Look, Ma! No Taxes!

Category:  BloggERy
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 8:19 PM
Look, Ma! No Taxes! by Jay Stevens
Wikipedia

You might not be startled by the latest Citizens for Tax Justice report on US corporate tax liability (pdf) from 2008-10. You might not if, say, you're already sitting through the d*mn cold evenings in the gazebo at Perry Square. Or if you're a cynic. Or a corporate CEO.

Otherwise,

Reading through this report, you will find yourself seized by an irresistible desire to hurl yourself headlong into the nearest OccupyYourLocalCity protest. In an era of crushing government deficits and mass unemployment, corporate America is not only skating blissfully free of its civic responsibilities, but continues to complain that it is paying too much in taxes. Even worse: Congressional Republicans and many Democrats agree! Listening to our politicians talk, you would imagine that corporate America’s neck is permanently under the tax man’s steel-tipped boot. When, in fact, the exact opposite is the truth.

That's right. A significant number of US corporations -- very, very profitable US corporations -- paid no taxes, or even got refunds. Verizon earned $32.5 billionin profits over the past 3 years -- and enjoyed 951 million in negative tax liabilities. It earned an extra $950 million! After taxes! Wells Fargo profited $49.3 billion in that same period and enjoyed $680 million in refunds!

And, closer to home, General Electric saw $10.4 billion in profits from 2008 to 2010 and received just under $5 million in refunds. All the while actively shedding jobs in the US and sending them overseas. 

How did they do this? Adrew Leonard:

The answer includes a mixture of targeted tax breaks that impact specific industries or companies, accounting games that corporations play with stock options, and sweeping adjustments to tax law such as changes in the rules in how companies can write off the value of depreciating equipment. The accounting rules for so-called accelerated depreciation are now so accommodating that companies can write off 75 percent of the cost of new equipment immediately.

The average effective tax rate for the biggest 280 corporations was 18.5 percent -- equivalent to a household earning $12,500 a year -- and was dropping in 2009 and 2010.

It's not too late to look into this Occupy thing.

Erie Reader: Vol. 4, No. 15
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

If Transformers: Age of Extinction depleted your faith in the high-budget-summer-blockbuster subgenre as a whole, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the wake up call that lets you see just how potent and brilliant CGI-powered thrillers can (still) be.

John Carney’s second film pleases in all the right ways, blending humor, heart, and the stripped down essence of film romance.

This is a public service announcement: Don’t be a Dick.

A music video and a brick are all that remain.

Congress to sue the President! Not so fast...

 

IN THIS ISSUE

Festival fashion is all about creating a funky, boho look that you could rarely get away with on a typical day.

When the heat is just too much or the rain forces us indoors, board games are always there keep us company.

The parody artist returneth.

The Welsh alternative band that has always used its music to rail against war, injustice, and apathy tones down their politics a bit a delivers a catchy and likable album.

In an age where plenty of material goods are shipped in from overseas, the bright minds nominated in the Design Competition are trying to bring some innovation to Erie, Pa. at the Erie Art Museum.

Imagine a backyard party, but one with awesome jam bands that lasts two days. Head to the Gathering at Chaffee’s in Girard to make your vision a reality.

Terrifying funk from beyond the grave...

A great expression of nearly flawless hardcore, lyrically diverse, and pulsating formula, From Parts Unknown hits hard and fast.

Mark Twain? Cross-dressing? People faking their own deaths? Yep -- this one has it all.

If this album doesn't inspire you to play, nothing will.