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Yes, the Looting Must Stop

By Thom Hartmann / commondreams.org
Jun 2, 2020
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Yes, the Looting Must Stop
In 1981, when Ronald Reagan ended the New Deal era, crushed labor unions, and massively cut the top personal and corporate tax rates, he kicked off the most massive and widespread looting of America since the 1920s. (Photo: Bob Daugherty/AP)

Looting is the word of the day, on the lips of every newscaster, the president, and elected officials across the country.  And, indeed, looting is a major problem in America.

In 1981, when Ronald Reagan ended the New Deal era, crushed labor unions, and massively cut the top personal and corporate tax rates, he kicked off the most massive and widespread looting of America since the 1920s.

Working people all across the nation have seen over $7 trillion of their wealth looted by the top 1 percent just in the past two decades, reducing them from the middle class to the working poor.  

Small and medium sized businesses, since Reagan stopped enforcing the Sherman AntiTrust Act in 1983, have seen their companies looted by giant monopolies and predatory banksters like Mitt Romney.

Millions of homeowners across the nation had their homes looted by thugs like Steven Mnuchen, California’s “Forclosure King,” and Wall Street banksters like Jamie Dimon, a practice that’s again exploding.

Hungry people across America have had their food supplies looted by defense contractors whose ever-increasing chunk of federal spending has come at the expense of food stamps and other agricultural supports.

Billionaires and the Trump Crime Family looted out nation’s treasury to the tune of $1.5 trillion in 2017, and have looted over $2 trillion out of monies appropriated recently to help COVID19 victims.

Betsy DeVos has looted billions from our public schools to give to her buddies in the for-profit and religious education industries.

George W. Bush looted trillions out of Medicare when he partially privatized the program in 2005 with so-called “Medicare Advantage,” throwing the system into crisis.

Bush and his fellow thugs also looted the Post Office, taking $5 billion a year from them for a decade to stop them from converting their fleet of vehicles to electric and hydrogen power, and set the USPS up for sale to FedEx or USP.

Students across the country have lost $1.7 trillion to banking looters empowered by Bush’s 2005 bankruptcy “reform” legislation that will force them into debt, in some cases, until the day they die.

Sick people have been looted—to the tune of over a trillion dollars a year—by giant insurance companies that pay their executives millions and sometimes even billions.

African Americans and Hispanics have been looted of trillions in reduced pay by racist employers and giant corporations, while their safety, lives and peace of mind have been looted by racist police.

Asylum seekers and immigrants have had their lives and children looted from them by brutal thugs like Steven Miller and Donald Trump.

Our air and water—and the survival of our planet—have been looted by giant fossil fuel companies and the billionaires who own them, leading to mass migrations and millions of deaths every year.

Local media, cable systems, and small internet service providers have been looted by giant corporate thugs, to the point where news has become infotainment, Americans are dumbed down, and the average American family pays more than twice—sometimes ten times—as much for internet and cable TV service as people in other developed countries.

Our food supply has been looted by giant corporations that have destroyed family farms, poisoned rural communities with factory farms, and provoked an epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

It’s time for looting to stop in America.

 

Thom Hartmann is a talk-show host and the author of The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America and more than 25 other books in print

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