OFD Research Index

Prepared by Lumpen Patriot Committee and the Office of Fatherland Defense

The Office of Fatherland Defense Research Index


Against Dissent
American Roulette
The Spirit Of Terrorism
Everywhere You Want to Be introduction to Fear
Cipro
CNN tells Reporters
Companies Cash in on Patriotism
Corporate Invading and Escaping
Defense Dept Lies
Governing-Globalisation
Hearts and Minds
Hidden Agenda of the War on Terror
Imperialism and Empire
Just War or Criminal Bombing
Rich Returns
New Anti terrorism Bill
Pakistan's ISI and 9-11
Paying Back Big Energy
Preventing Terrorism
The Biowarriors
The ex-presidents Club-
The Fifth Freedom(chomsky)
The Great Cipro Ripoff
The left and the Just War
The Meridia Manifesto
The New War Against Terror
The Real Battle Lines
Underwriting the Taliban
War and Oil
War On Terror
War Without End
When Did They Ever Stop
Why I Opposed the
Bush's war

The Nonsense Mantras of Our Time
CIA /Oil Corps./Cheney
Moving Toward A Police State
The Globalization Movement
Terror Law
Terror and Empire
The New Imperialism
The Stealth Attack On Freedom of the Press
Intolerance of dissent
Homeland Insecurity
Did the CIA Meet with bin Laden
Discrete Fascism
The CrimethInc release

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rich Returns
Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, Citizens for Tax Justice, Public Campaign

November 9, 200
Last month, while America was busy recovering from the 9-11 terrorist attacks and worrying itself sick about the possibility of more, the House quietly passed a so-called "economic stimulus" package. The bill, if passed by the Senate, amounts, as Michael Moore eloquently put it on "Politically Incorrect" tonight, to nothing short of treason: While the federal budget runs deep into the red, and Americans are increasingly asked to make "sacrifices" for the war effort, big corporations (and big political donors) like Disney, GE and General Motors will receive hand-outs totaling in the billions - in the form of tax breaks and even rebates. In other words, money the treasury has already spent.


But, "Hey," you ask. "Isn't that money going to be invested back into the economy?"


Here's a hint:


Michael D. Eisner, Chairman CEO, Disney: Total compensation (2000): $61,005,644. Stock options exercises from prior grants: $60,531,000. Unexercised stock options from previous years: $266,765,100.


John F. Welch Jr., Chairman CEO, General Electric: Total compensation (2000): $231,149,232. Stock option exercises from prior grants: $57,112,560. Unexercised stock options from previous years: $341,518,062.


G.R. Wagoner Jr., CEO President, General Motors: Total compensation (2000): $21,685,557. Unexercised stock options from previous years: $5,153,233.


The following is the Executive Summary of a joint report released on Nov. 8 2001 by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, Citizens for Tax Justice, and Public Campaign. It is the best analysis of this insidious bill I have seen:
In the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the President and congressional leaders quickly agreed on the outlines of a $50-75 billion, one-year economic stimulus plan to help those most hurt by the disaster and the economic downturn. After a flurry of corporate lobbying, however, that bipartisan agreement is in shambles.
On a close party-line vote, the House passed a $212 billion tax-cut bill stuffed with tax breaks for profitable corporate campaign contributors, including repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax and huge increases in tax write-offs for "depreciation." Senate Republicans have endorsed a similar measure, as has President Bush. Meanwhile, special interests continue to plead for even more tax breaks, from reinstating the three-martini lunch by making business meals 100 percent tax-deductible to granting special treatment for theme parks.
Although the war on terrorism is new, lobbying for corporate tax breaks is not. This study examines campaign contribution records of top tax avoiding companies -- 41 corporations that enjoyed more than $55 billion in tax breaks between 1996 and 1998, including 23 companies that received tax rebates in 1998. This short list of profitable tax-avoiders -- essentially, the companies that are the best at working the system to avoid paying taxes -- includes many household names, companies such as General Electric, Microsoft, and Walt Disney.


This study also includes five case studies showing how these individual companies and sometimes whole industries have used campaign contributions to help establish, widen, and protect particular tax loopholes. Most Americans may not commonly know these tax loopholes -- no ordinary taxpayer can claim tax credits for exports, or for manufacturing goods in Puerto Rico. Case studies include in-depth looks at lobbying by exporters for the Foreign Sales Corporations tax break, Microsoft’s campaign to extend the break to software companies, and computer and pharmaceutical companies’ lobbying to extend tax credits permanently for research.


The picture that emerges is of a profitable corporate America using campaign contributions cynically, to ensure that they pay far less than their fair share in taxes. At a time when all of America is being asked to sacrifice, corporate executives have their hands out, filled with campaign contribution cash as they ask for special breaks and to pay less in taxes.


Major findings of the study include:
Sixteen profitable corporations, which will receive $7.4 billion in immediate alternative minimum tax rebates if the "stimulus" bill passed by the House becomes law, are the source of $45.7 million in campaign contributions to federal campaigns since 1991, including more than half a million dollars to President George W. Bush’s campaign.


The short list of top tax avoiders -- 41 large profitable companies that got $55.2 billion in tax breaks between 1996 and 1998, including 23 companies that got tax rebates in 1998 -- contributed more than $150 million to federal candidates and parties between 1991 and 2002. The majority of this cash -- 56 percent -- was given in the form of "hard money" contributions -- contributions from PACs associated with the companies and from business executives and their families subject to federal limits but "bundled" in large amounts from these companies. Forty-four percent was contributed as soft money, unlimited contributions to political parties.


After the GOP took over Congress in 1994 -- and control of writing tax laws -- top tax-avoiding companies sharply increased their contributions to Republican candidates and parties. In the 1992 and 1994 election cycles, the GOP received 54 percent of their contributions, and the Democrats, 45 percent. By the 2000 election cycle, Republican politicians and party committees got more than twice as much campaign cash as Democrats did. Thus, campaign cash followed the power to make laws the companies wanted -- not any ideological preference or principle.


Members of the Congressional tax-writing committees -- the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees -- collected $9.7 million from 1991 through June 2001 from executives, their families, and PACs associated with top tax-avoiding corporations. These lawmakers were all crucial targets for maintaining, expanding, and securing new tax breaks for the companies studied. The top recipients of these contributions among current Senate Finance Committee Members were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who received $355,430, and Sen. John B. Breaux (D-LA), who received $251,150. On the House Ways & Means Committee, the top recipients were Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), the ranking minority member, who received $308,600, Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R-CT), who received $244,200, and Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), chairman of the committee, who received $233,000.
The "Big Five" accounting firms, which beefed up their tax lobbying practices in the late 1990s, building a reputation for securing tax loopholes for corporate clients from Congress and the Treasury Department, are also major campaign contributors to federal candidates and political parties. Together, Ernst & Young, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, Deloitte & Touche, Andersen Worldwide, and KPMG Peat Marwick, gave $29 million to federal candidates and party committees from 1989 through June 2001. These firms have hired former aides from Congressional tax-writing committees and the Treasury Department whose close ties and political fundraising finesse help them get what their corporate clients want. For example, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers hired Kenneth Kies, a former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, and a significant campaign donor, at a reported $1 million salary. On Kies’ current "to do" list -- lobbying for repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) for his clients, General Motors and IBM.


Executive compensation totals provided by AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch.
This article originally appeared in TomPaine.com