Corporate tax dodging is draining the lifeblood from our communities -
as we face reckless budget cuts.
Imagine the American economy as a human body, with wealth as its
lifeblood. When turned upside-down, the blood all collects in our head
and a person will eventually suffer a stroke and die. But if the person is
standing upright, the blood is able to circulate freely to all parts of the
body, and the person is able to survive and thrive.
Because of budget cuts, the Jersey Shore borough of Interlaken is
dismissing its entire police force. The city of Washington D.C. has run
out of money for new residents' garbage cans and recycling bins. Our
nation's wealth is pooling into the pockets of a select few multi-billion
dollar corporations at a breakneck pace. All that's needed to get our
economy standing upright again and the wealth circulating throughout
the economy is for Fortune 500 headliners like Bank of America, GE,
Verizon and FedEx to pay their fair share in taxes.
As long as these corporations are free to bankrupt the American
people by stashing away their income in overseas accounts, our
economy will continue to worsen until the American middle class and
working poor have no more purchasing power. This would suffocate
small businesses in communities across the continent, stifle any hope
of job creation and transform the United States into a 21st-century
banana republic. This would be the equivalent of an economic stroke in
But there's a simple solution staring us all in the face- make these
corporations pay their fair share of taxes We could gain up to $100
billion more in tax revenue if these corporate tax cheats were forced to
bring their income back to America and pay an effective 35% rate, like
other businesses already do.
Our economy can stand upright again if our leaders simply outlawed
offshore corporate tax havens. GE's most recent 10k filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that the company
currently has over $90 billion in income in offshore accounts. GE even
boldly states they "...do not intend to repatriate these earnings." If
that $90 billion was brought back to America and taxed appropriately,
that would be enough to hire 800,000 more teachers. If GE paid taxes
on their $1.1 billion rebate from the federal government they received
despite making more than $10 billion in profit, that alone would hire almost 28,000 teachers. Do our leaders want teachers or tax cheats?
Here in Mississippi, we have a simpler analogy: there's hay in the
barn, but we aren't feeding the horses. Farmers seem to be scratching
their heads trying to decide which horses they'll starve, instead of
simply opening the barn doors and putting out enough hay for their
livestock. And just like a farm needs livestock to prosper, the American
people need crucial services like firefighters, public schools, 911,
libraries and medicaid to thrive.
Will we stand upright and let our nation's lifeblood circulate to all parts
of the body, or will we allow our economy to suffer a stroke? Will we
feed or starve the horses? Will we let corporate tax cheats continue to
plunder the American people, or will the American people stand and
demand our leaders take action?
Follow C. Robert Gibson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/crgibs