S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Friday, May 09, 2003

From an Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy report from October of 2000:

Many of the country's biggest corporations are once again paying little or nothing in federal income taxes, according to a study released today by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, whichcollaborated on a number of widely-publicized analyses of corporate taxes in the 1980s.

"With significant help from Congress, corporations appear to be finding ways around the tax reforms adopted in 1986," said Robert S. McIntyre, a principal author of both the new study and previous corporate tax studies in the 1980s. "We hope our findings will encourage lawmakers to reexamine this important area of taxation."

This pattern has held, through the Reagan-Bush years, through the Clinton years, and the ante is being upped during these Bush years:

Forty-one companies actually paid less than zero in federal income taxes in at least one year from 1996 to 1998. In those tax-free years, the 41 companies reported a total of $25.8 billion in pretax U.S. profits. But rather than paying $9 billion in federal income taxes at the 35 percent rate, these companies enjoyed so many excess tax breaks that they received $3.2 billion in rebate checks from the U.S. Treasury. Just one company, Texaco, reported $3.4 billion in U.S. profits and $304 million in tax rebates over the three years.

Good for Texaco, bad for the rest of us, good for Texaco...

In 1998, twenty-four corporations got tax rebates. These 24 companies--almost one out of ten of the companies in the study--reported U.S. profits before taxes in 1998 of $12.0 billion, yet received tax rebates totaling $1.3 billion. The list of big-name companies getting tax rebates in 1998 included, among others, Texaco, Chevron, CSX, Pepsico, Pfizer, J.P. Morgan, Goodyear, Enron, General Motors, Phillips Petroleum and Northrop Grumman.

IF THIS HAPPENED TO ME OR YOU, THE IRS WOULD BE AFTER US FOR TAX FRAUD, but these companies are rich, these companies are campaign contributors. Is there anybody out there, any single friggin DEMOCRAT in the ring whose going to call corruption "CORRUPTION"? Because I promise you my life, I don't care if its Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, or Helen Keller, the guy who says the way things are is CORRUPT, BUSH IS A LIAR, and HERE'S WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO TO END CORRUPTION, the guy who says that has my vote. He's somemore crazy stuff...

Over the 1996-98 period, petroleum was the lowest-taxed industry in America, with an effective tax rate of only 12.3 percent. In 1998, the tax rate on the 12 big oil companies in the study fell to only 5.7 percent. Only one industry, publishing, paid an effective tax rate of more than 30 percent.


Had all 250 companies paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate on their $735 billionin pretax U.S. profits from 1996 to 1998, their federal income taxes would have totaled $257billion. But instead, tax breaks for the 250 companies lowered their taxes by $26.9 billionin 1996, $31.8 billion in 1997 and $39.3 billion in 1998, for a total of $98 billion in tax savings over the three years.

Competitors in various industries also faced sharply varying effective tax rates. For example, Maytag and General Electric both make kitchen appliances. But Maytag paid 35 percent of its profits in taxes from 1996 to 1998, while GE paid only 8.1 percent. Likewise, Abbot Laboratories and Pfizer are both in the drug business, but the former paid almost 29 percent of its profits in taxes from 1996 to 1998, while the latter paid only 3.1 percent.

I wonder what the campaign contributions of each were to the Clinton Administration....

Companies used a variety of means to lower their federal income taxes, including accelerated depreciation write-offs, tax credits for things like research and oil drilling, and tax breaks for doing business in Puerto Rico. GE continues to slash its tax bills every year through its leasing activities, where it essentially buys tax breaks from companies that have more than they can use.

Brace yourself for what's coming, remember that this report is from OCTOBER of 2000, over a full year before Enron etc...

One fast-growing tax break that had a very significant effect in lowering taxes involved stock options. When stock options are exercised, corporations can take a tax deduction for the difference between what employees pay for the stock and what it's worth--even though in reporting profits to shareholders, companies don't treat stock-option transactions as business expenses. ITEP found that 233 of the 250 companies lowered their taxes from stock options, by a total of $25.8 billion over the three years.

This was on the world wide web, for everyone. ITEP is a respected organization that receives acolades from many folks who are not right wingers, for their thorough research and integrity. The fact that they pointed this out about stock-options 14 months ahead of the curve just proves how indolent, indifferent and retarded the big media is...The conclusion:

"The general public has a right to be concerned about how their taxes and services are affected by this resurgence in corporate tax avoidance," said McIntyre. "Companies that see their competitors paying much less in taxes than they do have a legitimate beef, too. And anyone who worries about our economy's long-term growth has to wonder why the tax code is being used to favor some industries and some kinds of investments over others, rather than letting market forces decide."

Thursday, May 08, 2003

These guys have broken most of these rules. If they break their own rules, what bond won't they break, what b.s. won't they throw?

January 20, 2001


SUBJECT: Standards of Official Conduct

Everyone who enters into public service for the United States has a duty to the American people to maintain the highest standards of integrity in Government. I ask you to ensure that all personnel within your departments and agencies are familiar with, and faithfully observe, applicable ethics laws and regulations, including the following general principles from the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch:

(1) Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.

(2) Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.

(3) Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.

(4) An employee shall not, except as permitted by applicable law or regulation, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee's agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties.

(5) Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

(6) Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.

(7) Employees shall not use public office for private gain.

(8) Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.

(9) Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

(10) Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.

(11) Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.

(12) Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those -- such as Federal, State, or local taxes -- that are imposed by law.

(13) Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.

(14) Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating applicable law or the ethical standards in applicable regulations.

Executive branch employees should also be fully aware that their post-employment activities with respect to lobbying and other forms of representation will be bound by the restrictions of 18 U.S.C. 207.

Please thank the personnel of your departments and agencies for their commitment to maintain the highest standards of integrity in Government as we serve the American people.



The Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON -- Last February, the Defense Policy Board, a group of outside advisors to the Pentagon, received a classified presentation from the super-secret Defense Intelligence Agency on the crises in North Korea and Iraq.

Three weeks later, the then-chairman of the board, Richard N. Perle, offered a briefing of his own at an investment seminar on ways to profit from possible conflicts with both countries.

Perle and his fellow advisors also heard a classified address about high-tech military communications systems at the same closed-door session in February. He runs a venture capital firm that has been exploring investments in that very area.

The disclosures in recently released board agendas and investment documents are the latest illustrations of how Perle's private consulting and investment interests overlap with his role on the board, which advises the secretary of Defense.

These guys aren't patriots, they don't love their country, they're greedy, they're ruthless and they're rageful. They seek out conflict against the muslim regimes of the Mid-east not because they threaten us physically, but because they are in a good position to get really rich by selling weapons that can kill those people, who cannot fight back. That this story leaked reassures me that there are still people in our Defense Department who care about humanity, and understand decency. Too bad those types aren't the ones running the show...


Monday, May 05, 2003

Laura Bush died and went to heaven. As she stood in front of St. Peter and the Pearly Gates, she saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. She asked, "What are all those clocks?" St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move." "Oh," said Laura, "Whose clock is that?" "That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie." "Incredible," said Laura. "And whose clock is that one?" St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us Abe told only two lies in his entire life." "Where's George's clock?" asked Laura. "George's clock is in Jesus' office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

Insert your own names...


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fifty years after Sen. Joseph McCarthy's scorched earth investigation into supposed communist infiltration of America's most sensitive institutions, secret transcripts released on Monday add another layer of tarnish to his place in history.

The 5,000 pages from his closed-door hearings show no smoking guns, no uncovered spies, no verification of conspiracy theories on which he built his political career.

McCarthy flourished during Cold War anxieties, with some parallels to today's fear of terrorism. Levin said the hearings were a reminder of "tactics (that) can be used to quiet dissenters" and the need to resist "those who try to still voices of disagreement."

Ann Coulter, Conservative professional bitch, is about to release a book that says McCarthy was right...


Poet and playwright Langston Hughes was also quizzed by McCarthy's chief counsel, Roy Cohn.

Cohn: "Put one more 'S' in the USA to make it Soviet. The USA, when we take control, will be USSA then."

Hughes: Will you read me the whole poem?

Cohn: I do not have the whole poem. Do you claim these words are out of context?

Hughes: It is a portion of a poem.

Cohn: Do you claim that these words distort the meaning?

Hughes: That is a portion of a poem and a bar of music out of context does not give you the idea of the whole thing.

Cohn: Have you ever attended a Communist Party meeting? I ask this again because perjury is a very serious crime.

Hughes: Not to my knowledge.

Cohn: Have you ever knowingly participated in any Communist party activities?

Hughes: Just a moment, please.

Cohn: Surely.

Hughes: Could you be specific about the activity?

Cohn: No.

Hughes: No.

Cohn: I asked you a question. I would like an answer.

Freedom of assembly? riigghht...


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