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Gibson writes: "Corporations continue to hoard $800 billion in cash while jobs continue their flight out of the country. And instead of trickling down, all of the wealth has collected at the top. Since 2009, 88% of income growth went toward corporate profits, not more jobs and higher wages."

A protester holds Adbusters' Corporate American Flag. (photo: Jonathan McIntosh)
A protester holds Adbusters' Corporate American Flag. (photo: Jonathan McIntosh)



More for Them, Less for You

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

06 September 11


Reader Supported News | Perspective

 

hat would you say to a family financial adviser who suggested your wisest investment would be to liquidate your own retirement account and empty out your kids' college fund to buy your wealthy cousin a new Bentley? Would you go ahead and gamble with your life savings in hopes that your cousin would send you a big thank-you check, or would you hire a new financial adviser?

The current crop of Republicans vying for the presidential nomination are all champions of a reverse-Robin Hood methodology that calls for soaking the poor to give more lavish tax breaks to the rich, and calling it "job creation." Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, known as the most liberal of the GOP contenders, recently unveiled an economic plan that calls for cutting the top tax rate to 23%, cutting the US corporate tax rate to 25%, and completely eliminating capital gains and dividends taxes - which would exclusively benefit obscenely rich investors like Warren Buffett. To pay for it, Huntsman's plan would raise taxes on seniors, veterans and working families with children. Rather than being dismissed as radical and/or cruel, this plan has been endorsed by the Wall Street Journal.

Not to be outdone, Michele Bachmann is toying with the idea of not just cutting the corporate tax rate, but eliminating corporate taxes altogether. Rick Perry says a 0% corporate tax rate will "get the economy working again." Sarah Palin is also jumping on the end-corporate-taxes bus. Mitt Romney insists corporations are people. All of President Obama's potential challengers are falling all over themselves to proclaim the biggest obstacles faced by America's private sector "job creators" are America's corporate income tax rate and federal regulations.

If that's the case, America's "job creators" aren't doing their job. While our marginal corporate tax rate of 35% is constantly criticized as one of the world's highest, corporate income taxes barely count for 1 percent of GDP, thanks to all the corporate gimmicks and loopholes in the US tax code. Corporations continue to hoard $800 billion in cash while jobs continue their flight out of the country. And instead of trickling down, all of the wealth has collected at the top. Since 2009, 88% of income growth went toward corporate profits, not more jobs and higher wages.

President Obama's highly-anticipated jobs plan comes just after a jobs report that showed every private-sector job created was offset with lost public-sector jobs. America's small business owners, the real job creators, say taxes and regulations have nothing to do with the slump in hiring - rather, the continued loss of public-sector jobs is taking money out of consumers' pockets, meaning less demand for small business owners who need customers before they can hire.

It shouldn't surprise American voters that the same presidential candidates chomping at the bit to deregulate corporations and cut taxes for the super-rich are super-rich, or that leading GOP presidential hopefuls are also financed by billionaires who fight regulations tooth and nail. Their "jobs" agenda has nothing to do with creating jobs, but is rather intended to make them more attractive to wealthy donors who will be flooding the GOP field with cash this election season.

And while Obama's challengers continue to bemoan the burdensome environment for the private sector, those employers are actually growing jobs in line with normal expectations during a recovery. The real drag on hiring has been in the public sector, largely due to job-killing budget cuts handed down by largely Republican administrations. Demand creates jobs, not tax cuts. Republican governors naming a job-killing spending plan a "jobs budget" won't change the fact that their budgets will inevitably kill jobs.

Even in 1785, Thomas Jefferson knew a progressive tax was the most fair when he wrote, "Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." And today, lifetime registered Republican, corporate CEO and tax guru Henry Bloch of H&R Block says the idea of lowering taxes to create jobs is "baloney." Rather, a common-sense solution to pay for any jobs plan is taxing the same Wall Street bankers who created this mess. Taxing the trading of abstract financial instruments like derivatives and credit default swaps could generate $1.5 trillion in a decade. Though because such a proposal is likely to draw ire from the big banks, it seems unlikely any of the current candidates will talk up the idea.

In these dire economic times, Americans must not choose feeble-minded leaders who boast such a stupefying lack of knowledge on economic issues. The next time we go to the polls, let's pick financial advisers who actually want to see us do well, not sell our livelihoods and futures to the highest bidder.


Carl Gibson, 24, of Lexington, Kentucky, is a spokesman and organizer for US Uncut, a nonviolent, creative direct-action movement to stop budget cuts by getting corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. He graduated from Morehead State University in 2009 with a B.A. in Journalism before starting the first US Uncut group in Jackson, Mississippi, in February of 2011. Since then, over 20,000 US Uncut activists have carried out more than 300 actions in over 100 cities nationwide. You may contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+48 # Jeff C 2011-09-06 14:57
We cut taxes and - yes - generate new funds for investment. And in an unregulated and brutally competitive market wherein there is so damned much pressure on CEO’s by investors to generate higher and higher and higher profits and returns, we watch that funding go right out of the good ole U.S.A. in search of the world’s cheapest labor markets. Simply stated, it’s just another tactic to generate even more wealth for a very few and further reduce government revenues - and all without creating a single new job for American workers. They couldn’t sell me ‘trickle-down,’ they damned sure aren’t selling me this one. Good and timely article!
 
 
+42 # Vardette 2011-09-06 16:01
Plus we are paying untold billions for our secret NSA and security cluster as just reported on NPR radio. Added to this we are spending 9 billion per week for the Afghanistan war alone. Now they want to do away with our Postal Service which is a vital part of our infrastructure! How will people who don't have computers be able to send in their absentee ballots! Pretty soon we will be like a real 3rd world nation thanks to all our corrupt reps who sold us out to line their pockets!

Will we accept being crushed so that the rich can stay rich and our secret over bloated, out dated, exploitive security system and military sucks us dry? We seem to be on an economic suicide mission. Things are out of control and all of our lives, health and futures are on the line because of so much theft and abuse!
 
 
+24 # suzyskier 2011-09-06 19:02
Speaking of the Postal Service, since I understand it is no longer subsidised by tax payer money, maybe it should be. Why should such an important service need to make billions of dollars? In other countries, like France for example, they know that railroads don't actually make money, they feel the need to keep it going dispite this. Why in America does every bloody thing have to earn money to be viable? It's crazy. Some things are just plain needed to operate a country. I understand that people use email more now than post office but not everybody can afford a computer or other "luxury" items we Americans think we all must have to matter.
 
 
+8 # leedeegirl 2011-09-07 00:00
Quoting suzyskier:
Speaking of the Postal Service, since I understand it is no longer subsidised by tax payer money, maybe it should be. Why should such an important service need to make billions of dollars? In other countries, like France for example, they know that railroads don't actually make money, they feel the need to keep it going dispite this. Why in America does every bloody thing have to earn money to be viable? It's crazy. Some things are just plain needed to operate a country. I understand that people use email more now than post office but not everybody can afford a computer or other "luxury" items we Americans think we all must have to matter.

because "the business of America is BUSINESS" ... gag me with a spoon!!!
 
 
+3 # Anarchist 23 2011-09-07 15:09
Since at least the 80's deregulation and change of rules hit the Post Office too. They made it cheaper for mass mailers to send you junk mail and more expensive for smaller mailers. Just like tax breaks for the rich, another move at public expense, made the PO more expensive than it needs to be. Also the PO has a really big union they want to break. first PATCO and then...and how safe and friendly our our skies now? The 911 orgy of Remembrance will take place still justifying endless war. The people need to wake; we are a Third World nation. Hydro-fracking, destructive oil spills destroying the enviornment people depend on,disasters,cr umbling infrastructure, lack of public transit, homelessness, crime. We still have Mickey D's and TV. It is the last veil of illusion. That is changing very rapidly tho.
 
 
+15 # MidwestTom 2011-09-06 16:07
According to a report on Bloomberg this morning even Obama is talking about cutting taxes. Another problem is that corporations are moving out of this country, or as the dollar sinks, are being purchased by foreign corporations. GE, where the man chosen to solve the jobs problem came from has sold most of their former chemical operations to a Saudi company,; and today Sunoco put their refineries up for sale. I am beginning to believe that the quickest way out of this is to crash to dollar as fast as possible. Our live styles would be poorer, but EVERYONE will be poorer, especially those make money with other peoples money.
 
 
+28 # Vardette 2011-09-06 17:25
There needs to be regulations requiring corporations who want to do business here to have to pay taxes and not be allowed to stash their money off shore. But will our corrupt, greedy reps insist on something like this? No- I can't see any positve solutions on the horizon. Perhaps a Progressive house and senate may have the guts to draw a line in the sand?
 
 
+1 # Capn Canard 2011-09-08 06:50
Coriander, nice... The whole argument of the Right is a fuster-cluck. For instance, we are led to believe that reducing regulation will increase jobs? WTF? or cutting taxes will increase business spending? I can only surmise that many people have taken a stupid pill. I guess I anticipate that the Dems will fold their tent and not fight for workers, save Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich or Alan Grayson. And Obama has gone out of his way to appease the hard Right Wing! We are truly screwed... We need to keep our eye on Anonymous Sept. 17 and see if there is any growing Tahrir movement in America.
 
 
+10 # amye 2011-09-06 17:45
Although taxing derivatives, credit default swaps, etc. would generate money for government, I think we should completely eliminate them because they played a significant part in our economic crash!!
 
 
+20 # propsguy 2011-09-06 18:57
i love carl gibson! only 24 and so wise. maybe there's hope for the future?

these corporate CEOs have no loyalty to place. they go where they get the best deal. they think this ship is sinking and so they're taking as much as they can and leaving the rest of us to drown.

they need to be attacked at their state charter level. every corporation was incorporated somewhere and their vulnerability can be found there

but also, we must stop looking to them to create jobs and we must, as much as possible, stop supporting them with our purchases. if you have a choice to buy your food at wal-mart or at a farmers market- by all means GO TO THE FARMERS MARKET! that way, you're creating or maintaining local jobs that have to stay in this country.

as a small business owner for 30 years, i can assure you that my tax rate and regulations never once influenced my hiring decisions. i hire when i have the work.

if you have a skill, if you can make a product or offer a service, start your own small business. we'll all be doing this soon when these large corporations either abandon us or try to enslave us
 
 
+14 # burner 2011-09-06 20:25
Corporations can't exist without the employees that are treated mserably; there should be a nationwide strike, even one-two days will show a tremendous effect on corporate profits and maybe then they will have to give in to higher corporate responsibility towards those same employees.
 
 
+7 # RLF 2011-09-07 05:46
It will have to be an illegal strike because the corporate controlled courts will fine unions and anyone else they can...we will have to ignore them to do this!
 
 
+15 # futhark 2011-09-07 01:57
Hell, I hate paying taxes, too, since it means I am contributing to the hate-generating , bloated and murderous American military machine. I'd much rather direct my fiscal contribution to society to more needful and humane projects. I know Congress is supposed to represent the American people's interests in how tax monies are used, but they seem to be doing a piss-poor job of it. Of course, that's largely due to Congress being just another tool of the corporate culture.

A start at addressing this problem would be to legally recognize that corporations are NOT people and should be regulated in their activities and limited in their existences, as they were up until 170 or so years ago. They shouldn't be granted the political rights of people and shouldn't be allowed to "buy off" politicians the way they do.
 
 
0 # Capn Canard 2011-09-08 06:55
futhark, ABSOFRIGGINLUTE LY! This Corporations are people is complete and utter fabrication. They pulled this out of the arse. (re SCOTUS dec Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad, May 10, 1886. wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Clara_County_v._Southern_Pacific_Railroad)
 
 
+6 # wrodwell 2011-09-07 02:54
Let's be clear: if President Obama wants to craft an effective Jobs Creation Program, he should consult with Carl Gibson. After doing so, the President could show further wisdom by replacing Timothy Geitner with Mr.Gibson. If these initiatives become reality, I will venture to be so bold as to predict an uptick in employment that just might save the President's job in 2012.
 
 
+6 # RLF 2011-09-07 05:37
"While our marginal corporate tax rate of 35% is constantly criticized as one of the world's highest, corporate income taxes barely count for 1 percent of GDP, thanks to all the corporate gimmicks and loopholes in the US tax code"

The problem here is that the taxes affect the smallest businesses like mine, because the tax breaks are not available to us. Big business cannot compete with the mom and pop shop and so they make sure we are handicapped.
 
 
+5 # jwb110 2011-09-07 11:03
If the President would propose no taxes for people making under under $50,000 a year and the Republicans complained it would help to show their true colors. That would only be Federal Tax and the states could do what they want with the money generated. The real economic issue is the individual states. The Federal money dried up due to Bush policies and left the states in a lurch for infrastructure fixes, etc.
Maybe if the money is taken from the bottom them the boys in Congress will simply have to pull their collective belt in and find money in other ways. The other options are to stop all the wars, close all the military bases around the planet, let nations who need military help hire Blackwater, stop foreign aid, and get the country to manufacture something other than war machines and intellectual property rights.
 
 
+3 # Capn Canard 2011-09-08 07:03
jwb110, I have often suggested this to people and they REJECT it! I presume they formulate the idea that if they didn't pay taxes then the wealthy would fire them because the wealthy would pay the extra tax. lol... they are hypnotized and captured by the lies of the Right Wing. These people are truly that baffled by the bullsheet...
 
 
+3 # fredboy 2011-09-07 15:56
I like your analogy. It is indeed coagulating at the top, like algae, harming all life beneath it.
 

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