The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

It’s Not Just Enron!

Mar 3, 2003

A new report to the Senate Finance Committee details the tax avoidance schemes of Enron.

As one Congressman said, "...instead of drilling for oil and gas, Enron was drilling the tax code, looking for ways to find more and more tax shelters."

The report shows how the same tax avoidance schemes used by Enron are also used by most other big companies. It estimates that just the top 10,000 companies avoid taxes of over 50 billion dollars a year.

Fifty billion dollars a year would go a long way toward dealing with the problems we face. If each of the 50 states got an extra billion dollars or so a year, education , public services, health and social services could be improved.

The Senate report shows that the schemes used by Enron are now standard practice in the whole corporate world. And for good reason. As their economy sinks, each individual corporation uses every trick and dodge to stay afloat longer than the others.

This means the CEOs have to cook their books. In the process, of course, they manage to skim off many millions of dollars for themselves! Their standard practice is to steal from the shareholders as well as from the taxpayers.

But why shouldn’t they lie, cheat and steal? Out of all the Enrons and Arthur Andersens–out of all those executives who have been found out–how many have had to pay any real penalty?

Ask George W. Bush. He’s one of them.