Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tax justice is storming the United States

At the top of the Financial Times website right now, an article headlined Obama puts tax at heart of election:
"Barack Obama laid down the battle lines for the presidential election Tuesday night as he promised a “fairer” tax regime on the day Mitt Romney, the leading Republican contender, revealed that he paid federal income taxes at an effective rate of just 13.9 per cent in 2010.
. . .
“You can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense,” he said."
If you've missed the Mitt Romney story, take a look here; Obama's address is here.

Take a look, if you haven't already, at the video pushing tax justice for the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. Take a look at our new and invigorating TJN-USA. Take a look, when you can, at the new video We're not Broke. Take a look at the new Tackle Tax Havens project. Take a look at the surging profile of the veteran and excellent Citizens for Tax Justice, also in Washington, D.C. Take a look at the Boston Herald, in an article that pits TJN director John Christensen against Ayn Rand:
This type of aggressive tax avoidance is only available to a few elite who consider themselves above others, said John Christensen, an economist and director of London-based Tax Justice Network.
See Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, following the likes of Warren Buffett, saying he doesn't pay enough tax. "It's just justice." Take a look at Elizabeth Warren on the Daily Show, quoting research by our friends at Citizens for Tax Justice. See this article Business Leaders Agree With President: End Millionaire Tax Breaks. Now take a look at this interview with none other than David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's director of the Office of Management and Budget, tearing apart the business strategy of Mitt Romney's private equity industry. Most remarkable is that he spent years in the private equity industry himself.
"Romney was disingenous when said got grad education in company creation, job creation, growing economy as an LBO [leveraged buyout] artist. LBOS are just financial speculation – I was in the business for the same period of time. I won’t pretend that I learned anything during that tells me how to improve the U.S. economy or how to create jobs.

What I learned was how to strip-mine the cash out of a company to pay the debt. What I learned was how to powder up the pig to sell it in the quickest IPO. I made some very large gains in some cases; I had some bankruptcies in others. The point is: LBOs are not about growing an economy."
And read more about private equity, from an incontrovertible tax justice angle, here.

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