So the recursive discussions continue on my Facebook page, Newsvine, random media sites and in personal conversations on a daily basis. The same myths are recycled and rehashed and given new life each time someone finds a clever new way of saying the same thing. It’s like going from “terrorists” to “Islamofascists” all over again.
My neoliberal free market buddies all tell me, “Alan… those are the job creators you’re trying to punish. They’re the ones keeping people employed and if we don’t stop punishing them with these ridiculously high tax rates, they might start letting people go!”
First, the U.S. corporate tax rate is the world’s highest at 35%. My dad used to say “paper lies still, you can write anything on it.” That anecdote was designed for this fallacy. A full two-thirds of all American corporations pay precisely nothing in taxes. Nothing. Sure, their “tax rate” is 35% but their non-quoted tax rate is 0%. That’s how life works when the government is a fully-owned subsidiary of the biggest corporations and they write their own rules and laws.
Don’t believe me?
So not only are they not paying any taxes at all, but they’re outsourcing their labor and receiving taxpayer-funded bailouts… and the Reaganites think that we should be giving them more.
It’s ironic that these people are so obsessed with talking about handouts.
On the subject of bailouts, consider this: Banks signed people up for mortgages they couldn’t afford, using unethical and predatory practices in the contract and execution of the contract. They took these wildly dangerous mortgages and said they were completely sound investments as they sold them off to investors trying to fund retirement accounts. Then, when things blew up, not only were all the homeowners screwed, but so were all the investors. The only people that came out ahead were the banks… and then we gave them hundreds of millions more while they continued foreclosing, sometimes on houses that they never even owned.
But the conservatives say it’s all the homeowners’ own faults for believing the banks’ deception. The deception was capitalism, just business as usual… falling for the deception, now that’s damn near criminal. Come on.
Back to the topic at hand. The job creators. Those thoughtful, altruistic, generous job creators that would employ everyone if only we’d pay them for the honor of being their employees. Sadly, we have the audacity to ask them to pay taxes and wages, which paints them into a corner they just can’t escape from.
I mean, I feel for them. Hell, their raises averaged 27% last year. Imagine how difficult it would be to find time to hire more workers when you’re busy trying to negotiate the right price on that house in the Hamptons, which will be your seventh home. That’s a lot of stress and these execs can’t be bothered with the sort of riff raff that… (oops, forgot… they’re great people) …the sort of hard working American that has been out of work for a year and is about to lose his house. He should’ve known better than to get laid off. Being outsourced is no excuse.
The fact is that these “job creators” that need “a break” are raking in record profits (both as individual execs and as corporations), paying record low taxes, and they simply view labor as another line on a profit and loss statement. Regardless of the tax rate or environmental regulations or financial regulations, these people will hire if and only if there is a specific tangible financial benefit to hiring.
Suggesting that we give more to people who already have it all in order to help the people who have nothing is ludicrous. The thought is indefensible, no matter how many times you plug your ears and shout “entitlements handouts welfare socialism” at the top of your lungs. Ignorance is not supporting evidence. Buzzwords aren’t proof of concept.
Here’s a (hypothetical) riddle:
A handful of people have all the wealth and pay virtually no taxes. A wide swath of people do everything they can to barely get by and also pay no taxes. The middle has enough to be comfortable and pays virtually all the taxes, but it’s not enough to keep the country moving forward. Who pays more?
Leave your answer in the comments.