Did you sleep well last night, knowing that the U.S. military was on guard? Don’t get used to it, because soon, we won’t be able to afford it, and the Chinese are quite aware of the fact.
Can anyone explain why it is that American ’conservatives’ think it is preferable to allow the United States of America to become a bankrupt has-been nation than to tax corporate profits? It amounts to unilateral disarmament in the face of potential enemies. Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave. Let’s take a look at where things stand.
During the present recession, corporate profits have bulged from merely enormous, to bloated, to positively obscene. Yet the so-called ‘Tea Party’ elements of the Republican Party protest that taxing corporations will hurt the economy because they are the “job creators.” Hooey.
Most jobs in America are created by small businesses and American ingenuity. Innovation gives us the products that the rest of the world wants to buy. It gave us the creative designs and patents that led to our once-strong economy.
Innovation and creativity are products of a strong education system. Americans have long been perceived as smarter and more productive because our public education system and universities have produced generations of smart young people.
Now, because of budget restraints, education funding has been cut nationwide. America is on a downward spiral which may be difficult to halt. Without new revenue, it will be impossible.
Waiting in the wings is China. Already the largest holder of US Treasury debt, China enjoys an enormous trade surplus with us, and grows fatter each day. Many of the products they make and sell to us were invented here. Corporations choose to make them there only because they can be made more cheaply, and sold at greater profits. Yet we hesitate to tax those profits that flow from sales right here at home. This is absolute nonsense.
In May alone, China exported more than $32 billion worth of goods to the US, and purchased less than $7 billion from the United States. Last year, we bought $365 billon worth of goods and services from China, and sold them $92 billion. That is more than $250 billion is wealth that hemorrhaged directly from the U.S. economy just to that one nation. We may have once been the wealthiest nation on earth, but we can’t do that forever. Our total trade deficit last year was over $500 billion. We haven’t enjoyed a surplus year since 1975.
All of those goods and services generate enormous profits for tens of thousands of corporations, large and small. Most are owned by investors around the world. Some are owned by foreign governments. Many of them pay nothing for the privilege of accessing the U.S. market. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Cutting corporate taxes doesn’t encourage them to create jobs. In fact, business expansion and hiring are done partly to shelter profits from taxes.
Big corporations are expert at avoiding taxes. Most have hundreds of accountants doing nothing else. Off-shore tax shelters are hiding billions, if not trillions, of dollars in corporate profits that should rightfully be taxable. An official report from the U.S. Senate Finance Committee indicates that over 12,000 U.S. companies maintain a post office box in a single five story building in the Cayman Islands, and pay no taxes on business conducted through them. There are thousands of other similar tax shelters.
We all pay taxes. If you work a basic job delivering pizza, you pay taxes. Yet corporations escape through loopholes, created by their congressional puppets, whom they keep well supplied with re-election funds. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has gotten in on the action, ruling that corporations, many predominantly foreign-owned, can directly fund political advertising here. Free speech to protect their interests? Their interest is in keeping their friends and protectors in office.
If America is to drag itself back from the brink, it must first wake up to the fact that it has been fed a line of hog-wash. Some citizens have swallowed it so completely that they think all taxes are bad. They are dead wrong.
The only way that our nation can continue to sustain the military that protects us, along with our systems of transportation, education, and social security that make us strong, is to pay for these things. The only way is through taxes. Our working people have been pushed to the brink. They cannot afford to fill the gap. It’s time to staunch the flow of dollars leaving this country, and put some of them directly into our treasury, to invest in sustaining the things that made the United States of America a great nation.