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Gibson writes: "Ever since Brown vs. Board of Education, there has been a coordinated right-wing attack on free education. The latest plot is an attempt to close public schools and turn them into low-performing, for-profit charter schools funded by Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers."

Teachers and community groups in Chicago are demanding a moratorium on school closings. Ten were arrested in a sit-in at the mayor's office, over 100 arrested in other protests. (photo: Sarah-Ji)
Teachers and community groups in Chicago are demanding a moratorium on school closings. Ten were arrested in a sit-in at the mayor's office, over 100 arrested in other protests. (photo: Sarah-Ji)

Close Corporate Tax Loopholes, Not Public Schools

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

28 March 13


f you're in a canoe that's got a hole letting in water, do you throw the other passenger overboard who is helping you row, or do you just patch the hole and keep rowing?

Chicago Public Schools is facing a $1 billion deficit. The corporate media would like you to believe it's due to excessive spending and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to close more than 50 schools, most of them in low-income neighborhoods, is the only solution. But the state of Illinois loses $4.8 billion annually in federal tax dollars due to corporate tax loopholes that shift profits overseas. It doesn't take a math genius to see that simply closing these excessive loopholes would save the schools that so many kids in Chicago depend upon for their education.

These corporate tax loopholes cost us over $100 billion a year in federal tax dollars, which results in state and local budget cuts and tax hikes due to a decreased allocation of federal funds. The corporations most known for complex offshore tax avoidance schemes get these loopholes by spending millions on hiring armies of lobbyists and in campaign donations to chairmen and ranking members of tax-writing committees in Congress.

The lobbyists submit draft paragraphs of new gimmicks and loopholes to those committees. The campaign donations continue to flow toward re-election campaigns with the understanding that those who are making the donations get what they want out of their sponsored politicians. Thanks to this corrupt process, the tax code grows longer and more complex year after year, the most recent version topping out at roughly 72,000 pages.

There is already legislation on the books in both the House and Senate to close most of these loopholes and rein in roughly $60 billion a year. A small sales tax on Wall Street transactions would raise roughly $150 billion a year, more than enough to offset the cuts that are closing 50 schools. These aren't radical solutions – they're based on the simple premise that if you hire Americans, sell to Americans, use American public services and infrastructure and make the bulk of your profits in America, you should pay the American corporate tax rate of 35%.

Ever since Brown vs. Board of Education, there has been a coordinated right-wing attack on free education. The latest plot is an attempt to close public schools and turn them into low-performing, for-profit charter schools funded by Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers. The attempts to do this are disguised as “reform,” but are really little more than an effort to bust teachers' unions and cede public education over to the authority of big corporations.

Public schools to educate our children aren't a burden to the state, they're an investment. If you want more kids to grow up into responsible, successful adults who contribute to our society, and if you want lower crime rates and prison populations, investing in good public education makes sense. We need our kids to help row the canoe down the river, not throw them out while ignoring the gaping hole in the boat. It's time to stop making our kids pay for their crisis.

Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

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. your social media marketing partner


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+25 # DPM 2013-03-28 12:15
"Starve" the public schools, that helped build a great country and promote corporate directed charter schools that will turn out the required number of "wage slaves" on which big business depends and politicians desire.
+33 # Barbara K 2013-03-28 12:34
We have a right to free education. The rightwingers just think THEY should be able to bleed every dollar they can out of us. There is no reason for privatizing schools except to make money for them. The teachers in these schools are not even certified or real teachers. We need to stop this crap. They are just keeping the poor down; and I suppose that is their goal anyway. We need to get serious about getting these rightwingers out of our governments and out of the decisions that affect the rest of us.

+2 # Annalois 2013-03-31 11:55
Yes when Chicago was founded by a black man and most inventions we use today are by black Americans.
Oh chicago means "stinky onions"
+29 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-03-28 13:25
Remember that these "reforms" to schools also teach "what to think", i.e. question climate change, creationism, etc. instead of "how to think". It sets up docile citizens and good workers for the corporations and our government to control. Wake up America.
+10 # Nominae 2013-03-29 07:56
Remember that these "reforms" to schools also teach "what to think", i.e. question climate change, creationism, etc. instead of "how to think". It sets up docile citizens and good workers for the corporations and our government to control. Wake up America.

Totally correct. That is why Corporations are backing what is, properly speaking, nothing more than INDOCTRINATION, and why they are aggressively opposed to anything hinting of actual EDUCATION !

The Texas School Board (one of only two outlets in the entire country that determines what will or will not appear in U.S. Public School Textbooks, El-Hi), has come out PUBLICLY announcing it's objection to allowing Public Schools to teach anything remotely resembling CRITICAL THINKING !

And their "rationale", (if we can even dignify it with *that* label) is that proficiency in Critical Thinking leads to children who argue with, and do *not* properly respect their parents, and who likewise later do not automatically kow tow to the police.

I am not making this up. I can certainly see why a reader would THINK so, (even HOPE so), but it is all, unfortunately, google-able.

This is obviously just another step in the campaign that Pablo Diablo mentions designed to "dumb down" America to the degree that the Corporations deem necessary to make people serviceable "working drones", but nothing better. Ever.
+9 # cmp 2013-03-28 13:54
I thought Chicago was supposed to be one of the major International hubs for the unsustainable but "utopian corporate globalization?"

Johnson, opened Tijuana 48 years ago. They still don't have running water, electricity, sanitary systems, decent housing (mostly dirt floors) or a living wage, for their "global" workforce..

The money hoarders (and their properties of media & politicians) have been using the legal term "Export Processing Zone" religiously for 50 years. Ain't it funny, how they haven't ever, used that term with us?

For 50 years, the word "tariff" has been a much dirtier word than "taxes." So much so, that the money hoarders don't even allow it in our vocabulary. It's hidden in their Free Trade Agreements where you & I, ain't suppose to read it.

Maybe, we could educate our kids, by educating our elected Representatives (yes, still their property) that the word "tariff" is still in the Constitution; as of the last time we checked...
+32 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2013-03-28 14:07
We don't want OUR government out of our lIves — WE WANT CORPORATIONS OUT OF OUR GOVERNMENT.
+5 # m... 2013-03-29 22:57
Great Comment.

Its insane how for 30 years, so many Americans have been led to despise a Government of, by and for ourselves and convinced to dismantle OUR Government and replace it with one evermore under Corporate Control run by Corporate Boards beholden EXCLUSIVELY to their GLOBAL Shareholders before all else.
We've entered Bizzarro World where every day, places like Fux Snooze efforts and manages to stir the 'patriotic' hearts and minds of millions of hard working Americans into demanding never ending Government dismantling, thus more Corporatacracy and thus-- less and less Government of Ourselves.
It continues unabated and for no other reason at this point than because its all been so well 'framed' in the minds of millions as the ONLY pathway to greater liberty, freedom and prosperity for All, even in the face of absolute economic, social and national security catastrophe because of it.
Its evolved to become like a second nature for many to accept that OUR Government is 'evil' and must therefor, always and forever, be torn apart for the sake of 'Greater Freedom equals better Business Opportunities' regardless of actual outcomes, even as Privatized Government delivers less and cost more than ever, our infrastructure has fallen apart, the middle class is crumbling, homelessness is now common, and food, water and drugs are less safe and-- that we live in a growing Corporate run National Security State with Less Freedom...!
0 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2013-03-31 20:42
And the "government is bad' trope is perpetrated by the same people who lied us into Iraq, who couldn't see financial disaster coming in 2008, who invented the "death panels" idiocy, etc. — yet the willingly deluded still buy into it.
+9 # da gaf 2013-03-28 15:40
no one punishes the greedy action of the rich..they are above anyone this sickness stays as it is..many suffer and are continually stepped on..and that is the way the greedy sub-human want it.
+11 # Sweet Pea 2013-03-28 16:45
My old grandmother who was born in 1872, was a firm beliver of good education. She often said that anyone who didn't learn to read, write, and cipher was doomed to be the slave of another man.
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 13:37
"Sweet Pea said, My old grandmother who was born in 1872, was a firm believer of good education. She often said that anyone who didn't learn to read, write and cipher was doomed to be the slave of another man.
That's why the slave owners MADE it ILLEGAL to teach slaves to read... and they severely punished people if they did.
+11 # reiverpacific 2013-03-28 17:27
The last thing the status-quo wants is an educated grassroots that asks questions, demands rationality, questions leaders and makes them accountable to both history and the present for the good of the future.
They like the way it's going just fine, the owner-media creating an opiated mass who have no opinions but what they get from the flick'rin' big-screen "home entertainment" or commercial radio in their cars or big trucks and are just about literate enough to read the supermarket tabloids while they chew on their Mickey D's or Pizza Hut mush, sip super-sized sugar-pop and buy what they're told.
End of story.
+10 # giraffee2012 2013-03-28 17:46
Call your congress people about this many many times. I threaten my GOP rep with a NO VOTE and with a CAMPAIGN against him if I find he votes for something (like this) that I'm totally against. Their votes are online so you don't have to ask them "how they voted"

As others here have said - vote the "creeps" out!
0 # kumquat 2013-03-31 13:48
Vote the creeps out? Why not put their treasonous butts in (A REAL) prison where they actually do belong... oh yeah... we're at war all over the place, so I guess they can be hanged for their treasons, lies and for the murder of people by bombs over there and by slow starvation here at home.... this is what the dumbing down of America has been all about! THX to Reagan and Bush for that. They laid the groundwork for what Bush lite and Cheney - son of evil, were able to destroy so much of AMERICA so completely during their stolen administration of lies and wars of theft and aggression - profiting, NOT the people - but their globe-owning masters who keep saying they need to kill off over 2 BILLION of us "empty mouths.
+12 # Vardoz 2013-03-28 19:47
When a nation robs it's people of their most precious civil liberties, builds the biggest prison system in the world, spies on everything that all the citizens are doing and puts corporations in charge, we should expect a lot of abuse and trouble. There will be no prosperity for the 99% in this climate. Everything we value is being assaults. This is a full scale economic war. This combination threatens the lives of the majority of American citizens. As we are being controlled and also being economically threatened and impoverished. Lack of jobs that are our life support system, stagnant wages in the face of the soaring cost of living, the destruction of our ecuscational system, lack of vital services as our govt wages expensive wars and all gains continue to go to the top as they continue to outsource jobs paints a grim picture indeed. We are in the midst of a dangerous, aggressive and destructive corporate takeover aided by reps that don't give a damn about us. It is a travesty beyond words and only more devastation awaits us down the road.Assaulting our educational system is just one part of the total agenda.
+6 # m... 2013-03-28 20:37
I have questions. Perhaps they even deserve attempts at answers.

With a corrupting, collective BIG-BIZ/CORPORA TE LOBBY now running what is supposed to be OUR Government (and most Governments), and with a very few CorpoConglomera tes now in full ownership-contr ol of almost all Media Enterprises in America (and thus, the controllers-man ipulators-users of most of the pipelines for so called 'Free' Speech and what is supposed to be America's 'Free' Press) who believes We the People have any 'Power and Influence' left anywhere on this American-Global Greed Train to Greater-Shareholder-Profit-Paradigmville?
Who sees anyway to stop it, especially through America's Two Party-Corporate Media Political Reality?
Who sees any way forward except the path We are now on? Are We going all the way through to the 'Other Side' to wherever/howeve r and all that might mean for everyone everywhere on Planet Earth Inc.?
No matter what happens. No matter how disastrous the known and feared-to-come outcomes. No matter how far the decline. No matter how in-you-face corrupt. No matter how high the mountains of bullshit. No matter HOW AWARE many many millions of People seem to be-> IT continues unabated.
Democracy seems as thin as tv/computer screens. The Republic is crumbling. The Divisive-for-pr ofit Media Talkingheads laugh all the way to the Bank. Politicians continue to combover and soundbite-away. GLOBALLY, Millions and Millions have less everyday.
-2 # RLF 2013-03-29 05:34
Obama and his buddy Raum never saw a corporate giveaway they didn't love and sign up for. Corporate whore nation.
+3 # JAM 2013-03-30 08:47
This all ties in with the NRA. We starve the government so we will no longer be able to provide to police our society. The wealthy will employ private protection and live in gated communities. Firearms will be necessary in an age of anarchy.

With privatization in education, educators see their wages skimmed off by the "owners" and those to be educated are fed only the information the owners want them to have. This does not include the ability to think, but only to fill in tests.

I am almost 70 and I do not hold much hope for this nation on its present course.
+4 # nanditanarain 2013-03-31 00:05
A must read for all students and teachers in India, who have been at the receiving end of similar policies being thrust on us by the Indian Govt, which is pushing Higher Education Bills to pave the way for our public funded Universities and Colleges to be handed over to the corporate sector, both domestic and foreign(read American) for profiteering. The article shows us where we're heading and helps us to understand that the mindless destruction of quality that is taking place in our university is not just "collateral damage" in the period of transition from public funding to private management. For agents of the international corporate mafia, carefully placed in positions of leadership in Government as well as Universities, the destruction of quality is an objective in itself. Profit for the few goes hand-in-hand with the intellectual debilitation of the populace, crippling the latter's ability to question and challenge policies laid down by the former.Our solidarity with friends in the US who have been suffering. Sadly, we in India, will be even more severely affected,being a much more unequal society. For 99% of Indians, public funded education is the only tool of empowerment.Our public-funded Universities, such as Delhi University were set up by pioneers like Dr.Radhakrishna n to "bring about genuine democracy in India". No wonder that these are now being vandalised and dismantled at the behest of those whose hegemony would be threatened by people's empowerment.

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