Tag Archives: Corporate Welfare

25 Giant Corporations That Paid Their CEOs More Than They Paid Uncle Sam


25 Giant Corporations That Paid Their CEOs More Than They Paid Uncle Sam.

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Shoveling America’s wealth to the top


by Jim Hightower

As an old country saying puts it, “Money is like manure – it does no good unless you spread it around.”

Yet, America’s corporate and political leaders have intentionally been shoveling wealth into an ever-bigger pile for those at the top. They’ve gotten away with this by lying to the great majority, which has seen its share of America’s prosperity steadily disappear. Yes, they’ve told us, the rich are getting richer, but that’s just the natural workings of the new global economy, in which financial elites are rewarded for their exceptional talents, innovation, and bold risk-taking.

Horse dooties. The massive redistribution of America’s wealth from the many to the few is happening because the rich and their political puppets have rigged the system. Years of subsidized offshoring and downsizing, gutting labor rights, monkeywrenching the tax code, legalizing financial finagling, dismantling social programs, increasing the political dominance of corporate cash – these and other self-serving acts of the moneyed powers have created the conveyor belt that’s moving our wealth from the grassroots to the penthouses.

Not since the Gilded Age, which preceded and precipitated the Great Depression, have so few amassed so much of our nation’s riches. Having learned nothing from 1929′s devastating crash, nor from their own bank failures in 2008 that crushed our economy, the wealthiest of the wealthy fully intend to keep taking more for themselves at our expense.

Now, however, the people are onto their lies. In an October poll, two-thirds of Americans support increased taxes on millionaires, an end to corporate tax subsidies, and policies to more evenly distribute the wealth we all help create. This is rising egalitarianism shows the true American character, and it’s changing our politics – for the better.

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Wall Street Wankers


WARNING - If you’re easily offended, especially by “The F-word”, please skip this post.

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Job Destroyers Don’t Deserve a Tax Holiday


When thinks tanks from the left and the right agree on something, Congress should pay attention.

Sarah AndersonBy Sarah Anderson and Chuck Collins

A coalition of big businesses is waging a campaign for a massive tax holiday on corporate profits stashed overseas. Its lobbyists claim that this windfall would create millions of jobs. If our lawmakers buy that, they’ve got very short memories.

Just seven years ago, big American corporations made the exact same promises. And Congress gave them a tax holiday that allowed 843 companies to reduce their tax rate from 35 percent to 5.25 percent on $312 billion in offshore profits.

Dr. National and Mr. Transnational, OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

What did Americans get in return? This week, our organization, the progressive Institute for Policy Studies, released a report showing that 58 companies that received 70 percent of the tax windfalls didn’t boost employment. In fact, they actually destroyed a total of nearly 600,000 jobs.

Almost simultaneously, the conservative Heritage Foundation released a paper with the same conclusion: Tax holidays don’t create jobs. When thinks tanks from the left and the right agree on something, Congress should pay attention.

But we’re up against powerful forces.

A coalition called Working to Invest Now in America, which goes by the slick name WIN America, has deployed more than 160 lobbyists and spent at least $50 million to win a tax holiday on more than $1 trillion in offshore funds that might get repatriated if Uncle Sam grants this tax break. Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have introduced bills that would do just that.

The Senate version, unveiled in early October, would give the deepest tax discounts to firms that create jobs, but that requirement only applies for one year. We need jobs that last, not positions that could vanish after the nation’s supposed job creators get their huge tax windfall.

Some executives argue that without the tax holiday, these global firms would keep their cash offshore permanently, and it’s better for Uncle Sam to get something rather than nothing. Nevertheless, offering such drastic tax discounts sets a dangerous precedent.

Back in 2004, the corporate lobbyists argued that the holiday would be a “one-time” deal. But after they won that round, they turned around and began amassing their offshore stashes once again. They must have counted on getting more tax holidays.

A tax holiday for job destroyers isn’t only a waste of taxpayer money at a time of urgent needs. It hurts small businesses and other firms that operate only domestically. What sense does it make to give global companies deep discounts on their IRS obligations while these small, yet strong, engines of job creation face standard tax rates?

There are many things that we can do to strengthen the U.S. economy and spur job growth. But providing subsidies to companies whose business model is based on minimizing labor costs, sending profits offshore, and dodging taxes isn’t a good strategy. These companies may compensate their CEOs lavishly and deliver value to shareholders, but they aren’t in the business of creating jobs.

The WIN America campaign leader that stands to gain the most is Pfizer. The pharmaceutical giant was the leading beneficiary of the 2004 tax holiday when it toted $40 billion in foreign funds back to the United States.

And what did Americans get for Pfizer’s subsidy? Instead of creating jobs, the firm proceeded to scrap more than 58,000 jobs in the years since that holiday.

Today, Pfizer is holding more than $48 billion in profits offshore. Will Congress be fooled again?

Sarah Anderson and Chuck Collins are among the co-authors of the new Institute for Policy Studies report, “America Loses: Corporations that Take ‘Tax Holidays’ Slash Jobs.”

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The Crisis of Capitalism


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Wall Street Spirit / The 99%


Much thanks to DuncanR at THE MAD HATTERS blog for this great find.

Remember that this is a worldwide economic collapse. Although the problem(s) have their roots on Wall Street,

THE 99% includes people from all over the world.

Thanks to BIG EASY APPLE  for this video (below).

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Blunt and Frank


New theme song for “Occupy Wall Street”?

This was recorded in 1975, so it’s not exactly written for today’s protesters, but it sure does stand the test of time.

I’ve heard or read Shawn tell about different song’s lyrics, but not this one. Maybe it was written about the Savings and Loan Scandal. The Bush family did quite well being “bailed out” way back then, over 35 years ago!

Blunt And Frank

Mr. Blunt and Mr. Frank

Were standin’ in the halls of their 7 figure bank

Wonderin’ what in the world

They were gonna do for you

I can take the brunt

If you can take the flank

Explained Mr. Blunt to timid Mr. Frank

Wonderin’ what in the world

They were gonna do for you

We been stealin’ this money most every day

And ain’t nobody caught us in any way

But something’s tellin’ me

Now our goose is cooked

We been raisin’ our prices

On the kiddies ices

And the bedroom suites on the corner store

Don’t you think that they could go up some more?

Then with everybody jivin’

About how to be survivin’

We could bring ‘em back down again

And it’s gone full circle

While the world bank wins again

Revolution no solution

To the government’s illusion

That the people are amusin’

With the prices that we’re usin’

And I think that they’re abusing

Everything that we try to do

Defamation to the nation

That is drowning in inflation

Immigration, isolation is a useless tabulation

To the calculation that the world

Is gonna want to come to you

So people in distress gonna worry nonetheless

‘Bout the monetary mess from an educated guess, never really blessed

I think we must confess it now

So people jump and shout,

Everything is out

And I’ve said what I have to say

Everybody sit back

While I get ready to play

Where you gonna go

When the people gonna know

That they’re ripping us off again

Right back down

To the same old hole we been in

Bet your bottom dollar

That you’re really gonna holler

When your friends turn you down again

Not a thin dime

To keep in you in your time of men

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An Average Bob Weighs In (on taxes, the economy & medical costs)


I received this via email about a week ago from a friend (average Joe) and thought it was well worth sharing. Just an honest opinion from a guy posting as Bob, on a working man’s discussion board. This is not an “expert” or paid opinion,  just some blue collar guy calling it as he sees things. I see a couple of odd ‘misstatements’ , but the bulk of it seems true enough. I have made only minor changes to make this more readable, and added any links and tags. The discussion began with a link to Warren Buffet’s comments on taxes, thus the main theme here is taxes, but he goes on to address a couple of other things that us ‘working poor’  see as part of the collective problems that go unaddressed by “our” government. Please weigh in and feel free to correct any incorrect statements or assumptions ~sekanblogger.

“I copied this from a website I frequent that deals with machine shop issues. I thought he told it like it is and thought I should share it.” ~ An average Joe.

I’m not quite sure what a “conservative” is. Is it the guy that wants to eliminate the EPA so that we can destroy any wildlife left in the country or is it the NRA guy that wants to conserve the wildlife, so he can shoot it? At least I know a liberal wants to conserve the wildlife and then not let us shoot it.

I still say the 35% tax on business PROFITS serves a purpose… spend it, or we’ll take it. I also say that the purpose of a small business is to essentially make no profit. The money should go to the employees, the owners, or to pumping up the business. If you own a business, why would you let profit fester in the business, and pay taxes on it, when you can just simply pay yourself.

On the “rich”. The Capital Gains thing is BS. Money you get for free is taxed at a lower rate than money you work for. On top of that, money you work for is up for SS and medicare/medicaid crap. 15.xx something percent. 2% less this year.

So, if you make all your money on Capital gains (the conscientious CEO’s taking $1 in salary). They are taxed at 15% MAX. The poor schmuck who doesn’t make enough to pay “income tax” and doesn’t have kids (no earned income BS), he’s paying a higher percent of his income out.

He’ll get it back, if he doesn’t die, but that is now an “entitlement”, as if you never paid into it in the first place. So he’s just paying a higher tax rate.

Whoever suggested a consumption tax, that’s about as regressive as you can get. 2 completely responsible people with decent jobs, raking in maybe 80-100k a year, have a kid to keep the grandparents off their back and possibly make a contribution to the world. Pretty close to 100% of their money is going to go towards consumption. Their tax rate is going to go up with a consumption tax.

The couple making a few million, who buy all their clothes in Paris and are able to “invest” 1/2 the money they bring in, their effective tax rate will be less than half than that of the normal middle class family.

Now a family that is just flat out poor, they are going to be purely crippled with a consumption tax.

Could a consumption tax be part of a well thought out (and paid for by lobbyists) tax plan? Possibly.

Europe is looking at passing a .01% tax on financial transactions, lots of exemptions, such as an initial IPO (you know when you are ACTUALLY investing in a company), bonds and some other crap. They are afraid it might push all the traders/gamblers out. Sounds perfect to me. They can all go to China, live in a concrete shack, and China can pick up their losses.

Greece is going to hell, and what do you hear about? There are no worries about Greece itself, or the Greek people, it’s all about the banks, and their exposure to Greek debt. Do we loan Greece the money so the banks don’t hurt, or do we let Greece and their people die and give the money directly to the banks?

Last year when I was in Vegas and was concentrating more on the the dancing girls than the table, nobody covered my losses. Bernanke and ‘Turbo Tax Timmy’ didn’t care that I lost money gambling.

Who gives a crap about the big banks, let them fail. This is not what banks used to do. They loaned money to local people and businesses, they took in deposits from local people and businesses, and gave you some interest on it.

Now they take in deposits and charge you a fee, so they make profit, then they borrow money from the Fed for damn near free, maybe loan you a bit of it, make a profit on that, bundle and leverage it and sell it to Fannie Mae. Then they take the rest and gamble on oil, gold, credit default swaps, stocks, bonds, whatever the hell they can get their hands on, leveraged to absolute hilt of course.

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but they are leveraging 40:1 (try that with your house), then buying oil futures, about $5k to control 1000 barrels of oil. So… you owe Bank of America 100k on a mortgage for your crappy little ranch in the suburbs (that they borrowed at .01% interest), they are leveraging that at 40:1. so your mortgage is now backing 4 million dollars worth of gambling. They pile that all into oil (they will never take delivery). So now your 100k mortgage is controlling 800,000 barrels of oil. 5% or so of what the US is using in a single day.

So leveraged and then on the margin, you are paying them 5% on your little mortgage (decent profit right there), which allows them to control 800,000 barrels of oil. That’s worth…. $64 million dollars. And we wonder why we are in trouble.

Take away the margin or the leverage, still an insane butt load of money that your mortgage is covering/gambling. Lots of free money to play with, money you will never see, money you will never get to play with, money that will never in the slightest ever benefit you at all (screws you at the gas pump though). But apparently the money that could never possibly see the average person is what “they” are worried about.

Why invest in producing something or adding value to something, just invest/gamble in funny money, less work, and you pay a lower tax rate.

We are so screwed.

(…and he had this to say about health care costs…..Joe)

Is it possible we could lower health care costs by cutting out the 3rd party “speculators”. The ‘for profit’ above all else insurance companies?

You know, the ones that don’t have a damn thing to do with me and my health, and don’t have a damn thing to do with the people that provide the health care, but just skim off the top, for profit, above all else. The ones that raise health care cost because of all the BS paperwork required and the policy of refusing everything the first time through.

It takes a minute for a Doc to grab my sack and make me cough. It takes the secretary 4 hours of paperwork to get paid for me coughing.

When a service is rendered, somebody needs to make some money, that’s just the way it has to work. When it is a basic service, a necessary service to some people’s survival, there shouldn’t be somebody in the middle skimming off money for just shuffling money, driving up costs for everybody.

Medical costs could drop drastically and still not stick it to the doctors. He (the doctor) wouldn’t need as many secretaries to deal with paperwork, but that would free up money other places in the economy, so “in theory” there should be new job openings in other sectors.   - Bob

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Got An Idea to Save the Middle-Class?


Trickle-up” is an accurate description of the present condition.

I want to mention “Reaganomics, trickle-down, and public safety, all in the same short post, so let’s talk about a “tipping point” in American history.

That point would be when Reagan ‘busted’ the Air Traffic Controller’s union. That single action began the long decline that American workers, of all varieties have been on ever since. It also marked a sharp increase in industrialists gaining more and more power over politics and government.

Reagan didn’t invent this stuff, it has always been a corporate tactic to bust unions and buy politicians, but Ronnie put such a spin on it, that it made people feel that it was okay and even damned patriotic.

Good, reliable data, charted and graphed, shows that time as the starting point of the decades long rise of corporate profits. At the same time that profits rose and the wealthy thrived, blue collar worker’s ‘real’ wages stagnated.

This entire scenario puts all in our society in an increasingly dangerous class-warfare that effects public safety. Our workers and therefor our society face a new phenomena: the “flat world”.

Thomas Friedman article here: 

http://reginaphelps.com/pdfs/FlatWorld.pdf

In conclusion; The corporate buyout of American government has been complete for may years. Fox News conservatives would have you believe that regulation (protecting the public) is the big problem causing poor job growth, but that’s just not the case.

It is just this simple; we may pay $10 per hour, foreign companies may pay $10 a day. Our wages stay at the same level or decline while theirs slowly creep up. We are on our way to being the same waged employees as China and Mexico, or we will have no jobs at all.

Our middle class is disappearing into poverty while our corporate, financial and government masters get pushed up even farther into wealth and power.

Solutions? Hmmmm….

List a few common sense ideas to save our middle/lower economic classes, and I’ll bet I can find the Fox News footage demonizing those same ideas as unpatriotic, nanny-state government that is just seeking to hinder business from growing and employing here.

Middle/lower classes of white people are flocking to conservatism, drinking their kool-aid, and sealing their fate in serfdom for generations to come.

Stupid is, as stupid does.

The proliferation of talking heads and lobbyists leading the stupid into their own demise on the many new forms of media, almost guarantees the continuing gridlock in government, and class warfare from the top on the bottom.

Any progressive or populist solutions to the nation’s problems are always crushed by ‘Captain Obvious”, that is, by the overwhelming amount of money being spent on propaganda (talk radio, Fox News, PAC’s, etc.) that plays to the average person’s most base emotions while ensuring nothing sensible and logical is ever presented to them.

Got an idea to save the middle-class?

Good luck. It’ll happen when Hell freezes over!

You unpatriotic, communist, socialistic dullard.

You’re just another “Meathead”, you hippy-type character from the ‘All In the Family’ sitcom.

Stifle it. Dingbat!….Where’s my supper?

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Tea party Congress: “Power to the Corporations”


Wednesday, September 7, 2011 |  by Jim Hightower

Good grief – the genuine populist fury of grassroots tea partiers is now being perverted into anti-populism by the very tea party Republicans they elected to Congress.

Tea party House members have become the Koch brothers‘ plutocratic dream. They’ve voted to keep giving a $4-billion-a-year government subsidy to Big Oil, to privatize and slash Medicare, to let Wall Street banksters keep ripping off consumers and investors, and to put Social Security on the congressional killing floor. Is this what grassroots voters meant by “Power to the people?”

Take tea party Congressman Austin Scott. Only, you can’t – he’s already been taken by corporate lobbyists. This Georgia Republican won election last year by waging a full-throated campaign against foreign workers who enter the country illegally. Throw ‘em all out, he ranted – those jobs belong to U.S. citizens. But, curiously, Scott did not applaud on July 29 when Legal Service lawyers won a case to stop a corporation in his district from illegally firing U.S. workers and replacing them with Mexican migrants.

Far from applauding, this tough-on-immigrants tea party stalwart abruptly shifted sides, favoring the corporation’s illegal hiring practices against his own constituents who’d been thrown out of their jobs. Indeed, only three days after Legal Services won its case against the corporation, Scott rose up on his hind legs and introduced H.R. 2774, a vindictive, one-sentence bill that says: “Be it enacted… in Congress assembled, that the Legal Services Corporation Act is repealed.”

Scott’s hypocrisy is as subtle as a hammer to the head: He professes to be for the people then tries to kill a program that helps poor people pursue justice against corporate elites. “Power to the Corporations” is his motto.

“How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots,”www.washingtonpost.com, August 9, 2011

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