The Privileged Perspective
Speaking Power to Truth
Speaking Power to Truth
Friday, September 24, 2004
Corporate Tax Study Proves Bush is Billionaire Buddy
Forgive the corny title, but I wax nostalgic when reminded of the many benefits we Billionaires profit from the Bush administration. Those exhausting worker bees have been at it again- providing us with all the reasons we should maintain the status quo. "Corporate Taxes in the Bush Years," a proud testament to Bushy Billionaire allegiance, was released by the non-profit research and advocacy groups Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The study looks at 275 of the Fortune 500 companies during the 2001-2003 period, using data from publicly available regulatory filings.
Report highlights include:
*Over past three years, the 275 Fortune 500 companies evaluated earned $1.1 trillion pretax; but only had to report $557 billion to the IRS!
*Of those 275, 82 companies paid NO corporate income taxes in at least one of the three years looked at! (Including one formerly headed by Treasury Secretary John Snow.)
*Corporate taxes as a share of the national economy are at their lowest sustained level since World War II!
Billionaires Give Huzzahs as Congress Expands Tax Cuts
Yesterday a mighty cheer resounded from the jewel-encrusted throats of plutocrats across the land as the US congress pushed through yet another milestone in making this great nation a land where protecting the pursuit of wealth is always the highest priority. They passed tax cuts for private individuals as well as businesses, simultaneously giving our legions of accountants new ways to put their skills to work.These cuts, as any Billionaire worth his or her salt knows, are some of the pillars that made the American government a body of, by, and for the rich, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Naturally, the quaking unwashed of the opposition normally tries to hinder the passage of such laws in congress, but this time they were cowed by the power of the electorate in its desire to emulate its heroes and role models, the incredibly wealthy. The party bosses kowtowed and gave their thralls free rein to pass these cuts, and as a result, we Billionaires came out on top once again. Truly, this is the best democracy money can buy, and these cuts will help ensure that those of us who can afford it will be able to keep all the democracy to ourselves in the years to come. Huzzah!
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
SOS and Mayday, my dears! We've all been so busy watching Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne pummel clapboard homes and mud huts (has no one in Haiti heard of homeowner's insurance?) that we've let an even more sinister storm gather under our patrician, sculpted noses. Down Gulf Coast way it may be Hurricane Season, but it's Lawsuit Season in the civilized world.
Exhibit A: Executives from Enron and Merrill Lynch are on trial for conspiracy and wire fraud. The U.S. District Court has two martyred gentlemen from the House of Lay and four brave souls from the #2 Bush contributor riding the defendant's bench over a phony sale to add $12 million of profit to Enron's ledgers. The details involve deadly boring minutiae re: three barges off the Nigerian coast, but the point is, it was genius accounting and something for which all profit-reaping power brokers should be proud. Alas, they're now left to tell that to the judge.
In Exhibit B-- sit down, folks-- Big Tobacco could go down! The bedrock of any serious Republican politician's bankroll is also under fire from the Feds in the largest civil racketeering trial in our history, charging tobacco cos. of colluding for five decades to hide smoking's health risks, marketing directly to teenagers and lying by suggesting the relative safety of "light" cigarettes. Can we please get past this issue, already? It's not like the boxes don't tell you they're bad-- is it Joe Camel's fault he's more compelling than a boring white text box yammering about fetal birth weight?
To complete the trifecta, top mortgage firm Fannie Mae is in trouble with the S.E.C. for suspicious (read: "innovative") accounting practices, and this trouble has sent stock prices a-tumbling. Luckily, Fannie Mae gives as much to Dems as the Party of Right, but the clear fact remains: a blow to Big Business is a blow to the Forces of Bush. And that, angels, is a blow to you and me.
So forget sending checks to the Red Cross-- screw the food and water shortages in remote, dirty outposts-- send a case of San Pellegrino to a court-bound corporate friend. There but for the grace of God, go we.