I’m not sure I even want to do this, because I’m not really in the “good news” business, but I read this article over at The Huffington Post yesterday and think it deserves more attention.
You might have seen my piece in March on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ top 10 U.S. corporate tax cheats. (I called it The Top 10 U.S. Corporate Tax Cheats.) Well, young Carl Gibson, a founder of U.S. Uncut, has rightfully saluted a few top U.S. tax non-cheats:
What do USAA, CVS Caremark, Costco, UnitedHealth Group and Berkshire Hathaway all have in common?
They’re all multi-billion dollar American corporations that pay their fair share of taxes and don’t hide their money offshore. In fact, if you combined the federal tax receipts of just these five corporations, that accounts for more than $7 billion. Theoretically, that money paid for 175,000 teachers at $40,000 a year, or for the guaranteed healthcare for sick and injured 9/11 first responders outlined in the Zadroga bill.
No, we don’t have a spending problem — we have a revenue problem, and as Michael Moore reminded us recently, America is not broke. (See America Is NOT Broke!)
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said “Taxes are the price we pay for civilized society.” Taxes have paid for everything from the interstate system to national parks, the moon landing and the liberation of France. In fact, Eisenhower, a Republican, presided over an era where corporate taxes accounted for a quarter of all federal tax receipts, and the richest Americans still enjoyed their wealth while paying a 90% top tax rate. Americans were never more prosperous as a whole than during that era. Now, loopholes and lobbying have lowered the top tax rate to its lowest point since the Truman era, and corporate tax dollars only count for 5-7% of all federal tax receipts.
And he concludes:
What if today’s corporations abided by a more sustainable business culture, where taxes are seen as an investment in their country rather than something to avoid? What if those investments could pay for nationwide poverty relief? Or cross-country green energy infrastructure? If NASA had the money to carry out a Mars landing, instead of a moon landing? If we could guarantee high-quality free public education to ALL students, regardless of zip code.
If an American business wants to employ our workers, use our infrastructure, and depend on us to make them prosperous, they should be required to pay our taxes. Our leaders must reform our tax laws to reinforce that standard. Let’s hold government and businesses accountable to the American people — the real shareholders.
Yes, let’s do. Otherwise, the promises that our government shall “promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” go unfulfilled. And thank you, USAA, CVS Caremark, Costco, UnitedHealth Group and Berkshire Hathaway, and every other honest taxpayer, for making those promises at least possible.Share This: