SATURDAY, JULY 23, 2011
I’m not a fan of following trends in social media.
Don’t get me wrong, I Tweet, I You Tube and I Facebook. I used to MySpace but I don’t tell too many people that. I even used to use AOL chat back in the day to annoy the living shit out of Cal Ripken Jr. fans (don’t ask).
It’s those facebook trends like “Post your profile picture as your favorite fruit” or those annoying “Let’s see who re-posts this as their status” status updates. Those usually piss me off. Like this one I’ve seen a lot lately as our nation prepares to swirl down into chaos and anarchy….
Salary of the US President. ..$400,000
Salary of retired US Presidents …$180,000
Salary of House/Senate…$174,000
…Salary of Speaker of the House.. .$223,500
Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders… $193,400
Average Salary of a Soldier DEPLOYED IN IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN…. $38,000
Look, I get it. And I get the message – the simple fact that our current situation looms ominously towards not even paying those poor souls sent to do our filthy work is appalling. But let’s be realistic, this is so NOT the biggest reason we’re in such deep shit. Sure, I think most politicians are crooks and follow the simple agenda of raising money for their re-election which in turn leads to their taking influence from lobbyists and special interest groups. Are they overpaid? Some of them.
But do you honestly think the leader of the free world is overpaid at $400K per year? To completely give up your personal and family life, not to mention your privacy and the reality that suddenly an awful lot of people want you dead simply because the symbol your office represents. Today a crackpot in Norway tried to take out the Prime Minister. Norway. The United States invokes plenty of passion worldwide and internally – so if it could happen in Norway – you can damn sure bet that it could happen here. To hold the office of President, you have to live with that reality every day.
I wouldn’t do it for that amount of money – not enough.
Want perspective? The New York Mets are in severe financial trouble – yet they still pay Bobby Bonilla, who last played for them over fifteen years ago, deferred money of over a million a year. Twice what the President makes, and let’s face it – Bonilla really sucked as a Met player. And he was a dick too.
I’m getting off track. Big surprise.
The perception that many of our government officials are overpaid is apparent, and there’s some money to be saved there. But why aren’t more people complaining about the lack of taxes paid by our almighty corporations? This country is bleeding, and those elite few with the most aren’t pulling their fair share.
It’s all very well documented, and quite easy to find factual information. Major corporations, Boeing, Verizon, General Motors, Citibank, Exxon Mobil, Carnival – all pay next to nothing based on the amount of profit they make. They’ll all defend the amount they pay stating that the US Corporate tax rate at 35% is among the world’s highest. It is. But they all reap the benefits of the tax credits, favorable breaks and all other loopholes. It’s all legal, negotiated through political influences. These great breaks and incentives all seem to lead to the most profitable corporations reaping the most benefit. Many of them pay less than 5% of their corporate earnings in income tax. Some even earn rebates after paying zero dollars in taxes. It’s insane – you and I don’t get those sort of breaks.
The most commonly employed loophole is used by most every multinational corporation earning profits here in the US. They simply shift their profits to tax havens with favorable tax rates like Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Ireland – wherever. The fancy accounting takes the profits away from here where they’d be taxed at the 35% to places like Bermuda where the tax rate is about 5%.
It’s all legal, and you or I would do it too if we had the means and the wise accountant.
The problem is simply in the tax code itself. Instead of fighting over cutting pay to soldiers or social security payments, someone should be screaming to get these loopholes fixed so that these major corporations kick in more of their share. The United States loses well over $100 Billion in revenue due to the current code. Terrific for the corporations and perhaps their shareholders, dog shit for you and I.
Google is a wonderful tool – there’s hundreds of articles outlining the facts and figures.
Here’s sixteen to start with from Business Insider.
This is the best one here – check out Bernie Sanders Ten.
Activist groups will tell you to boycott these big corporations. Sure, like that’ll work! Do you think we’ll really be able to cut into their profits? It’s hopeless, no one will get an entire nation to stop their usual consumption and convenience in the name of trying to hurt a faceless corporation. Hell, even Google ships all of their profits out of the country to avoid taxes – and I just told you to use them to less than three full paragraphs ago. I’d be fucking lost without Google these days – so trust me, ain’t no boycott gonna do dick (yes, I’m a New Yawker and I tawk that way).
Someday there may come a politician who can put our nations priorities ahead of their own and rally enough support to actually enact something that might actually shift some of the tax burden off of the poor working schmucks like us over to the mega earning corporations.
Right, and someday I’ll be President. Hope the pay’s a little better by then.
Wonder if anyone will post this as their status?