July 1, 2011
By Joseph J. Honick©
Read More Joe Hoenick
If you read and are properly confused by the daily media recitations of almost universal fiscal disaster, you almost want to feel sorry for the allegedly struggling major corporations and the traditionally rich.
But don’t worry about them…because, according to reliable sources like the Financial Times, a headline says “Millionaires Shrug Off Downturn.” And the largest percentage of those well heeled folks is of course right in North America, followed closely by Europe and an area fuzzily described as Asia-Pacific.
In fact, according to the Times, “Millionaires across the world are richer than before the financial crisis!
Then we turn to another report that just 10 American companies have tons of billions in profits parked in overseas banks….free from the IRS collection squad.
According to accounting experts, General Electric alone has an estimated $94 billion in untaxed foreign profits! But they’re just one of the fiscal hit parade. And GE paid no income tax for the past year of any kind.
Here is the rest of the “hit parade”:
Pfizer $48 billion
Merck $40 billion
Johnson & Johnson $37 billion
Exxon Mobil $35 billion
Citigroup $32 billion
Cisco Systems $32 billion
Procter & Gamble $30 billion
Microsoft $29 billion
That comes to nearly $300 billion tucked away and protected from the IRS.
The big boys claim that U.S. tax laws would hit them for about 35% if they brought that money back to the U.S.
These reports coincide with another from the reliable Financial Times that “U.S. Households Face Tax Rises,” according to a recent study. According to the FT’s Dan McCrum: “Without policy changes, each U.S. household faces an additional tax bill of $1,400 per year above any increase in revenues from economic growth.”
Those data are based on research by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Rochester.
Are you still there? Because there really is a lot more.
Although President Obama has made a lot of headlines with his declarations to ‘downsize’ our operation in Afghanistan, reality is that we have many billions of outstanding construction and other contracts in that country that apparently will not be cancelled. In some cases, those deals are to build new bases over the next several years.
The bottom lines for these bottomless pits are simply that the rich can’t be bothered; corporate billions will not be taxed; defense contractors remain joyful, and the ordinary taxpayer will be pressured to meet the bills.
Given the corporations who claim they cannot afford the taxes on their hundreds of billions of overseas profits, and after most of them were the beneficiaries of bailouts and stimuli, it’s only fair that working people should pick up the slack ... isn’t it?
Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications,. Honick can be reached at email@example.com.
Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org