I like the word “lift.” It implies upward progress and a can-do communal spirit: Yes, let’s all put our backs into it, and lift this load. It’s so American!
That’s why I was intrigued to see the emergence of a new group called the “LIFT America Coalition.” The acronym stands for Let’s Invest For Tomorrow – and, boy, is that overdue in everything from public education to development of a green economy. But then, I peeked behind the shiney LIFT America logo, and – uh-oh – there was Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Eli Lilly, IBM, Intel, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Xerox, and… well, all the usual global giants that constantly want Washington to do special favors for them.
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Despite its uplifting name, LIFT America is nothing but another corporate lobbying and PR front trying to dupe our Congress critters into giving them a lift. In particular, they’re crying for a lower corporate tax rate, wailing about “antiquated US tax laws” that “are threatening America’s economic competitiveness.” Big Bad Government, they preach, has saddled these poor giants with a 35 percent tax bite – one of the highest of industrialized nations – so Congress must whack that rate to make America “a more attractive place to invest and create jobs.”
Not so fast, Slick. First, these superrich powerhouses are masters of the tax-dodging-and-loophole game, so the rate they actually pay is not 35 percent, but 12 – and many of them pay zero. Second, they’ve already slashed their commitment to America, not only by offshoring jobs and eliminating our middle-class future, but also by reducing the percentage of our nation’s revenue that corporations pay from 30 percent in the 1950s to less than 8 percent today.
And third, if the whining CEOs in the LIFT lobby think Luxemburg is more “attractive” than America, why don’t they move there?
“Beware the New Corporate Tax-Cut Scam: LIFT IS a BIG LIE,” www.truth-out.org, March 22, 2013.
“Consigliere Lanny Breuer, Head of the DOJ Criminal Division, Leaves Without Prosecuting One Made Man on Wall Street,” www.truth-out.org, January 24, 2013.
“Once More Through the Revolving Door for Justice’s Breuer,” www.nytimes.com, March 28, 2013,
“Google Revenues Sheltered in No-Tax Bermuda Soar to $10 Billion,” www.bloomberg.com, December 9, 2012.
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