While Partisans Fiddle…

Congressional Republicans and Democrats continue to do battle over taxes, with most Democrats advocating a moderate hike in the rates paid by those making over 250,000/year, and the GOP insisting that a raise in (historically low) rates amounts to “class warfare.”

It’s a classic conflict between irreconcilable worldviews: rightwing Republicans label taxation for anything other than military spending and corporate welfare as socialism;  the more radical see taxation as theft. Democrats respond that taxes are the dues we pay for civilization.

Meanwhile, we have stalemate.

I wonder if the antagonists might be able to “cut the baby,” Solomon-like, by agreeing to pursue corporations actively evading their civic responsibilities.

The largest American multinational companies parked an additional $206 billion of profits in offshore accounts last year, according to Bloomberg, bringing the total amount of profits stashed where U.S. tax officials can’t touch them up to about two trillion dollars.

 The 307 companies that Bloomberg examined now hold a combined $1.95 trillion offshore, allowing them to avoid paying U.S. taxes on those earnings. The majority of the total is concentrated in just a few corporate hands. The largest 22 of those companies hold more offshore than the other 285 combined.

 Surely, even the purveyors of  “makers and takers” rhetoric can see how wrong this is. After all, the corporations playing these games are shifting the tax burden to those who aren’t able to do so.

Talk about theft.


  1. In Rolling Stones’ interview w/Bill Gates, Bill says he’s a Democrat on fiscal issues; when tax rates approach 50% and with the cost of health services maybe there is a need to raise above 50%. Also the estate tax costs the ability of government to meet its obligations, I.e. services we want. “Someone has to pay for these.” Meanwhile Microsoft has as much overseas as Bill’s personal wealth. Dear, dear!

  2. At some point I expect the multinational companies to argue that they have no duty to bring those profits home because they are not “American” companies. Since they are multinational, then, they have no loyalty to any nation. Fits right in with corporate personhood, no?

  3. The corporations want us to be a First World Country. They expect Police, Fire Protection, a functioning legal system, streets, bridges, roads, to ship their products on, a clean environment, they want an educated work force, and also want consumers to have enough disposable income to buy their product or service.

    However, they do not want to pay the price for all of this in form of taxes. Our Legislature and Governor here in Indiana seem to think the road to prosperity is low taxes for businesses, and in some cases selecting via Crony-Capitalism companies that receive additional goodies like tax abatements or other subsidies.

  4. Are they actually doing battle over taxes; are they actually doing battle over any issue or are they passing the time marching in place or back-stepping and back-stabbing their way through this past so-called Legislative session? I have developed a severe gag reflex over all political news from all levels. I can only wait to see what devious methods they will come up with to waste our tax dollars, benefit corporations and sports venues and gouge homeowners to fill the shortfall caused by cutting buisness property taxes. Honest to Goodness – what will they come up with next session?

  5. I failed to receive “Here We Go Again” and “While Partisans Fiddle”. I am checking the little box below here yet again. I miss all of you when I don’t get Sheila’s blog and your comments.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    Betty, with ancestors in County Antrim

  6. Betty, I don’t understand why you don’t get the daily link. Have you looked in your spam filter?

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