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Wanna get $100 billion? Hire a congressman turned lobbyist

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Wanna make a lotta money? Invest small; reap big?

That’s what a coalition (“cabal” might be a better word) of 60 corporations did. For the minimal investment of $1.6 million to pay a K Street lobbying firm, the corporations saved $100 billion in taxes on overseas profits. (Washington Post National Weekly Edition, Feb. 20-26, p. 12; sorry, no link. See earlier posts here and here.)

The corpokleptocrats paid lobbyists that pittance to seek legislation that would reduce the tax on foreign earnings from 35 percent to just 5 percent. The legislation, the American Jobs Creation Act signed into law by President Bush in 2004, was shepherded through Congress by former Texas congressman Bill Archer. He had chaired the House Ways and Means Committee during the 1990s and had sought a tax-free repatriation for foreign profits.

Look no further for an example of the revolving door between K Street lobbying firms and former senators and representatives and their aides that has paid off so handsomely.

When the bill was first approved by the House Ways and Means Committee in 2003, the tax cut on profits would have been only three percentage points, not 30 as in the bill Bush signed. Somewhere, somehow that tax savings was inflated by 900 percent.

In reporting the bill out of committee, the House chair, Bill Thomas (R-CA) said, “The American Jobs Creation Act does just that – creates jobs for American workers. We will protect and expand jobs for hard-working Americans.”

Well, has it? I’ve searched high and low and I can’t find evidence that the corpokleptocrats that saved $100 billion have sunk that dough into creating a considerable number of new, meaningful, full-time, medical-benefits jobs in America. But have these corporations used the money to buy back stock? To acquire competitors to reduce competition and consolidate jobs (meaning “cut” jobs) to bolster stock prices? Where’s the evidence that the name of the law actually was the outcome of the law?

Think of what $100 billion, had it been paid in taxes, would buy.

What would you, as king or queen of all the land, do with $100 billion to best serve the governed?


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

March 1, 2006 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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