In 2013, Pfizer raked in nearly $4 billion on sales of the Prevnar 13 vaccine, which prevents diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria, from ear infections to pneumonia -- for which Pfizer is the only manufacturer. Other countries wouldn't allow their patent systems to justify such huge charges. Neither should we -- especially when Pfizer stops being an American company.
The Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) provides financing and loan guarantees at below-market rates to foreign purchasers looking to buy products from American exporters. For example, if Emirates Air wants to buy planes from Boeing, Ex-Im can provide a loan guarantee, reducing the interest rate Emirates will pay and thus incentivizing Emirates to buy from Boeing rather than Airbus.
Voting to give corporations a huge tax cut without closing loopholes to pay for it is the height of hypocrisy. It represents an egregious double standard by conservatives: They increase the deficit by providing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations while they slash $5 trillion in spending that primarily benefits working Americans in order to reduce the deficit.
Through a myriad of tax avoidance schemes, the wealthy 1 percent continue to profit using public resources, subsidies and infrastructure while the 99 percent disproportionately pay the bills for it -- all while struggling to pay their own bills, mortgages, student loans, and more. Americans must ask why individual taxpayers are fronting the money for hugely profitable corporations.
Walmart would need to raise its base pay to $15 an hour to properly compensate its workers and relieve America's taxpayers from picking up part of its payroll tab. Can Walmart afford it? The Walton family saw their fortune increase by $21 billion last year alone. For about half that amount they could give every one of Walmart's 1.3 million U.S. employees a $5-an-hour raise.