Thursday, January 7, 2016

Quote of the day: CEOs of U.S. companies are suffering - and they want shelter (from paying taxes)

The Quote: "I would trust a pack of coyotes to guard my little herd of lambs before I'd trust a pack of corporate hucksters to "reform" America's tax code." - Jim Hightower at commondreams.org.

Jim Hightower writes an expose' of the attempt by corporate CEOs to get us, the U. S., to forgive $600 billion in taxes owed on profits they have hidden in other countries.

Carl Icahn, noted corporate predator and takeover specialist who made billions of dollars in corporate deals, has recently begun pushing a charitable cause involving a group of people who, through no fault of their own, are being forced out of America. Syrian migrants who've lost everything, you ask? Or maybe Central American children fleeing the horrors of drug wars? Nope, none of those foreign sob stories for Icahn. Rather, he weeps for the incomprehensible suffering of a small tribe of Americans, namely: the CEOs of several U.S.-based multinational corporations.

You see, Carl is fronting for CEOs of a small group of huge multinational conglomerates who are demanding that Congress drastically slash the taxes they owe on foreign sales of their products. This "reform" would let them escape paying most of the $600 billion in taxes that U.S. law assesses on some $2.6 trillion in profits they've been hiding in foreign bank accounts and offshore tax havens. Three-fourths of these hidden profits belong to only 50 enormously profitable corporations.

Putting the $600 billion they owe into America's public treasury would fund a lot of education, infrastructure repair, green energy, social services, etc. that our people desperately need. But Icahn & co. claim that forgiving this corporate tax debt "would allow companies to reinvest ... in the United States, creating thousands of jobs." Notice that verb, "allow." They could put this tax windfall into job-creating and U.S. investments — but Icahn does not want Congress to require any sort of patriotic use of the money.

Carl even asserts that the corporate elites are "completely justified" in leaving America if they aren't given this tax boondoggle. After all, he says, CEOs "have a fiduciary duty to enhance value for their shareholders."

Haven't we seen this movie before? Ah, yes: It was in the 2008 tragi-comic, multitrillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street banks and big corporations. They said that if Washington rescued them, they would then invest in Main Street and in middle-class jobs. We did; and they didn't. They lied then, and the Icahn hucksters are lying to us now.

I would trust a pack of coyotes to guard my little herd of lambs before I'd trust a pack of corporate hucksters to "reform" America's tax code. Congress has a moral imperative to serve not the few who are big corporate shareholders but to enhance value for all people — for the common good. For information and action, go to www.AmericansForTaxFairness.org.

I think the CEOs listened to Rolling Stones' "Gimme shelter" too often.

Oh, a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away

That's their threat. If we don't forgive them their debt, they will split. Sort of like the Bundy Bunch and their grazing fees. Sort of like common thieves. But maybe not. Jean Valjean stole bread because he was hungry. These CEOs steal from the American treasury because of greed.

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