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Dave Johnson is Founder and principal author at Seeing the Forest.
Dave is a frequent public speaker and talk-radio guest and a leading participant in the progressive blogging community. He does a regular weekly segment on the popular Fairness Radio radio show.
Currently Dave is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, where he writes about issues involving American manufacturing, trade, and industrial policy.
Recently Dave helped co-found Carbon Tracing, Inc., the company developing the desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.
Before starting Seeing the Forest, Dave had over over 20 years of technology industry experience and has previously held senior industry positions including CEO and VP of Sales and Marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic, and he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015(2 comments)
Let The Public Read The Completed Parts Of The Trans-Pacific Partnership
There is an easy way to settle disputes about what is in the TPP and what its consequences might be: let We the People see the text of the agreement and we can decide for ourselves. The president says that we can't see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership because it is still being negotiated. He says other countries will not "make their best offers" if the people in their countries can see what they are offering.
Saturday, May 16, 2015(4 comments)
I'm Not Making This Up: Corporations Use Trade Deals To Attack U.S. Law
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, legal scholars and others have been sounding the alarm about the secret TPP negotiations. They are warning that the ISDS provisions, as the New York Times put it, "would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine their investment 'expectations' and hurt their business, according to a classified document."
Tuesday, May 12, 2015(3 comments)
Fast Track Train Off Rails -- For Now
Democrats in the U.S. Senate were able to successfully block the trade promotion authority "fast track" bill using a filibuster today. This is a very big setback for the pro-Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) forces, but is not a final defeat. The final vote was 52-45, with 60 votes needed to break the filibuster and move the bill forward to debate and an up-or-down vote.
Monday, May 4, 2015 Fast Track Bill Vote In Senate: Winter Is Coming
How do you get a trade bill that sends jobs out of the country so that companies here can break unions, force wages down and trim benefits in order for a few already-wealthy executives and investors (Wall Street) to pocket the difference? The answer is to rig the rules of the game in advance. Fast track is that strategy.
Thursday, April 30, 2015(2 comments)
Writing The New Rules For The 21st Century -- In Secret?
With the fast track process We the People of the United States of America don't get to know what's in TPP until some time after Congress pre-approves it, and even our Congress won't get to seriously debate or amend it after we do get to see it. So too bad if we don't like it. Suck. On. That.
Friday, April 24, 2015(1 comments)
A "Path To Yes" On Trade, But Paul Ryan Blocks It
Trade can work for all stakeholders and can be a tool to lift general prosperity, democracy, environmental protection and the general welfare on all sides of trade borders. But to do that would require beginning with a process that has those stakeholders at the table, with those issues as the objectives of the negotiations.
Monday, April 20, 2015 A Look At The Fast Track Bill Shows It's The Wrong Thing To Do
We don't yet know what is in TPP because it is still secret and will remain so until shortly before the fast track process requires Congress to vote. The President says to trust him, it will be great and "progressive" and create lots of jobs and expand the economy. Great. But the history on our trade deals has been very bad -- especially those passed using fast track.
Sunday, April 19, 2015 Why CAF Is Opposing And Marching Against Fast-Track Trade Legislation
Fast Track is part of a process that rigs our democracy and the global economy, resulting in trade deals that are written to benefit billionaires and giant multinational corporations at the expense of 99 percent of us. The flawed trade deals coming out of this rigged process have resulted in enormous and continuing trade deficits that drain our economy of jobs, devastate our communities and increase inequality.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015(4 comments)
The Fast Track Fight Begins In The Senate
As the fast track fight enters the Congress, polls show that politicians will take a great risk by voting for fast track or TPP legislation. For example, one recent poll shows one senator's vote for fast track could bring a primary opponent.
Friday, April 3, 2015(5 comments)
Populism 2015: Citizens Insist On Trade Deals That Work For All Of Us
cross the country a strong populist movement has gained momentum to stop more trade deals from making things worse. This is just one part of the populist movement that has grown since Occupy Wall Street in response to terrible inequality. Citizens and organizations are mobilizing in opposition to the way our country's rules have been rigged to the benefit of the 1 percent and against the interests of 99 percent of us.
Friday, March 27, 2015(4 comments)
Now We Know Why Huge TPP Trade Deal Is Kept Secret From The Public
TPP is the largest trade agreement in history, involving more than 40 percent of the world's GDP. One way President Obama and the Chamber of Commerce sell TPP is by saying it will change everything and will rewrite the rules for doing business for the 21st century. But the changes give corporations vast new powers to overrule democratic governments.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015(1 comments)
Koch Network Takes On Export-Import Bank
The Koch brothers do not believe that government should do anything at all, other than provide a military and protect private -- their -- property. They do not even believe our own government should help our own country's companies. They believe there is no "national" interest, only the interests of individual businesses -- and ultra-billionaires like themselves.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015(2 comments)
TPP Is Only Secret From You -- But Trust Us, It's Good For You
Under the Constitution, Congress is supposed to set the terms, oversee the negotiations, carefully consider the results, allow the public time to analyze and weigh in. But now a secret trade agreement -- initiated and negotiated in a corporate-dominated process with other stakeholders excluded -- is kept from Congress. Times have changed. The Constitution and Congress are pests, gnats to be swatted aside.
Monday, March 9, 2015(1 comments)
How Our Trade Policies Kill Jobs
The U.S. is currently running a net trade deficit of over $500 billion dollars each year with our "trade partners." We have been running trade deficit every year since the late 1970s. We buy from them, but they don't reciprocate and buy from us, so the trade is out of balance -- way out of balance.
Saturday, March 7, 2015(2 comments)
Trade Deficit Drops To Enormous, Humongous Level In January
Trade is supposed to be balanced. That is where the word "trade" comes from. But since the neo-liberal "free trade" pro-corporate ideology took hold in the late 1970s the US has consistently run a trade deficit every single year, and it just gets worse. This literally drains our economy, jobs, wages, factories, entire industries and our ability to make a living as a country.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015(1 comments)
Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership Promises Echo Clinton's On NAFTA
TPP will be pushed through Congress using "fast track" trade promotion authority that allows Congress only 90 days to debate and conduct an up-or-down vote after it and the public first see the agreement. This does not give Congress and the public enough time to read and fully understand this enormous, complex agreement and especially not enough time to consider the ramifications on our economy and our working people.
Monday, February 23, 2015(1 comments)
Protests This Week In Madison Against Surprise New Anti-Worker Laws
Right-to-work laws require unions to represent all workers covered by a union contract, but lets those workers opt out of paying dues to the union. The idea is to weaken or even bankrupt the union. The union is required by the contract to provide services to the workers, including rent and employees for the union office, representation in disciplinary hearings and contract negotiators.
Sunday, February 8, 2015(3 comments)
A Comment On Public Investment, Jobs And Dreams
We got here by cutting taxes for the rich, gutting government, deferring maintenance, and letting a few billionaires harvest our public wealth through privatization, etc. We'll get out of it by fixing the trade deficit, repairing our infrastructure, undoing policy mistakes that have continued since the Reagan era, and ending "trickle down" tax cuts.
Monday, February 2, 2015(4 comments)
Obama Budget Signals End Of Austerity, Return Of Sanity
President Obama has submitted a budget proposal that (finally) signals a break from cuts and austerity. It largely pushes in the right direction. Republicans will oppose it -- even the parts they agree with. This budget pushes the country back toward sanity. This budget takes many steps in the right direction. But the Republican Congress will block it.
Saturday, January 31, 2015(1 comments)
Stop The Paul-Boxer Tax Holiday; It May Already Be A Job-Killer
Congress gave corporations a repatriation tax holiday in 2004. The results were a disaster for the economy. Even worse, the previous tax holiday is the reason so many companies now move jobs and factories and profit centers out of the U.S. They do this to hide profits offshore, waiting for the next tax holiday. This currently costs the country jobs, factories -- and up to $700 billion in taxes due.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 Protests As Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks Resume In New York
TPP is a huge "trade" agreement, which will set the rules for 40 percent of the world's economy. It is being negotiated in secret. Corporate representatives are part of the process, stakeholders like environmental, consumer, labor, democracy, health and other groups are excluded from the negotiations.
Friday, January 23, 2015(1 comments)
Environmental Groups Denounce Fast Track Trade Process
Trade negotiations are conducted in secret. Corporate representatives are part of the process, and the negotiators come from or expect to go into the corporate world. Stakeholders like environmental, consumer, labor, democracy, human rights, and other groups are excluded from the process. Once these agreements are finalized, a process known as "fast track" is used to push the agreement through.
Saturday, January 17, 2015(21 comments)
How To Avoid Another Job-Killing Trade Fiasco Like NAFTA
With Fast Track, Congress agrees to pass the trade deal within 90 days of first seeing it, with no changes allowed. Obviously, this sets up a rigged process, in which the big corporations are able to launch into a full-scale PR campaign to apply maximum pressure. The intention is to keep the public from having a chance to analyze the consequences of signing the deal, and rallying opposition.
Monday, January 5, 2015 Republicans Announce Priority Is To Dance With The Ones That Brung 'Em
The Keystone Pipeline will move "up to 830,000 barrels" each day of Canadian tar sands oil to a U.S. port so it can be sold to China and elsewhere. It uses eminent domain to seize land from ranchers, and crosses sacred Native American land. It creates only 35 permanent U.S. jobs.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014(1 comments)
Holiday Bright Spots For Progressives
Voters agree with Democrats on most issues. When you word the questions fairly, people want government to fight for them, raise wages, provide a good retirement, protect the environment, make workplaces safe and other items on the progressive policy agenda. They want Social Security expanded. They want help for the less fortunate.
Thursday, December 18, 2014(2 comments)
Trade Deal Promises vs. Realities
Again and again we are promised jobs and economy gains from trade deals. Instead we get job losses and trade deficits. Next year the giant multinationals are going to try to sell us another trade deal by promising jobs and prosperity. And they're going to push fast track to grease the skids to get it passed.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014(5 comments)
Trans-Pacific Trade Talks Resume With Almost No Media Coverage
TPP is a massive agreement that sets up new rules for over 40 percent of the global economy. It will have profound effects on our jobs, our standard of living now and in the future and our ability to make a living as a country. Oddly, though, as of Monday morning you have to read about it in Japan Times because few-to-no U.S. media outlets are covering it.
Saturday, December 6, 2014(10 comments)
Why Would Congress Approve A Trade Deal Before Reading It?
The Obama administration is negotiating a huge trade deal. The President promises CEOs he will go against his own party to push its passage. To get this done the corporations are pushing Congress to pass something called Fast Track -- a process that essentially pre-approves trade agreements before Congress even reads the agreements for the first time.
Monday, December 1, 2014(8 comments)
Is The Democratic Party Relevant Anymore?
Corporate, neo-liberal policies came to dominate our economy. "Free trade," anti-union, monopolistic anti-democracy policies have killed wage growth and government programs for regular, working people and regular, working people have responded by turning away from the party that was supposed to be watching out for them.
Friday, November 28, 2014(1 comments)
With Election Over, First Order Of Business Is $450B Corporate Tax Break
The election is over. Congress is back in Washington. The first order of business after the election is to give big tax breaks to the corporations -- $450 billion worth. Fortunately, President Obama is trying to do something about this. He says he will veto this deal if it reaches his desk.
Sunday, November 2, 2014 Tax-Dodging Deal Fails Thanks To Obama's Inversion Rules -- And Us
Politicians often don't know about a problem -- never mind fix it -- unless people organize and make their feelings known. When you sign an online petition, send an email and especially donate to a cause, it can make a real difference. In the case of companies "renouncing their citizenship" in order to dodge their taxes, it really did work.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 David Brooks' Infrastructure Column Makes You Say "Oh My God!"
Whenever people like David Brooks use their top perch among those who form America's opinions to inaccurately claim that "both parties" and "the political class" are failing to deliver essential government functions, not only are readers left poorly informed. They are left less able to apply pressure to their elected officials how and where it is needed.
Thursday, October 23, 2014(7 comments)
Does Democracy Let "The Poor" Dominate?
Many Republicans say that democracy makes people "dependent on government." The idea is that people (minorities in particular) are "takers" who vote for politicians who "give them free stuff" that the "makers" have to pay for. The poor are a "mob" of "takers" who will vote "goodies for themselves" and therefore need to be controlled and suppressed for their own good.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014(3 comments)
Republicans Will Pass Worse NAFTA-Like Trade Deals If They Take Senate
These "trade" deals will, if passed by Congress and signed by the president, cement a corporate right to profits above the rights of citizens to pass laws to protect our health, environment, wages, working conditions and anything else we might decide to do to make our lives better. These trade agreements place corporate rights above national sovereignty, and they do this behind a veil of secrecy.
Saturday, September 20, 2014(4 comments)
Full Employment Is More Than Possible. It Is Essential
It is time to demand that our government create full employment. We were able to fight back against Social Security cuts. We were able to fight back against tax cuts for the rich and their corporations. We were able to fight for gay marriage and LGBT rights. We are fighting them on climate. We are fighting for women's pay and health. It is time to demand full employment, too.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014(2 comments)
Senate Republicans Filibuster Equal Pay For Women (Again)
To sum up, the Paycheck Fairness Act would put in place measures to ensure that women will be paid the same as men if they do the same work. The vote was 52-40 in favor, but it was killed because it was filibustered by Republicans. Among the few outlets that even bothered to report that the bill was before the Senate, few reported that there was a Republican filibuster to kill the effort.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014(1 comments)
Tell The Senate: Support The Amendment To Undo Citizens United
Americans understand that the big money system shuts them out of the process and advances the agendas of billionaires and corporations. Now only special interests are heard from, because their money is deciding elections. This has a direct effect on people's lives. This corporate/billionaire money is the reason Republicans are obstructing an increase in the minimum wage.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 Eric Cantor Goes To His Reward
Cantor will receive a huge, fat, lucrative, awe-inspiring, 1-percent-making, mansion-jet-and-yacht-buying, zillion-figure paycheck from his Wall Street/corporate constituents. He will become board member, vice chairman and managing director of investment bank Moelis & Co.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014(10 comments)
Will Republicans Block Action On Corporations Abandoning The U.S.?
There is a wave of news about corporations using a technicality called an "inversion" to renounce their US "citizenship." An inversion is when a US company buys or merges with a non-US company, and then pretends it is no longer a US company. Today it's Burger King. Not long ago it was Walgreens.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014(4 comments)
GOP Vows To Dismantle Or Shut Down Government If They Win Senate
This is the Republican agenda, should they take the Senate. If the President tries to stop their effort to dismantle the government they will resort to their time-tested fall back position: just shut down the government. And, of course, blame anyone but themselves.
Thursday, July 31, 2014(1 comments)
Obama's "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order"
President Obama's executive order cracks down on federal contractors who break hiring, health and safety, and wage laws. It also prohibits employers from requiring mandatory arbitration agreements with employees of federal contractors, in order that workers can get their day in an actual court instead of being forced to appear in front of an arbitrator picked and paid for.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 5 Giant Un-American Corporations Trying to Bolt U.S. to Avoid Taxes
A number of American corporations are so fed up with the idea that they should pay their taxes that they are actually renouncing their U.S. citizenship. These corporations are "leaving" the U.S. to dodge taxes--but their executives, employees, offices, stores, customers etc. are still here. The only thing that is really leaving the country is the requirement to pay U.S. taxes.
Saturday, June 21, 2014(1 comments)
Another Secret Pro-Corporate Trade Negotiation Is Leaked
This is one more leak showing that the giant corporations and the billionaires behind them consider themselves powerful enough to just ignore governments, and are negotiating among themselves the rules for world corporate domination in the 21st century.
Saturday, May 31, 2014(8 comments)
Republican Strategy: Obstruct, Blame Democrats For Obstruction
Republican strategy is to set the stage for the election by obstructing everything that could help the economy get better, as well as anything that might make our lives better. They understand that they just will not be held accountable for their obstruction. Then they campaign against Democrats because things are not getting better.
Thursday, May 29, 2014(8 comments)
Does Inequality Just Happen?
This is a moment to think about how we got here, and why we let things happen this way. This is a moment to realize that things do not have to be the way they are, and that we can change what is happening to us for the better. Even if we indeed have become a country that only does what CEO types want done, We the People can change that, too.
Saturday, May 3, 2014(8 comments)
Speaker Boehner is setting up a Spanish inquisition special committee to "investigate" and deliver anti-Obama conclusions just in time for the election. Boehner said the committee will look into why the administration is "obstructing the truth about Benghazi."
Thursday, April 24, 2014(2 comments)
Democrats Who Move Right Lose Elections -- There Is No "Center"
Polling shows that many "independents" are to the left of Democrats and many others are to the right of Republicans. They are not "in the middle" or "between" but rather are more likely to stay home and not vote for candidates who move "to the middle." Those independents to the right of Republicans are not going to vote for Democrats no matter how far "to the right" the Democratic candidate goes.
Thursday, April 3, 2014(1 comments)
11 Ways The Ryan Budget Goes Against What Public Wants
The new Ryan/Republican budget is out. It cuts $5.1 trillion from spending over 10 years on things that make our lives better, while reducing taxes on the wealthy and giant corporations, and increasing military spending by $483 billion over the same period. (Note that cutting things like health care actually just shifts the costs, because people still get sick.)
Wednesday, February 5, 2014(4 comments)
The Latest Lie: "Obamacare Kills 2 Million Jobs"
They just lie. How many times have Republicans been caught just lying in an effort to trick the public into supporting their efforts to drive down wages and otherwise push the country's income and wealth from We the People to A Few Wealthy People? When do We the People -- and the supposedly "responsible" media -- say "enough is enough"?
Tuesday, January 21, 2014(2 comments)
8 Phony GOP Solutions for Poverty That Will Only Bring More Economic Pain
On the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty, Republicans are whipping out "compassionate conservatism" again, in an attempt to rebrand themselves as something other than the harsh, anti-poor, anti-women, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-everything wingnuts they have been showing us they are.
Friday, December 20, 2013(6 comments)
The Other Side Of Health Care Scare Stories
Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions -- including up to 17 million children --will no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status. Approximately 60 million Americans have gained expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and/or federal parity protections.
Thursday, December 5, 2013(1 comments)
Here's A Fresh, New Idea: Hire Some People To Fix Infrastructure!
Not hiring people to fix the infrastructure now is intentional. It's about keeping unemployment high and taxes on the wealthy low. Desperate, hungry people don't ask for raises, and don't demand their rights. They'll take any nasty, humiliating, low-wage job they can find and will be told they should be thankful to have it.
Thursday, November 28, 2013 Food Stamps Cut Just In Time For Thanksgiving
Food Stamps don't go to lazy "able-bodied" minorities who refuse to work. According to Feeding America, "76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits."
Friday, October 18, 2013(1 comments)
Republicans Have Done Real Damage to the Economy
What will the damage be next time, and how can we fight it? Yesterday's "deal" only puts off the fight for a few months. With more of this on the horizon, companies will be hesitant to hire or invest. Consumers will remain wary and distrustful. Republicans still have one power: the power to destroy. And they will use that power until we take it away from them.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 Don't Kick The Can Down The Road
Republicans should fund the government and promise not to ever, ever do this again. To prove they mean it they should repeal the law requiring a vote to raise the debt ceiling. We the People have taken away all of the power of the Republicans except one -- the power to destroy. We have to take that power away from them, not just kick it down the road.
Monday, October 14, 2013(1 comments)
Republicans Filibuster Debt-Ceiling Hike, Few Outlets Report This
Republicans filibustered to obstruct raising the debt ceiling Saturday. The bill to raise the debt ceiling received 53 votes in favor and 45 against, with every Republican senator voting to filibuster. Democracy depends on citizens being informed so they know what is going on and who to hold accountable. Almost no news outlets even reported this to the public. Our major "news" outlets are letting democracy down.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 Conservatives Celebrate Shutdown Of Government They Hate
Have you ever wondered what is going through the head of a suicide bomber at the moment he or she hits the trigger button? Just spend some time reading conservative blogs and media as they encourage each other to blow up the government. Let's hope this fever subsides before the debt ceiling is reached.
Saturday, August 3, 2013(2 comments)
Republicans Choose (More) Vacation Over Governing
This week was put up or shut up time for Republicans. After decades demanding unspecified budget cuts they finally had to put their vote where their budget outline was. So what did they do? They are taking a 40th vote on repealing Obamacare and then heading home for five weeks vacation. This is who they are.