We’re Not Broke, pure and simple. Pfizer has no reported profits in the USA, but record profits on the Wall Street stock exchange. This is very strange, given that Pfizer sells product in the USA. This phenomenon occurs while someone you know paid their taxes, then was laid off. Our leaders in both of the only two parties allowed at the table, take their campaign cash, and tell We The (actual, human) People: “We’re broke.” Think about that, as you watch this free video, called “We’re Not Broke”:
GE, Chevron, ExxonMobile, Bank of America, Google and other corporations named herein contribute significantly to the campaigns of our elected officials. That’s how they skate free on $70B per year of tax obligation. The crushing of We The People is summarized from “We’re Not Broke”:
At 18 minutes in, we are introduced to the enablers: “If there were tax certainty, the income defense industry would collapse.” This income defense industry drafts tax legislation, which is common legislative procedure. They are allowed to do this (and you and I are not) because they have purchased the 2-party duopoly of our democratic republican government, and co-opted it with a small and shrinking oligarchy.
At 21:55 minutes, it is revealed that Google’s “low taxes are responsible for almost a quarter of its profits. If you take Bermuda (home of ‘Google Overseas”) out of the equation, $100 gets knocked off Googles share price.” FaceBook is presently setting up an identical scheme, free and clear, all 100% above-board.
At 31:30 minutes, we watch every, single 2012 Republican Primary candidate says they would turn down a 10:1 spending cuts to tax increase deal. Warren Buffet, the 2nd richest man in America says “when they take that attitude, they are really saying ‘the country be damned, I want to win this Primary.'” Why?
At 35:30 minutes, industry experts tell us what we’ve known for decades: “We’ve “allowed the group paying corporate taxes to decide what the rules are by buying politicians, or renting them, through the campaign process.” “If you live in Washington, you know that the multinationals pretty much own Congress.” “Congress is totally motivated and controlled by money.”
At 40:45 minutes, Bill O’Reilly asks Lou Dobbs why he pays millions in taxes, while GE pays nothing. Dobbs explains: “You’ve got to spend more, not only on finding tax loopholes, Bill. You’ve got to do what GE does: you’ve got to spend a small fortune creating those tax loopholes. Corporations buy, with $4B a year, representation that you and I and our fellow citizens can’t buy in Washington.”
We accept this, while also working harder for less, and bearing “austerity measures”, which cut the services we pay for. How much longer we do so remains to be seen.
At 53 minutes, we review the now famous 2004 tax amnesty. This scam allowed these criminals to “repatriate” profits sheltered overseas. Promoted as ‘Jobs Creation’, it did nothing of the sort. It resulted in Pfizer firing thousands of workers, using that windfall to buy back its own stock, driving up the price of that stock, making the options owned by the executives more valuable. Citigroup “repatriated” $3.2B during this giveaway, which Bob Lutz tells us “did not stimulate the economy in any meaningful way.” Apple is currently lobbying for an exact replay of this scam.
At 57 minutes, a “territorial tax system” is being proposed. Unlike other nations’ attempts at uniform and fair taxation, this system will be unique to the US and its unique for-profit campaign financings. US territorial taxation would fully and permanently exempt this sheltered money from any US taxes. The resulting scenario is then compared to the austerity measures currently crushing the infrastructures and middle classes in Ireland and the UK.
At 1 hour, 3:45 minutes, we see the competitive disadvantage to small and local businesses who can’t afford lobbyists to write the shelters, to partake of the tax shelters available, and campaign bribery needed to enter the corruption. How much is needed to partake? A hell of a lot.
At 1:05:30, Lockheed Martin paid $12.6B for lobbying in 2010. This is too staggering a sum for any small business (like mine, for example) to fork over. But a bargain ROI that a small business could never achieve through hard work, savings, innovation and all the other stuff we diligently aspire to, is realized: Lockheed’s 2010 profits: $3.8B, its Fed tax paid: only 15.5% (less than my family’s). Lockheed was FAR less successful at mastering this scam than GE, though. While “most of their income is from the Federal government,” “they are hiding that money offshore to keep from paying taxes.” How much of your money are they and similar companies hiding (therefore, stealing) from you?
At 1:06:07, GE has received $11B in US DoD contracts, just since 2006. GE has $94B in untaxed offshore profits. Similar balance sheets are shown for CAT, GM and Verizon.
At 1:09:30, a solution is possible: “What is legal is not necessarily what’s right.” “We only make progress when people demand it.” Amen. Let’s quit screwing around and demand it.
Most of us have been brainwashed into thinking that anything that opposes the hoarding of wealth by the small and shrinking Political Class is unpatriotic. So we eat, breath and drink poisons while working longer for less, instead of exercising our sovereign authority to tell fictitious corporate entities to protect us and pay their share if they wish to continue to be sanctioned by We The People.
The podcast concludes with the #Occupy and similar movements. Those movements, of, by and for We The People have brought up this subject that “neither party would address” prior to their existence. Let’s “take it to the streets”. We must break the chain of private, for-profit, non-human money from the selection of our executives, legislators and judges…before it bankrupts us.
Dec 6, 2013 UPDATE:
Today, I tweeted highlights, @stevenwtodd, via @GSC_US, of an excellent analysis on many of these issues. Therein, the Green Shadow Cabinet shows that US Could Raise $1 trillion per year. It would only have to institute 8 Corporate Tax Reform Proposals. It would require no increase to any human citizen’s taxes, nor decrease to our services. It would only require saying no to corporate campaign donors. The analysis is here:
Corporate Taxes As Share of Total Federal Revenues:
1954 = 32%
2012 = 9.8%
U.S. Corporate Pre-Tax Profits:
2007 (record at peak of the housing-finance bubble) = $1,748
2012 = $2,190
US bank deposits currently at a record high = $10.6T
US bank loans are currently at a record low = $7.58T
The $10 Trillion U.S. Corporate Cash Hoard leads to The Corporate State Income Tax Race to the Bottom
Apple last year avoided $9 billion in US taxes by shuffling foreign earned profits through Ireland, the Netherlands, and Bermuda. @Google, others: similar stunts.
“US Multinational Corporations Pay the Highest Rates in the World” and other Corporate Tax Myths
Nov. 5, 2014 UPDATE:
Pepsi, Coach, IKEA, Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Beck’s hide profit made elsewhere from taxes rightly due.
Leaked Docs Expose More Than 340 Companies’ Tax Schemes In Luxembourg
Feb 20, 2015 UPDATE – Finally, One (1) US Senator Notices!
According to “Legalized Tax Fraud: How Top US Corporations Continue to Profit Through Offshore Tax Havens: A Report by Budget Committee Ranking Member Bernie Sanders,” dated February 18, 2015 (The Report):
The Business Roundtable (BRT), a coalition of CEOs from 201 of America’s biggest companies, support raising the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare to 70, cutting Social Security benefits, lowering the corporate tax rate, and adopting a “territorial” tax system that exempts the offshore profits of American corporations from U.S. taxes.
While this sounds fiscally proactive, it is actually mere hypocrisy. The Report goes on to reveal that:
On hundred eleven (111) of 201 Business Roundtable members – includes GE, Boeing, Duke Energy and Verizon – paid nothing in federal income tax in recent years, AND received refunds from the IRS.
Business Roundtable members are collectively holding more than $1 trillion in profits in offshore tax haven countries where money is not subject to U.S. taxes.
Oct 7, 2015 UPDATE – U.S. companies are hoarding more cash overseas than the GDP of India.
Per http://miccheck.mic.com today: “The Public Interest Research Group and Citizens for Tax Justice discovered that huge companies like Apple, Microsoft and General Electric have stashed $2.1 trillion with one goal in mind: tax evasion. A chunk of money that size would generate about $620 billion in taxes if it were repatriated to the U.S. That’s enough money to wipe out the nation’s federal budget deficit, and then some.”
March 6, 2016 UPDATE – Comparisons to “Heist”
We can only keep putting the pieces together to inform the historic record at this point. Hopefully the shame of that brings enough people out to reject our #BrokenSystem. Otherwise, I am not at all hopeful that we can bloodlessly do so.
“We’re Not Broke” seems like a ready-made prequel to “Heist”.
Heist is based on a memo from Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell “Attack on American Free Enterprise System”. It was to his friend Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., Chair of the Education Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Here is the memo and some background:
Here is an article about it:
Here is a movie about it, called Heist: