Tax Avoiders

The folks in DC have managed to frame the nationwide argument against deficit spending as one of “Cut Social Security and Medicare,” not “Cut wasteful giveaways to already very wealthy corporations and persons.” Or, “freeze military spending” when the U.S. spends far more than the next ten highest-spending military powers of the world combined. A billion U.S. taxpayers’ dollars are being spent in Afghanistan every week.

Not only is their math fundamentally wrong, the argument itself is ghastly. As President Ronald Reagan said, “Social Security adds not one penny to the deficit.” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT.) pointed out recently this same flaw in the reasoning of anyone who would propose cutting our meager, wage-deduction-funded retirement pension, including the disguised cuts called “Chained CPI.”

The argument that “entitlements are bankrupting the nation” is absurd. Since it is not the earned-pension of SS, then it must be the “entitlement” to basic medical care of which they claim to be so concerned. Most U.S. citizens are not entitled to basic medical care; they must purchase it as a consumer product.

Across the border in Canada, where single-payer Medicare is offered at no additional cost aside from the taxes that any Canadian pays, administrative fees for their entire national system cost about 3 percent. In the U.S. those same non-medical administrative fees cost nearly one third of all “medical” dollars spent. Obamacare or the ACA literally guarantees 20 percent profit to the insurance companies which control access to medical “benefits.”

While there is nothing wrong or extraordinary about anyone earning profits, applying a “profit motive” to basic medical care inspires acts of cruelty which include letting citizens die when treating them would prove unprofitable. Over 60 percent of all U.S. bankruptcies are evidently caused by skyrocketing medical care costs; a less known fact is that 75 percent of those bankrupted had medical insurance “coverage.”

GE, Exxon Mobil, Google, Boeing, Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, and many others, are among the most profitable corporations of all time, yet pay little to no taxes. Some U.S. corporations have even worked it out with 21 state governments to simply keep the state income taxes deducted from employees’ wages. Why bother with sending in the tax payments to await a refund when you can simply keep their earnings?

I propose a small change to the U.S. tax system which is not as radical as initiating a flat-rate tax to replace the complex IRS rules, as others have proposed. I suggest initiating a minimum tax to be paid regardless of how many loopholes or subsidies a profitable company can take advantage of. A ten percent “floor” tax could be established on all income received by any U.S. corporation to be paid regardless of how many loopholes are riddling our tax system.

Socialized expenses such as first-responders, rail lines, ports, schools, roads and a legal system directly enable U.S. corporations to prosper; it seems fair to require those who have been so enriched by using the U.S. infrastructure to “kick back a little to the house.”

For further information see: http://againstausterity.org/ and http://usuncut.org/

With feedback, comments, progressive ideas or alternative perspectives, contact Orlando Martin at: mrm61@uw.edu