Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sen. Bernie Sanders Steps Up In Defense Of Main Street America


In the last post the infograph from “AmericanProgress.org”   showed a breakdown of the $44 billion in GOP budget cuts, cutting services that would negatively impact millions of Americans on Main Street. We also saw the breakdown of the $42 billion in tax cuts for the rich and big corporations that they fought so hard to push through. 

Today an article by Eric W. Dolan on The Raw Story “Sen. Bernie Sanders calls for eliminating corporate tax loopholes and tax breaks”   outlines legislation introduced by Sen. Sanders that would cut the deficit by about $50 billion. 

”Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called for closing corporate tax loopholes and eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies Sunday after reports that General Electric and other giant corporations pay nothing or almost nothing in federal income taxes.”

“The Emergency Deficit Reduction Act would accomplish this by raising taxes by 5.4 percent on annual income over $1 million.”

“Sanders said it was grossly unfair for Republicans to propose massive cuts to Head Start, Pell Grants, the Social Security Administration, nutrition grants for pregnant low-income women and the Environmental Protection Agency while ignoring the fact that many corporations pay nothing in federal income taxes.”

Indeed the report done in the New York Times by David Kocieniewski published 3/24/11 “G. E.’s Strategies Lets It Avoid Taxes Altogether”  is absolutely shocking, and definitely on the must read list. It’s quite long, but necessarily so, do to it’s complexity and the unfolding events involved. I would urge you to print it off if necessary and read it later if you’re short on time, but it is well worth a read. 

From the article:

“General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, has a very good year in 2010. The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.”

“Transforming the most creative strategies of the tax team into law is another extensive operation. G.E. spends heavily on lobbying: more than $200 million over the last decade, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Records filed with election officials show a significant portion of that money was devoted to tax legislation. G.E. has even turned setbacks into successes with Congressional help. After the World Trade Organization forced the United States to halt $5 billion a year in export subsidies to G.E. and other manufacturers, the company’s lawyers and lobbyists became deeply involved in rewriting a portion of the corporate tax code, according to news reports after the 2002 decision and a Congressional staff member.” 

 I guess their lobbying efforts paid off, if looking at the GOP continued tax cuts is any indication. But the fact that this kind of thing is being done at the expense of American taxpayers is unforgivable. When legislators can be bought by special interests, what good are they to the American citizens they were elected to represent? Making cuts to healthcare, education, job training, childhood programs, and life or death assistance to our sick and our poor, does nothing to support citizens this country, but it has been made quite clear who these elected officials have chosen to support, and it’s not the people that elected them.

It’s clear they publicly support Hate Crime organizations like the American Family Association. The GOP has become “God’s Own Party” in pushing the Teavangelical agendas of religious oppression, open bigotry against homosexuality, and stripping away women’s rights.

Obviously its support also goes to the highest bidder. I certainly wish Senator Sanders luck.

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