My latest column for FoxNews.com refuting the myth that corporations are taxed too much — by presenting the facts that corporations pay few taxes, especially considering the enormous benefits they get from our government.
I have an op-ed in USA Today arguing that just as successful large corporations cary significant debt ratios to invest in future business opportunity, the federal government needs debt right now to invest in the future of our nation and entire economy.
In a discussion with the affable Neil Cavuto, I explain why the bruhaha over the government spending and debt is nothing more than a fig leaf for those who have long sought any excuse to attack government and undercut programs that help the poor and working class.
No comments on the makeup, people.
What’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about budget deficits or government spending or even public employee benefits. It’s class war, wherein the big business, conservative Right tries to pit working class Americans against one another so that the super-rich can continue to pilfer our private and public coffers for their own boundless gain. Here are the facts you need to know — and spread:
1. 60% of Wisconsin’s largest corporations pay ZERO taxes
According to the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, in 2007 60% of corporations in Wisconsin with over $100 million in annual revenues paid zero taxes. None. Zip. Zilch.
2. Raising corporate taxes in Wisconsin to the national average would generate $1 BILLION in revenue
By comparison, Gov. Walker’s union busting bill will “save” a measly $350 million (that is, if you consider lowering the income and security of a core group of tax-paying workers “saving” money…).
3. Cutting taxes on corporations and the rich created state budget crises.
States do not have a spending problem. They have a revenue problem. The recession caused all tax receipts to be lower, but government revenue was artificially suppressed long-before by tax cuts for the big business and the rich pushed through at both the federal and state levels. But with Wall Street tycoons still raking in big bonuses while the rest of us stagger and suffer, anger against big business might reach a boiling point… unless private sector workers can be pitted against public sector workers in a “blame government” charade to diffuse anger from the rightful target.
4. Gov. Walker and the attack on unions are paid for by anti-government Koch brothers
David and Charles Koch, scions of the second largest private corporation in the United States, know how to get a good deal for their dollar. Do you really think the brothers who fund the anti-government, pro-big business Tea Party really give a damn about Wisconsin’s deficit? They are using Wisconsin in their larger play to destroy all unions, further strip all workers of benefits and decent wages, and increase power and profit for a very few, very large corporations like their own. The Koch brothers are among Gov. Walker’s top political contributors.
My latest popular education video dissects the confidential memorandum that Louis Powell (who went on to be Supreme Court Justice Louis Powell) wrote to the US Chamber of Commerce and titans of business in 1971 warning of the potential demise of corporate domination in America.
Watch the video to learn how big business’ secret plan led to the political situation — and financial wreck — we’re in today.
Just when you thought it was safe to look at your 401(k) balance again, a new report from National People’s Action and the Campaign for America’s Future reveals that the pro-big bank deregulators who ruined our economy in government are now working for K Street lobby firms pressing to make the damage even worse.
The kicker is, as much as we might like to blame this mess solely on Republicans, it’s Democrats who picked up Reagan’s baton of deregulation. Robert Rubin and the Clinton Administration laid the groundwork for Wall Street to swallow Main Street whole. And now the top K Street lobbying firm doing big banks’ bidding is not run by a former Tom Delay or Mitch McConnell aid — it’s run by Steve Elmendorf, former chief of staff to Democratic Rep. Dick Gephardt. And Elmendorf’s team includes former top staffers to Democrats including Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Paul Sarbanes.
Both parties should be ashamed. Unlike Arizona cops, the revolving door between K Street and Capitol Hill knows no color. Red, blue, elephant, donkey — come one, come all to the K Street carnival! Whatever ethical guilt you might feel will be more than offset by the generous pay package!
Now, beltway lobbying is generally a smarmy enterprise, but it’s particularly vile in the case of the six biggest banks scrambling to maintain their “too big to fail” protections at the expense of taxpayers. Just for perspective, the American Cancer Society — which lobbies Congress for funding to fight cancer — employs just ten lobbyists. To fight all cancer. Ten lobbyists total. Citigroup alone has 55 “revolving-door lobbyists” who came from Congress or other federal agencies — in addition to all the other lobbyists working for the bank. JPMorgan Chase has 32 revolving-door lobbyists; Morgan Stanley has 19; Wells Fargo 14; Bank of America 12. And on top of that they pay millions to lobbying firms and trade associations that also have lobbyists (a large proportion of those also the revolving-door type).
The ten American Cancer Society lobbyists seek to alleviate cancer. The hundreds of big bank lobbyists want to spread their cancerous greed that is eating away at our economy.
On Monday, May 17, thousands of everyday Americans from across the country will take to K Street to condemn the cozy relationship between Wall Street and Washington. Lobbyists and Congress are in bed with the banks, but the American people are the ones getting screwed. It’s time to shut the revolving door, press Congressional candidates to stop taking contributions from big banks and do what’s right for taxpayers, not Wall Street.
Hasn’t our broken system broken enough families already? Corruption and greed had their chance and only made our economy worse. Let’s hold Congress accountable, cut the cord to Wall Street and K Street and get our economy working for working people.
What else could we do with $5.5 billion in bonuses Goldman Sachs is giving its employees for the first three months of 2010? You’d think that after ruining our economy AND being indicted for fraud, Goldman would have the sense to give the American public the money to spend ourselves.
Actually, on second thought, they did such a great job tanking our economy, I’m sure they deserve it.
Watch my latest video blog with ideas for what else we could spend that $5.5 billion on.
And check out the Showdown in America, with events planned across the country of ordinary Americans telling the big banks enough is enough!
Recently, Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up a group of Tea Party activists by ranting against “big daddy” government. But when we’re facing the worst economic crisis in decades, brought about by Wall Street’s blatantly greedy and fraudulent manipulation of our economic security for their personal gain, we should be welcoming “big daddy” government with open arms. Wall Street needs a spanking.
But instead, in his speech today to financial sector executives, President Obama was at pains to provide comfort to the crooks of Wall Street rather than chastise them. “I believe in the power of the free market. I believe in a strong financial sector that helps people to raise capital and get loans and invest their savings.” According to the White House, the President is intentionally avoiding a scolding tone in favor of the sort of plain-people-joining-with-powerful-CEOs bipartisanship that was so plainly absurd in health care reform. Obama’s Kumbaya calculus seems based on two assumptions — first, that the American public doesn’t want their president to fundamentally criticize capitalism; second, that the American public will believe the spoon fed load of crap that Wall Street executives had our economic best interests at heart but just somehow, by accident, went astray.
Average Americans who’ve had their homes pulled out from under their feet, their credit card interest rates quadrupled, their jobs shipped over seas — because the financial industry literally created “investments” that bet against the American dream — are not stupid enough to believe that this was all an honest mistake. Taxpayers who were told that bank bailouts were the only way to save our entire economy from disaster can smell the deception buried beneath record Wall Street profits and bonuses now surfacing in the first quarter of 2010 alone. Our collective critique scratches more than the skin of “a few bad apple” executives here and there. In November 2009, a BBC World Service poll found that 63% of Americans think capitalism in its current form is not working. Since then, everything from the Citizens United ruling to the Goldman Sachs indictment has only confirmed our deep suspicion that the nature of capitalism in America is rotten.
That doesn’t mean we don’t believe in markets and business. Americans are nothing if not entrepreneurial and industrious. But that’s not what capitalism in America looks like today. The version of market economics that’s been shoved down our national throat is designed exclusively by and for the benefit of giant corporations. Big business buys our politicians and writes our laws so they can crush small competitors, pillage our environment and destroy workers lives and human rights and anything else that stands in their way. And because big business owns our media, too, they have the perfect platform to persuade us over and over again that this arrangement is in our collective best interest.
As Americans, we buy a lot of crap, but we’ve finally stopped buying this lie. What’s good for big business is not good for America.
For too long, mass public disaffection with the way capitalism in America is structured has been silenced because politicians and the media, beholden to big business, convinced us there is no alternative. Now, faced with such a sobering and stubborn economic crisis caused by very deliberate flaws in our economic structures, we’re more aware than ever not only that there is an alternative but that we must embrace it. That doesn’t mean socialism. But it does mean aggressively critiquing and re-constructing capitalism so that the market’s primary goal is to work for working class and struggling Americans. The very survival of the American dream is at stake.
On Thursday, April 29, 2010, thousands of ordinary Americans will descend on Wall Street to call for meaningful financial reform that holds big banks accountable and makes our economy work for everyone. Those of us who will be at the Showdown on Wall Street — and the millions of Americans we represent — are worried about our jobs, our homes, our farms, our children’s education, our very way of life. What we’re not worried about is hurting capitalism’s feelings. After all, capitalism never coddled us.
Here’s Jon Stewart’s take on fraud charges filed against Goldman Sachs and conservative opposition to clearly much-needed financial regulation. Brilliant (Stewart, that is — not the Wall St. crooks and Republican liars)!
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|These F@#king Guys – Goldman Sachs|
And if you never saw my video exposing how Goldman Sachs was betting on death in its “death bond” derivative scheme, there’s no time like the present:
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