you say corporate welfare?
by Frederick H. Winterberg III
For those of you who haven't seen the numbers, here are some
$1.4 billion for IBM
$833 million for General Motors
$671 million for General Electric
$572 million for Chevron Texaco
$254 million for Enron
What is this, you may ask, last quarter's profits for some
of America's largest companies? Projected earnings in the
next quarter? Projected growth?
Wrong on all counts. These are the dollar amounts each of
these companies stands to gain from the economic stimulus
bill that recently passed the House of Representatives. Unbelievable?
This bill, as written, would give $115 billion in tax breaks
to big business and the wealthiest Americans. The rest of
us? $14 billion in tax rebates and unemployment benefits,
which would vanish after one year. The $115 billion for the
rich and powerful? No sunset clause here.
Perhaps the most outrageous aspect of this disastrous bill
is a temporary loophole that would now become permanent. It
allows some companies to divert profits to subsidiaries outside
the U.S., and thus avoid paying taxes on them. Let me get
this straight: we are going to stimulate the economy by moving
huge sums of money out of the economy? Is this a practical
joke? Is it really April 1 already?
What galls me the most about this whole thing is not the
fact that it's a typical Republican bill (which it is), or
that the Republicans in the House and the Bush administration
are using the terrorist attacks, the war, and a false air
of patriotism as cover to try to ram this through (which they
are). The part that infuriates me is that it goes against
their ideology, their mantra, their number one rant, free
markets. Conservatives are constantly howling for deregulation,
let the free markets dictate business, businesses should be
left alone to sink or swim on their own without interference
from the government. Yet the minute they have the public's
attention diverted elsewhere, they try to sneak through legislation
that hands out billions of dollars (your dollars and my dollars,
to be exact) to these same corporations, with no strings attached.
For those of us who get their news from sources other than
Fox news, this is exactly what it appears to be a quid
pro quo from the Bush administration to big business, a payoff
for getting him into office. It is corruption, blatant corruption,
and a textbook definition of conflict of interest. What can
you do about it? Go to the following site:
Let your elected representatives know what you think of this
and start putting a stop to these abhorrent Republican