Sunday, October 30, 2016

Corporate America's extortion message to the American people: "Give us a pass on our tax avoidance, AND lower our taxes, or your children will continue to drink lead and suffer brain damage."

Above: Although this may look like a scene from "Our Gang," it's actually an example of how the New Deal prioritized children's health. The description reads, "Bowen Day Nursery School - Maxine and Thomas Still - children are inspected and given orange juice and cod-liver oil first thing in the morning." Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA ran nursery schools for the children of middle- and lower-income working parents. These nursery schools became more and more important as America's involvement in World War II increased. The men & women joining the armed services, or working in the defense industries, needed help with the care of their children. This photo was taken in Washington, DC, 1937. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

Part of Hillary Clinton's infrastructure plan is to "revitalize aging water infrastructure with public and private resources" ("Hillary Clinton Releases Infrastructure Plan," Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, December 4, 2015). This sounds good, especially since millions of children are drinking lead-contaminated water.  

But it appears that Hillary may be working with Senator Chuck Schumer (Corporate Democrat - NY), on a grand bargain with Corporate America, to lower the latter's tax rates in an effort to "bring the money home" to fund infrastructure work (see, e.g., "The Huge Corporate Tax Cut Hillary Clinton Doesn't Talk About," New Republic, October 21, 2016).

If this is true (and it sure seems plausible, given Hillary's love affair with Wall Street), then not only will Corporate America get away with their tax avoidance games, but they'll also be rewarded with a massive tax break. (Trump, of course, is no better - his tax plan is a massive giveaway to the rich.) 

David Dayen, writing in the New Republic describes exactly what is going on here: 

"Over the years, corporations have learned that they can just stash cash overseas until Congress grants them a 'tax holiday,' enabling them to return the profits at a much lower tax rate... In anticipation of Congress bailing them out again, corporations have hoarded $2.5 trillion overseas since 2004. Nearly two-thirds of the money is held by pharmaceutical and tech firms, who are adept at making it look like most of their profits are earned abroad... What we have here, basically, is a monetary hostage situation. Corporations won’t bring back the money unless they get the same sweet deal as in the past: repatriation at a tiny tax rate."

Corporate America is (among other things) holding the health of America's children hostage. Their extortion message is clear: "Give us a pass on our tax avoidance, and give us a big tax cut, or your children will continue to incur brain damage from drinking contaminated water."

Now, some people might say, "No, no, no, corporate executives and wealthy shareholders would never do such a thing! Sure they're greedy, but they're not that ruthless!" Oh, but they are. The truth is, many (not all) super-wealthy people see other people's children as nothing more than financial transactions. That's one reason why they used to enslave them - and also why they used to try to get as many of them as possible to become interested in cigarettes (see image below).

Until we start playing hardball with Corporate America, nothing will change. The health of our children will be in constant jeopardy, the climate will continue to warm, we'll continue bombing as many nations as it takes to bring profits to the military industrial complex, our infrastructure will continue to crumble, and the American people will have to deal with never-ending financial and pharmaceutical scams. The supposed "job creators" are not our friends. The sooner we learn that the better off our children will be.

Above: This old "toy" gives us a good idea of what Corporate America thinks of children. See "Remembering Candy Cigarettes, Big Tobacco's Most Evil Way to Turn Children Into Smokers," Mother Jones, October 29, 2016. Image courtesy of Robert Proctor and Mother Jones, used here for educational, non-commercial purposes.

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