Sen. Russell Long, the powerful Senate Finance Committee chair from 1966 to 1981 from the great state of Louisiana, liked to recite a little jingle highlighting the thorny political process of tax reform: "Don't tax you. Don't tax me. Tax that man behind the tree."
Yes, let's do just that! Today, our nominee for "that man behind the tree" is ...Read more
Our society has coined expressions like "philanthropist" and "season of giving" to encourage and hail people's charitable spirit.
Look on the flip side of those shiny coins of generosity, however, and you'll find that they're made of a base substance of societal selfishness. After all, the need for charity only exists because we're tolerating ...Read more
About 40 years ago, a right-wing codger named Eddie Chiles became a momentary political celebrity in my state by buying airtime on hundreds of radio stations to broadcast his daily political rants. Having made a fortune in the Texas oil fields, he pitched himself as a rags-to-riches, self-made success story. "I'm Mad Eddie," as he was known, ...Read more
Ho-ho-ho. Wait till you hear about the gifts I gave to some of America's power elites for Christmas.
To each of our Congress critters I sent my fondest wish that from now on, they receive the exact same income, health care and pension that we average citizens get. If they receive only the American average, it might make them a bit more humble -...Read more
The many sparkling bays along the Texas coastline of the Gulf of Mexico have long provided both a working-class living and a valued lifestyle for generations of shrimpers, oysterers and other fishing families. People and seafood, however, are not the only creatures here, for such wildlife as alligators and snakes also call many of these ...Read more
There's nothing inevitable about inequality. It's an injustice that the moneyed powers and their political hirelings have chosen. We the People can choose a brighter path, one that bends toward justice, starting with a wealth tax such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plan to apply a 2% per annum wealth tax only to net worth over $50 million and ...Read more
There's a new political army on the march in America, moving forcibly into the 2020 presidential campaign. Tromp, tromp, tromp they come -- it's the Billionaire Brigade!
It's actually a very small army -- only 749 Americans rank as billionaires -- but they have lots of firepower. Collectively, they've amassed some $4 trillion in personal wealth...Read more
It's time to talk turkey!
No, not the Butterball sitting in the Oval Office. I'm talking about the real thing, the big bird, 46 million of which we Americans will devour on this Thanksgiving Day.
It was the Aztecs who first domesticated the gallopavo , but leave it to the Spanish explorers to "foul up" the bird's origins. They declared...Read more
Years ago, a Texas legislator who was occasionally known to take lobbyists' cash in exchange for a vote, explained his ethical framework as opportunistic: "I seen my chances, and I took 'em."
Likewise, such hustlers as Dan Gilbert (the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans), Michael Milken (the disgraced Wall Street finagler), Stephen Ross (a ...Read more
I should start this homily on inequality by distinguishing income from wealth. Income is your annual wages or salary, as well as your earnings from a business, pension or government benefits such as Social Security, etc.
As the average U.S. worker's real wages have stagnated for more than a decade, income disparity has become enormous. The ...Read more
I love nature shows on TV. They take you into the jungles, the ocean depths, the deserts, the frozen poles and our own backyards to probe the behavior and intellects of our fellow creatures and the cosmic forces that shape them.
However, there's one exotic creature the shows have ignored, and it is crying out for scientific analysis: Humanoid ...Read more
When you're undergoing a dental procedure, there's one thing you never want to hear you dentist say: "Oops!"
It's also alarming to hear that from a former senator 25 years after he passed a temporary subsidy for Big Oil. With world petroleum prices low at the time, Sen. J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana pushed through a special break in 1995, ...Read more
Government by the rich is called plutocracy. Government by police power is autocracy. Government by thieves is kleptocracy. Government by Trump and the gang, however, is all of the above, which adds up to something called kakistocracy: government by the very worst people in our society.
Forget Trump himself for a moment and look at the ...Read more