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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fire This Public Employee

by digby

Now we're talking:

It’s everything that’s wrong with corporate power today: News broke last week that General Electric, America’s largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes -- that’s right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.

But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. That’s wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits -- and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled -- should not lead the administration’s effort to create jobs...

How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce? And under Immelt’s direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes. All of this at a time when Fox News and the right wing are demonizing public workers, like teachers, as the cause of our economic problems.

It’s time for policymakers to stop coddling corporate interests, and get to work creating jobs and wealth for Main Street. We shouldn’t reward wealthy CEOs and Wall Street for behavior that undermines the nation’s economy.

That's Russ Feingold, calling for Immelt to be fired. Isn't it pretty to think Obama might do it?

It would be surprising, however, considering how effectively the Masters of the Universe and John Galts have worked the refs over the past couple of years. They were so dedicated that they were willing to allow themselves to be seen a whimpering, drooling, crybabies over and over again whining incessantly about how mean the president was. They did this because they are egomaniacs, to be sure. But it was also in order to send the message that they wouldn't be entertaining any donation requests any time soon if they were openly challenged.

Obama knows what's going on:
“It’s almost like they’ve got — they’ve got a bomb strapped to them and they’ve got their hand on the trigger,” President Obama said on Thursday of the banks he’s chosen to bail out. “You don’t want them to blow up. But you’ve got to kind of talk [to] them, ease that finger off the trigger.”

Greg Sargent points out that this may not work for the president all that well going forward:

Feingold’s demand reflects a sense that there’s a large constituhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifency on the left that is fed up with the tendency of corporatist Beltway Dems to treat corporations with kid gloves because they’re “job creators.” Progressives like Feingold believe that Dems achieve far better organizational success and unleash more grassroots energy — as evidenced by events in Wisconsin — when they adopt a more confrontational posture towards corporations and the politicians who lend them aid and comfort, and unabashedly treat corporate America as the institution whose misbehavior and excess landed us in our economic mess.