To Win Congressional Elections in 2014, Run AGAINST Money

In post-Citizens United America, political wisdom says the country has become a mammonocracy, that a candidate with the most money wins, or only loses when the other candidate has almost as much money.

Is this true? Maybe now it is. Need it always be true? Maybe not.

Suppose a candidate instead of depending on raising money to win, uses the fact he/she is running AGAINST money to win. Here’s the pitch of such an electoral rebel:

“I’m not accepting contributions from anyone. Not big contributions or small ones, because candidates who do have to sell out to their contributors. I also don’t have a lot of money of my own to buy a government office. So you won’t see any flashy TV ads for my campaign. Any outside groups that run such ads will also not be guaranteed anything from me in return, anything I wouldn’t do anyway. These days money buys politicians. I’m not for sale. That’s why you should elect me.”

Two questions immediately come to mind about this approach: The first, of course, is what does a candidate who uses it stands for? The second is more complicated — if you have no money for a campaign, how do you run one?

In answer to the first question is that you may not even have to state another issue, because running against money at a time when everyone else seems to be running just to get more of the stuff is an issue of its own. If you are pressed for your views on other matters, that’s great, since that would mean that some prospective voters or some media outlet find you interesting enough to ask — an interest that your stand against money-in-politics spawned.

And how do you run a campaign without big bucks at a time when money-talks-and-no-pol-dare-walk is the accepted wisdom of the day? It might not be all that hard. Start with a personal base of friends, associates, organizational and Internet contacts. Put together an email contact list of media in your electoral area. Use the former to start gathering names needed to get on the ballot. With the latter key off the fact that virtually all media these days play follow-the-leader, and once one or two give this gimmick candidacy an airing, the rest follow. Once on the ballot crush your opponents in debate by pointing out (endlessly) that they are on-the-take, they are bought-and-paid-for by those who give them money for their campaigns. Force them to prove otherwise.

What’s the ultimate purpose of these campaigns? To win? Sure. That would be nice. But the ultimate purpose is really just to drive home the point that a political system run only to advance the interests of those who can raise a lot of money is inherently undemocratic and invariably corrupt.

This point, as our present governance clearly demonstrates, can’t be made too often.

(Murder At Bernstein’s, a novel by the author of this piece, is now available from Amazon.)

Differences Between Republicans And Democrats Explained

Are you confused about the differences between this country’s two major parties? Perhaps this simple guide will help.

Republicans have a set of firmly held beliefs. Democrats have things they kind of like if no one objects too much.

Republicans never knew better. Democrats once did but forgot.

Republicans like the economy to be run by Goldman Sachs. Democrats prefer the economy to be run by Citigroup.

Republicans think leadership means a leader actually leads. Democrats think it means a leader is in place to ask the public to help him lead.

Republicans want to screw the middle class and poor in one fell swoop to enrich the already rich. Democrats prefer to do the same thing but more slowly.

Republicans think promises made to voters, no matter how silly, should be kept. Democrats think promises made to voters, no matter how worthwhile, are something to be fudged or merely forgotten

Republicans think winning an election gives them the right to govern. Democrats think winning gives them the right to start bargaining.

Republicans turn their enemies into victims. Democrats turn to enemies for approval.

Republicans see the road. Democrats see the potholes.

Republicans lose but keep fighting. Democrats win then don’t fight.

Republicans have principles. Democrats once did, too, but gave them up when it hindered their fund raising.

Republicans lose elections by saying what they really want. Democrats win elections by lying about what they’ll really do.

Republicans start wars. Democrats find reasons not to stop fighting them.

Republicans seek energy independence via more drilling. Democrats seek it by playing at being venture capitalists with public money given to their campaign contributors.

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Sloth-Brained Democrats Take On The Tax Issue

It would be wrong to call the guys and girls who set Democratic Party election themes “brain-dead.” A more accurate description would “sloth-brained.” They devise just the right policies, but a year or two (or more) after the same themes would have been far more effective. Like those generals who are always brilliantly fighting the last war.

Consider taxes. A huge issue this year. Today there’s a vote in the Senate on a Democratic initiative guaranteed to be blocked by Republicans — if not in that chamber, than in the House of Representatives. This initiative would extend the Bush-era tax breaks for the 98 percent of the working population that earns less than $250,000 a year, but not on income above that figure.

This was a very popular idea when the Democrats caved on the same issue awhile back because the Tea Party Republicans said they had to. Now, well after they should have stood up for it, they are finally getting around to making it their big play. And the Republicans, of course, are saying (with some justification it ought be noted) that with the economy sinking again, this is a bad time to increase any taxes.

So how might a well-wired rather than a sloth-wired brain respond to this changed reality? You know. To get ahead of the curve instead of doing a perpetual catch-up. Well, Democrats could agree with Republicans. Say yes, we can’t increase taxes now. Rather, let’s just increase taxes substantially for the top tier of earners, and pass the money this generates along to the other 98 percent in the form of even lower taxes than the Bush-era cuts.

But wait, you say. Such a tax shift would raise the class warfare rage level of Limbaugh ranters. True, but since pretty much everything else does, what’s the difference?

But wait again, you say. If we simple shift income taxes this way, there won’t be new money that can be applied toward reducing government deficits. True again, but that would also be true if we extended all the Bush-era tax cuts.

Again, wait. Aren’t the top earners job creators as the Republicans constantly remind us? And wouldn’t taxing them mean more job losses? This rap continues to get traction only because the sloth-brained Democratic brain trust lets it continue to get traction. A series of TV ads based on the “who are the real job creators” theme, one that explains in simple terms that the country’s richest are using their cash to buy properties in France and investing in hedge funds that aim to destroy Europe’s economy generally, while more cash in middle cash pockets increases spending power that really creates jobs.

Is this true? Kind of. As true, in any case, as anything else you’ll see in such campaign ads this year. And probably quite effective. But given the ways of a sloth-brained party, predictable fodder for the 2016 Democrat campaign.

Democrats could also push for a transaction tax on Wall Street traders and use the money raised to reduce the Social Security contributions of small businesses with less than 100 employees. You know. Voters don’t like Wall Street. Small business is the campaign season’s new love child. An obvious pitch? Sure. Sloth-brained Democrats will doubtless have this down pat by 2016.

If you sit down at a poker table and can’t identify the fish, the inevitable loser, after five minutes, you’re the fish. Anyone who can’t identify the sloth-brained outfit in this election cycle is destined to be surprised by the election’s outcome.

Don’t be. And don’t bet the sloth pack will be replaced any time soon. There ain’t no sloth from these brains when it comes to making excuses for their failures.


To learn more about a quirky novel, a very unusual book of verse, and some Goldman Sachs satires from the author of this piece, hit one of these icons:

Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012           A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012         The Chronicles Of Selig Cartwright, Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant: Volume 1 by Michael Silverstien

Coming Soon: Worst-Of-The-Worst Political Ad Reviews

I started writing reviews of TV commercials in the 1970s. I did so not only because some commercials on the tube back then were more innovative, interesting, and entertaining than the actual shows they intruded upon with such frequency, but in order to make some money.

You know. Writing for money. It’s hard to remember, but back then it was still occasionally possible.

My compensation for these reviews, however, wasn’t all that much and didn’t come my way directly. The reviews were done for Fusion Magazine in Boston, basically a music-oriented publication that got slews of freebies from record companies. My “pay” thus consisted of a stack of record albums, which I then had to travel to a record store in New York City that paid a buck or two per album.

A lot of driving for not all that much net income. But gas was cheap, I was young, and like I said, I loved doing those reviews.

So now I’m jumping back on the TV commercial review bandwagon. This time with no actual compensation in view. (Though you never know.) And this time around, instead of reviews of TV commercials for consumer products, I will be doing (along with an old friend). reviews of the political ads now appearing in toxic profusion on our TV screens nightly, and destined to pollute them with greater and greater frequency as we approach election day.

These reviews will not focus on any one party’s output. Indeed, they won’t involve party- and candidate-produced ads at all. Rather, they will only look at what is offered up by Super-PACs, those attack vehicles being copiously excreted with Supreme Court blessing by rich folks who don’t have to reveal their identities as the ads’ paymasters.

Another thing different about these views. They will not do what some organizations are already doing — monitor the accuracy of ad content, how deceptive they are, how filled with half truths and outright lies.

Why bother doing that? Of course they’re deceptive, filled with half-truths and outright lies. That’s what they are designed to do because they now have the unlimited legal right to do so without even having to identify who is paying to spew half-truths and lies for their own ultimate benefit!

Our reviews will therefore take these disgusting realities as givens. We will then move on to be as disrespectful as possible because what is there to be respectful about when it comes to an abomination that is nothing more than in-your-face proof of the monetization of democracy?

So after making a few suitably contemptuous observations, we simply assign our selected targets into appropriately disparaging categories that might include: Utter and absolute claptrap; Without any redeeming value whatever; Eye candy for the already brain dead; Trash with good production values; Best smarmy voice-over; Best grainy photoshop picture of the opposition candidate; etc.

When the campaign season ends, we then plan to give a worst-of-the-absolute-worst award (the Scalia-Thomas) to the creators and producers of a Super-PAC ad that best embodies what the whole wretched business is all about. The award will be made at a ceremony in a Trenton New Jersey boarded up senior center or similar venue.

And to those who might wonder if the “winners” of this award will be too embarrassed to accept it, I can only opine: Embarrassed? How can you embarrass someone willing to front for the Koch brothers?

Look for these reviews to start appearing soon on your favorite web sites.


To learn more about a quirky novel, a very unusual book of verse, and some Goldman Sachs satires from the author of this piece, hit one of these icons:

Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012           A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012         The Chronicles Of Selig Cartwright, Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant: Volume 1 by Michael Silverstien

The 1936 and 2012 Presidential Elections — Similar Economic Scenarios, Very Different Possible Outcomes

How can a sitting Democratic President in 2012, who came to office with a huge electoral mandate four years earlier in the wake of a Republican-generated economic disaster, actually look like he might lose this coming November to a Republican who politically, economically and even personally so perfectly embodies virtually everything that got this Democratic president elected in 2008? The simple answer: Mr. Obama’s behavior toward Wall Street since coming into office.

FDR’s New Deal didn’t bring an end to the Great Depression. When he ran against Kansas Governor Alf Landon in 1936, the country was still wallowing in post-1929 economic misery. Republicans that year could say (and did say) with great honesty that FDR’s policies hadn’t brought back prosperity.

What these policies did do, however, was honor FDR’s promise to give the country a New Deal, especially as it applied to a Wall Street establishment the country distrusted and disliked for very good reasons. In the wake of his 1932 victory FDR did not dump advisers with populist notions with regard to The Street. He didn’t seek to reassure The Street that things wouldn’t change in major ways. He didn’t shy away from financial reforms that would dramatically change the way The Street operated. He didn’t stop hammering away at The Street so as not to offend big players there who might contribute big money to his campaign. He didn’t just take occasional verbal whacks to play to a voting base.

Voters in 1936 responded accordingly. Six months before that year’s election there wasn’t anyone in the country, Republican as well as Democrat, who didn’t know who would win in November. FDR cruised to the greatest electoral victory that year since 1820.

Compare what FDR did with respect to Wall Street with what Barack Obama has done since coming to office. Mr. Obama promised change and hope in 2008. He’s given little or nothing with respect to Wall Street. He traded the populist, truly reform-minded economic advisers he had during his 2008 campaign for a Wall Street friendly Tim Geithner — an adviser and Treasury Secretary whose counsel regarding Wall Street might charitably be termed protective, and less charitably, but perhaps more accurately, plain out appeasement.

Mr. Obama’s general stance toward Wall Street has been to reassure it, not rock the boat, not change things in major ways at all, or only change them in ways that can easily be undone directly via later legislation or less directly through lobbyists’ quiet efforts. When he actually deigns to say negative things about The Street, the comments are nuanced. And after one such obviously politically motivated tweaking, he went off to meet with hedge fund heavies with his hand out, bringing assurances that any nasty comments were just campaign necessities.

I will vote for Mr. Obama this November because the alternative is far worse. Many, perhaps most progressives like myself, will vote thus for the same reason.

But if Mr. Obama actually manages to lose this coming November, something that should have been as politically impossible as an FDR defeat in November 1932, I’ll know the reason why — Wall Street, and his astonishingly foolish behavior toward The Street from both the political and economic perspectives.


To learn more about a quirky novel, a very unusual book of verse, and some Goldman Sachs satires from the author of this piece, hit one of these icons:

Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012           A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012         The Chronicles Of Selig Cartwright, Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant: Volume 1 by Michael Silverstien


Selig Cartwright, Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant: Helping Mr. B. Make A Major PAC Decision

Mr. B. You’re back again. Nothing bad on the digestive front, I hope.

No. Selig. I actually came by to talk with you about something important. To get your advice. Can we sit down and chat?

Sit down, sir? This is a washroom. The only places where we could…

Point taken. We can chat standing. Do you know what a political action committee is, Selig? A PAC?

Yes sir. They’re things that promote free speech. They free the media from the clutches of socialist indigents and allow decent rich people to finally get a hearing.

Exactly, Selig. Though I’m surprised a washroom attendant like yourself has this sophisticated level of understanding.

It’s because I listen to a lot of a.m. talk radio when no one else is around, sir. One of my friends is also the attendant at the Supreme Court men’s room in Washington, and he keeps me up to date on the court’s thinking about money and free speech.

The Supreme Court, you say. I’ve always wondered something about those people. Those long black robes they wear. When they have to use a washroom, how do they…you know…how do they manage…never mind. I need your advice on something else, Selig.

I live to serve, sir.

Indeed you do, Selig. Indeed you do. Here’s the thing. Some of the gang here at Goldman are thinking of contributing to a PAC. Naturally this will be chump change for us, but for people in Washington its crumbs to die for.

I’m a bit short of cash right now, Mr. B. Maybe you could come around at Christmas time if I get a bonus this year.

No need to grovel, Selig. I’m not here for a contribution. I just need some advice. The actual contributors would be the firm’s top earners, the best and brightest people, the job creators, the fighters for an opportunity society. Our problem is that being so bright and working so hard to create jobs, we don’t have time for much contact with little people like yourself. In my own case, except for a gardener who I can’t understand half the time, you’re the only little person I meet with on a regular basis.

Perhaps if you changed your diet, sir. That taco parlor you frequent. You might try eating lunches elsewhere, too.

Focus, Selig. Focus. The focus here is on which party — from your average little person perspective — should get our free speech. Should get our money. They both slobber for it. And no matter what they say at election time, they’ll both do our bidding after the election. But I still need your opinion on which to support with our free speech.

Why do you care about my opinion, sir, if both parties are in your pocket anyway?

Because, Selig, in the event that Wall Street brings the world economy to the brink of disaster yet again, people like you will be called upon for another massive bail out. And we want to be sure the folks in power in Washington then are folks who also had little people’s support this election season. So we all share the blame.

I hope you won’t think I’m sucking up, Mr. B, when I say your thinking here is brilliant, and you are one far-sighted investment banker.

Of course I think you’re sucking up, Selig. That’s expected. Now…into which trough do you suggest we throw some chump change slops?

What the heck, Mr. B. Give ‘em both a taste. It’s only fair to PAC the pair.

‘It’s only fair to PAC the pair.’ Very good, Selig. Even rhymes. I like it. I always seem to come up with good ideas — and good catch phrases like this — when I come down here.

A surprising number of Goldman guys achieve clarity in this very washroom, sir. Up for another visit to Booth #8?

Lead on, McDuff. With your help, I am now Booth 8 ready.


To learn more about a quirky novel (and a very unusual book of verse) from the author of this piece, hit one of these icons:

Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012              A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012

An Earth Day Apology

Tomorrow is Earth day. Did you notice?

The New York Times didn’t mention the fact in today’s edition of the paper. Neither did the Wall Street Journal. Nor did the Los Angeles Times, though it did have a short piece about German environmentalists and nuclear power in their country.

Come Earth Day itself, of course, some notice of the natural environment will be on view. Doubtless the Obama Administration will use the day to strike out against Republicans’ non-existent environment protecting policies. Perhaps Mr. Obama and/or Vice-President Biden will even put on a flannel shirt a la Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and do a photo opportunity in a national park.

In fairness, it must be pointed out that some specific efforts to protect the environment have, in fact, been taken by Mr. Obama and Company. As a major priority pursued aggressively, however, it seems to rank on the level of raising more campaign funds from Wall Street. Indeed, it might be ranked exactly at that level, because an emissions trading scheme that Wall Street firms love because they would be doing the emission trading deals has been this Administration’s most energetic environmental initiative.

Other things hardly worth looking forward to this coming Earth day include media coverage of school children picking up trash at local parks. Alternative energy companies will also probably sponsor fairs and kindred events that only demonstrate that this country is falling woefully behind nations like Germany and even China in effectively promoting natural, non-polluting, ever renewable energy resources.

If you’re old enough you might remember the first Earth Day in 1970, when tens of millions of Americans marched for more stringent laws to protect the environment — and national leaders hastened to respond. You might also remember that in 2000, the largest-ever gathering of world leaders in Rio de Janeiro collectively promised to make the natural environment and its protection their number one priority.

That was then. Today, more contemporary priorities are what the media chooses to highlight. Like how much the two likely presidential contenders are raising from PACs for the coming election.

And there the focus will doubtless remain. Unless a dreadful environmental disaster forces even the likes of Fox News to pay attention to the reality that we are part of the natural order.

On behalf of humanity, I hereby apologize effusively to Mother Earth. And beg Her not to respond to our selfish and utterly foolish provocations in ways we so richly deserve.


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Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012              A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012

Note To Democrats In 2012: Pick The Right People To Demonize

If Obama loses the presidency this fall, it will probably be because he ran against the wrong opponent. He ran against Mitt Romney.

Democrats used to know who and how to demonize Republicans in order to win elections. When FDR ran for reelection in 1936, he didn’t run against his official Republican opponent that year, Kansas Governor Alf Landon. He ran against Herbert Hoover. Against Hoovervilles. Against problems the New Deal had not yet fixed because the economic legacy of Herbert Hoover was too awful to fix quickly.

In 2004 the Democrats had another opportunity to demonize and triumph, but blew it that time around. The target they should have gone after that year but didn’t wasn’t sitting President George W. Bush, who, though he had gotten the country into an unpopular war in Iraq and wasn’t presiding over a booming economy, was actually a really likable guy. The demonizing target opportunity here was thus not President Bush. It was others in the Bush Administration.

The John Kerry slogan in 2004 should have been: “A president is known by the company he keeps.” And the demonizing targets should have included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld. Gale Norton and John Ashcroft, all of whom were generally disliked and distrusted by most Americans, and a few of whom were loathed by a goodly number — a vice-president and powerful cabinet members for whom the likable George W. Bush functioned as the perfect beard.

Which brings us to the current election campaign of 2012. There are early indications that the Obama campaign will focus on running against Mitt Romney, focus on Governor Romney’s own background and present nostrums to reanimate the economy.

Not an altogether bad approach, of course. Romney does come with a lot of baggage. He’s a former CEO of a Wall Street vulture fund. He changes his official views almost daily to accommodate near term political needs. And his nostrums to improve the economy, when you look closely at them, are just a formula to give more to the very rich in hopes they will give some back to everyone else.

All this, however, might not keep Mr. Obama in the White House as the Romney camp points out endlessly, and alas, quite correctly, that the economy hasn’t improved all that much since Obama took office.

What then, might this year’s Obama campaign learn from a past successful FDR campaign and a past unsuccessful Kerry campaign that might be effective in meeting the 2012 Romney challenge?

With regard to the former, endlessly demonize the eight years of George W. Bush in the White House, the massive economic disaster he left behind, and the aim of Mitt Romney to bring back these same Bush policies on an even greater scale. In other words don’t run against Romney, the would-be Obama fixer. Run against Romney the would-be Bush legacy repeater.

And with regard to the company Governor Romney keeps: Congress these days, especially the Republican dominated House of Representatives, has the lowest poll numbers in history. Demonize Romney as the man who will give this extremely unpopular Republican House of Representatives the power to impose its unpopular tax and other stances on the American people. Constantly place before voters the image of Romney the expediter of increasing unpopular Tea Party views and the views of extreme social conservatives.

The 2012 slogan of choice here: “Mitt Romney is known by the company he keeps in Congress, and the company he joined with on the road to his nomination.” Get the focus off the man. Get it on his unpopular associates.

Republicans have mastered the demonize and triumph technique. It’s not nice but it works. Democrats would benefit from playing the same game only better.


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Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012              A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012

Selig Cartwright, Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant, Does The Second Amendment Fandango

Sorry to bother you, Mr. B. But something happened this morning I thought you should know about.

What is it Selig? A leak in the piping? I hope my Stall #8 hasn’t been flooded.

No, sir. Nothing that serious. It was just that guy who came by this morning. I don’t know who he was, but he said he was here to install gun mounts over the sinks and toilet bowls.

Oh that. No need to worry. He was authorized. Something new we’re offering our staffers. For their protection.

Protection? From what, sir?

Crazed investors. Fanatical terrorists. That sort of thing. Can’t be too careful these days, Selig. Everyone is doing it. Have you heard about that Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida this June?

Yes, sir. Word about it has filtered down to the washroom.

Well, Selig, they’re allowing concealed handguns in the area around the convention site. In some parts of the country you can also carry concealed weapons in bars and schools. So why not have them in the toilet stalls of an investment bank?

When you put it that way, Mr. B., I can see the logic. And I guess anyone who really understands the Constitution would have to conclude the Founding Fathers wanted everyone to have loaded guns at political gatherings, in bars and schools. Very prudent. But in Wall Street washrooms? I don’t know. I mean…

What exactly do you mean, Selig? What’s the problem?

Well, Mr. B., some Wall Street traders who come into washrooms are kind of… sort of… hyper. Overwrought. You know. Losing a few hundred million of other people’s money on a bond bet upsets them.

No reason to get upset over that, Selig.

You’re right, of course, Mr. B. But some traders respond by taking strong stimulants to help get them through the day. And when you combine that with guns you sometimes…

Strong stimulants, Selig? You mean cups of strong, heavily caffeinated coffee.

Of course, sir. What else could I possibly mean?

What else indeed, Selig.

Don’t get me wrong, Mr. B. I’m not saying that anyone, for any reason, most certainly not a highly stimulated trader, should not have ready access to a handgun. Or assault rifle. Or machine pistol. Or a bazooka or hand grenade if that’s what self defense requires. Only that in a Wall Street washroom it might cause occasional difficulties.

Say no more, my good man. Be assured this is only a temporary arrangement. The election coming up in November obliges Wall Streeters to make certain alliances to keep the country from going still further in the wrong direction.

You mean toward socialism, sir?

Yes. There. Big banks and gun super-enthusiasts will have to vote the same side to beat back the socialist beast. And if that means guns above sinks and toilet bowls, what the heck. We go along for a while, after November, the guns disappear. Does that make you happy?

Anything that promotes the interests of investment banks make me happy, sir. Your own Stall #8 is ready, by the way. And the man who came by this morning left a sample gun for you to play with… I mean for you to inspect. I think he called it a ‘MAC-10,’ along with a few banana clips of armor piercing ammo.

Splendid, Selig. Splendid. Forty-round banana clips with armor piercing bullets, you say?

For self-defense, sir. Just give me a few seconds warning before you actually lock and load. I have a family.


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Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012              A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012

Offshore Tax Shelters (A Nod And Wink Poem)

Federal officials have announced they are now making serious efforts to crack down on people who avoid paying U.S. taxes by banking overseas. Maybe, maybe not…

Offshore Tax Shelters (A Nod And A Wink Poem)

The Nod
My firm is big on patriotism
On ev’ry desk’s a yellow ribbon
The boss can quote both Burke and Gibbon
We pay our taxes, that’s a given.

The Wink
(Taxes are a real hooter
When you pay them in Bermuda.)

The Nod
We’re sticklers when it comes to law
All crooks and cheaters we deplore
Our legal staffers make quite sure
With U.S. regs we’re cool offshore.

The Wink
(There’s a lot you gotta learnsy
When you set up shop in Guernsey)

The Nod
If Congress seeks to trim our pile
And says with Sam we’ve got to file
Our lobbyists employ their guile
To show this plan just ain’t our style.

The Wink
(Ev’ry real corporate diva
Does his banking in Geneva.)

The Nod
There’s no need for retribution
Prosecution’s no solution
We achieve our absolution
With a campaign contribution.

The Wink?
Want a better bottom line
Get your mail in Liechtenstein.)


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Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012              A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012