Letter: Operation rigged in favor of Corporate America

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Bill Clemens

Once again, State Rep. John Kowalko, representing the Newark area, deserves kudos for his Sept. 13 letter to the editor titled, “Delaware inflicting economic genocide on middle class?

John shed more enlightenment on crony political capitalism. He has continued to be the shepherd trying to lead the flock to greener pastures so more people could have some greenbacks to munch on. However, too many politicians continue to make undercover deals with the lobbyists to continually increase profits for big businesses and their shareholders to the detriment of the aspiring to be middle class citizens.

If you are in the upper middle class and above, not to worry. They have you covered. The recent Delaware budget that was passed was simply a welfare redistribution of wealth for the bigwigs. Now, about our poverty-stricken welfare recipients? Well, what about them?

Rather than continually demonizing welfare recipients, most of whom were never given an equal opportunity to climb the socioeconomic latter, and need social welfare programs to avoid poverty, the demonization needs to shift to the hundreds of billions in corporate welfare handouts uncovered from diligent research over the years by the Cato corporation.

A writer from Forbes suggested that “cutting these huge corporate subsidies would be a great way to help balance the national budget.” Monolithic companies like Walmart, who pay their workers non-living wages, results in them applying for food stamps to keep pace with the cost of living.

Here in good old Delaware, instead of increasing the tax rates for the wealthiest Delawareans (tax increases remain anathema to Republicans and now the Democrats too!) that would have provided needed revenue for schools, senior assistance programs, and drug treatment programs, they cut the funding drastically for these programs.

House Bill 102, if passed, would have raised the cost of a limited liability company’s license fees from $300 to $350 a year for the 857,000 LLCs registered in Delaware. This petty $50 increase would have added an additional $43 million that could have fully funded the $31 million they subtracted from the educational funds, and the $2 million they subtracted from the senior drug assistance program, in addition to the monies drained for drug abuse treatment programs.

Maybe it was more important that the LLC’s employees and their lobbying friends could drink premium beers along with some of their political sycophants on Friday afternoons celebrating yet another victory for the bigwigs.

In conclusion, major U.S. companies with their corporate lobbyists, continue to rig the tax code. One academic study found that tax dodging in offshore tax havens by these major corporations costs the U.S. Treasury up to $111 billion a year. Each dollar a company spends on lobbying reaps $130 in tax breaks and over $4,000 in federal loan guarantees and bailouts according to the humanitarian nonprofit Oxfam America organization.

A Syracuse University analysis found that the loss revenue due to the decline in IRS audits, due to their reduced workforce, results in $15 billion a year in lost revenue. Congress needs to pass the “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act” and increase IRS employees to keep these companies accountable and not let them continue their longstanding corrupt practices.

The Delaware Way must not follow that “Operation Rigged” corrupt way of doing business. Make Delaware and America great again.

Bill Clemens

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Posted in Opinion Articles.