BY NORM ROURKE
Well, well, well, why should we be surprised with the latest revelations of corporate and political hypocrisy?
American taxpayers continue to be suckers duped by tax evading corporations. We’re even more stupid for falling for the political baloney dished out by recently elected newbies promising big changes to stop corporate greed and tax breaks.
Holy farm subsidy Batman, many of them are on the government dole as well!
Let’s start with GE. This icon of corporate America paid no – that’s ZERO – corporate taxes in 2010, but they earned $14 billion for the year. Only one third of this came from its U.S. operations.
Here’s the real kicker, CEO Jeff Immelt is head of the White House panel on job creation and economic competitiveness. But Immelt’s company outsources many of its jobs and work to foreign countries.
Some have called for his removal from his prestigious White House panel. If you think it will happen, I’ve a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll sell you cheap.
But wait, there’s more, as they say on late night commercials.
Twenty-three recently elected candidates or their families are on the take for farm subsidies that accounted for more than $12 million since 1995.
These are some of the same politicians that railed against the evil of big corporations. They heard the voices of protesters [most likely set up by the candidates themselves] we saw on TV during the campaigns calling for controls on big corporations and subsidies dished out to these terrible people.
A member of this happy band of subsidy recipients is Rep. Stephen Fincher, a Republican from Frog Jump, TN [I’m not joking … that’s where he says he’s from]. Fincher lists himself as a “farmer” and “gospel singer” in the congressional directory.
In the period 1995-2006, Fincher received $3 million in farm subsidies. Not bad for a farmer who sings heavenly music.
Then we have the poster girl of the Tea Party, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MN. In the same period, her family farm received $251,973 in subsidies. You might recall Bachmann was the Tea Party responder to the president’s State of the Union message.
A few of the others include:
• Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, $1 million over the 11-year period. Government farm subsidies [Translation: taxpayer dollars] is a Grassley family tradition. His son received $699,248 and even his grandson is on the government subsidy take. Isn’t it nice how families stick together?
• Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-MO, $774,489.
• Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-IN, $180,000 [1997-2009]
•Sen. Jon Tester, D-MT, $159,549. As owners of T-Bone Farms, Tester and his wife, Sharla, also received $282,754 in subsidies for the 11-year period.
• Rep. Tom Latham, R-IA, more than $1 million in subsidies.
Racota Valley Ranch owned by South Dakota Republican Rep. Kristi Noem’s family equaled that of the gospel singer from Frog Jump, TN. This little family operation received more than $3 million in subsidies.
GE and any other corporation that pays no corporate income tax should be penalized. And any company that outsources jobs to foreign countries should not benefit from tax breaks.
But don’t forget it was the corn farmer lobbyists that brought us ethanol with all its highly touted miracles. They just didn’t tell us how much it would cost to produce this stuff, how much water it uses to produce it, how much trash it belches in the air to produce it and they sure didn’t tell us how much more fuel we’d use because of the lower mileage it created. More importantly they didn’t tell us how many millions in subsidies they were getting the produce this useless fuel.
During the most recent political campaign, candidates were quick to point fingers at others pledging to make changes when elected. What a joke. It looks like they need to clean up their own houses first. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
Don’t you feel better about the leadership of this country? It’s the best your tax money can buy.
– Norm Rourke lives in Beggs, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer