Friday, March 04, 2005

"Corporate taxes have declined from 35 percent of federal revenues to 7.4 percent over the past half-century." So says The Nation in its Feb. 21 article, "Taking the Offensive on Wealth". So corporations pay one fifth of the taxes they did in the fifties. The Dems should trumpet that statistic loudly and often. Rush Limbaugh's not going to do it for them. Democrats should be pumping their fists in indignation over the fact that "this past year, corporations received an additional $137 billion in legislated cuts." Let's see. That sum would pay for more than a year and a half of the war in Iraq.
Putting the brakes on the free ride corporations have been enjoying is one of several tax remedies the writer recommends. (St. Louis County Library carries copies of The Nation if you'd like to read all the remedies explained in the article.)
The bottom line is:
Progressives need to grasp fully, and then communicate, the morally outrageous nature of what is happening in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. The typical American full-time worker earned just $35,906 in 2003. The TOTAL income of the typical family (including spouse, etc.) came to just under $53,000. Try raising a family or think about sending your kids to college on that--and remember that roughly half of all families are below this figure. Meanwhile, to take just three examples: Richard Fuld Jr., chief executive of Lehman Brothers Holdings, made $67.7 million in 2003; George David of United Technologies made $70.5 million; and Reuben Mark of Colgate-Palmolive made $148 million. Something is powerfully amiss in this disparity and it is getting worse--something progressives have not yet found a way to fully dramatize.


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