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Welfare Disincentivises Work – for the 1%

1:52 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Out of Business

(Picture courtesy of Unhindered by Talent at  flickr.com.)

Some things actually do come around as they ought to.   The accumulating evidence that the tax code has been eating its own tail has been capped by release of the Mitt Romney, Inc., tax filing.

By not working, the corporate candidate saves quite a lot of money.   Paying 13%+ on earnings will most definitely disincentivise actual work for which the earner pays at a 30%+ rate.

Those displaced workers who the Bain on society, Romney, Inc., booted into unemployment would have benefited the U.S. far more than the candidate does.   Had they been earning salaries paying that 30%+, our social services such as schools, police, infrastructure, and the like, would have been receiving support rather than cutbacks.

Corporations that receive benefits from tax codes that favor off-sourcing jobs pay less into our needed funds for  actual U.S. well being.   The workers would have been paying into those needed funds with their taxes, creating a double loss.

The math is simple and obvious.   Tax codes that favor loss of tax monies are destroying the very system they should be building up.

Welfare for corporations is being paid for by those who they victimize.   Using their profits to lobby against those they depend on for those profits is insane economically as well as ethically.

Welfare for corporations has been turned against the very profit base those corporations depend on.   Corporations are not people, they are incapable of thought, or they would have done the math themselves.

Corporations need analysis and treatment, and removal from the welfare system they have created which works to destroy the people – the people that they are absolutely not.

Continuing Climate Change Disinformation, the Vaudeville Act

3:39 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Foul and fair, into your air.

(Picture courtesy of Iguanasan at flicker.com.)

The ability of the Big Oil fraudsters to keep up their barrage of disinformation verges on mania when events show over and over that only the fact free right wing continues to be deluded.   This week, successful efforts to place bad information in scientific journals has forced a decent man to resign because he was careless and let it happen at his publication.

An ongoing attempt to place articles contesting climate change’s origin in man-made activities produces one repudiation after another.   Inspired by pay for their play, fringe members of the scientific community forge ahead with attempts to legitimatize the Big Oil mantra that there is no proof that the stuff they spew into the atmosphere does any harm.

The editor of a science journal has resigned after admitting that a recent paper casting doubt on man-made climate change should not have been published.

The paper, by US scientists Roy Spencer and William Braswell, claimed that computer models of climate inflated projections of temperature increase.

(snip) Read the rest of this entry →

Oppression Sparks Riots; China, and U.S., Recall Tunis

7:31 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Tunisians throw off oppressive government

(Picture courtesy of Nasser Nouri at flickr.com.)

The events that led to freedom in Tunisia are being echoed in rioting in China now.   In Tunis, a youth who supplied his family’s only source of support spent his days selling vegetables and fruits from a cart.   When the officials who oversee, and demand bribes from this trade, confiscated his goods – not for the first time – he was driven to despair.   Crippled in his efforts to make a meager living by continual corrupt official oppression, that vendor, Mohammed Bouazizi, committed suicide.

Mr. Bouazizi, a fruit vendor, set himself on fire in front of the local governor’s office after the authorities confiscated his fruit, beat him and refused to return his property. He is now seen as the instigator of a revolution that forced out President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years of authoritarian rule.

The furor that greeted this tragic young man’s death led to rioting in the small town where it occured, then to Tunisia, the capitol.   Finally, with citizens rising up all over the country demanding an end to official misconduct that made most lives there desperate, the regime was overthrown.

Today riots have broken out in China because of the same sort of oppression.   This kind of official misconduct should inspire a chill of foreboding in China, where the opportunities to support themselves and their families have been limited by official disregard. Read the rest of this entry →

Repatriating Profits: Heading It Off at the Pass

6:22 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Yen for Vacationing Money

(Picture courtesy of mikeleeorg at flickr.com.)

There is a case for letting corporations have another tax holiday, this one on profits they are keeping abroad rather than pay taxes on them.  Rather than letting them off scot- free this time, as was done in 2005, the proposal is to levy a small tax and have the resulting funding directed into infrastructure.

There is so much need for some jobs program, that this version would be a boon to our unemployed, albeit a small one.   The larger the program, the larger the gain from it.   Sadly, the enlarged program would only attract more right wing energy to keep the economy from growing, because the present administration would get the credit.

Reuters joins in the chorus of naysaying, insisting that this proposed infrastructure project is yet another version of D.C. kabuki intended only to obscure its real purpose.

By tying overseas tax repatriation with an infrastructure bank (and job creation) members of Congress can get cover to reward multinational corporations, who are often their largest contributors. It would not be a naked repatriation but would be dressed as “job creation.” It sounds good, but at what rate would these corporate profits be taxed when they’re brought home? And how many jobs would be created?

(snip)

Using these figures we can deduce that corporations would be taxed at a 2.5% rate vs. the normal rate of 35%. As for the number of job creation, it would go from approximately 34,000 this year before peaking in 2012 at 125,000 and then declining to 96,000 in 2013. So Congress would allow corporations to pay $25 billion in taxes on $1 trillion of profits while creating 250,000 jobs over three years.

Obviously, the writer is conveniently forgetting that at present there is no fund to tax at all.   Any increase, wherever directed, would be an improvement.

The corporate welfare mantra is that U.S. taxes on business are horrible and a deterrent to locating in the U.S. at all.   The actuality is that most corporations avoid taxes by a variety of activities – that include offshoring profits.

…there’s growing evidence that, despite the occasional crackdowns on especially creative tax accounting, routine corporate tax dodges are way up by historical standards, as multinationals play an increasingly profitable shell game…U.S. operations incur tax-deductible interest payments by borrowing money from cash-rich subsidiaries overseas. This is what’s known in industry parlance as “income-shifting.” It passes the time while one waits for the next U.S. tax holiday on repatriated overseas profits.

The true kabuki dance is the one performed by U.S. businesses that squeals at the burden of their taxes while avoiding paying those taxes altogether.

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Dumb and Uninformed Actions by Dumb and Uninformed Elected Officials

10:37 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Snake Oil 4 U

(Picture courtesy of davyll at flickr.com.)

While all the major media outlets were carrying news about Rep. Weiner’s penis, the House adopted projected Agriculture Budget cuts that will seriously diminish the U.S. support for women and children if they prevail.   Although there were several – well, approaching 20 – members of the right who declined to add their vote, the measure passed with one Dem. joining in the irresponsible measure to reduce spending on needy for nutrition, by support of farmers that contribute their products and are repaid.

As mentioned yesterday, these cuts reflect raises in the Pentagon budget while lowering assistance not only to WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition grants.   They are another blow to the very victims produced by the excesses the right wing has brought about by its deregulation of the financial industry and its disapproval of any and all measures to return a rightful wage to working people, and to any benefits they could profit from.   “Nutrition didn’t drive our economy into the ditch.  Nutrition didn’t keep banks from extending loans,” (GA congressman John) Lewis maintained.   “Now they’re going after the babies…They (the babies) didn’t overextend our credit card.”

The measures were described yesterday;

The Republican spending bill that pays for the nation’s food and farm programs would cut the Women, Infants and Children program, which offers food aid and educational support for low-income mothers and their children, by $868 million, a 13 percent from current spending. It would also cut an international food assistance program that provides emergency aid and agricultural development by more than $450 million, or a third of the program’s budget.

Conservatives sought to deepen those cuts already in the House bill by offering amendments that would further slash the food aid, scale back efforts to promote U.S. exports abroad and cut in half agricultural research and statistics programs. The chamber rejected 12 separate GOP amendments proposing the cuts.

One of the rejected amendments was by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., and would have cut $82.5 million for breastfeeding assistance for low-income mothers – aid that is part of the Women, Infants and Children program. Foxx said that though she believes the benefits of breastfeeding are proven, “coaching women on breastfeeding is not the role of Washington.”
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Wingers Going after the Babies

1:08 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Child Nutrition: anathema to the wingnuts

(Picture courtesy of henry….)

As Georgia Representative John Lewis aptly put it yesterday on the floor of the House, the right wing in its push to make poverty unsustainable, is “going after the babies”.

Proposed $47 million cuts in the program of nutrition for Women, Infants and Children will make it that more difficult for pregnant women and small children, literally, to survive.  These cuts are extended by Pentagon spending increases.

“Nutrition didn’t drive our economy into the ditch.  Nutrition didn’t keep banks from extending loans,” Lewis maintained.   “Now they’re going after the babies…They (the babies) didn’t overextend our credit card.”

With the usual failure to give value to essentials of life, or those under stress because of the long economic decline the right has imposed on the country, a House led by the right was ground zero for class warfare yesterday.

The armies of the right came out in force to keep the lion’s share of our country’s wealth walled off from the needy.

Essential programs on the chopping block include the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Commodity Supplemental Food programs, which both help low-income people get nutritional food. Hundreds of thousands of people will be cut from the programs if House Republicans get their way. WIC “provides healthy foods like milk, eggs and infant formula to about 9 million poor mothers and pregnant women and their children,” and would absorb a $868 million cut under the GOP bill, which falls $1.3 billion short of what’s needed to adequately fund the program with food prices on the rise.
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Corporate Welfare: Its Own End

5:59 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Increasingly, we hear cries coming from the oppressed at the bottom end of the economy who are turning out at Town Hall meetings and telling their representatives that this has to stop.   While the poor are pitted against the rich in this delusional politics that has become a sporting event with the right insisting that despite all proof to the contrary our future prospects turn on doing the same thing that got the country into our present economic disaster, against those who are paying for their follies.

When shouts of “Liar” comes from constituents who returned Rep. Ryan to his seat from the Wisconsin First Congressional District for one term after another, the tide has turned.

The insistence of corporate welfare recipients have used their resources for decades to work against the public will.   Even as the country slides ever farther down the cliff that pushes us over, those departments dedicated to their own self-preservation are working against the exercise of reason that would obviate their continued function to one end only, the same one, that insists taxes will kill them.  It’s not a surprise to see the tax attorneys of the Exxon and GE variety using their skills for the companies they work for.   What is a surprise is that no cooler heads look at balance sheets and see that today’s profits are taking the working class, or, the major component of the total economic picture, out of the equation.
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Presto Change-o Tax Avoidance

1:30 pm in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

If you want a quick and sure way to determine how honest a business leader might be, ask about U.S. corporate taxes. If that leader insists that taxes are killing competitiveness and snuffing out business in this country, you’ve got a shill in front of you. The Chamber of Commerce line that cutting taxes on business will create jobs has been thoroughly disproved during the eight years of right wing control of all branches of government.

Anyone actually in business will know that while the tax rate is high, multiple loopholes render the taxes on corporations almost nonexistent, and actual taxes paid by business form a small proportion of the total tax dollars the U.S. collects.

Right now, through offshoring profits while taking deductions for expenses inside the U.S., several of our highest earning businesses pay practically no taxes in this country at all.

Google’s income shifting — involving strategies known to lawyers as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” — helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.
(snip)
The U.S. National Science Foundation funded the mid-1990s research at Stanford University that helped lead to Google’s creation. Taxpayers also paid for a scholarship for the company’s cofounder, Sergey Brin, while he worked on that research. Google now has a stock market value of $194.2 billion.
(snip)
“You accumulate profits within Ireland, but then you get them out of the country relatively easily,” Stewart (senior lecturer in finance at Trinity College’s school of business in Dublin) said. “And you do it by using Bermuda.”

Eoin Dorgan, a spokesman for the Irish Department of Finance, declined to comment on Google’s strategies specifically. “Ireland always seeks to ensure that the profits charged in Ireland fully reflect the functions, assets and risks located here by multinational groups,” he said.

Once Google’s non-U.S. profits hit Bermuda, they become difficult to track. The subsidiary managed there changed its legal form of organization in 2006 to become a so-called unlimited liability company. Under Irish rules, that means it’s not required to disclose such financial information as income statements or balance sheets.

“Sticking an unlimited company in the group structure has become more common in Ireland, largely to prevent disclosure,” Stewart said.

Deferred Indefinitely

Technically, multinationals that shift profits overseas are deferring U.S. income taxes, not avoiding them permanently. The deferral lasts until companies decide to bring the earnings back to the U.S. In practice, they rarely repatriate significant portions, thus avoiding the taxes indefinitely, said Michelle Hanlon, an accounting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

U.S. policy makers, meanwhile, have taken halting steps to address concerns about transfer pricing. In 2009, the Treasury Department proposed levying taxes on certain payments between U.S. companies’ foreign subsidiaries.

Treasury officials, who estimated the policy change would raise $86.5 billion in new revenue over the next decade, dropped it after Congress and Treasury were lobbied by companies, including manufacturing and media conglomerate General Electric Co., health-product maker Johnson & Johnson and coffee giant Starbucks Corp., according to federal disclosures compiled by the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics.

While officers of profitable businesses use their earnings in the U.S. to lobby against taxpayers, they take their earnings here abroad. The constant pilfering of companies’ operations here are turned into weaponry against the very citizens whose disposable incomes they depend on for their high earnings.

‘Alternative’ news source CNS – founded to offset fact gathering that was detrimental to right wing goals – lays one practice bare.

The reality is: Marginal effective tax rates drive investment flows. Mintz and others have illustrated that relationship statistically, but you need only look at individual companies to see the effects of taxes. It is no secret, for example, that Intel Corporation is able to cut its tax bill substantially when it builds new semiconductor plants in China rather than in the United States.

Earning high profits from business in the U.S. only makes them mad.

Business attitudes have evolved into law of the jungle, and the U.S. that has always been the goal for sales at high profits has received no loyalty, no sense of responsibility, from the business community that chases profits at the expense of its host country.

Predatory practices that used to be detrimental to third world countries have become standard to corporate welfare seekers from U.S. coffers. Tax shelters are their answer to the benefits, and concessions, they’ve been given by our government. Now it’s time to end that approach, and bring profits back where they belong. The taxpayer doesn’t have an obligation of charity toward the businesses made possible by hard work here at home.

Wingnut Law; Individuals Financially Responsible for Corporate Ooopsies

8:00 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

During the past decade of wingnut control, a lot of laws have been slipped in that are only now beginning to take effect. In a recent event in N. Texas, we’ve discovered that in cases of a corporation making an error that costs you, you get to pay.

Recently a transmitter blew outside some Dallas area homes, damaging appliances by the power surge that occurred. The owner of the transmitter is Oncor, a dominant power firm in the area. One homeowner who lost thousands of dollars in appliances that are essential to her everyday operations of her home, Ms. Fagan, expected that since the company responsible was the cause of her damages, the company would replace them.
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Involuntary Victimization by ‘Voluntary Compliance’

8:00 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Those of us who have fought against the end of real environmental protections saw it coming a long time ago, when the worst president ever (Bush) was governor of Texas. With backing from corporate welfare advocates, the air pollution controls in our state were eliminated. Polluting industries were given freedom to poison us all, under the ruse that they were going to clean up the air voluntarily.

Masquerading as pro-business was and still is the tactic used by criminal corporate interests that controlled Texas, then the U.S., over far too many years. Voluntary compliance was its weapon of mass pollution; reporting was done by the industry doing the pollution instead of by any controlling authority. Needless to say, the polluters found the air quality quite amenable for their purposes. Districts where polluters were located were enlisted involuntarily to fight, literally, for every breath.

In Pasadena, TX, a famous case was brought against a Crown Central Petroleum plant by Texans United and a number of environmental action groups and finally won after citizens near Crown’s facilities had suffered many years of foul air emitted by the Pasadena refinery.

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