Monday, October 08, 2012

Abolish Columbus Day Protest In Down Town Seattle


Democracy Now! On Columbus Day, Indigenous Urge Honoring Native Culture, Teaching Americas' Genocide

Yeah, okay. I said I was going to do something about getting rid of Columbus Day, but I've been busy recording, so not any real time. In place of that, here's a good 2-part series by Democracy Now! on the historicity surrounding Columbus' coming to the Western Hemisphere, and a tribute song by Paul Revere & The Raiders. Enjoy!



Thursday, October 04, 2012

Mr. Romney, do your research: Corporations DO get tax breaks to ship jobs overseas.

For those of you who endured the whole Presidential debate tonight, my condolences. Head over to the Youtube Channel for Democracy Now! - see Jill Stein & Rocky Anderson answer the same questions. It's like listening to people who actually have compassion. 

For now, I'd just like to correct something I heard Mitt Romney say that stuck in my craw, as a former IRS employee. I only caught portions of the debate, but apparently Obama said several times that he wanted to close tax loopholes for companies who ship jobs overseas. 

Mr. Romney responded in this way:

ROMNEY:The second topic, which is you said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas. Look, I've been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you're talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant.
LEHRER: Let's...
ROMNEY: But -- but the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case. (CROSSTALK) ROMNEY: What we do have right now is a setting where I'd like to bring money from overseas back to this country.


You have no idea what the President is talking about, Mr. Romney?

First off, it happens to have been the truth for several decades right now:


The deferral clause has been in the tax code for more than half a century and has outlasted numerous reform efforts. In April 1961, even as U.S.-backed rebels were dying at Cuba's Bay of Pigs, President Kennedy asked Congress to rewrite tax provisions that "consistently favor United States private investment abroad compared with investment in our own economy."

And the Obama administration has brought it up before and it's been verified by Politifact.com:

"The law, right now, permits companies that close down American factories and offices and move those jobs overseas to take a tax deduction for the costs associated with moving the jobs to China or India or wherever."

-Sheldon Whitehouse, September 27th, 2010 in a speech on the Senate floor.

And now for the cherry on top of the Shit Sundae: Mr. Romney, you are one of those big buisnessmen who got a tax break off a company that is shipping jobs to China:

WASHINGTON -- Sensata Technologies is a healthy manufacturing company that employs nearly 200 workers at a factory in northern Illinois. The company has become the focus of national attention because it has been taken over by Bain Capital, which plans to shut the factory down, lay off the workers, and outsource the production to China before the end of the year.

The workers have pleaded with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the founder of Bain Capital, to exert his considerable influence to save their jobs. Romney still makes millions each year in income from Bain. So far, he has declined to weigh in, and the factory is scheduled to close by the end of the year. 

While the workers and the town may suffer, Romney himself has done well as a result of Bain's work with the company. According to his recently released 2011 tax returns, Romney transferred $701,703 worth of Sensata stock to the Tyler Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit controlled by Romney. The gift is listed on page 323 of the .pdf, on form 8283 (below).

Kennedy tried to change it back in the day? Rotsa ruck tryin' to get it changed at all! But kudos to Obama for at least raising the issue.

Businesses get breaks in 3 different ways: 1) The normal deductions they would take whether they move to China or Kansas (as an example.) 2) They get to delay paying taxes on foreign profits until they bring those profits back to this country. So companies tend to keep the money with their foreign subsidiaries as long as possible. 3) They get U.S. tax credits for taxes they pay to foreign governments. Some companies figured out how to game the system by keeping their profits overseas while still claiming a tax credit for taxes paid to foreign governments.

I mean, you can call it whatever you want, but to me it looks like moving overseas is a pretty sweet deal for most corporations that do so. Problem is, Obama doesn't seem to be able to find the strength to make even his few good ideas stick.


ADDITIONAL INFO:
  
FACT SHEET: President Obama’s Blueprint to Support U.S. Manufacturing Jobs, Discourage Outsourcing, and Encourage Insourcing:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/01/25/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-blueprint-support-us-manufacturing-jobs-dis

Did Republicans oppose closing corporate tax loopholes for outsourcing?
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/07/service-employees-international-union-committee-po/republicans-closing-corporate-tax-loopholes/ "

It's a bit complicated to explain these tax loopholes, so bear with us. Basically, the United States government taxes companies on foreign profits, which not all countries do. But companies don't have to pay taxes on foreign profits until they bring the profits back to this country. So companies tend to keep the money with their foreign subsidiaries as long as possible. But companies also get U.S. tax credits for taxes they pay to foreign governments. Some companies figured out how to game the system by keeping their profits overseas while still claiming a tax credit for taxes paid to foreign governments. The new rules say companies can't claim the foreign tax credit until bring the profits back to the United States."