Sunday, December 11, 2011

CORPORATE GREED OBSTRUCTS THE SELF DETERMINATION OF THE US CITIZENS OF PUERTO RICO

These Corporations presently lobby Congress to get more corporate welfare (Foreign Tax Benefits) by operating in Puerto Rico, a US Territory which they have coded as a "foreign country" for their benefit. This allows them to 'launder" their profits, in foreign currency from China, etc, and take home good ole' American dollars instead of foreign money. The trick is to put up a small operative and "invest" in Puerto Rico, USA ( a foreign country for the IRS) and then... report losses and take green money home, with a little tax.

Leaders from both mayor political parties in Puerto Rico are now lobbying full blast in Congress, joining all those lobbyists and some greedy Unions, to get more and more benefits in tax shelters for the Corporations than those which they already have. 
That includes the PNP - Puerto Rico's pro statehood party which was founded 44 years ago under the promise of achieving statehood, a promise never kept. Now our "pro-statehood" Governor and our only Representative (without a vote) are in Congress lobbying heavily to get more foreign Tax credits for the Corporations, thus classifying Puerto Rico as a foreign Country for US tax purposes. What a scam!

This foreign tax code is incompatible with Statehood for Puerto Rico, so the Corporation's Lobbyists also lobby against statehood and give hearty contributions to the campaigns of those politicians who keep on hold any attempt at Puerto Rico's self determination. 

 Can you imagine what kind of money we the people would have to raise to overcome this powerful economic force, just to get Puerto Rico out of the Foreign Tax Code, so that we can move on to self determination ?

THIS IS WHAT HAS PREVENTED PUERTO RICO FROM BECOMING A STATE !
Our political leaders are sold out and whenever we have had a plebiscite, a multimillion dollar campaign begins in Puerto Rico to scare our people in the island, 
and our fellow countrymen in the US, against statehood. We have seen full page ads, both in mayor US papers and in Puerto Rico, discrediting Puertoricans, with the likes of Phyllis Schafly, "English Only" and others, spewing racist attacks against Puerto Ricans and lobbying Congress against us, US Citizens for over 100 years.

Not only do the Corporations own Puerto Rico for their benefit, they are also destroying the United States as we have known it to be.
MJ

30 Major U.S.Corporations Paid More to Lobby Congress Than Income Taxes, 2008-2010
By ASHLEY PORTERO:
KNTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES
December 9, 2011

By employing a plethora of tax-dodging techniques, 30 multi-million dollar American corporations expended more money lobbying Congress than they paid in federal income taxes between 2008 and 2010, ultimately spending approximately $400,000 every day -- including weekends -- during that three-year period to lobby lawmakers and influence political elections, according to a new report from the non-partisan Public Campaign
Despite a growing federal deficit and the widespread economic stability that has swept the U.S since 2008, the companies in question managed to accumulate profits of $164 billion between 2008 and 2010, while receiving combined tax rebates totaling almost $11 billion. 


Moreover, Public Campaign reports these companies spent about $476 million during the same period to lobby the U.S. Congress, as well as another $22 million on federal campaigns, while in some instances laying off employees and increasing executive compensation.


29 Major Corporations Paid No Federal Taxes, 2008-2010

Of the 30 companies analyzed in the report, which include corporate giants such as General Electric, Verizon Communications, Wells Fargo (WFC), Mattel (MAT) and Boeing (BA), 29 of them managed to pay no federal taxes from 2008 to 2010. Only FedEx, which raked in about $4.2 billion in profits during that period, paid a three-year tax rate of 1 percent -- totaling $37 million -- far less than the statutory federal corporate tax rate of 35 percent.

The Public Campaign report expanded on a newly released analysis on corporate tax dodging by the liberal-leaning Citizens for Tax Justice, a non-profit research and advocacy group, as well as lobbying expenditure data provided by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Citizens for Tax Justice, the sister organization to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, reports that 68 of the 265 most consistently profitable Fortune 500 companies did not pay a state corporate income tax during at least one year between 2008 and 2010, while 20 of them paid no taxes at all during that period.

"Our report shows these corporations raked in a combined $1.33 trillion in profits in the last three years, and far too many have managed to shelter half or more of their profits from state taxes," Matthew Gardner, Executive Director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and the report's co-author, said in a statement. "They're so busy avoiding taxes, it's no wonder they're not creating any new jobs."

According to the report, titled "Corporate Tax Dodging in the Fifty States, 2008-2010," state corporate tax revenues have been declining for 20 years, due to the passage of multiple state tax subsidies, as well federal tax breaks that further reduce state corporate income tax revenues since states usually accept corporations' federal tax. Moreover, Gardner said multi-state corporations are constantly "devoting their money and legal firepower to coming up with tax avoidance schemes."

Between 2008 and 2010, the 265 companies analyzed paid state income taxes equal to only 3 percent of their U.S. profits, half of the statutory 6.2 percent state corporate tax rate. As a result, these companies avoided a total of $42.7 billion in state corporate taxes over three years.

"As recently as 1986, state corporate income taxes equaled 0.5 percent of nationwide Gross State Product (a measure of nationwide economic activity)," states the report. "But in fiscal year 2010, state and local corporate income taxes were just 0.28 percent of nationwide GSP, equaling the low-water mark set in 2002."

Companies' Laying Off Workers While Receiving Tax Rebates, Raising Executive Pay

Among the 20 companies who paid zero or less in state corporate taxes are utility provider Pepco Holdings, the pharmaceutical company Baxter International, and Intel Corporation (INTC).

Baxter International (BAX) and Intel are among the corporations that Public Campaign reports did not pay federal incomes during the same three-year period.

Of those companies, General Electric (GE) spent the most on lobbying, expending about $84 million on lobbying while paying a federal income tax rate of negative 45 percent on more than $10 billion in U.S. profits. PG&E Corp. followed General Electric, spending almost $79 million on lobbying, while paying a negative 21 percent tax rate on $4.8 billion of U.S profits, and Verizon Communications, which spent $52 billion on lobbying while paying a negative 3 percent tax rate on $32.5 billion of profits.

A negative effective tax rate means that a company enjoyed a tax rebate, usually obtained by carrying back excess tax deductions and credits to an earlier year, thereby allowing the company to receive a tax rebate check, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.

U.S. House Deputy Whip Kevin Brady, R-Tex., is currently making a last-ditch effort to include a corporate tax repatriation holiday on legislation to extend a payroll tax cut, an extension that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said could put an extra $1,500 into the pockets of middle class families each year. While those in favor of the corporate tax repatriation provision -- which would give U.S. businesses a temporary tax break on as much as $1 trillion in overseas income -- insist it would boost the nation's sluggish economy and make it easier for corporations to create jobs, the Congressional Budget Office reports tax repatriation holidays ranks dead last among 13 policy options for creating jobs. The CBO estimates that over the 2012-2013 period, a repatriation holiday would, at best, create the equivalent of one-full time job for every $1 million in federal costs.

Even while dodging most of their state and federal taxes between 2008 and 2010, Verizon (VZ) laid off more than 21,000 U.S. employees, while Boeing, Wells Fargo, General Electric, American Electric Power, and FedEx also let go of thousands of workers. Because companies can be reluctant to make data changes in U.S. employment available, Public Campaign reports it was not able to find up-to-date employment statistics for many of the companies evaluated in the report.

Moreover, as it was laying off employees, General Electric gave their top executives a 27 percent pay raise between 2008 and 2010 -- executives received more than $75 million in compensation in 2010. Wells Fargo increased executive pay by a whopping 180 percent, upping executive compensation from $17.8 million in 2008 to almost $50 million in 2010, while Boeing, FedEx and American Electric Power also instituted lavish executive pay raises while laying off thousands of lower-level workers.

In fact, 2010 year was a record year for executive compensation. The CEO's of some of the largest U.S. corporations made, on average, $11.4 million in 2010, about 343 times more than workers' median pay, according to an analysis by the American Federation of Labor, the widest gap between executive and employee pay in the world. CEO pay has skyrocketed since 1980, when chief executives were only paid about 42 times more than the average blue collar worker.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median household income fell $3,719 between 2000 and 2010, when measured in 2010 dollars.

Public Campaign released its report on Wednesday, just as thousands of unemployed Americans from across the nation swarmed K Street in Washington, D.C., the lobbying center for some of the world's most profitable corporations. The march was part of "Take Back the Capitol," a four-day series of events aimed at persuading Congress to pass comprehensive job creation measures that will benefit their constituents, rather than special interest groups.