"If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we keep the tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then:
"These are the choices we have to make... "If you are a wealthy CEO or hedge fund manager in America right now, your taxes are lower than they've ever been. They're lower than they've been since the 1950s. And you can afford it. You'll still be able to ride on your corporate jet. You'll just have to pay a little more..."
- that means we've got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship.
- That means we have to stop funding certain grants for medical research.
- That means that food safety may be compromised.
- That means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden.
Damn right! In fact, giving in to greedy, pro-corporate Republican priorities would mean even more damage to the United States than President Obama listed, including:
- continued crumbling of American infrastructure across the country,
- further erosion of public education, and
- higher and higher unemployment for middle-class jobs as teaching, law enforcement and fire fighting.
I fully empathize with the President's astonished frustration at the dearth of responsible fiscal priorities for our country by so many corporations and their Congressional minions.
And I fully understand, as well, because this afternoon, I received unexpected email from Amazon.com that shocked me with its callous disrespect for public good... in this case, for the fiscally-troubled state of California.
Let me explain... For my longtime personal blog, I have an advertising arrangement in good standing with Amazon.com. I was stunned to receive the following shocker today from Amazon.com entitled "Notice of Contract Termination Due to Potential New California Law":
"For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of California residents. Unfortunately, a potential new law that may be signed by Governor Brown compels us to terminate this program for California-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers...
"As a result, we will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective. We will send a follow-up notice to you confirming the termination date if the California law is enacted. In the event that the California law does not become effective before September 30, 2011, we withdraw this notice.
"... if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program. To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that this development will only impact our ability to offer the Associates Program to California residents... "
I feel blackmailed by Amazon.com to support its placing corporate profits over the very welfare of the state of California, whose elected leaders have desperately sought and negotiated for a budgetary solution. Californians will sacrifice mightily to move forward fiscally... Californians who have supported Amazon.com for years with billions in annual sales.
I'm angry. Very angry. I absolutely refuse to give in to this greedy threat. I will not pressure Gov. Jerry Brown to drop his logical idea to tax online retail sales.
And starting right now, I will purchase from any number of retailer alternatives to Amazon.com. Further, I don't give one (expletive deleted) damn if they terminate my advertising agreement with them.
President Obama took a moral stand today against pro-corporate forces that are starving our nation of funding to remain a healthy country of the people, by the people, for the people.
I plan to emulate the President's courageous example by taking a principled stand against Amazon.com, which is attempting to place rich profits over the welfare of my beloved home state. It's time to draw a line against creeping corporate rule of this country!
Californians, I say BOYCOTT AMAZON.COM. Will you join me?
(Full Disclosure: I am serving my third two-year term as elected Delegate to the California Democratic Party.)
(Photo of Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)