Less than two weeks before an investment firm controlled by Mitt Romney decided to invest in a China-based home appliance company, the company put out a detailed document to investors promoting itself as a low-wage, low-tax firm that would not be subject to taxes in the United States.
It used “inexpensive labor,” Global-Tech Appliances wrote in a prospectus meant to attract investors on April 8, 1998. Its location in China meant “an overall effective tax rate that may be less than that of US corporations.” It said its current operations would not be subject to “material US taxes because it should not be considered to have significant income effectively connected with a trade or business in the US.”
The company also noted its working conditions: peak production periods required six-day work weeks, and two 10-hour shifts per day in the case of the metal stamping department. The main manufacturing facility, located in Dongguan, China, included 14 buildings that served as dormitories accommodating up to 3,700 workers.
Nine days after the document was released – on April 17, 1998 — an affiliate of Bain Capital called Brookside Capital Partners Fund acquired about 6 percent of Global Tech, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents that were first reported by Mother Jones magazine.
Romney was listed as the “sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc. and thus is the controlling person of Brookside Inc.”
Does anyone actually believe the GOP cares about creating jobs at all?
Senate Democrats generally don’t expect much in the way of support for their proposals, especially when it comes to the economy, but they though their new small-business tax cut bill at least had a shot.
The proposal is straightforward enough: small business owners would get a new tax incentive to hire new workers and/or increase payroll wages, on top of a break businesses claim on capital investments. An independent firm that specializes in economic modeling concluded that the Democratic proposal could create nearly 1 million jobs.
Today, a majority of the Senate supported the measure, but the modern Senate no longer operates by majority rule. Democrats couldn’t break a Republican filibuster so the bill is dead.
Senate Republicans made good on their threat to filibuster a Democratic small-business tax cut bill today, ensuring the bill fell seven votes short of what it needed to move forward.
The Senate voted 53-44 to limit debate on the bill and move to final passage, but 60 votes were needed to overcome the filibuster. […]
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) argued Republicans would typically support the small-business bill save for their desire to deny the president a political victory ahead of the November elections. “There is no reason for them to oppose this bill other than to hurt President Obama,” Reid said today.
Republicans said they felt the need to kill the legislation because Reid denied them the chance to water it down with a series of amendments.
And since procedural concerns are obviously more important than lowering unemployment, the GOP argument doesn’t seem to surprise anyone.
President Obama would have this election in the bag, according to a number of leading columnists, if only he would act more like President Obama.
A number of pundits are turning up the volume on demands that the White House offer a jobs plan based on new infrastructure spending, a long-term deficit plan that includes taxes and entitlement cuts and a market-based health care plan, among other requests. Obama will have a hard time taking their advice, however, given that he’s already proposed those very ideas.
1. Filibustering the American Jobs Act. Last October, Senate Republicans killed a jobs bill proposed by President Obama that would have pumped $447 billion into the economy. Multiple economic analysts predicted the bill would add around two million jobs and hailed it as defense against a double-dip recession. The Congressional Budget Office also scored it as a net deficit reducer over ten years, and the American public supported the bill.
2. Stonewalling monetary stimulus. The Federal Reserve can do enormous good for a depressed economy through more aggressive monetary stimulus, and by tolerating a temporarily higher level of inflation. But with everything from Ron Paul’s anti-inflationary crusade to Rick Perry threatening to lynch Chairman Ben Bernanke, Republicans have browbeaten the Fed into not going down this path. Most damagingly, the GOP repeatedly held up President Obama’s nominations to the Federal Reserve Board during the critical months of the recession, leaving the board without the institutional clout it needed to help the economy.
3. Threatening a debt default. Even though the country didn’t actually hit its debt ceiling last summer, the Republican threat to default on the United States’ outstanding obligations was sufficient to spook financial markets and do real damage to the economy.
4. Cutting discretionary spending in the debt ceiling deal. The deal the GOP extracted as the price for avoiding default imposed around $900 billion in cuts over ten years. It included $30.5 billion in discretionary cuts in 2012 alone, costing the country 0.3 percent in economic growth and 323,000 jobs, according to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute. Starting in 2013, the deal will trigger another $1.2 trillion in cuts over ten years.
5. Cutting discretionary spending in the budget deal. While not as cataclysmic as the debt ceiling brinksmanship, Republicans also threatened a shutdown of the government in early 2011 if cuts were not made to that year’s budget. The deal they struck with the White House cut $38 billion from food stamps, health, education, law enforcement, and low-income programs among others, while sparing defense almost entirely.
How much is this kind of thing affecting our jobs numbers?
The six college students from Thailand and Vietnam had paid thousands of dollars to participate in an internship program at an Orlando hotel and get hands-on experience in the hospitality business.
The State Department issued them J-1 visas, which are supposed to be used for “educational and cultural exchange.” Under the terms of the visa, the students would spend a year performing paid work in different departments of the hotel to learn the business.
But the students claim that there was no educational component to their experience, just fulltime work as housekeepers — sweeping floors and making beds. On top of that, in a lawsuit filed this year, they say the Wyndham Hotel in Orlando broke federal and Florida laws by not paying minimum wage for that work. The Wyndham denied the charges, arguing that exchange students are not covered by U.S. labor standards, and moved to have the case dismissed. But on May 7 a U.S. district court judge refused to do so.
The accusation is one of many that have emerged recently against employers who have allegedly misused guest worker and student exchange visas in order to find cheap labor overseas and avoid hiring U.S. workers.
Republicans are either very bad at economics or have another agenda…
Ignoring the warnings of economists and clear evidence in Europe that austerity would only hold back an economic recovery, Republicans in Washington have pushed for deep spending cuts and other austerity measures. One side effect of those spending cuts is that state and local governments, already facing budget crunches because of the slow economy, have been forced to make even deeper reductions to their own budgets. Hundreds of thousands of public sector employees — teachers, police officers, and firefighters included — have lost their jobs as a result of those cuts.
Must read article by Nobel winning economist, Paul Krugman, on what’s really up with all the austerity…
“The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity.” So declared John Maynard Keynes 75 years ago, and he was right. Even if you have a long-run deficit problem — and who doesn’t? — slashing spending while the economy is deeply depressed is a self-defeating strategy, because it just deepens the depression.
Europeans are rebelling against austerity. That’s the read on Sunday’s elections in Greece and France. But why do voters loathe austerity? Perhaps because, as economists have found, efforts to rein in budget deficits can take a wrenching toll on living standards, especially in a recession.
Since economists all know that the way to get out of recession is to increase spending, one truly has to conclude that economic recovery is not the austerity proponents goal….
One aspect of the Eurocrisis that has not gotten the attention it deserves is the way it is destroying not just jobs, but the very underpinnings of society. People who took actions that were prudent at the time are increasingly at the mercy of forces beyond their control. And this isn’t a tsunami-type disaster but a man-made one whose severity is worsened by the callous attitudes of the European elites.