The Forbes 400

The Forbes 400
The latest issue of Forbes Magazine lists the 400 richest billionaires in the United States. To qualify, the men and women must have made at least 2.1 billion the past three years.
Here are the top four:
Jeff Bezos Amazon age 65 179 billion
Bill Gates Microsoft 61 171 billion
Mark Zuckerberg 36 Facebook 85 billion
Warren Buffett 90 Berkshire Hathaway 73.5 billion

Reading the list, we find some very familiar names like Oprah Winfrey and the Koch brothers. Many are from areas of life that do not make the new s magazines.
I listened to a Forbes spokesperson on Morning Joe and heard a shocking statistic. The 400 are at the top of a total 630 billionaires. And only TEN give a set amount of their total wealth on a regular established basis to others who are at the other end of the income level.
I asked my husband to guess the number, and he paused before he said ALL. It seemed obvious to him and reflects his values .
Warren Buffett is famous as the Nebraskan who drives his Chevrolet and lives a simple life far from the hub of finance at Wall Street in New York City. He is known for allocating a distinct percent of his earnings to causes that benefit men and women at the lower end of the income range.
Bill and Melinda Gates are also known for the causes they have funded on a regular basis in African countries to wipe out malaria and other killer diseases.
We are all in the last weeks before the presidential election. It is important to learn the economic views and plans of both candidates. We have four years to judge the current president, Donald Trump. We also have eight years to judge his opponent , Joe Biden who served with Barack Obama.
In their speeches, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have said, “ Health Care is on the Ballot”… They know that Donald Trump and the Republican Senate have tried 70 times to overturn Obama Care… the ACA act. Each time, they have failed.
On November 10, one week after the election, the fate of Obamacare will be heard at The Supreme Court. Amy Coney Barrett will have been confirmed by the Republican majority in the Senate and sworn in by the president at the White House to become a new Justice. That event will probably become another “super spreader” of Covid 19 since Trump does not approve of masks at the White House.
Under Donald Trump’s presidency, there has been an increase in the difference between the wealthy and the poor in The United States. That is also on the ballot this year. Under Trump tax breaks went to the wealthy. The article in Forbes brought that front and center in my mind. A Biden victory will lead to changes in our future tax and monetary legislation.
I started with the Forbes 400 and it led to the most important presidential election in modern history.
Stay safe and VOTE…. All our lives and future are at stake.
…………………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

Amy Coney Barrett

This was the week of hearings for the Supreme Court
seat held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The judge’s husband
and children were present in the audience each of the
three days. She would be the first Supreme Court justice
to have school age children.

The setting was two rows of senators in an open V shape
with reporters sitting on the floor inside the V. Major
Cable channels carried the confirmation hearing live
without any commercial interruption. Americans could
also watch on their computers.

The Senate Judiciary Committee members, Republican
and Democratic, took turns asking questions of Judge
Barrett. She took the traditional standing oath to
respond to their questions from Lindsey Graham, Chair of
the Judiciary Committee.

The stakes are high for Judge Barrett and for both
parties. Donald Trump has nominated two current
justices, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Barrett arrives with
the history of Merrick Garland being nominated by
Barack Obama when Justice Scalia died.

Senator McConnell refused to allow confirmation
hearings and interviews for eight months . He declared
that the American people should choose the president
who will nominate the successor to Justice Ginsburg.

Now, only weeks and days before the November 3
election, he announced hours after Justice Ruth Bader
Ginsburg died, that he would schedule interviews and a
confirmation hearing as soon as Donald Trump sent him
a nominee for her seat.

That nominee was high on the Federalist Society list for
the president to make his choice, Amy Coney Barrett.
Trump held a large meeting in the Rose Garden at the
White House to introduce her. She stood next to him as
her husband and seven children were seated in the first
row next to Melania Trump.

It should be noted that political events should not be
held in the White House. Also that seats were close
together and very few people wore masks. It became
known as a 11SUperspreader event” with many attendees
testing positive for Covid 19 in the days that followed.

Judge Barrett was a Notre Dame University law professor
with a sterling academic record when she was confirmed
by the Senate for a seat as an Appeals Court Judge. She
served for the first three years of Trump’s presidency on
that court, a relatively brief time compared with most
judges who start at the District Level and then reach
Appeals Court level.

During the three days of her hearings, there was a sharp
contrast between questions from Republican and
Democratic senators. This was expected since the
circumstances of her appointment were controversial as
well as the emphasis that Trump and McConnell had
placed on having a shift in the Liberal v Conservative
blocs on the High Court.

At present there is no longer a split of four liberals and
four convervative with Chief Justice John Roberts the
Swing vote on certain important cases like ObamaCare
and DACA . Judge Barrett was a conservative in her
rulings on the Appeals Court. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh
are also conservatives. Thus the Supreme Court would
become six –three. Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan are
the liberals …. Thomas, Alito , Gorsuch, Kavanaugh .
Barrett, and Chief Justice Roberts who usually votes
Conservative.

On the Supreme Court docket in early November is the
Trump administration case to eliminate Obamacare. This
is the seventieth time 70 Donald Trump has tried to
destroy ObamaCare. First he tried for years to have
Congress destroy it . In that dramatic finale, John Me
Cain returned to the Senate when they were voting.
Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski had already voted No.
Only one more No vote was needed. Me Cain came in
from his sick bed … walked to the desk and turned his
thumb down. It was one of the most dramatic votes ever
taken by the Senate.

Democratic senators stressed Health Care for the
American people in their questions to Amy Coney
Barrett. ObamaCare serves millions of Americans and
losing all aspects of it would be a crushing blow to their
lives. The senators each dealt with that in their
questions. Some had pictures of their people and told
their stories. Others stressed the pre existing conditions
coverage that they would lose if Obamacare were
declared invalid. Issues of law were discussed by other
Democrats in depth. Senator Kamala Harris, who is Joe
Biden’s running mate ended the third day with an
impassioned emphasis on Obamacare to the American
people.

Republican senators stressed Barrett’s academic record
and offered rebuttals to Democratic comments. Several .
including Chairman Lindsey Graham, have very close
races in their states and must weigh the Obamacare
argument at home. Graham has another problem. He
said at the time Merrick Garland was denied his seat that
it was wrong to do that. He is being shown on cable
news saying “You can quote me on that.”

Amy Coney Barrett had been one of Antonin Scalia’s
clerks. She knew that Merrick Garland was Chief of the
important D.C. Circuit Court. She also said that he should
have been given his seat on The Supreme Court .

……………………………………………………………

At present, we don’t know how the entire Senate will
vote after the Judiciary Committee takes their vote. It
does not appear that the Democrats have four
Republican members who will vote No. It will be a close
coun~ but there will be the required number to appoint
Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

—-Joyce S. Anderson