Bully for Billionaires By James Reed
Honoré de Balzac is reputed to have said: “Behind every great fortune there is a great crime.” This alleged quote came to mind when reading James Petras, “How Billionaires become Billionaires,” at http://www.unz.com/jpetras/how-billionaires-become-billionaires/.
One of the ways they do it is because the taxation system is set up to benefit the hyper-rich who have deduction opportunities far beyond the normal tax payer. Then there is outright tax evasion, rather than tax minimisation:
“Contrary to the propaganda pushed by the business press, between 67% and 72% percent of corporations had zero tax liabilities after credits and exemptions … while their workers and employees paid between 25 – 30% in taxes. The rate for the minority of corporations, which paid any tax, was 14%.
According to the US Internal Revenue Service, billionaire tax evasion amounts to $458 billion dollars in lost public revenues every year – almost a trillion dollars every two years by this conservative estimate.
The largest US corporations sheltered over $2.5 trillion dollars in overseas tax havens where they paid no taxes or single digit tax rates.
Meanwhile US corporations in crisis received over $14.4 trillion dollars (Bloomberg claimed 12.8 trillion) in public bailout money, split between the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve, mostly from US tax payers, who are overwhelmingly workers, employees and pensioners.
The recipient bankers invested their interest-free or low interest US bailout funds and earned billions in profits, most resulting from mortgage foreclosures of working class households.
Through favorable legal rulings and illegal foreclosures, the bankers evicted 9.3 million families. Over 20 million individuals lost their properties, often due to illegal or fraudulent debts.
A small number of the financial swindlers, including executives from Wall Street’s leading banks (Goldman Sachs, J. P. Morgan etc), paid fines – but no one went to prison for the gargantuan fraud that drove millions of Americans into misery.
There are other swindler bankers, like the current Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, who enriched themselves by illegally foreclosing on thousands of homeowners in California. Some were tried; all were exonerated, thanks to the influence of Democratic political leaders during the Obama years.
Silicon Valley and its innovative billionaires have found novel way to avoid taxes using overseas tax havens and domestic tax write-offs. They increase their wealth and corporate profits by paying their local manual and service workers poverty level wages. Silicon Valley executives ‘earn’ a thousand times more than their production workers.. .”
This material relates, of course to the American situation, but it is pretty much true across the West, including Australia: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-22/ato-30pc-of-large-private-companies-pay-no-tax/7266454
Around 30 percent of large private companies pay no corporate tax at all, and that is through purely legal means.
The average person who supports our corrupt system is really a sucker. I guess even the elites have got tired of laughing at us and regard us as no more than worms doing the toil of turning over the compost. When it suits them, the worms are harvested, have a hook pushed through them, and used as bait for fish, metaphorically speaking.