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Profiteering in the name of patriotism

by  Institute for America's Future and Tax Justice (IAFTJ)


AFTJ at  http://www.ourfuture.org/,  30 October 2001 

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),  globalresearch.ca,  28 November 2001

In the days after the tragedy of September 11, while the families of firefighters and policemen were attending funerals, and the President was calling for prayers and sacrifice, lobbyists for GM, GE, IBM and other leading corporations were quietly approaching their friends in Congress, bearing a wish list with hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts and special favors.

This profiteering in the name of patriotism is on the verge of becoming law. Consider just two provisions in the so-called “stimulus” package passed by the House and now being considered in the Senate.

No Corporate Tax Forever? The Alternative Minimum Tax law requires hugely profitable corporations to pay at least some federal income tax each year, no matter how many loopholes they can exploit. Repealing the law means some of these multinational companies will be able to pay little or nothing in U.S. income tax forever.

And even that’s not enough. The companies will get full refunds of all the Alternative Minimum Tax they’ve paid for the last 15 years! That’s a $833 million taxpayer giveaway to GM, $1 billion to Ford, $1.4 billion to IBM, and $671 million to GE.

Hiding Profits Overseas. Another unbelievable provision is the $21 billion tax break that permits banks and other lenders (including the financial services divisions of GM and GE) to shelter These corporations would receive rebate checks for 15 years’ worth of federal income tax under the “stimulus” plan approved by the House.

Whatever Happened To Democracy? Where does the ordinary citizen fit in this continuing politics that puts the interests of powerful corporations first? And why choose this time of economic uncertainty to introduce a massive personal tax cut for the very wealthiest Americans, which could lead us into years of deficits as far as the eye can see?

Instead of padding the profits of corporate war profiteers, or cutting taxes for those who don’t even need it, we should be looking at a real stimulus program, one that begins with decent unemployment benefits and health insurance for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who’ve been displaced since the events of September 11.

This approach would help jumpstart the economy, by quickly putting money into the hands of people who will spend it, not hoard it, and would end as soon as they returned to work.

We must not allow the war profiteers to win permanent tax breaks by exploiting our national emergency, grabbing now what they could never get through open political debate in peacetime.

Don’t let these giveaways stand.

IBM $1.4 billion rebate Ford $1 billion rebate GM $833 million rebate GE $671 million rebate Texas Utilities $608 million rebate Daimler-Chrysler $600 million rebate ChevronTexaco $572 million rebate United Airlines $371 million rebate Enron $254 million rebate Phillips Petroleum $241 million rebate American Airlines $184 million rebate IMC Global $155 million rebate Comdisco $144 million rebate CMS Energy $136 million rebate Kmart $102 million rebate

Source: Citizens For Tax Justice, from corporate annual reports. their U.S. profits from taxation by shifting them, on paper, to corrupt foreign tax havens (the same places where terrorists and drug dealers hide their money).

Copyright,  AFTJ  2001. For fair use only

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