Panama Shame; Hillary VS Sanders

Flag-map_of_PanamaMuch ado about the Panama Papers lately.  Much ado about it if you’re Vladimir Putin, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, Petro Poroshenko, Lionel Messi and Ian Cameron.

See anything conspicuous missing?

I did.  The first time I read the breaking news – not one US official, or citizen named anywhere.  “Curious;” I thought.  I even began to suspect a cover-up, but I was dead wrong and this is why:

I had forgotten that, for the very rich and the corporations in the US, it is perfectly legal to rob our nation of taxes.  Completely legal, and very common for them to take advantage of GOP supported trade agreements which provide these tax havens.

This particular arrangement with Panama is relatively new – five years ago, a majority of our puke-inducing, rage-generating elected officials passed the Trade Promotion Act with Panama (TPA), making it perfectly legal for our US corporations and our very wealthy to hide money in that country.  The law was effective in 2012.

Five years ago, a few of our politicians were vociferously opposed to the act, but unfortunately, the majority, mostly the GOP (what a surprise) were in favor

In the Panama FTA House vote, 234 Republicans and 66 Democrats voted for, and six Republicans and 123 Democrats voted against the measure; in the Senate’s 77-22 vote, the “no” votes all came from Democrats, plus independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).  CNS News, October 13, 2011

In their now routine obfuscation modes, some news outlets outright claim she supported TPA and some will, of course, opine in the opposite direction.  However; it’s very difficult to imagine a trade agreement becoming law without the US Secretary of State having a major roll in its framing and passage.  And strong evidence supports this.  The following is Hillary Clinton’s comment on the passage of TPA:

“The Free Trade Agreements passed by Congress tonight will make it easier for American companies to sell their products to South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which will create jobs here at home. The Obama Administration is constantly working to deepen our economic engagement throughout the world and these agreements are an example of that commitment.

“The stakes are not just economic. South Korea, Colombia and Panama are three important partners in strategically vital regions. With the passage of these agreements, America has delivered for our friends and allies. I want to thank Presidents Lee, Santos and Martinelli for their patience and willingness to partner with the Obama Administration as these agreements moved through Congress.

“But our work is not yet done. We will not be content until these agreements are fully implemented so that American exporters can reap the benefits as soon as possible.”  DipNote US Department of State Official Blog

In typical two-faced politician history, Clinton made many comments opposing this agreement, then pulled the old 180 out of her bag of tricks, making the above statement.  However; in true fashion, Bernie Sanders held true to his values.

Certainly, there is no such animal as a perfect politician and I’m sure, somewhere, there is an apparent conflict in Bernie Sanders’ voting record, but when I look at a politician’s record, I look for a big trend, not a few blips here and there, and the variations in trends are substantial between Clinton and Sanders.  Especially; after Ms. Clinton assumed her roll as Secretary of State.

I can understand why a person’s perspective may change a bit when assuming a new roll; it’s often necessary to do so in order to perform the responsibilities of that new roll.

However; performing responsibilities and selling the nation out are not one in the same!


4 thoughts on “Panama Shame; Hillary VS Sanders

  1. You’ve done it again, BoomerBobby! I always come away, after reading your blogs, with a better understanding and interesting, relevant facts.
    And what about the countries, the citizens…how do they fare? Can you imagine the crap and crime that follows this kind of money?!

    1. Yes. Sadly, I can imagine.

      The moment the concepts of market and capitalism were developed, we were doomed to an endless fight against the rich and we will die fighting that battle. Our children will die fighting that battle, their children, and their children’s children, and on and on, until this planet is destroyed by the rich seeking to become richer and more powerful, polluting the planet to the point it cannot sustain any form of life.

      It sounds cynical, but I’m quite glad I won’t be around when people are fighting for a sip of clean water and for scraps of food. That’s not going to be a pleasant life for anyone, especially the rich, for they’ll not know how to care for themselves in such a world.

      They will most definitely be harvesting the garden they planted centuries ago in the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, in the throes of capitalism.

  2. Free trade agreements are for the benefit of corporations to allow capital to flow freely across borders. This allows them to pay less taxes by going where labor is cheaper, taxes are lower and regulations are weaker.

    minor edit– no semicolon after “However”. In most cases, semicolons are used to separate independent clauses

    “However[,] performing…”

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