If we listened to, or watched, corporate media, we heard a giant sigh of relief when the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ was narrowly averted. But as we’ve said, the whole shebang was a congressional creation; a work of political theatre and false alarm to protect those at the very top – the wealthy (and super wealthy).
What is lost here is that all the hyped rap about taxes, especially on businesses, is that they’ve never had it so good.
Back in the 1940s, do you know what the corporate tax rate was? 50%. 50%!
In recent years it’s hovered under 10%, but in fact, many corporations pay nothing. Zero.
That’s because of what writer Mark Zepezeuer calls “wealthfare” – as in welfare for the wealthy.
In his 2004 book, Take the Rich Off Welfare, (South End Press) he documents hundreds of cases where corporations buy off politicians, write their own laws, and if all else fails, flee to the Cayman Islands, where millions of dollars get written off of their tax bills.
Zepezauer, writing almost a decade ago, documented the fact that almost 600 banks opened up fake offices in the Caymans, and over 30,000 companies!
Why? To create tax write-offs. Simple.
“There is an estimated $3 trillion in US assets parked in offshore bank accounts. Some $800 billion of that is in the Cayman Islands alone. The Caymans are….a financial center to rival New York, London, and Frankfurt. Bermuda has helped formerly American companies avoid significant chunks of taxes. Tyco International cut its tax bill by $400 million. Ingersoll-Rand ducked out on $40 million.”*
There is a fiscal crisis in America-but it’s because of decades of policy of cutting taxes and the doctrine of unbridled deregulation.
This was made possible by corporations renting (or buying) politicians.
It has wrecked state and federal budgets.
In other words, it has worked just as they planned it would.