Full post on Bernie Sanders page By Brendon Tristal and comments from others

  • Brendon Tristal I think we need a concise multi point plan not just rhetoric this time. Explain how import tariffs, large restructuring of tax policy.. perhaps a flat tax? – will bring jobs back. Because rebuilding bridges and infrastructure by itself is not by itself enough to do anything other than go deeper into debt. We need a revenue production base again!
    • Brendon Tristal And cyber, IOT, and power grid are much more important and critical right now… the other things get replaced when they break. The power grid has no backup large transformers and not even THEY are made here!
    • GJ McGinnis Brendon….. Very well said! Please send a letter to Bernie saying the same thing!!!! And to Elizabeth Warren, and to Hillary, and to anyone else who could possibly do exactly what you suggest!!!!
      Democrats need to get MUCH better at sending simple and clear messages that the public can understand! You have done that in your post!
    • Shrobert Shrovesee A flat tax is regressive and hurts the poor more than the rich; that’s why the Republicans keep talking about it.
    • David Cavaliere There has a been a resurgence in manufacturing the past couple years. Company’s are insourcing because of several factors:

      1. The massive reserves of oil and natural gas have dropped prices. And we have many many years of these resources available. No worries of being cut off from an unfriendly country. (Putin or OPEC)
      2. We have a proven , healthy educated work force
      3. Despite what Senator Sanders says we have an excellent infrastructure in this country and it makes it easy to move product throughout this country.

      The main reason is cheap energy. Inexpensive energy has me all our lives possible and better. There would be no middle class in this country if we didn’t have the cheap natural resources in United States.

    • Keith Brown David, we have “an excellent infrastructure?” I’m sorry, but that is clearly inaccurate, and bordering on the delusional.
    • Geoffrey Feldman Brendan – I would encourage you to read Democratic policy statements and then remark on what you think is lacking.
    • Michael Edwards Rolling back privatized fields that should be public would help.
    • Kallie Wilbourn How about if corporations paid their share of taxes?
    • Brendon Tristal Doesn’t matter you can’t force a corporation to do anything. It is corporations that force and dictat what YOU do and what YOU eat, how YOU live your life. What we can do is make it so we are not COMPLETELY destitute.
    • Randy MacDonald Brendon cudos on your request for substance over rhetoric. Education of the public will be hard to sell to politicians for obvious reasons. Tax restructure? Obviously needed. Flat tax has some regressive aspects if not modified but all things ought to be on the table. Asking how we are going to pay for things? What a novel idea…
    • Brendon Tristal I am sure there is some way to work out a deal where businesses can make a profit … maybe by shorting the foreign markets
    • Scott Morrison Build it and they will come!!!
    • Brendon Tristal Besides, I did address the fair share re: taxes: 1. An import tax, that must be paid in order to legally have access to the greatest consumer market on this planet (USA) which is quite a privilege.. and it’s a tax they should love, because without it, this won’t be a market anymore. Burger flipper nations generally cannot pay for fancy imports once their credit limit is due.

      As for the flat tax idea… Not necessarily 100% flat but we certainly do not need to spend Billions in overhead just to administer the IRS

    • Robert Porter Shift taxes back to the way they were 65 years ago. Let corporations and the wealthy pay their fare share again. That’s how it used to be done.
    • Brendon Tristal Back then we could get away with that stuff. The geopolitical situation, the global economics today are completely different. Completely and absolutely beyond comparison. We’ve already taxed our corporations to death and all we’ve seen for it is capital flight and cheap Chinese slave goods.
    • EA Sexson Start taxing the rich and big corporations.
    • Brendon Tristal Does anyone even realize we are living in a giant, government-backed BUBBLE right now? It’s Russia, it’s Europe now.. Greece… now the BRICS are building a sand castle… Are we next? Seriously. Is anyone even considering that the reason our stock market is doing so “well” is because of the zero percent interest rates, and large corporations buying their own stock WITH DEBT??? Does that not concern anyone?
    • Brendon Tristal A lot of people don’t understand the principle of leverage. Archimedes. Large corporations hold a LOT of it; it’s a form of stock. Maybe even better than pure gold to have some leverage in inventory. Political leverage, for example.
    • Jc Walker the top 3% pay almost half of the income taxes and 50% of americans pay nothing…..we need to repeal individual income tazes and find a better way
    • Brendon Tristal If we say to corporations that have FLED this country to ESCAPE THE TAXES… I highly doubt we can lure them back with the…. promise of new, higher taxes. Lol. And we do nothing to build new businesses, either!! We need to change those things!
    • Brendon Tristal If you’re looking for a better job, or a job period, do you increase your odds by INCREASING your salary requirement? Or do you write “will negotiate” or “per offer”?

    • Bill Foote Brendon Tristal: You’re like a breath of fresh air here. Most Bernie supporters are clueless drones…


    • Brendon Tristal I don’t know. Maybe too many people have simply become indoctrinated to believing that the government can do everything for them.
    • Kevin Robert Fugelsang Brendon stop listening to Republican reteric. 1 in 3 Corporations pay little or no taxes at all. GE not only paid no taxes but got a rebate of about $3billion! How can you get a rebate if up pay no taxes? The Republicans have the system so screwed up and have idiots believing corporations are taxed to death. Yet I’d wager you pay a higher rate of tax than most corperations. It’s time for tax reform and to not only make them pay their fair share but to pay taxes on all those billions they have stashed away in offshore accounts! Then you have the money to rebuild the infrastructure. Also all those American companies that shipped our jobs over seas need to have a huge import tax on their goods they want to ship back! Make them an example that you can’t ship American jobs overseas, make it not worth their while!
    • Brian Hoøver flat taxes only hurt the poor!
    • Brendon Tristal Okay, not taxed to death. What I meant was their American employment components. Taxed to death out of America is what I meant.
    • Dick Vosberg Brenden, 25% of our largest and most profitable corporations pay no taxes at all. In the case of Exxon and other oil producers, we, the taxpayers, pay them a large credit for oil and gas exploration. And the wealthy who can afford exotic tax shelters and whose primary source of income is from investments generally pay less than 15% in federal taxes. They have had a free ride for far too long. It is time to get real.
    • Terry Fish I’m afraid that you are the indoctrinated one Brendon, you are spouting the corporate BS like a recording. Until people like you realize that you have been duped into arguing agaist your own best interests, we will make very little progress. Rich people may pay more total taxes collected, but they also have made 95% of the income since the recession, as a percentage of income, they pay much less than the middle-class.
    • Brendon Tristal Look I really do think the situation now is far worse than before, and I also think it can and should be much better. And I’m not saying the way it is now is right, either. Anyone who draws that conclusion from what I’m saying here, or trying to, either isn’t reading or else issues are so conflated by the two-party back-and-forth system that accomplishing anything politically has become hopeless. For example: I might suggest that if a company is going to relocate out of the country, and then CONTINUE to PROFIT off of the American consumers, but while REMOVING their jobs and ability to AVAIL themselves of that MARKET, then they should be “punished”. But HOW? There is no US jurisdiction in the Chinese market. Hence, the idea of imposing an access fee for the US market.
    • Brendon Tristal Well hey I’m not dictating anything. But we all know where the path of the past several decades has landed us. Both democrats AND republicans… Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Bush, Clinton… makes no difference; it’s a joke. Blame game, taking-credit game, it goes on forever. But I have simply presented some of MY ideas, after researching this sort of thing for several years and studying the issues quite deeply.
    • June McHugh I appreciate this thoughtful and educational dialog in this thread.
    • Tim Rodgers We agree! If you have seen a better idea with more support, let us know! Until then, will you please sign and share this around? #MoneyTalks2Much #UnitedWeStandhttp://petitions.moveon.org/sign/us-govt-form-the-us-human

    • Michael Johnson A) Flat Taxes hurt the middle and low classes. B ) Import tariffs designed to renew American Manufacturing is ridiculous. Manufacturing is not the absolute end all, be all of economic growth. C) Government spending in infrustructure is perfectly fine as it gives people money to spend which generates economic growth. That said, I agree we should use this money strategically.
    • Brendon Tristal Manufacturing is at the very heart of self-sustainability. If we *as a nation* remain dependent on exports, or, hell… even if we DON’T… Even if we STILL HAVE a high tech sector, a strong banking sector, and so on – we are sacrificing our independence and our infrastructure, our supply chains and manufacturing chains, our ability as a nation to stay out of unending foreign wars is removed.
    • Brendon Tristal Furthermore I believe the national debt is maxed out, that the only reason we aren’t seeing this look even worse is because we keep inflating it even more, debauching our currency… as the rest of the world does the same. For 2014 it was gold that outperformed every world currency, beaten only by, of course, the U.S. dollar, even at zero interest and with QE money printing inflation
    • Brendon Tristal It is like a household that each month, due to maxed out credit cards and paying the bare minimum for interest, has to tell their kids they have to drink water instead of chocolate milk… And then what if there is an emergency? No more wiggle room. Why is that? 2015 could be a bad year… and government spending is the only reason there aren’t riots on the streets right now, like in Greece, Paris, and all over the world.
    • Don Fisher Bernie is a realist. He’s not doing planning, he’s campaigning. And asking the public to absorb more than a single point at a time is bad campaigning.

      Stop demanding he lay out his entire platform all at once… you’ll simply drive the majority away should he do that. They do not, nor do YOU really, nor I, have the ability to concentrate all that long.

    • Brendon Tristal I think a public discussion is an inherently American thing. Further the idea that it would be harmful is absurd, and if it is true, then this country truly is beyond salvage.
    • Brendon Tristal If we do not have a voice to ask questions and demand answers of our public policymakers, then what sort of government is this?
    • Brendon Tristal Also, there are plenty of other Independent or non-affiliated politicians, even parties, that CLEARLY lay out their entire platform and explain their agenda to a T. That should be par for the course. Otherwise it’s just a horse and pony show, and a bunch of cheerleading and flag-waving.
    • Daniel Andrews Lol, corporations pay nothing in taxes. Nothing. They run the system, they post record profits, and if the get in trouble gambling in Wall Street, they get bailed out with taxpayer money. Don’t allow allow them to sell their product without taxing imports. Make it less profitable to hire foreign labor. They will come back because America is one hell of a market.
    • Brendon Tristal I agree with you on those points there. That’s my main point on economic foreign policy… That, and stop poking the angry, vodka-drinking Russian bear.
    • Al Rogat True that it will cost money to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure. But, all the money paid out to manufactures and employees all over the place will generate 3 to 4 times the original costs through spending by those employed people and the companies with the work. And, more in FICA taxes to support S.S. and Medicare…
    • Joseph Jewell Buy more Made in America…boycott goods from Corporations trying to kill the U.S.A. . . Bernie Sanders for President 2016… FIRE CONGRESS … GO TO … kickthemallout.com Politics are to important to be left to politicians
    • Brendon Tristal Well, I don’t believe in that Keynesian stuff, that by printing money you can inflate your way out of a bad economy. A social programs economy is the exact reason why we are where we are today. We need to have a COMPREHENSIVE PLAN… a plan that encompasses and directly addresses all the problems and answers all the questions necessary to bring this country back. While people are building our railroads, we can be working on laws that encourage companies to come back into the US.

      But I am SURE that if the government does nothing more than GREASE THE RAILS, no pun intended, for the skids and pallets of FOREIGN PRODUCTION LINES to be delivered here in the US, then it’s JUST MORE CORPORATE WELFARE is it not? When they could have paid for all that stuff themselves. They can’t get product to market without those rails and bridges and roads!

      This isn’t about potholes and safety. It’s SURVIVAL.

    • Brendon Tristal Al do you mean m2 money velocity
    • Marylou Barnwell We need our industries back, that were moved to other countries. WE need higher tarrifs on foreign products too take the profit out of being a foreign, formerly American company.
    • Brendon Tristal Right, and it should go without saying that we would ALSO lift a lot of the Draconian regulations that we have overzealously and with self-imposed blinders, enacted in the false hope of some Utopian dream (in the process, nearly destroying our nation), thereby enticing these companies to come back and avoid the tariffs by doing the larger assembly and manufacturing operations, INCLUDING mining when possible, ON OUR MAINLAND.

      I can say with CERTAINTY that if we can’t tolerate THAT, then we are TRULY foolhardy, and doomed. If we think “not in my backyard” but still consume and pollute, and then complain about other nations doing those things WHEN THEY ARE DOING IT TO PRODUCE FOR US then the outcome is obvious. SUSTAINABILITY is the buzzword of late… well, there are such things as economic, financial, and political sustainability as well as environmental sustainability.

      Not to mention the sustainability of life itself.

    • Brendon Tristal As we hopefully begin to use more and more so-called renewable energy sources, we also need to build out and shield our electrical control grid, WITH SPARE COMPONENTS in shielded storage. It would be our very death knell if our trillion-dollar power grid were damaged in a manner that would leave us in the Stone Age for years. Then, hopefully, we can at last rid ourselves of requiring oil from overseas, and IN THAT ACHIEVEMENT, we can FINALLY stop having to fight ENDLESS wars just to be able to breathe. And THEN the petrodollar can crash and become irrelevant.
    • Brendon Tristal Otherwise we’re making a lot of fuss about what kind of world we’ll be leaving to our great great grandchildren, while throwing our own selves and the lives of our OWN children into an immediate form of hell.
    • Brendon Tristal <~ Paper Tiger Petrodollar
    • Courtney Hazelton I would like someone to explain to me just how this country is supposed to rebuild its manufacturing/job market when the crumbling infrastructure makes it increasingly impossible to efficiently move goods to market?
      Austerity is a smoke screen designed
      to make the masses, already conditioned to “tighten their belts” believe there is “no gain without pain” by those who seldom feel pain! “Cannot afford more debt”, please! Demand all offshore profits be returned onshore to be taxed a special reduced rate to build a war chest to rebuild infrastructure and nothing else. How long does any thinking person think it would take to recoup ALL cash outlay for materials and labor in the form of increased production of materials, increase tax base by millions making a living wage? A truly “conservative” approach to society MUST include meaningful plans for the future, not JUST a “tighten YOUR belt” mentality!
    • Christine Tierney David Cavaliere: lets rebuild our infrastructure before the trucks that move goods in our country fall into our rivers! I know its hard to judge crumbling infrastructure from your corporate jet! Guess you have not driven Rte 95 all the way! Happy New Year!
    • Brendon Tristal Actually the austerity mentality is due to FEAR, which results now from the present state of the economy. Before you can start huge, multi-year, multi-billion dollar projects that can become dead sinkholes… you need to have the power behind a movement. Can’t just guess… There are factors that have led us here, and as long as those remain in place, everything such as infrastructure will simply be more corporate welfare.

      Voluntary austerity, while certainly much better than say Greece right now, and other nations in deep financial trouble across Europe… still causes the problem of stagnant money. If nobody is spending money, because they are afraid of the dire status of the economy right now, then your m2 velocity means you can inflate your currency away like Japan and even with interest rates at zero it won’t help the market. The actual conditions have to change.

      Hopefully we will see interest rates rise this year, as Yellen has been saying.

    • Brendon Tristal We not only have outsourcing to deal with… but automation taking jobs away as well
    • Brendon Tristal If you are a US taxpayer, you FUNDED the offshoring of jobs, you PAID to have your job shipped overseas likely to China

    • Brendon Tristal It’s so much cheaper for labor there, that it paid for them to COMPLETELY RELOCATE their operations there… they don’t have to pay any taxes in the US … the politicians are directly in collusion with them, both parties
    • John P Miles “I think we need a concise multi point plan not just rhetoric this time. “

      I would have LOVED to have seen that before we rushed into Iraq and spent a whole lot of money and lives rebuilding that hellhole and solving NOTHING concerning terror in the world.

    • Brendon Tristal It’s all good though… get ready for brand-new bailouts in the Derivatives gambling market
    • Brendon Tristal Ha! We both know that’s just a pipe dream. I know what time it is. Too bad so many people are too busy or too lazy or just ignorant to know what’s going on, but that’s a failure of public education. It doesn’t take college to understand economics; it should be taught starting from first grade.
    • Brendon Tristal We also need to fix all our leaking nuclear power plants… 3/4 of them are leaking tritium
    • Tony Stabler Everybody wants a happy and prosperous economy and businesses, but they don’t want to pay people enough to participate. How do you resolve both sides of this equation? The best way to grow is to get everybody involved. That’s going to involve concessions at both ends of the economy. No pain, no gain.
    • Mira Jacobson Wiener Capitalism is a dual edged sword it cuts both ways. We have seen the abuse of conglomerates with the aid of our electied officials gobble up the wealth to the detriment of the poor and middle class. There is and can be a more even handed distribution of wealth but greed has no boundaries. At least the Europeans and Canadians have the good sense to provide health care and education. FDR successfully put many to work during the depression building our now crumbling infrastructure and instituted Social Security. A society that protects the weakest or less fortunate with monies from the obscene profit mongers puts the needs of people first. That is the true test of a great and long lasting civilization.
    • Brendon Tristal Powerful conglomerates that use the power of our government to set up regulations and BAR-TO-ENTRY policies that make it impossible for the little guy to compete
    • Brendon Tristal And taxes funding Wall Street bailouts. This is not Capitalism, it’s Fascism.
    • James Graham No more Bush’s , Mother knows best!!!!
    • Lewis Dye Well Brendon, you certainly seem to have hit a hot spot with this one. The best form of revenue would be a flat Federal sales tax, since nearly everyone regardless of income spends every cent they can get their hands on.
    • Jewel Currie This has been a very compelling thread to read. However, what I didn’t read, is what I consider the most obvious problem; our government is bought and paid for. There are many solutions to the problems you have all so eloquently stated, but our laws See More
    • Brendon Tristal Well, it is true and it’s sad. But these sad facts will never change unless you can imagine Americans CHOOSING not to go to Walmart or buy slave labor goods.. and petition their governments to let them grow their own food and make their own products. Believe it or not thanks to insane enviro-regs, it is becoming illegal even to feed yourself. And why are we the ONLY country force-fed GMOs?
    • Brendon Tristal Our taxes subsidize GMOs but in Europe the companies MUST LABEL the GMOs. Here, despite 92% of us wanting labels, the lobbies are so powerful that they strike down every proposal that would require GMO labeling.
    • Brendon Tristal We have potentially disastrous GMO designer lawns, too now… “extra dark green” and not as much mowing required. Just pollute the entire environment, permanently and irreversibly, why not.
    • Jerome Evanson WPA succeeded once – spectacularly. It can succeed again.
    • Guy A. Lange You are an idiot!
    • Guy A. Lange Its our stuff you f*cking dope We built it Are you really that stupid???
    • Brendon Tristal The important reason I suggested a flat tax is because yet another aspect of the plan needs to involve cutting spending. And a wasteful and not to mention unfair and biased IRS that costs billions of dollars to operate is not something helpful to thecountry overall. And the main point is that we can’t keep living off of Asia and the Middle East’s “stuff” like oil and cars and toaster ovens, in exchange for some GMOs.
    • Brendon Tristal This country is still going through a virtual fire sale… Asian investors are buying up our most iconic skyscrapers and historic buildings. So much so that it’s inflating property/housing markets. It’s almost as if we’re heading the way of the Chinese “ghost cities” because no working American will be able to afford a lot of the upper-class real estate. Is that good for national security? Not if you aren’t giving the nation up to its creditors.
    • Sandy Barnes A flat Tax is the MOST REGRESSIVE tax there is. If you tax someone with a $20,000 income ten percent that leaves them $18,000 dollars to live on. If that person has a $10,000 income that same rate of tax allows them only $9,000 to live on. if they make $25,000,000 they pay $250,000but then have $24,750,000 left to live on. A graduated tax without loopholes is the only fair way to tax.
    • Brendon Tristal Well guess what. The amount of taxes the way it’s set up right now means that the super wealthy pay even less tax than poor people do right now. Because a super complicated IRS can’t even function, regressive or not, with subsidies and tax credits I don’t care how regressive it is. We can’t afford to keep doing this. We know what kind of tax rates Romney paid.
    • Brendon Tristal And no, a more regressive tax than a flat tax would be like what we have set up now, where corporations make billions in profit and pay ZERO TAX yet get PUBLIC TAXPAYER MONEY. It’s CORPORATE WELFARE taxing the POOR to give to the RICH that is FAR MORE REGRESSIVE than flat tax
    • Brendon Tristal So many people are duped into being afraid of a FIRM system that you can’t cheat… All those corporations making billions of profit? Guess what guys? 10%! Boom. What say to that
    • Brendon Tristal Of course, none of this really matters, because reform will never happen. But it is helpful to at least try and have an understanding of what would work.
    • Brendon Tristal General Electric received a tax subsidy of nearly $29 billion over the last 11 years. While dodging paying its fair share of federal income taxes, GE pocketed $21.8 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts from Uncle Sam between 2006 and 2012.
      Honeywell h
      See More

    • Brendon Tristal Corporate giants such as telecom firm Verizon, drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb and power management firm Eaton, all reported effective tax rates of 0% during the past 12 months. The findings underscore that while many companies bellyache about the top fSee More

      Despite widespread groans about the recent…
    • Rusty Boersma The flat tax or fair tax is a scam. We need to remove all traces of Ronnie’s “voodoo economics” and return to a 90% tax rate on the rich.
    • Brendon Tristal Economists estimated in 2011 that the United States needed $2 trillion in immediate investments just to bring its infrastructure up to date, and with borrowing costs low and the nation’s unemployment rate still high, such investments would allow the country to fix its crumbling roads and bridges while also putting unemployed Americans back to work. President Obama is attempting to take advantage of that opportunity by releasing a budget that takes billions of dollars in war savings and pours them into infrastructure investments and job creation programs.


    • Brendon Tristal Our level of debt is greater than our annual income. That’s kind of high, methinks
    • Rusty Boersma Spending isn’t the issue; lack of revenue is.
    • Brendon Tristal Spending is an issue in my opinion. Wasteful government programs such as bailouts and kickbacks, a PURCHASED Congress that only acts in the interests of its corporate lobbyist masters … is a big issue. There is tons of revenue. It’s all coming in. But it’s coming in as DEBT, and if you try a 90% income tax you will just see more shell games and more corporations with tax shelters and effective tax rates of 0% while getting subsidized. Like we have right now.

      BEHOLD! Observe as OBAMA pushes forward with the TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP. You can see what’s happening here.

    • Brendon Tristal Without import tariffs we’ll continue to see Bernie Sanders’ own statistics remain true, regarding corporate tax dodging and shell games. You can’t tax an income that isn’t even declared. Corporate profit? What is an American company? It’s meaninglSee More
    • Brendon Tristal When I say a flat tax, what I mean is the complete WIPING OUT of the IRS tax structure after imposing a brand-new tax structure that requires basic services to be paid for by all, equally, and there would be no PUNITIVE taxes that DISCOURAGE productiviSee More
    • Brendon Tristal The human beings will have to face the fact that all of the wonderful programs their politicians bring to them ARE NOT THINGS THEY ACTUALLY WANT TO PAY FOR. We MUST STOP seeing the offers of politicians as FREEBIES or offers of services WITH NO COST. There IS a cost… and it is huge! Hiding and burying it into a future Black Swan default doesn’t help. A lot of people have made comments to the effect that they don’t want austerity. REALLY? You don’t want austerity? Then WHY do so many people who hate austerity ADVOCATE for policies that make austerity all but AN INEVITABILITY?
    • Brendon Tristal The people bankrupting this nation TODAY, are the same ones who in the future are going to be RIOTING in the streets when the fruits of their labor are made apparent
    • Brendon Tristal I think if people studied international politics and observed what happens in reality… in the actual historical record, and how events play out over and over and over again the same exact way, they would see how much trouble our nation really is in right now, and would perhaps stop bickering about “the wealthy must pay 90%” Do they even realize what they are saying?
    • Brendon Tristal We ALREADY see examples of what human behavior DOES in such environments. We see people PURPOSELY EARNING LESS in order to FIT into a LOWER TAX BRACKET! Purposely earning less because it means MORE money in their pocket to EARN LESS. Seriously! And we even see some people, no matter how politically incorrect it is, carelessly having children because they just leave it up to the government to cover the costs. Instead of having a prudent and functional financial house in good order, we have a DISASTER.
    • Brendon Tristal Statistics like that seem to mean that food prices need to rise
    • Ernest Green We do need a few more acres of new Bombers that will never get off the ground
    • Brendon Tristal Will pay out dividends. Lol.
      Like ·

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