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“…The deeper problem with the “47 percent” argument is that it is right-wing Elizabeth Warrenism. It reflects the belief that federal income taxes are an expression of our togetherness. If you aren’t paying them — or aren’t paying enough — you are a subcitizen….” Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry has it right. There are a group of far right, represented by Michele Bachmann, who think that anyone who does not pay federal income taxes are not really citizens. They’re screwing the government. Never mind that they pay state taxes, local taxes, real estate taxes, and about 7% sales tax for anything they buy. There are gas taxes. There are taxes on land phones, cell phones, cable television, and satellite television. You pay a tax to connect to the internet. You pay taxes when you go to MacDonalds. You pay them for food, medicine, and clothing. Not one single person is exempt….

Except….

Want to know the parasites who aren’t paying local, state, and sales taxes? First, start with non-profits. They are exempt. Then there are the big time corporations. 68 of the top Fortune 500 companies have paid absolutely no state, local, or real estate taxes in the past two years. NOW – you know what local governments and states have a tax short fall. In South Carolina alone, it’s nearly a billion bucks. Yes, the reality is that there are some considerations for recruiting business. The tax realities are now that big business can literally blackmail states into forcing tax breaks, or take their business elsewhere.

Then there are the ethanol subsidies that give the Koch Brothers about a billion bucks a year. It drives up the federal mandated cost of gas or the federal fleet. The USPS alone is paying over a dollar more a gallon of gas, and has been for several years. The Pink Flamingo would like to know if this cost, forced on them, is one of the reasons they’re going under?

It’s one of the reasons school districts are having financial difficulties. We’re burning the future of the next generation in Koch subsidized ethanol. Education is suffering because of the high cost of fuel – driven up at least $20 bucks a barrel, so the Koch brothers can make billions – that aren’t being taxed.

Want to talk parasites?

The Pink Flamingo thinks that Mitt Romney should be required to pay We the Parasites of the United States of America, for the money he has conned, bilked, received through tax credits, off shore money, and subsidies via Bain. Then, maybe he can talk about We the Parasites of the United States of America. Maybe he should also discuss the billions of dollars in subsidies that his big corporate donors have given to his super-pacs have received from We the Parasites of the United States of America.

Mitt Romney took a $77,000 deduction on his 14% income tax for his wife’s “therapy” horse. You want to talk parasites? 68 of Fortune 500 Companies did not pay state taxes at from 2008 – 2010. And, now we know what states are in such financial trouble – it’s because of corporate parasites.

“…After putting out a report last month showing that many large corporations end up paying far less than the statutory federal rate (so much less that their rates often become negative), ITEP and CTJ now demonstrate that the story is the same at the state level. Their study, Corporate Tax Dodging in the Fifty States, lists 68 Fortune 500 companies that managed to pay no state income tax at all in at least one year during the period from 2008 through 2010 despite posting a total of nearly $117 billion in pre-tax U.S. profits during those no-tax years.

Sixteen of the companies—including the likes of DuPont, Tenet Healthcare, International Paper, Intel and Peabody Energy—had more than one no-tax year. DuPont, Pepco Holdings and American Electric Power contributed nothing to state coffers in all three years. The report points out that, if the 265 companies in the sample had all paid the average 6.2 percent average corporate tax rate on their combined $1.33 trillion in U.S. profits, their state tax bill would have been about $82 billion. Instead, they paid only $40 billion, meaning that states were left without $42 billion in revenue that could have been used to help pay for education, healthcare, transportation, public safety and other key state government functions.

A system that allows many companies to sidestep millions of dollars in state tax payments can hardly be called onerous and certainly can’t be the reason for investing overseas. It is thus no surprise that the ITEP/CTJ list of firms with negative or minimal tax rates includes corporations that engage in extensive offshoring; among them are Eli Lilly, General Electric, Hewlett Packard and Merck….”

The case could be made that Romney is nothing but a parasite.

“…Yet a look at Romney’s record at Bain shows not only Gordon Gekko-like business buccaneering, but also a willingness to embrace those very government checks and assurances he is now repudiating. Companies acquired and managed by Bain during Romney’s tenure showed no hesitation in taking taxpayer handouts in the form of state and local economic development subsidies.

A comparison of the 1999 Bain portfolio obtained by the Los Angeles Times to the information in the Subsidy Tracker database my colleagues and I at Good Jobs First created (as well as other sources), yields examples such as the following:

Steel Dynamics Inc. In 1994 this company, among whose financial backers at the time was Bain, got a $77 million subsidy package—including grants, property tax abatements, tax credits and reimbursement for training costs—for its steel mill in DeKalb County, Indiana (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, June 23, 1994).

GS Industries. In 1996 American Iron Reduction LLC, a joint venture of GS Industries (which had been taken private by Bain in 1993) and Birmingham Steel, sought some $20 million in tax breaks in connection with its plan to build a plant in Louisiana’s St. James Parish (Baton Rouge Advocate, April 6, 1996). As the United Steelworkers union noted recently, GS Industries later applied for a federal loan guarantee, but before the deal could be implemented the company went bankrupt.

Sealy. A year after the 1997 buyout of this leading mattress company by Bain and other private equity firms, Sealy received $600,000 from state and local authorities in North Carolina to move its corporate offices, a research center and a manufacturing plant from Ohio (Greensboro News & Record, March 31, 1998). In 2004 Bain and its partners sold Sealy to another private equity group.

GT Bicycles. In 1997 GT, then owned by Bain and other investors, decided to move its manufacturing operations to an enterprise zone in Santa Ana, California. Being in the zone gave the company, which was later purchased by Schwinn, special tax credits relating to hiring and the purchase of equipment (Orange County Register, July 9, 1999).

Since Romney arranged to share in Bain’s profits after he left the firm in 1999, it is legitimate to look at cases of subsidy grabbing by Bain companies after that time. Some of these involved firms that had been acquired during Romney’s tenure but which didn’t get their subsidies until after he departed. For example:

Stream International. In 2000, this operator of call centers, then controlled by Bain, agreed to open a facility in Kalispell, Montana, but only if local officials provided $4 million in grants and tax breaks (The Missoulian, February 8, 2000). U.S. Senator Max Baucus also arranged for a $500,000 grant from the federal Economic Development Administration (AP, March 4, 2000). Later that year, Stream got Silver City, New Mexico to provide tax credits, subsidized training and subsidized rent for another call center (Albuquerque Tribune, July 12, 2000).

Alliance Laundry Systems. In 2000 this maker of washing machines, purchased by Bain in 1998, received a $560,000 grant from the state of Florida in connection with its plan to move a commercial laundry from Cincinnati. (Tallahassee Democrat, June 8, 2000). In 2004 the company received $1.25 million in assistance (including a low-cost loan of $1 million and a $250,000 grant) from the state of Wisconsin. Bain sold the company to a Canadian pension fund in 2005.

Romney’s ongoing profit participation also makes it legitimate to look at subsidies that have gone to companies acquired by Bain after Romney moved into public life:

Burger King Corporation. In 2005—while owned by Bain, TPG and Goldman Sachs—Burger King let it be known that it was considering moving its headquarters from the Miami area to Houston. After local and state officials put together a $9 million subsidy package, the company agreed to stay in South Florida but move to a new building. Two years later, Burger King dropped the idea of a new headquarters altogether and had to repay $3 million of the package (which came from a Quick Action Closing Fund grant) to the state as a result. Bain and its partners sold off their remaining interest in Burger King in 2010.

Quintiles Transnational Corp. When Bain and other private equity firms bought this pharmaceutical services company in 2007 they inherited a $25 million subsidy package that the company had negotiated with North Carolina officials in 2006. The package included an up-front $2 million grant from the One North Carolina Fund, a $2 million matching grant from Durham County, and the promise of up to $21.4 million over 12 years from a performance-based Job Development Investment Grant.

AMC Entertainment. After being promised more than $40 million in subsidies, this movie chain (bought in 2004 by Bain and other private equity firms) agreed to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri to a nearby suburb across the state line in Kansas. The deal was criticized as an egregious case of taxpayer-financed sprawl.

And finally, what about Staples, whose early backing by Bain is frequently cited by Romney as the best example of his business acumen? The chain has long been making use of economic development subsidies, including the period when Romney was still at Bain. In 1996, for example, it chose Hagerstown, Maryland as the site for a distribution center after getting a $4.2 million subsidy package (Baltimore Sun, April 16, 1996)….”

The Koch Brothers receive over a billion dollars a year for their bio-fuels manufacturing. That’s a billion bucks of tax-payer money.

“...Here is the breakdown of the subsidies their biofuels division will receive in 2011:

On top of the $200 million in ethanol subsidies they will receive this year for four ethanol plants the Kochs recently purchased, Koch Industries markets and sells 1/10th of all ethanol produced in the United States. This year ethanol subsidies are expected to top the $6 billion paid out in 2010, which means that the Kochs will tap at least $600 million in additional taxpayer money in 2011.

But that’s not all, folks. Turns out, Koch Industries has also been one of the biggest blenders of biodiesel fuel, which is subsidized at $1 per gallon, double the rate of regular ethanol. It’s not clear how many gallons of biodiesel Koch Industries blends, but given the size of its ethanol operation and the fact that it is one of the largest biodiesel blenders in the country, the amount of amount of subsidies they receive could easily measure in the hundreds of millions. (The US Postal Service used over 1 million gallons of biodiesel in 2005.) So scratching the surface of just one of the Kochs’ core businesses reveals an annual subsidy of at least $1 billion….”

Think Progress

According to Tom Coburn, in 2009, there were 1,500 millionaires who paid no income taxes. They get subsidies for vacation homes, luxury yachts, ranches, real estate, etc. They even receive checks for not working. Yep, these are the people who are voting for Romney!

Mary Matalin said that thanks to Romney, we can now single out the parasites among us. Imagine, that! Now, men and women who are receiving VA benefits, for serving their country, are now parasites. Perhaps, the real problem is that the parasites are the ones who are begrudging them their rightfully earned benefits.

From the Heritage Foundation, those who are bitter clingers to their copies of anything Ayn Rand.

“...It is true that nearly half of all tax filers—those who are filing an income form with the IRS—pay no federal income tax. It’s also true that millions of Americans receive direct government support in a host of ways, including income, food, housing, medical care, school lunches, and more.

In 2009, 47 percent of all tax filers paid no federal individual income taxes, and in 2011 that figure was 46 percent. This raises a crucial question, as Heritage’s Alison Fraser points out: “Should nearly 50 percent of Americans really be exempt from funding the most basic constitutional functions of government—along with education, food stamps, energy, welfare, foreign aid, veterans’ benefits, housing, and so forth?”

It stands to reason that those who have skin in the game—who are helping to pay for all of the government programs—will be more concerned about reining in out-of-control government spending, because they see their taxes going up and the country’s credit rating going down.

On the other hand, if you are on the receiving end of government benefits, that is likely to color your perception of how taxpayers’ money should be spent. According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Index of Dependence on Government, 63.7 million Americans, or about one in five, is receiving direct government support from Social Security, welfare, or Pell Grants—and that is at its highest level ever. …”

That’s nice, BUT…. I suspect, once the numbers are all tallied, the biggest Moocher Class of them all will be big business. If we were to force them to pay what they owe in taxes, cut the subsidies, and police their criminal activities, we could make a dent in the budget. The real problem with Medicare is the Moocher Class stealing from everyone.

Urban Underground

Let’s discuss the Moocher Class. What about government subsidies?

Bain Capital received a few subsidies. Oh, wait, Mitt parks his money off shore.

“...GS Industries. In 1996 American Iron Reduction LLC, a joint venture of GS Industries (which had been taken private by Bain in 1993) and Birmingham Steel, sought some $20 million in tax breaks in connection with its plan to build a plant in Louisiana’s St. James Parish (Baton Rouge Advocate, April 6, 1996). As the United Steelworkers union noted recently, GS Industries later applied for a federal loan guarantee, but before the deal could be implemented the company went bankrupt.

Sealy. A year after the 1997 buyout of this leading mattress company by Bain and other private equity firms, Sealy received $600,000 from state and local authorities in North Carolina to move its corporate offices, a research center and a manufacturing plant from Ohio (Greensboro News & Record, March 31, 1998). In 2004 Bain and its partners sold Sealy to another private equity group.

GT Bicycles. In 1997 GT, then owned by Bain and other investors, decided to move its manufacturing operations to an enterprise zone in Santa Ana, California. Being in the zone gave the company, which was later purchased by Schwinn, special tax credits relating to hiring and the purchase of equipment (Orange County Register, July 9, 1999)….”

Moochers?

“…9. Sunflower Oil
Total Subsidies (1995-2010): $880 million
Biggest Producers: Cargill, Dow AgroChemical
Notes: Sunflower seed snackers account 25% of consumption, but the sunflower’s oil is the most common product. The oil is used both for flavor enhancement (see the back of most any Lay’s bag) and as a cooking oil, as well as in cosmetics for moisturizing.

8. Peanut Butter
Total Subsidies (1995-2010): $3.4 billion
Biggest Producers: The J.M. Smucker Co., Unilever
Notes: Despite the increased awareness of nut allergies, taxpayers in 2008 subsidized about ten times the amount of peanuts they did in 1995.

7. Ground Beef
Total Subsidies (1995-2010): $3.6 billion
Biggest Producers: Fairbank Farms, Cargill
Notes: By a wide margin, beef is the most produced and consumed livestock in the country, and more than 40% of beef is sold as ground beef.

6. Milk
Total Subsidies (1995-2010): $4.9 billion
Biggest Producers: Dean Foods, Dairy Farmers of America
Notes: Americans aren’t drinking as much milk as they used to, especially whole milk. Either way subsidies are way, way up–from $13 million in 2008 to $1.2 billion in 2009 after dairy farmers suffered the recession and an decrease in exports. If you’re an average American, you drink about 21 gallons of cow juice every year.

5. Beer
Total Subsidies (1995-2010): $10.6 billion
Biggest Producers: Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors, Pabst
Notes: One has to wonder what those involved in the modern temperance movement must think of their tax dollars being used to produce the devil’s Kool-Aid. Two of the most subsidized crops in America, barley and sorghum, are the main components of beer, which Americans drank nearly 22 gallons of in 2008.

4. Rice
Total Subsidies (1995-2010): $12.9 billion
Biggest Producers: American Rice
Notes: Rice has become increasingly popular in the average American diet, with the grain occupying 21 pounds of space per year in a person’s diet in 2008, a 22% increase from 17 pounds in 1995.

3. Soybean Oil
Total Subsidies (1995-2010): $24.3 billion
Biggest Producers: Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland
Notes: Soy oil is used for everything from ink to making tofu, soy milk, and just about any vegetarian alternative you can think of. It’s a decent way to get protein instead of relying on meats or dairies. More money has been given to soybean growers than rice, sorghum and dairy combined in the last 15 years.

2. Bread
Total Subsidies (1995-2010): $32.4 billion
Biggest Producers: Entenmann’s, Pepperidge Farm, Sara Lee
Notes: Why do we need to subsidize wheat? It’s a staple of the American diet, and no one’s announcing a better or alternative way of making bread without wheat. Regardless of the consistently high demand, the government continues to push billions per year into wheat farming subsidies.

1. Corn Syrup
Total Subsidies (1995-2010): $77.1 billion
Biggest Producers: Archer Daniels Midland
Notes: Corn is in everything. It’s in your Coca-cola. It’s in your cheese. It’s in cereal, gum, shampoo, soap, and sometimes even clothes. Corn is one of the most efficient crops of all time, giving a ton of energy (sugar) in tiny packages (kernels). In the ethanol industry, corn is used as fuel–fully transcending the notion of a what a ‘crop’ can be. When you’re traveling outside the US, notice the way soda tastes: it’s different, because it uses real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup….”

You know that evil bailout? You know who got a heck of a lot of money? Big Business…. moochers all. The ARRA was a corporate bailout.

Dirt Diggers

The Pink Flamingo has one little question. Who is the parasite now?

Unfortunately, there are those who think that people who are part of that 47%: Senior Citizens, Vets, etc. are lazy and shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Think Progress

Yep, if you’re part of that dead-beat 47%, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote. The worst of this is that a goodly percentage of that 47% are senior citizens, most of whom have already paid more in taxes than these two bit little goose-stepping fascists will ever see in their lives.

The very worst – the far right now thinks that vets, disabled vets, and anyone getting VA benefits is now a parasite. I thought

Ezra Klein wrote:

“...Let’s do away with the ridiculous myth that 47 percent of Americans are tax-evading moochers. Of the 46 percent of Americans who were expected to pay no federal income tax in 2011, more than 60 percent of them were working and contributing payroll taxes — which means they paid a higher effective tax rate on their income than Romney does — and an additional 20 percent were elderly. So more than 80 percent were either working or past retirement age….”

Mitt Romney and his followers apparently are incapable of realizing any of this. This is a person who doesn’t give a damn about people, or jobs. He’s all about the bottom line. there is NOTHING wrong with the bottom line, BUT, in the real world, were people are kind, compassionate, and loving, where we understand that there are things more important than that bottom line, people like Mitt Romney are not well liked. They are considered the bottom feeders of society. They are scavengers, getting rich off the suffering of others. No, they did not build it, but they’re reaping the rewards and the men and woman who built it get the shaft. They are the real parasites.

 

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3 Comments

  • SallyVee says:

    You seem to be in a bit of a snit about this. What is it today? Oh, you don’t like Mitt Romney. Or Ann Romney. Where have I heard that before, let me think. But today’s snarl is fresh and shiny, like those very expensive leather shoes Mitt has been seen wearing. Someone should behead that bastard for even thinking about shoes when so many Egyptians have no socks.

  • unknown jane says:

    what happened to the comments?

    Been reading your blog — some really interesting stuff (and disheartening: how can one call oneself what one thinks one is when people have taken over the definition and made it something else?); and I started out as a reader at some of the “conservative” sites you mention here…which explains why I never fit in and ultimately got called a troll and/or banned at most of them. I didn’t realize the company they keep/kept/are keeping…wow…
    It’s come to a point where the definitions of things have become so twisted, the lies so deep, that I don’t know exactly where to go or what to do. Perhaps this is a good thing – because over dependency on labels is killing us as a society.

  • SJ Reidhead says:

    If you dare express an opinion they don’t like, you’re treated like dirt. I know. You aren’t alone in being treated that way. It’s reached the point where I rarely bother leaving a comment anywhere. Romney’s paid fan base harasses and belittles. Then, again, someone has bought off many of the conservative blogs, paying posters to be positive about him.

    SJR


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