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October 23, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Republicans are OK with this?

Another view?

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It cannot be disputed that a large number of “American” corporations pay little to no income taxes and some get large tax refunds as well.

What is wrong with this picture? They don’t pay taxes and most of their employees are located outside the U.S. What do they contribute to the U.S. and its economy and growth? How many American workers do they employ? Are these the Republicans’ so-called job creators?

These corporations make billions in profits and have offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes.

Why don’t they move their corporate headquarters to another country?

The corporations are household names, such as Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, General Electric, Verizon, Honeywell International, Merck, Corning, Boeing, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Caterpillar, Cisco Systems and Dow Chemical.

Are they trying to hold the U.S. tax system hostage? It sounds just like the Bush multinational corporation’s tax holiday in 2004 when they saved $312 billion and we got cheated.

Republican voters are OK with these corporate tactics, while at the same time these voters want people earning $10,000 a year to pay taxes.

These same voters want Medicare and Social Security cuts for the elderly. These same voters want massive cuts to programs aiding the poor and disabled.

I can’t believe all Republican voters are wealthy, don’t need Medicare or Social Security.

Remember: The tax refunds to the corporations that pay no taxes come out of the income taxes the Republican voters pay. They’re OK with that. Why?

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  1. One problem with big government is complicated I.R.S. tax rules and regulations with loop holes and exceptions. Scrap the current tax code. It's 100 years old and out of date. Put a moratorium on all new Federal taxes and I.R.S. actions for one year. Implement a flat tax across the board for individuals and corporations, then downsize and dismantle the I.R.S.

    Carmine D

  2. A couple of comments on the comments. First a disclaimer of sorts: I hold stock in two of the entities mentioned in the letter.

    Future: Obama put tax reform on the table in his proposed budget and the Repubs recoiled in horror. See, that would mean generating revenue, which is anathema to Repubs and their puppet master Grover Norquist.

    The letter writer is correct that GOP voters are fine with the status quo, even though most of them vote against their own best interests. It's not rocket science: "Red" states are the primary recipients of Federal largess and get more back per dollar paid in through Federal taxes.

    Carmine: putting a "moratorium" on all new Federal taxes and IRS actions for one year" would make the recession look like good times. It won't happen. A flat tax is a pipe dream and is not happening either.

    Future: the tax code and it's loopholes and exemptions for fat cat corporations has been in existence forever. Obama is all for closing loopholes and tightening exemptions. That is a tax hike that the GOP won't tolerate. Placing the blame on Dems only is simplistic, and wrong.

    In closing, it will get worse before it gets better. The GOP 'baggers in the Senate are now refusing to pick conferees to meet with their HR counterparts to begin working out a budget. Their erroneous contention is that the budget must not have any mention of the "debt ceiling", even though anything hashed out in conference will not be law, and won't go to the President before a full vote in the House and Senate. Pathetic. There should be no further reference to the lack of a budget made by any GOP Senator.

  3. I want to pull my hair out and yell every time I read these comments.

    Debbie Starr and Future and so many other Americans are both right and 'wrong'. The tax code 'is' full of 'carve outs' for businesses and industries that allow them to pay reduced overall taxes. It is also true that the capital gains tax rate here is high compared with other nations and that many businesses locate their corporate headquarters outside America and use other tactics, fully legal and written into the tax code by Congress, to avoid taxes.

    However, Debbie Starr and Future and most other Americans act as though 'their' party has 'never' been in a position to correct any of the above. THAT SIMPLY ISN'T TRUE.

    This is the lie both parties tell and too many Americans believe. Here is the truth:

    These huge companies and industries employ armies of lobbyists and they contribute to both parties and support the campaigns of most members of Congress. They do this so that the 'carve outs' are 'never' taken away and so they constantly get new 'carve outs'. If either party or some Senators and or House members took a 'real' run at tax reform and got it passed, everyone in Congress and both parties 'know' there would be 'hell' to pay. These huge companies and industries would pull money and support needed to operate campaigns away and support people who 'toe the line', support the powerful interests and 'make sure' they are advantaged.

    Each party, at times, has been in enough control of the government to make 'real' and 'substantive' changes to the tax code. It happened during the GW Bush administration and it happened again at the beginning of the Obama administration. What were the results? ZIP, ZILCH, NADA!

    Americans must finally realize that the way we fund Congressional campaigns makes sure that income tax reform and ending 'carve outs' will NEVER happen, no matter who we elect to Congress. If we want 'real' tax reform and an end to 'carve outs' for powerful interests with lobbyists, it has to start with public financing of campaigns and term limits.

    Starr and Future both point to real problems, but both believe the lie that 'their' party will address these issues. NO THEY WON'T! Not because they are evil, but because in our screwed up campaign financing system, THEY CAN'T 'cross' these powerful interests with money and lobbyists and still stay in power.

    Michael

  4. "Carmine: putting a "moratorium" on all new Federal taxes and IRS actions for one year" would make the recession look like good times. It won't happen. A flat tax is a pipe dream and is not happening either."

    Moratorium on new Federal taxes means the status quo is still in effect. Nothing new. Have to do this until the new flat tax is in place.

    Carmine D

  5. Recall the GOP was the first to make a flat tax a policy issue for a presidential election. Early 90's, Steve Forbes was the aspiring GOP presidential candidate. You own stocks Gary, you must remember and read Forbes. Right?

    Carmine D

  6. Carmine: moratorium: "a legal authorization to delay money due, as by a bank or DEBTOR NATION". That means the funding of Govt, through IRS tax revenue would STOP. That is not "status quo" by definition. A flat tax will become law right after legislation decreeing that the world is flat.

  7. Carmine: Yes, I remember Forbes. I also remember he didn't get nominated and his flat tax idea fizzled along with his campaign.

  8. Gary: That's why I clarified my meaning. Steve Forbes still supports the flat tax and it's still in the mainstream tax reform debate.

    Carmine D

  9. http://www.forbes.com/sites/leonardburma...

    A flat tax is a VAT, Gary.

    Carmine D

  10. Many billionaires like Steve Forbes favor a flat tax. HMMM! I wonder who that would benefit the most.

    These people are not advocates for the working class!

  11. Okay, lefties. If it's the Republicrats who are being taken to the woodshed by you, please explain why Osama Obama appointed Jeffery Immelt (CEO of GE, a tax-shirking company) to chair an economic panel? Not only did GE make billions in profits and pay not one dime in US taxes, it received a refund of (I believe it was) $38 million? This is an across-the-aisle problem and has more to do with the sleaziness of politicians then it does with political philosphy. A flat tax ends this form of corruption. Get with it and demand it from those you vote for. And, BTW, also demand term limits on the jackels in Washington, DC.

  12. You can only laugh at the clowns attacking Ms. Starr. She happens to be right on target, thank you.

    Apparently those in opposition would rather pay taxes to subsidize corporations making huge profits while our infrastructure fails. For people whining about the government missuse of taxes, I can't understand how they agree to giving their money to companies that ship American jobs overseas. Instead of attacking Ms. Starr why aren't they complaining about the monies senators and House members receive to support their family businesses? Bassackwards is the only possible explaination. The theory that taxes are high because of Democrats is completely assinine. It's due to the fact that big business has taken over our government and runs a plutocracy.

    Once again we are faced with "voting against ones best ineterest" because they don't know any better. I'll bet some of them feel we shouldn't fund FEMA; until a storm or tornado rips through their home town.

  13. Big business is setting us up for another Wall St. and banking failure. By not paying taxes and investing their money in overseas markets it creates another bubble. When the crap hits the fan those whining about Ms. Starr's opinion will be bailing out the banks again.

    JeffFromVegas makes a very valid point about people who don't work taking deductions because they earn through investments.

    "No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar's worth of service rendered-not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective--a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate." - Teddy Roosevelt

  14. I'm not Republican but I'm OK with businesses paying ZERO INCOME TAXES. All business taxes are passed on to customers. So even for products shipped out of country, this lowers the chances than anyone will buy American. Businesses EMPLOY our people who in turn pay taxes.....

  15. ELIMINATE all exemptions and deductions. Take "marriage" out of the tax code and treat citizens alike. Non-resident illegals are SUPPOSED TO PAY higher taxes but when they keep stealing our SSNs and claiming refunds that we get to pay back....could they put those IRS agents onto that?

  16. If you look at the 'general' proposals that Jeff provides, the difference in philosophy between the Republicans and Democrats is obvious. I have never argued that the difference isn't there and everyone is free to decide which proposal they support.

    My point is this: Whether the R or D plan was implemented, the powerful interests with lobbyists will still be out there, and they will still want to advantage themselves via the tax code. Because we don't have term limits or public financing, members of Congress will remain hostage to the money and support these people and groups provide for elections. If we don't change the system, the powerful interests will simply and quickly use their influence to undo whatever is done and advantage themselves again.

    I am arguing for a bigger goal that is needed so whatever tax mechanism we use, powerful interests cannot corrupt and manipulate Congress to undo any good that is done and advantage themselves again.

    Jeff tries to discredit what I say because he sees me as opposed to goals he supports. He and I disagree on many things but that should not invalidate what I have to say about how our Congressional election process works and what needs to be changed. All anyone has to do is take a look to see that what I am saying is true.

    Michael

  17. Future - "Reagan was the President of tax reform that brough huge revenue increases - and Democrats have repeated rejected Reagan."

    Reagan also raised taxes at least eight times while if office.

  18. Warrior - "So what did the Democretins do with their super majority? Bailout Wall Street and pass the largest tax increase in American history on the very people that can afford it the least"

    This remark is one reason our country is screwed. Misinformed people going into a booth to select a candidate.

    Obviously Warrior doesn't know who was president when TARP was passed, and he doesn't know taxes have been at their lowest in fifty years.

  19. Ms. Starr,

    The answer to your question, "Republicans are OK with this?" is no. Now that your question has been answered, please leave your vitriolic emotional place and visit the logical & rational spaces of your brain to reason through this issue.

    Regards,
    Purgatory

  20. The lady is dead on! Corporate taxes are about 12% of revenues. Lowest in history. Big government? Federal employment is the same as when Eisenhower was in office even though our population has doubled. This is why corporate, Wall Street and medical corruption are wiping out Americans by the millions. No one to monitor the cookie jar.

  21. http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013...
    Incomes and wealth are at their lowest levels in 50 years? What comic book did you get that out of? The wealth of the nation is at an all-time high. Corporate profits over the last few years have seen one of the biggest explosions in history. Corporate cash is in the trillions.
    Wealth inequality is a major problem, but when has that not been the case?

  22. http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/08/1...
    Nearly half the individuals in the United States and over half of corporations doing business in the United States pay no federal income tax but they have no problem lining up for government benefits and contracts. The whole tax system is a joke.
    A completely antiquated tax code and ridiculously expensive medical system are at the core of many of the problems we face. Revamp those two systems and much of what we whine about will disappear.

  23. VernosB (vernos branco): In your 8:58 a.m. reply to Future's comment that "Reagan was the President of tax reform that brough huge revenue increases - and Democrats have repeated rejected Reagan." You skipped the point that Reagan also increased the debt by 60+ percent.

    And Bob Dole's interview today with Chris Wallace on Fox News:

    "WALLACE: What do you think of your party, the Republicans today?"
    "DOLE: I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says "closed for repairs" until New Year's Day next year -- and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas."
    "WALLACE: You describe the GOP of your generation as Eisenhower Republicans, moderate Republicans. Could people like you, even Ronald Reagan -- could you make it in today's Republican Party."
    "DOLE: I doubt it. Reagan couldn't have made it. Certainly Nixon couldn't have made it, cause he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it."
    See http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/0... and numerous other sources.

  24. Debbie asks "Why don't they <large corporations> move their corporate headquarters to another country?"

    Future has a glimmer of the answer when stating "The US corporate tax rate is 35% - that is 10% higher then the rest of the world making us uncompetive." S(he) ignores the rest of the answer, however. The rate actually PAID in the U.S. is somewhere below the middle of the pack. Couple this with incorporation laws in some states (including Delaware, including Nevada) that are among the world's LEAST restrictive and a history of pro-corporate legislation and judicial action and the U.S. becomes quite competitive as a headquarters site.

  25. All of you defending corporations ignore a glaring fact. Corporations only have allegiance to the dollar; not God, not man, not country!

  26. tomfranklin @ 3:58 pm,

    I have been trying for years to get the emotionally irrational people who frequent these pages to understand your well-stated economic fact. Alas, it has been in vain, as most either are too ignorant or lack the intelligence to connect those dots. If it only affected them, I would have quit long ago, but as you know, we all get to go down together.

    Regards,
    Purgatory

  27. http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/27/pf/taxes...
    Let's cut through the nonsense. The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world but when you factor in loopholes and deductions it's hardly onerous. If the progressive tax system did what it was supposed to do companies wouldn't have the ability to accumulate trillions of dollars in cash and park it at the Cayman Island post office.

  28. Notice the Commie-lites never mention their favorites when whining about "subsidies" and the "rich." Paris Hilton & the Walton heirs are mentioned, but not a word about the Kennedy's whose father was a slime-bag and made his fortune through ill-gotten gains. I believe everyone wants everyone to pay their "fair share," but with the lefties, not so much. It's merely Conservatives they want to gouge. They're not just parasites green with envy - they are pathetic hypocrites!

  29. Vidi,

    Do you even try to understand what you "wrote" at 2:14 pm May 26th? Even a little bit?

    Purgatory