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Are you the Village Idiot?

Are you the Village Idiot?

 

            Sorry, but it’s just getting so damn absurd that someone has to stand up and scream, What the Hell is going on here? Has the corporate media, especially the pretend news network (FOX) managed to kill-off every last brain cell in the general public’s brain? This circus spectacle of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney attacking each other for being “crony capitalists” & “vulture capitalists” is too surreal for belief? I regularly listen to Democracy Now!, every morning on KBOO radio here in Portland, Oregon from 7 A.M. to 8 A.M. and one of the exposes on today’s show encapsulated what’s made our political system such a farce. This is it in a nutshell my friend:

 

            *Bain Capital is a firm that specializes in taking over other companies and supposedly putting them on track to success and then selling the companies off.

            *…typically, the money that’s used is borrowed money

            *and the borrowings are secured by the company that they’re buying.

            *what this does is create tremendous tax deductions for interest payments on the loan

            *the partnerships that do this are also offshore partnerships

            *they’re set up in the Cayman Islands

            *they’re set up there for three different reasons

            *there is no tax in the Cayman Islands

            *there’s a system of deferral of tax

            *as long as it’s kept offshore

            *there’s no disclosure (you can’t find out who the partners are (could be gangsters, Mafia, terrorists, etc. – my words)

            *there is no regulation (what the rich fear/hate more than anything)

            *Romney, like all his corporate crime partners, (my words) takes the income he gets for managing other people’s money…in the form of capital gains, because he’s allowed to have what’s called a “carried interest.”

            *and the carried interest pays a tax rate of 15 %

            *he doesn’t even pay Social Security Tax

            *we have a debate going on in the country about firing teachers, firemen, public officials, because we’ve got to balance the budget

            *and that debate is being led by Republicans

            *these Republicans are saying “Got to cut the budget, or else we sink”

            *Nobody, and this is both Republicans & Democrats, talk about the missing revenue

            *the truth is that the companies that have not paid taxes are the ones who lay people off

            *Bank of America , which made quite a bit of money last year—had a lot of that written off because of loss carryforwards, but still made a lot of money—actually got a refund from the government and, the day its numbers were announced, fired 30,000 people in a restructuring.

            *So, there’s a mythology here that somehow this system of subsidizing companies by giving them either zero or near zero tax rates through these various loopholes is going to create jobs (yeah, this has been the scam since Ronnie Reagan with his trickle-down economics and the record number of corporate mergers, corporate profit, and continuous employee layoffs)

            *And there’s now an effort underway, and it’s almost comical, to repatriate funds of the companies moved offshore through transfer pricing and other techniques

            *and they want to repatriate it at a 5% tax rate (60 Minutes did a story a few months ago & their reporter sympathetically said to the corporate rep, “so in effect, your funds are trapped overseas?”) yeah, poor bastards, hid their money off shore to avoid the 15% tax rate and they’re now working on being allowed to bring their spoils back at a 5% tax rate & I’m sure they’ll get it cuz they in effect, write the laws via their lobbyists

            *they argue that that is going to create jobs (what’s the old saying? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me) 

            *in fact, the companies who repatriated funds laid off thousands and thousands of people

            *(re: Romney’s tax return) what I can say is that he is paying less than the average middle-class Americans by far

            *and he’s doing that because all of his income comes in as capital gains

            *has he cheated? No. What he’s done is take full advantage of a system that has been structured the way it is because of political influence and a tremendous amount of lobbying money on Capitol Hill (note the recent story of “The Dirty 30” (30 of America’s top corporations that not only pay no taxes but spend millions in lobbying so they don’t have to pay any taxes and many actually get rebates in the millions and a few in the billions)

            *and that of course, is the real underlying problem that we confront. It’s legal

            *it is the result of an incredible amount of money being spent on lobbying

            *these companies are spending upwards of $2 billion a year in lobbying

            *that’s how they get the breaks

            *the ability to control and dictate what the tax laws will look like

            *right now, the average American is being asked to subsidize the corporations, pay a lot of tax, and not get any government services

            *what creates wealth is the infrastructure in America

            *what creates wealth is our educational system

            *these corporations, that take full advantage of it (the infrastructure), don’t want to help pay for it

            *but until we get our hands around the problem of campaign contributions, and until the public understands what’s going on… 

            *this business of saying the problem is that we’ve got to cut, we have to balance the budget, and not discussing this revenue issue, is nothing short of insane

            *”Corporations are people,” says Mitt Romney in one of his statements. They’re not.

            *corporations are a special privilege granted to a group of people so that they can invest money without the fear of losing it if the investment goes bad

            *what we have developed is a system of representation  that is by money talking and no taxation, which is absolutely the reverse of where this republic started

            *there’s been this drumbeat of “We’re broke, we’re broke, we’re broke. Fire everybody.

            *corporations like Google and Apple don’t pay U.S. federal tax

            *…people all over the country (are) spontaneously beginning to understand the issue and (are) demonstrating

 

            This sums it up nicely and the Republicans are becoming more & more blatant in their selfishness and declare that we i.e. all those who aren’t wealthy and aren’t corporate whores working in Congress, must pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps (of course this doesn’t apply to them cuz they need the bad government they rail against, to provide them with subsidies, tax breaks, etc.). And the Democrats are just as guilty except they throw the poor a bone or two now & then. So, again, Are you the Village Idiot?

 

            —Jack Blum, Tax Justice Network USA chair, a former top congressional investigator of financial crimes (from Democracy Now!  January 24, 2012)

http://www.democracynow.org/

            composed by Rob DeLoss, January 24, 2012

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