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Speaker of the House, John Boehner said it in a speech he made to the Economic Club of DC a couple of days ago.
Actually, the Speaker’s “simple equation” is bad math. One of the most prosperous periods in recent US history came during the administration of President Clinton, when the tax rates were higher. As you recall, Clinton was followed by President Bush who cut taxes, mostly for the rich. Those Bush tax cuts resulted in the squandering of the surplus produced by the Clinton administration. There was no money to pay for the just war in Afghanistan and Bush’s optional war in Iraq. Remember how the President and Vice President Cheney said that oil revenue from the quickly freed and grateful nation of Iraq would pay for the wars? Those were the days. As it happened, the combination of tax cuts and the increased spending of borrowed money meant that the deficit grew and grew hugely. As for jobs, Bush created about 3 million jobs (net) over his eight years; Clinton created 23 million. That ought to settle this nonsense about killing jobs by raising taxes on millionaires.
We hate to drag this out, but Speaker Boehner has also said, back in May 10th of this year, that those Bush tax cuts created 8 million jobs over 10 years. No objective analysis of that period can find 8 million jobs. Rather than add to the misery of this post and your web experience, we refer you to PolitiFact, an objective site that sorts out the truths and falsehoods of our politicians.
On the Google corporate website, under the heading Our philosophy there’s a subheading that says You can make money without doing evil. Well, that’s good to know. In fact, Google has set up a philanthropic organization at www.google.org to do good.
On the google.org website, under the heading Philanthropy @ Google, it says, “Google approaches philanthropy in a variety of ways. In 2010, charitable giving at Google exceeded $145 million in funding to non-profits and academic institutions, and more than $184 million in total giving when including Google Grants, Google.org technology projects and product support for non-profits.”
That’s impressive. And it suggests that Google is interested in being a good corporate citizen, doing good instead of evil while making money.
On the other hand, we heard from National Public Radio that eight years ago Google transferred all of its non-U.S. intellectual rights to a subsidiary in Ireland. Intellectual property rights are the meat and bones of Google’s business. And if those rights were in the U.S., all profits due to those rights would be taxed at the usual corporate tax rate of 35 percent. But Google’s tax rate in Ireland is only 12.5 percent.
But wait, there’s more! Google’s Irish subsidiary pays royalties to a second Irish subsidiary that has its tax residency in Bermuda where the corporate tax rate is zero.
Wait, wait, there’s still more! Ordinarily, the first Irish subsidiary would have to pay taxes to shift money from Ireland to Bermuda, so to get around that little problem, Google sends the royalties from the first Irish subsidiary to a Ducth subsidiary that passes them on to the second Irish subsidiary that has designated no-tax Bermuda as its residency.
When it comes to arranging things to lower your taxes, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand has said this — Everybody does so, rich or poor, and do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more taxes than the law demands. Taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions.
Maybe the tax code needs to be rethought and rewritten.
Think you know how the US government dug itself into such a dept hole? Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has come up with some astonishing numbers that shine a bright new light on our country’s national debt.
It turns out that the level of discretionary spending by the US government is unchanged compared to what it spent back in 2001. Yep, if you figure in inflation and population growth, we spend the same in that area as we did a decade ago. And, remember, back then the government had a surplus of 128 billion.
On the other hand, as you might expect, the cost of security programs is up a boisterous 74 percent from 2001 and the cost of mandatory programs such as Social Security and Medicare is up 32.2 percent.
But here’s the truly surprising part. Revenues — which is to say, the amount brought in primarily from taxes — those revenues are down 18.2 percent. This is astounding: as a percent of GDP, revenues have dropped to their lowest level since 1950.
“Are we really spending too much on non-defense programs?” Senator Inouye asked “The answer is clearly no,” he said. “Non-defense discretionary spending levels are essentially unchanged from 2001. There is no reason we shouldn’t be able to afford them today.” Inouye went on to say, “The focus of our deficit talks should not be on domestic discretionary spending, but on the real reason why we are not running a surplus: historically low revenues, soaring mandatory spending, and the cost of war.”