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Why Big Corporations Get Special Tax Breaks and You Don't

Jim Hightower on

Free market ideologues fabricate some of the most preposterous yarns trying to justify their assertion of corporate greed over public need.

Consider their far-fetched of laissez-fairyland tale that by allowing corporate giants to dodge the billions of tax dollars they owe to our country, the top executives of those corporations will plow that money into new jobs, products and services for the common good. The ideologues assure us innocents that this is the "magic of the marketplace."

But remember: Magicians don't perform magic; they perform illusions. In this case, since the law does not require that such tax windfalls be invested for the public good, they aren't. Instead, the corporate barons simply pocket the money.

A diligent watchdog group, Institute for Policy Studies, recently documented this by analyzing financial data of 35 enormously profitable giants, including Tesla, T-Mobile and Duke Energy. Over a four-year period, these 35 lavished pay of $9.5 billion on their honchos. Even for giants, that's an extravagant payout. Where'd the money come from? Tax dodging. Combined, these outfits paid zero in federal taxes and even extracted nearly $2 billion in refunds.

To rationalize this handout, free market ideologues claim that corporations are just like ordinary taxpayers, merely taking a few legal deductions to lower their tax bill. But, wait -- tax laws aren't handed down on stone tablets, applying equally to everyone. When's the last time Congress asked you to help write one law? Instead, America's tax code is an arcane work of gobbledygook literally written in back rooms by corporate lobbyists -- which is why powerful corporations get special breaks to evade taxes and you don't.

To see through such corporate scams and help end this corruption, connect with the Institute for Policy Studies: ips-dc.org.

HOW MANY DEAD FIREFIGHTERS DOES IT TAKE TO BAN ASBESTOS?

If your home or business is suddenly being engulfed in flames, you count on a quick response from the fire department. But who rushes to aid firefighters when so many of the burning buildings they enter are contaminated with chrysotile asbestos -- a cancer-causing product so deadly that it's banned in over 50 countries? So far, no one.

 

This nasty toxic (widely used in construction materials, car parts and even water systems), infiltrates lungs and kills some 40,000 Americans a year, especially firefighters. For the last 30 years, victims, health advocates and others have been pushing to stop using the deadly stuff -- but chemical profiteers and the politicians they pay kept defeating these efforts.

In 2016, though, Congress finally empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban it.

Great! But that same year, Donald Trump happened. With his usual deep analysis, concern for workers and respect for science, he mindlessly proclaimed asbestos "100 percent safe," even declaring that the movement to ban it was "led by the mob." Thus, his EPA did nothing ... and deaths continued.

Then came Joe Biden, and -- Hallelujah! -- EPA has now announced that it is "finally slamming the door" on manufacturing, importing and using chrysotile asbestos. When? Twelve years from now. What? Yes, that's a very sloooow-motion slamming. Biden wanted the ban to take effect in two years, but industry lobbyists screeched. So, our government chose not to "rush" to aid firefighters and others who'll be killed by this policy of putting corporate profits over their lives.

Remember this whenever political hucksters demand that you vote to eliminate "regulatory burdens." Burdens for whom -- asbestos peddlers or firefighters? And beware: Here comes Trump again, promising to eliminate public regulations if he's elected. Really? Who will benefit from that?

To find out more about Jim Hightower and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

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