Jul 18, 2011
President Obama says that he wants to boost taxes on “millionaires and billionaires” in his deficit reduction plan. That would sound fine – except that the Obama administration admits that the increases would be “minor.” At most, they would slightly reduce the 140 billion dollars in tax breaks to the rich and big business that Obama and Congress agreed to in December, when they extended all the Bush tax cuts for two more years.
And they would do nothing about all the other tax loopholes and tax cuts for the wealthy. From 1995 to 2007, the very highest income taxpayers have had the rate at which they pay taxes cut in half. And many of the wealthiest don’t pay any taxes at all. Speculator John Paulson, for example, made nine billion dollars two years ago and paid no taxes.
The same goes for big corporations. In 2010, corporate profits were 60% higher than they were in 2000. Yet, they paid one-third less in taxes. That saved these companies over 100 billion dollars. And some of the richest corporations, like GE, GM and Caterpillar reported billions in profits, but still got billions back from the federal government in tax rebates!
The money these big companies saved in taxes helped them boost the cash just sitting in their bank accounts to two trillion dollars, money taken from the workers that companies are simply hoarding. That comes to $7,000 of cash that these companies have for every person in the U.S.
If the government simply took this money, they could more than balance the budget this year, and have money to spare.
But don’t hold your breath. Obama’s talk about taxing the rich is nothing but a cover for huge attacks against the working class and poor.