Here’s the news you should be hearing more about, but probably aren’t.
- Most companies don’t pay taxes – The Government Accounting Office says that the 72% of foreign corporations and 57% of domestic companies paid no federal income taxes despite having billions of dollars of sales. Next time you hear people talking about getting “government off their back,” check whether they mean off of Big Business’s tax bill and onto yours. This is the same tax code that lets Warren Buffet (the second richest man in America) pay less in taxes than his secretary (17.7% versus 30%). And he isn’t even TRYING to cheat on his taxes; he actually supports higher taxes on the rich.
- Budget Director goes to Wall Street – Peter Orszag, Obama’s fiscally conservative budget director, retired from working in the White House to spend time with his family. But before he did that, he made some noise about Social Security going bankrupt and how the United States needs to cut its deficit to please the bond market and extend the Bush tax cuts. If that didn’t make sense, maybe his new job at Citigroup at a salary of $2-3 million explains it. Citigroup, if you haven’t heard, is 12% owned by the taxpayers and the biggest welfare queen in the financial universe. It’s also where corrupt, neoliberal Democrats go to retire like the infamous Robert Rubin who selected the Obama Cabinet. Orszag is obviously being paid to lobby for Citigroup and against all the rest of us. Oh yeah, and he dumped his pregnant girlfriend for a Eastern European hottie. From class act to class war I suppose.
- Americans too fat and stupid to join the Army – Here’s an interesting statistic: 75% of 17-24 year olds cannot join the military because they are physically unfit, didn’t finish high school, or have a criminal background. One-fourth of military applicants fail the entrance exam that started in World War I. The Department of Defense needs 15% of young people to join the military! Too bad most people are ineligible to join. If the recession ends, there will be fewer people needing to join the military. Will stupidity kill the war machine? Unintended consequences of the decline of American public education.
- Stuff These Stockings – Columnist Katha Pollitt annually publishes her favorite charities for Christmas donations. This year’s list includes Partners in Health (Haiti), a Gaza women’s group, and the Ubuntu Education Fund (South Africa). Open your checkbooks and donate! At the least, buy your loved one an Oxfam goat.