U.S. House of Representatives
Washington D.C. 20515
United States Senate
Washington D.C., 20510
Dear [Member of Congress]:
I was listening to the Ralph Nader Radio Hour and heard an interview with Columbia Law Professor John Coffee about his new book Corporate Crime and Punishment: The Crisis of Under Enforcement.
I urge you to listen to this program and read the book.
The corporate crime wave and violence inflict far more damage on society than all street crime combined.
I may have missed it, but I haven’t seen any public statements you have made on this problem of corporate crime. If you have, please send it along.
The legislation should include the creation of a corporate crime database—the corporate crime equivalent of the FBI’s annual Crime in the United States report, which focuses on individual crime. Long overdue.
Coffee proposes that the legislation should, at a minimum, end the promiscuous use of deferred prosecution agreements, abolish non-prosecution agreements, use stigma and shame to combat corporate crime, bring back corporate probation and, as a condition of probation, restrict incentive compensation, encourage corporations to turn on their top culpable executives, encourage whistleblowers through bounties, encourage the top civil enforcement agencies like the under-staffed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to hire outside lawyers to litigate corporate enforcement cases, allow civil enforcement agencies like the SEC to direct a portion of the corporate penalties they collect to their own low enforcement budgets and address the growing problem of the revolving door.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the current wave of corporate crime and violence sweeping the nation—Purdue Pharma (tens of thousands of opioid deaths and no prison time for executives), GM ignition switch (124 documented deaths, not one executive prosecuted), Boeing (346 dead, not one executive prosecuted), the massive Wells Fargo heist (no criminal prosecution of executives), the VW toxic emission crime, major oil spills, workplace trauma and diseases, mass billing frauds, pharmaceutical caused casualties, and the endless scams and swindles, especially on the elderly, to name a few recent examples—and the need for Congressional hearings and up to date legislation to address this growing assault on our public health, safety, and rule of law.
Please do not send us a form letter.
P.S. Do you wish to ask the Congressional Research Service for corporate crime reports and the executive branch’s enforcement record?
Address, email and if you wish telephone
#CC: Interested Parties
Date Name of legislator and address
Dear [Senator or Representative]:
I suggest you read the new book—Tax the Rich: How Lies, Loopholes, and Lobbyists Make the Rich Even Richer by Morris Pearl and Erica Payne—leaders of the growing organization Patriotic Millionaires. Both have been up on Capitol Hill many times.
Their case is compelling, detailed and readily treatable by lawmakers with a sense of non-partisan fairness, efficiency and impact. It is exceedingly well-organized for non-experts and well-documented for more scholarly readers. As you and your staff can see, there are listings of major tax tricks, well-known tax escapes and a useful list of refutations of the major lies bolstering these privileges of the very rich and large corporations, many of which are paying no federal income taxes.
Here is what I (we) wish that you do. Reply to me (us) by print letter your considered responses for the major changes outlined in this readable book. Then tell me what you propose TO DO about any of the changes which you agree with, both within the Congress, within the appropriate Committee structure and toward your citizenry back home. Re: the latter, you may wish to have a virtual town meeting on this all-encompassing subject of taxes—who does and doesn’t pay them, what taxes should be restored and/or increased on the super-wealthy and major corporations, how much more money the depleted IRS needs to start collecting over $400 billion in annual uncollected taxes (their figure) and what the people and you think should be the uses of these greater tax revenues to benefit the American people and their families, their public services (infrastructure) and the environment.
Also, please tell me (us) why, when Congress is in session and not on its long recesses, it doesn’t work five full days a week like we all do with our jobs? Why do so many members of Congress arrive Tuesday before noon and leave to fly back home on Thursday afternoon or evening?
Thank you for your serious response. To make it worth-while for your time, I (we) will spread your response to as many people in the state (district) as we can.
(OPTIONAL ADDITION—If you wish to have more people in your state (district) sign this letter, please let me (us) know and we’ll oblige.)
Thank you for reading the book and responding.
Address, email and if you wish telephone #
CCL: interested parties
August 1, 2021
Senator Bernie Sanders
332 Dirksen Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Sanders:
Your Presidential campaigns put Medicare for All single payer front and center on the American political agenda.
Two years ago, when Donald Trump was President, you introduced your Medicare for All bill (S. 1129) in the Senate.
While it didn’t match the gold standard Medicare for All bill (HR 676), your bill was endorsed by 63 national citizen organizations and unions.*
You pointed out that polling from Reuters and others showed that seventy percent of the American people supported Medicare for All.
“In my view, the current debate over Medicare for All really has nothing to do with health care,” you said at the time. “It’s all about greed and profiteering. It is about whether we maintain a dysfunctional system which allows the top five health insurance companies to make over $20 billion in profits last year,” you said when you introduced the legislation.”
“The American people are increasingly clear. They want a health care system which guarantees health care to all Americans as a right. They want a healthcare system which will lower healthcare costs and save them money. They want a health care system which will guarantee them freedom of choice as to which doctor or hospital they can go to. They want a health care system which will substantially lower the cost of prescription drugs. They want Medicare for seniors which will finally cover dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses. In other words, they want Medicare for All, and that’s what we will deliver to them.”
This year, with Joe Biden President, all indications are that you and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal have changed your tune.
Instead of Medicare for All, you are pushing for Medicare for Some.
Most recently, in the Washington Post in May, you and Congresswoman Jayapal penned an op-ed calling for lowering the Medicare age to 60. No mention of Medicare for All. (“We must fix the gaping holes in Medicare,” Washington Post, May 11, 2021.)
At least in March of this year, Congresswoman Jayapal introduced her Medicare for All (HR 1384) bill with a promise of hearings.
But still, now early August, you have yet to introduce a Medicare for All bill.
Question: When will you introduce Medicare for All legislation?
And as Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, when will you hold hearings on Medicare for All?
Time is passing.
* In 2019, the Sanders bill was endorsed by 63 national organizations and unions including: 350.org, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Amalgamated Transit Union, American Federation of Teachers, American Medical Student Association, American Sustainable Business Council, Americans for Democratic Action, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Business Initiative for Health Policy, Center for Popular Democracy, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Coalition of Labor Union Women, CREDO, DailyKos, Demand Progress, Democracy for America, Democratic Socialists of America, Demos, Faith in Healthcare, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Health Care Now, Health GAP (Global Access Project), Indivisible, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Just Care USA, Justice Democrats, Labor Campaign for Single Payer, Latinos for a Secure Retirement, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, League of United Latin American Citizens, MoveOn, MPower Change, National Center for Lesbian Rights,National Collaborative for Health Equity, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, National Education Association, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Immigration Law Center, National Nurses United, National Organization for Women, New York Nurses Association, Opioid Network, Our Revolution, People’s Action, People Demanding Action, Progressive Campaign Change Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, Public Citizen, Service Employees International Union, Social Security Works, Student Global AIDS Campaign, Sunrise Movement, Ultraviolet Action, United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers, United Mine Workers of America, Utility Workers Union of America, Women’s March, Inc., Working Hero and Working Families Party.