Offshore tax havens have allowed a wealthy world oligarchy to stash as much as $32 trillion away, outside the reach of home tax authorities. This raises the amount the rest of us pay, and it robs from both the industrialized and developing world crucial resources for economic development.
Mitt Romney, if one does not know by now, is a poster child for this oligarchy. Although he and his campaign assert that he pays all the taxes he owes, that is a far cry from what he might owe had his income been subject to the same taxes as the rest of us. It is very likely that Romney received amnesty for committing the federal crime of tax avoidance -- which is why he will not reveal his tax returns or disclose the foreign bank forms he filed in 2010 but were not part of his partial disclosure.
It is estimated that $150 billion in annual tax revenues that is owed to the U.S. government is hidden in these offshore accounts that Romney aggressively employs. Without raising taxes on anyone, but merely collecting the taxes from those hidden havens, the U.S. would generate $1.5 trillion in the next decade, or three-fourths of all the money we need to repair and modernize our infrastructure.
Since these havens, dodges and loopholes have become known through Romney's partial 2010 tax return release, they ought to be dubbed, "the Romney loopholes."
In Charlotte on Thursday night, the President should propose closing them. He should also throw down the gauntlet by promising to veto any cuts in any domestic programs until the Romney loopholes are closed. Why should the rest of us pay for Romney's money vacationing in the Cayman Islands?
Americans deserve a raise. Increasing the minimum wage to $10/hr in stages over the next 12-18 months, along with the upward wage pressure it puts on people who receive more than the minimum wage, would restore some purchasing power to the middle class, and thus spur economic growth. Indexing the minimum wage, as occurs today in 10 states (Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon and Vermont), would prevent the purchasing power of the minimum wage to decline, as it has over the last few decades.
Despite the phony (anyone think the Koch Brothers really care about peoples' jobs?) caterwauling from the right-wing about raising the minimum wage killing jobs, there is no evidence to support that raising the minimum wage has an impact on jobs. There is no question it increases family income.
The President has a lot on his plate for the DNC speech. Serve up an increase in the minimum wage and closing the Romney loopholes.
The American people will eat it up.
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