news networks, as competing voices.  

                    Are my first amendment rights diminished because editorials from the Wall Street Journal and NY Times get distributed far more widely than mine?

                    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                    by nextstep on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 12:29:18 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  the question is whether (0+ / 0-)

                      regulation of campaign donations or independent expenditures on a candidate's behalf should be regarded as on the same level as regulations of the advocacy, itself.  

                      I said issue advocacy is much more broadly protected, so I do not understand the analogy.  You could argue the first amendment requires a federal minimum wage, or that government builds churches for whoever wants one.  I really don't know where you are going with any of this.  

                      I will say I think the ability of a major media corporation to marshal all of its resources on behalf of a candidate raises the appearance and possibility of corruption, which pre citizens united was seen as valid reason not to allow it.  Regular Pacs were bad enough.  

                      We already have regulations on how much one can donate directly to campaigns, and those are not effective if the spending-as-speech paradigm can extend to the world of superpacs. The regulations in Buckley v Valeo the Court struck down would have limited expenditures by campaigns, not by ordinary citizens.  The regulations didn't prohibit them, and the argument that campaigns need money to do protect speech wasn't the holding of the case.  

                      I guarantee you I know these issues better than you, so don't dumbspain me.

                      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                      by Loge on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 01:30:10 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  I doubt it very much (0+ / 0-)

      In allowing unlimited funding of campaign advertising (First Amendment rights yadda yadda), yes.

      But voting? I don't think so. That would take a pretty warped and convoluted reading of the US Constitution that even Scalia and Thomas would have difficulty justifying.

  •  Thank you for writing on this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FarWestGirl, DRo, Eric Nelson

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:29:54 AM PST

  •  Its a great idea . (5+ / 0-)

    One dollar a vote .
    If you want to vote a million time , bring cash .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Voting more than once gets all your votes canceled .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:37:42 AM PST

  •  In a way, I like it (3+ / 0-)

    He actually came out and said it.  "I am worth a million of these other vermin crawling around on the streets, so my vote should count a million times more."  Let's not pretend anymore that people who have not been fabulously successful are worth giving a shit about.

    His own comments suggest the possibility of taking this one step further.  Since corporations are the biggest individual taxpayers, and corporations are people of course, maybe the real voters should be Exxon, GM, Walmart, and their big corporate cousins.  The rest of us could just get out of the way, because our votes wouldn't be enough to matter anymore.  Let the great Job Creators run the show.

    Let's make it official.

    See you in Heaven if you make the list. R.E.M.

    by Akronborn on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:39:33 AM PST

  •  Billonaire warp speed over the cuckoo's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah

    nest.
    Money + insanity = conservatism?

  •  You don't get to vote (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, Santa Susanna Kid, Jaimas

    Until you scrub a 1000 toilets asshole.

    And go to Hell, Tom Perkins.

    Fuck you.  You'd make a good Nazi.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:45:19 AM PST

  •  He's starting to sound like Louis XIV. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan

    Louis got his comeuppance. Will Perkins?

    •  Actually Louis XV (0+ / 0-)
      "Apres moi, le deluge."
      Louis XIV, the Sun King,  is better known for the statement:
      "L'etat, c'est moi."
      The French Bourbon regime suffered from many of the same problems plaguing our current government.  The First and Second Estates (aristocracy and clergy) were exempt from paying taxes.  The Third Estate (everyone else) were expected to provide total support for the government's fiscal needs.  The First Estate, the aristos, had had their role as the nation's military, totally stripped by the centralization enacted by the French royal court and had become parasites.  Well paid and pampered parasites, but parasites none the less.  Call the Second Estate, the clergy, whatever you will.  The crown had cut deals on taxes with those close enough to the court or essential enough so that the real tax burden fell on the working classes through things like the salt tax (the gabelle) or forced labor (the corvee).  The aristos and clergy lived well while the working stiff starved.  It took about a century for the results to play out.  Things move faster these days.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:53:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the logical extension of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleeding blue, ichibon, Eric Nelson

    the "run the country like a business" idea. The biggest shareholders get the most votes.
    That's why that whole meme has been bugging me since the GOP started flogging it under Reagan (or was it Nixon?).

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:47:52 AM PST

  •  Hey I remember this proposal from Robocop 2! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, PrahaPartizan

    After Detroit is about to go "private" by defaulting on their loan (think Gov Snyder might've watched that movie too) a reporter asked, "What about democracy?  To which the corporate mogul replied, "Everyone is free to buy our stock!"

    The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

    by Taget on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:52:03 AM PST

  •  Come on, at least be accurate. (0+ / 0-)
    Harvard, a felony conviction for killing someone with his yacht (for which he paid a $10,000 fine), and has never created or invented anything in his life. He's made his money purely through high finance.
    His undergraduate is in engineering from MIT.  He was a successful engineer at HP (and started his own firm) before he ever became a venture capitalist. (Even taking the rather ridiculous assertion that being a venture capitalist isn't a constructive profession)

    His felony conviction was for involuntary manslaughter in France.  He wasn't piloting the boat; you can read his account of the proceedings here. (click on p. 36, the full link doesn't appear to want to function properly)

  •  Reminds me of the old Pearl S. Buck novel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid

    where one downtrodden Chinese peasant hisses to another "There is a way ... when the rich get too rich."  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:25:31 AM PST

  •  NO PROBLEM (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nils o

    Drop off the billion dollars, and mark down your votes in this sheet here.

    Oh what now? You want to keep the billion, and cast the votes?

  •  Don't understand why the rich want us to hate them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HCKAD, PrahaPartizan

    so much. Americans have traditionally been pro-capitalist -- more so than the people of any other nation. Even the poorest here have generally believed in it. So have I. But it seems as though the rich, the corporations, the powerful are trying as hard as they can to kill that. It's as thought they actually want us to turn on them. It makes no sense; it's completely self-destructive.

  •  They're sounding like the French squirearchy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan

    ...right before the Revolution.

    If I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists- Manic Street Preachers

    by Liberal Of Limeyland on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 12:10:10 PM PST

  •  Maybe not outrage over such a common.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..actually no..mediocre level of thought from these snobs

    ..never created or invented anything in his life.
    .. but as Bob Herbert defined the "donor class" 15 years ago and Paul Krugman more recently with his description of the arrogance of the hereditary principle  

    ..But the conceit of these monied slackers with that supercilious expression expecting us to be grateful does piss me off.

     Especially the 1%er republican axiom/myth that assholes like Perkins must be paid more as the incentive to work loan money that tax laws allowed them to skim (primary distribution) whereas workers who actually do the work need to be punished, threatened with job loss & lower wages to squeeze them in working harder.

    I've watched these rich fucks talk. Listened to them whine.

     - mediocre dressed up with money. Yeah this "epic asshole" needs to do hard time

     - imo

    Thx BBB

  •  Votes (0+ / 0-)

    "I'd buy that for a dollar" as was once said in a movie.(Robocop?)
    Telomere

  •  But Does Their Greed Get In the Way (0+ / 0-)

    The neo-aristocracy ideally wants to pay no taxes whatsoever.  So, the conundrum they'll be facing is whether to pay taxes or preserve their franchise.  Does their overwhelming greed get in the way of their maintaining control of the government?  Or, do they just monkey with the definitions so that only taxes they feel are important count?  Income taxes apply to the voter franchise.  Sales taxes and property taxes, not so much.  Or, how about the fact that the voter rolls are totally open.  The plutocrats would need to make totally public their income tax returns to justify their outsized vote allocation.  That means everybody gets to see their tax dodges.  Just how many of the plutocrats are going to be willing to let every citizen in the nation sit in judgement on their tax avoidance schemes?  Bring it on, Tony, I want to hear the plutocrats' squealing.

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:05:37 PM PST

  •  Already one vote per dollar. on so many levels.n/t (0+ / 0-)

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

    by RUNDOWN on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 08:32:54 PM PST

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