I guess the idea is – well, there is no idea, save what the Koch brothers put in their heads.
From Amanda Turkel at Huff Post:
Tea Partiers: Corporations Shouldn’t Have To Pay Taxes
Tea Party protesters who showed up in Madison on Saturday want to help Wisconsin dig out of its fiscal hole, but they don’t think that corporations should have to chip in.
Gov. Scott Walker (R) has argued that his proposal to strip public employees of virtually all of their collective bargaining rights is necessary in order to deal with the state’s tough economic situation.
But there is a source of revenue the state isn’t tapping that could likely be far more lucrative.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, two-thirds of corporations in the state pay no taxes, and the share of corporate tax revenue funding the state government has fallen by half since 1981.
Tea Party protesters have been pretty much completely absent from the protests in Madison all week long, but today they were out in force (although still vastly outnumbered by anti-Walker protesters). Many of them pointed out — and even carried signs underscoring the point — that they had jobs they couldn’t walk away from during the week to come out and protest, as many teachers had done for the past few days.
The Huffington Post asked some of these Tea Partiers if they thought corporations should have to pay taxes in order to help the state financially. All were unaware that this was the case, but they nevertheless said unions were a bigger problem.
“Corporations shouldn’t pay taxes at all. That’s a terrible idea,” said Jay from LaCrosse, who identified as a libertarian and said that businesses would just raise prices and relocate to China if they faced higher taxes.
“No, they pay their taxes. They pay their taxes,” said John from Milwaukee, when The Huffington Post asked if it was fair that he was paying taxes and corporations weren’t.
Virginia from Ogema said Democrats needed to stop blaming President Bush and corporations for all their problems.
[Two notes; “Virginia from Ogema” must be pathologically and terminally stupid. All of our problems DID stem from Bush and the neocons and the corporations. Also: see this on how Walker created his own deficit in order to go after the public workers’ unions: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/wisconsin-gov-walker-ginned-up-budget-shortfall-to-undercut-worker-rights.php ]
Okay, let’s do some reality checking here. It’s not only in Wisconsin; 2 out of every 3 US corporations paid no (zero) federal income tax from 1998 to 2009. We may have a high corporate tax rate on paper, but the fact is that our corporations benefit from massive loopholes and write-offs, and stash funds in offshore accounts (where they don’t have to suffer taxation on the money); they mostly do not pay taxes. At all. Of the ones that do end up paying taxes, the average rate that they pay is two to three per cent.
In 2009, GE generated 10.3 billion in pretax income but ended up owing nothing (zero) to the US government in the way of taxes. In fact, it got a tax benefit of 1.1 billion. GE Capital is a shadow banking corporation and was not only one of the causative factors in the financial meltdown, but also received a bailout under the TARP program. Just as a reminder, the head of GE, Jeffry Immelt, is Obama’s new economic adviser.
In 2009, Exxon reported a record 45.2 billion profit, but paid no (still means zero) taxes to the IRS. It got a refund, in fact. Exxon and other large oil companies receive federal subsidies each year; i.e., your tax money goes to them to do research or something, although it has never been fully explained why the companies that make the most profits in the history of the universe need government subsidies.
I guess the thinking of the teabaggers is that if we levy taxes on corporations, they will simply raise the prices of their products to consumers. This is the Jamie Dimon threat taken to heart: if Obama were to levy a special tax on banks to recoup bailout costs, the banks would just “pass it on to the consumer”, he warned. Hmmm. Why would they do that, I wonder? Because they are greedy and they are allowed to, that’s why. Because they just want to. But think about it. Company earns money from selling product. Out of the money earned, they make new product, pay salaries, pay for the expenses of running the business, advertise said product, etc. Then they have money left over. This is their profit. If they make a profit, why should they need to raise prices? They are already making a profit on the product. Now, based on this profit, they are supposed to pay taxes. What else would they do with the profit? They could invest in new locations or products or perhaps pay huge bonuses to the management staff. So let’s say the company has found a way to skirt the tax bill. A ton of this excess cash goes to bonuses. But we tax the incomes of high wage earners, and so we would theoretically be collecting Uncle Sam’s share that way, right?
Well, not so much. Thanks to the Bush tax cuts, the tax rates on the wealthy are at their lowest in 80 years. As a matter of fact, tax rates on the wealthy are the lowest they’ve been since the 1920’s, right before the Great Depression, when the highest earners were taxed at 25 %.
From 1945 – 1963, the top tax rate was over 90 %.
In the mid-60’s to mid-70’s, the rate dropped to 70 %.
By 1982, the rate dropped again, to 50 %.
In 2001, Bush lowered the rate to 39.1 %.
Right now, the tax rate on the wealthiest people in the nation is about 35 %.
Economists are now beginning to look at income disparity as a driving force in recessions and depressions. Right now, we have the highest poor to rich disparity we have ever had in this country. Ever. Including the Great Depression.
Back to the Wisconsin austerity measures, for that is what they are; Rick Ungar at Forbes points out the the Koch brothers are behind the effort to end public unions. [see: blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/02/18/koch-brothers-behind-wisconsin-efforts-to-kill-public-unions/]
What a stunning surprise! Why the teabaggers do not understand that they are being used to do the dirty work for people like the Koch brothers will always be a mystery.
The neocons, for that is what these newly elected Tea Partiers and Repubs are, will go after the teabaggers and the rest of us next. They don’t want to just bust the unions – they want it all. An end to public education, equal rights, minimum wages, community health clinics, public parks, home ownership save for strictly controlled circumstances, etc. There is even a movement amongst some of the new teabag House members to bring back the time when only the landed gentry voted. Apparently, according to this group, a strict interpretation of the “Founders’ Intentions” requires that only men who own property are capable of the Gravitas, Intellectual Reasoning, and Moral Compunction needed to earn the right to vote. Strictly speaking, of course, this would leave out women and minorities (the Founders did not grant them the vote either) as well as all the people who rent their housing.
Blows my mind that the teabaggers help them, that they are incapable of seeing that every single thing they are willing to give up for their neighbors, they give up for themselves. The teabaggers are helping them, either out of completely mind-blowing ignorance or sheer maliciousness, I’m not sure which. It is very strange how they went from being anti-corporate bailout to being anti-American worker all of a sudden, isn’t it? What do they think will happen? What the fuck do they think will happen? The wealthy and the big corporations will take it ALL, every bit – and these dumb shits are lining up to hand it over. Utterly astounding.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes of all time from one who understood it just a little too late:
“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.” – Red Cloud, Lakota chief.