Cam Cardow National Debt Cartoon, again.

A Cam Cardow National Debt Cartoon, and U.S. National Debt Clock, here…

Congress moves to force KBR and other defense contractors to stop using off-shore shell companies to avoid paying billions in payroll taxes owed to the US government…the contractors say they are “patriotically” passing on savings in the war effort by listing their US employees as being employed in foreign countries.

The following is an opinion piece published in the New York Times yesterday:

“Congress is finally moving to shut one of the more egregious forms of Iraq war profiteering: defense contractors using offshore shell companies to avoid paying their fair share of payroll taxes. The practice is widespread and Congressional investigators have been dispatched to one of the prime tax refuges, the Cayman Islands, to seek a firsthand estimate of how much the Treasury is being shorted.

No one will be surprised to hear that one of the suspected prime offenders is KBR, the Texas-based defense contractor, formerly a part of the Halliburton conglomerate allied with Vice President Dick Cheney. According to a report in The Boston Globe, KBR, which has landed billions in Iraq contracts, has used two Cayman shell companies to avoid paying hundreds of millions in payroll, Medicare and unemployment taxes.

Unfortunately right now there is nothing illegal about this. The House has approved legislation to plug the dodge by treating foreign subsidiaries of defense contractors as what they are — American employers required to pay taxes. The Senate must quickly follow suit and not buy the contractors’ line that listing American workers at offshore companies is a cost saving passed on patriotically to the war effort. No less insulting, the Cayman dodge has been blocking Americans from the protection of labor and anti-discrimination laws.

The House has taken on another shamefully common abuse: voting to deny future government contracts to any company that fails to pay its corporate taxes, including an estimated 25,000 defense contractors keeping billions due the Treasury. The Senate should approve that legislation as well.

Companies enriched by taxpayers in the war boom should not be able to compound their profits by not paying their fair share of taxes. Congress must do far more to bring them to a full accounting.”

AP Photos and video still frames taken from Sep-Aug 2006 inside Lebanon after bombing.

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Montel Williams loses his Talk show for supporting our troops on “Fox and Friends”

I wanted to share this post by “From the Left,” posted on Saturday, February 2, 2008:

(See original blog entry here.)

“When TV talk show Montel Williams announced he was closing up shop after seventeen years on the air, most people assumed his decision had to do with his health. Williams has multiple sclerosis. But the end of the popular Montel Williams Show had nothing to with his health.

For just over three minutes on a Saturday morning,Williams made the cardinal error of admonishing the hosts of Fox and Friends for devoting hours of coverage to the death of actor Heath Ledger while ignoring the war in Iraq. Williams, a former Marine and Naval officer, lectured the stunned hosts on the stupidity of their program while U.S. soldiers were dying in Iraq.

It was a spectacle rarely seen on live cable television, as Montel exposed and condemned both tabloid “news” shows and much of American culture for what they have each become: shallow and greedy.

Three minutes into this awkward segment on Fox, one host cut off Montel in order to go to a commercial. Montel did not return after the break. Four days later, after 17 years as a television host, Montel lost his job.” …(when nearly all fox affiliate stations pulled out of their deals to carry his show for next year, following his appearance on Fox and Friends.)

Congressman Ron Paul trying to convince Congress to fight against war in 2002, and against unbalanced budgets and for securing our borders

“I rise to urge the Congress to think twice before thrusting this nation into a war without merit- one fraught with the danger of escalating into something that no American will be pleased with.” -Congressman Ron Paul, September 4, 2002

“Military force is justified only in self-defense; naked aggression is the province of dictators and rogue states. This is the danger of a new “preemptive first strike” doctrine.” -Congressman Ron Paul, September 4, 2002.

“If we can’t or won’t define the enemy, the cost to fight such a war will be endless. How many American troops are we prepared to lose?…How much money are we prepared to spend?…How many innocent civilians, in our nation and others, are we willing to see killed?…How many American civilians will we jeopardize?…How much of our civil liberties are we prepared to give up?” -Congressman Ron Paul, September 25, 2002

“Let it be clearly understood- there is no authority to wage war against Iraq without Congress passing a Declaration of War…A UN Resolution authorizing an invasion of Iraq, even if it were to come, cannot replace the legal process for the United States going to war as precisely defined in the Constitution…Only tyrants can take a nation to war without the consent of the people. The planned war against Iraq without a Declaration of War is illegal. It is unwise because of many unforeseen consequences that are likely to result…The American people become less secure when we risk a major conflict driven by commercial interests. Victory under these circumstances is always elusive, and unintended consequences are inevitable.” -Congressman Ron Paul, March 1, 2002

“The tired assertion that America “supports democracy” in the Middle East is increasingly transparent. It was false 50 years ago when we supported and funded the hated Shah of Iran to prevent nationalization of Iranian oil…and it’s false today when we back an unelected dictator in Pakistan -just to name two examples.” -Congressman Ron Paul, December 3, 2002

“Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution for a very simple reason: it makes the government bigger.” -Congressman Ron Paul, March 4, 2004

“…I also want to abolish the Federal Reserve…The value of our dollar and the level of our interest rates are not supposed to be manipulated by a few members of the power elite meeting secretly in a marble palace…Without the Federal Reserve, our money could not be inflated at the behest of big government or big banks. Your income and savings would not lose thier value.” -Congressman Ron Paul, 2002.

“The official national debt figure, now approaching $9 trillion, reflects only what the federal government owes in current debts on money already borrowed…It does not reflect what the federal government has promised to pay millions of Americans in entitlement benefits down the road…Those future obligations put our real debt figure at roughly fifty trillion dollars -a staggering sum that is about as large as the total household net worth of the entire United States…Your share of this fifty trillion amounts to about $175,000.” -Congressman Ron Paul, March 6, 2007

“Immigration reform should start with improving our border protection…yet it was reported last week that the federal government has approved the recruitment of 120 of our best trained Border Patrol agents to go to Iraq to train Iraqis how to better defend their borders…National Gaurd troops participating in Operation Jump Start are being removed from border protection duties in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan…Is this a way to discourage people from coming to the US illegally?” -Congressman Ron Paul,March 31, 2007

“If present trends continue, by 2040 the entire federal budget will be consumed by Social Security and Medicare alone…To close the entitlement gap, the US economy would have to grow by double digits every year for the next 75 years.” -Congressman Ron Paul, March 6, 2007

“It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe and who chose to use force overseas to promote democracy…a counterproductive approach that actually leads the U.S. to be more resented and more isolated in the world.”

“Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the ability to handle conflict through peaceful means.” -Ronald Reagan