Dreary eyed bean counters can crawl out from under the heaping mounds of ticker tape, now that the financial reporting on US corporations is complete. And the verdict? It’s U-G-L-Y!
Author Paul Buchheit sums it up nicely:
“The top 100 companies, with $5 trillion in 2010 revenue and $500 billion in pre-tax earnings, paid less than 10% last year in non-deferred federal taxes. If these 100 companies had paid the 35% tax designated by U.S. tax law, an additional $140 billion would have been collected in federal taxes in just one year. This is approximately equal to the total budget deficits for all 50 states.”
Did you catch that? All of these shortfalls – deficits which have been used to justify breaking the unions – are the result of giant corporations not paying their fair share. Disgusting… not unlike a certain Nobel Peace Laureate who starts a new war before finishing his other two.
Speaking of institutionalized armed conflict, hasn’t anyone noticed how much these wars are costing? With budgets over a trillion dollars a year, the defense industry has clearly gone AWOL. And until the American people pull back the purse-strings, these war-mongers will keep acting like spoiled rich kids set loose with their daddy’s credit card.
Many Americans have fallen on tough times. Yet the solution to their woes seems so obvious: end the wars and tax the wealthy. Either step alone would put the US back into the black, and both together would cement America’s position as a leader for years to come.
Implementing this strategy would be simple, if it weren’t for one fact: the democratic system in the US is broken. When it comes to corporatism, tax-cuts for the rich, and exorbitant military expenditures, both parties toe the same line. The US people simply cannot wait for a politician in shining armor to come to their rescue, since any such hero would likely be filtered out long before rising to power.
This leaves the onus on the US population itself, to enact the changes needed using methods outside the mainstream political system.
People who are appalled by all the atrocities being committed by their armies. Citizens who are sick of growing poorer while the wall street fat cats make off with billions. Folks who’ve had it with Washington and the whole screwed up system that caters to the rich instead of the many.
These hundreds of millions of discontent Americans need to unite! While they don’t necessarily need to go all Egypt on their establishment, embracing the revolutionary spirit and harnessing social media will go a long way to help Americans reclaim their lost democracy.
Sure, it’s an uphill battle, but Americans, like humans everywhere, are capable of remarkable things. It won’t be long until the US population joins the world’s great awakening, embracing people power to create a more just global civilization.