Monday, April 14, 2008

Tax day

By Capt. Fogg

t's that time of year again, and unless you're one of the very different, very rich, your thoughts may run to the great disparity in income between our fellow Americans. It's no secret that a Guy like John Paulsen, the Hedge Fund manager will make three and a half billion, or that he has a whole world of tax breaks and loopholes that you don't. That would pay about a hundred thousand High School teachers or perhaps 50,000 Associate Professors. That would pay for a thousand supermodels like Gisele B√ľndchen.

It's no secret that entertainers like 50 Cent make over 30 million or that Oprah earns something like a quarter billion in a year or that the incomes of the upper, upper crust have been expanding significantly of late -- but it's not that I begrudge any of them who make all that money honestly. The root of my unease and for most of us, is that the earned incomes of the vast majority of Americans has been stagnating for at least a decade when inflation is factored in. My discontent has a bit to do with the fact that because of various loopholes, US corporations are subject to nearly the lowest tax burden of any nation; 61% payed no taxes at all at a time when corporate earnings have been trending up and up. That includes 39% of large corporations and that includes defense contractors like KBR who benefit hugely from no-bid Iraq War contracts and make use of Cayman Island shell corporations to avoid US taxes.

With personal bankruptcy and foreclosures multiplying like bacteria in a rotting apple, the news that the tax burden on individuals is climbing while the burden on corporations is declining is making many Americans reach for the bottle of Tums as they struggle to get those forms into the mail by tomorrow.

Perhaps instead of analyzing every word of Clinton and Obama: spending days and nights fantasizing who is the better bowler or about what he meant by this or she meant by that, we should remember what their opponent and his party means when we're signing that check.

Cross posted from Human Voices


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Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Amen Fogg.

12:00:00 PM  

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