Posts Tagged ‘Graft’
April 5, 2011 By Joshua Holland AlterNet
If you or I were running a small business and we kept one set of books showing how much money we were making and a second set for the IRS that painted a picture of an enterprise on the brink of bankruptcy, we’d end up behind bars.
But that’s standard operating procedure for corporate America. In fact, public corporations have to do it — the law requires that they keep one set of books for their shareholders, and another for the IRS. As tax journalist David Cay Johnston explained, “Many corporations routinely tell investors they incur millions in corporate income taxes, while the financial records they give the IRS show they owe nothing or are due refunds.”
In the records kept by the IRS, corporations cook the books “by using tax shelters, offsetting income with losses from years ago, and employing countless other devices that make them look like paupers to the IRS but money machines to investors.”We got a peek into this process last week, when the New York Times revealed that multinational giant GE is not only avoiding corporate income taxes this year, but is taking a “tax benefit” of $3 billion. According to the Times, the company’s “extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore.”
But of course, GE is not alone. Here are 10 other big corporate tax evaders (with an assist from an MSNBC analysis of leading corporate tax-dodgers). Keep in mind that neither political party ever actually cuts spending significantly, so every dollar these companies avoid paying is one that will come out of the paychecks of working America.
CEO: Eric Schmidt (117 on Forbes list of the wealthiest with a net worth of $6.3 billion in 2010.)
2010 Pre-tax Profit: $10.8 billion
How Google avoids paying US taxes: According to MSNBC, Google reports income in overseas tax havens and then reports its costs here at home. Google also patents its products abroad, licenses its technologies from its overseas subsidiaries and then writes off the costs of the licenses.
Google fun-fact: Google rents 200 goats, complete with goatherd and a border collie, to keep the grass nicely trimmed at Google HQ. Oh, and this week Bloomberg reported that the Federal Trade Commission is considering launching a major investigation into Google’s anti-competitive practices.
2. News Corp
CEO: Rupert Murdoch (Murdoch ranked 53rd on Forbes’ list of highest-paid CEOs and was the 117th richest person in the world last year.)
2010 Pre-tax Profit: $3.3 billion
Taxation strategy: In 2008, the Government Accountability Office issued an analysis concluding that one of the companies with the greatest number of subsidiaries in offshore tax-havens was none other than News Corp., which then had more than 150 of them scattered across the world.
News Corp. fun-fact: Fox “News” devoted significant airtime to hyping the financial ties between Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family, and the developers of the Park 51 Muslim community center planned for downtown Manhattan. Fox implied there was something sinister about the financier, but didn’t mention that he is also News Corp.’s second largest shareholder, with 7 percent of the company’s stock.
Written by laudyms
April 6, 2011 at 9:37 am
Written by laudyms
February 26, 2011 at 10:18 am
(updated) x 3
First Wisconsin, then your back yard.
This isn’t just about unions- the big scam is about power plants and a vertical monopoly for the Koch Brothers with total disregard for the public interest. In a word: looting.
This is the big issue hidden behind the bargaining conflict: selling off public assets for peanuts to corporate cronies of corrupt politicians. We will soon be prisoners in our own country if this continues: pay a corporation to drive on your street, to cross every bridge, to use your water faucet, to flip a light switch….They’ll add exponential profits to use what used to be public utilities and infrastructure built with public funds. The new feudalism is at the gate!
“On May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor day, Nazi groups occupied union halls and labor leaders were arrested. Trade Unions were outlawed by Adolf Hitler, while collective bargaining and the right to strike was abolished. This was the beginning of a consolidation of power by the fascist regime which systematically wiped out all opposition groups, starting with unions, liberals, socialists, and communists using Himmler’s state police. Fast forward to America today, particularly Wisconsin. Governor Walker and the Republican/Tea Party members of the state legislature are attempting to pass a bill that would not only severely punish public unions (with exception for the police, fire, and state trooper unions that supported his campaign), but it would effectively end 50 years to the right of these workers to collectively bargain.”
[Note: Now here's a thought...] As always this has to do with money, and the union “compromise” coming down the pipe was set up to be the “booby” prize while the Koch Brothers get their “booty” prize. This is all being well-orchestrated with an end game that has absolutely nothing to do with unions. As I said in comments before, to much bewilderment, this is about power plants and a vertical monopoly the Kock Brothers have their eye on in Wisconsin. So in short: 1) Koch Brothers get their puppet Governor Walker in power 2) Governor Walker gins up a crisis 3) Democrats and Progressives take the bait and counter-protest on collective bargaining 4) Governor Walker will compromise on collective bargaining if the rest of the budget is passed as is 5) Bill passes, with trojan horse give-a-way to the Koch Brothers nested in 6) Koch Brothers will buy Wisconsin state-owned power plants for pennies on the dollar in closed unsolicitated bids for which there will be no oversight 7) Koch Brothers get the best vertical monopoly in a generation .
In a move so fitting for a hero of the modern Corporate Facist Republican Party Scott Walker today is having a hissy fit if he does not get his way. Yes, the Governor that started that state’s budget problems with huge giveaways to Corporate America now wants his plan to make workers pay for it passed at all costs. Today he is refusing to compromise and threatening to axe 1500 jobs in a recession if he does not get his way. But of course Scott Walker has already been bought and paid for and has received his marching orders. Indeed, Walker has become a foot soldier for billionaires in the War on the Working Class and is relishing his new role as “warrior” for the greediest and least patriotic among us.
By Adele M. Stan | AlterNet
The fight in Wisconsin is over Governor Walker’s 144-page Budget Repair Bill. But the MSM is missing a large part of what the bill would do. The bill would allow for the NO-BID selling of state-owned heating/cooling/power plants, without concern for the legally-defined public interest. The attempt to break labor is part of the same continuous motion as saying that the crony, corporatist selling of state utilities to the Koch brothers and other energy interests is the new “public interest.”
Madison, Wisconsin — A new investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy documents the big money funneled by one of the richest men in America and one of the richest corporations in the world to put controversial Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in office.
Walker’s hidden energy agenda was evident even before he took office:
Addendum: thanks to Mike Konczal at Rortybomb
- Shawn Doherty in Cap Times has a great article on Governor Walker going after Medicaid. I’ve been trying to get my head around this part of the debate, a part equally important as the public union breaking part. The ability for a Governor to rework important state functions without oversight and without some sort of check for the “public interest” leads to crony deals and corruption. Jonathan Cohn has an important followup, where he points out the telling idea that Walker is even going after Tommy Thompson’s reforms.
Item from August, 2010:
COVERT OPERATIONS The billionaire brothers [owners of Koch Industries, Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch, 74 and 70, respectively, at date of publication 8/30/2010], are waging a war against Obama
While Fox News feeds its rabble the anti-union line, Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal columnists front for Koch’s Americans for Prosperity and coddle elite investors
In spite of their criticism of unions in Wisconsin, AlterNet has confirmed that leading right-wing pundits are American Federation Television and Radio Artists union members.
Written by laudyms
February 22, 2011 at 9:33 am
The influential $42 billion-a-year payday lending industry, thriving from a surge in emergency loans to people struggling through the recession, is pouring record sums into lobbying, campaign contributions, and public relations – and getting results.
As the Senate prepares to take up financial reform, lobbyists are working to exempt companies that make short-term cash loans from proposed new federal regulations and policing. In state capitals around the country, payday companies have been fighting some 100 pieces of legislation aimed at safeguarding borrowers from high interest rates and from falling into excessive debt.
Last year, as the U.S. House drew up a financial reform bill, some lawmakers who were courted by the companies and received campaign contributions from them helped crush amendments seeking to restrict payday practices, a review by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund has found.
Written by laudyms
March 3, 2010 at 9:54 am
It’s nice to know that there are 8 lobbyists for each member of Congress.
If you take their money, you shouldn’t be able to vote on their damn bills. Maybe that’s the way to limit corporate influence- just pass a decent conflict of interest statute for Congress! What we have now amounts to legalized bribery.
But What Are Supporters And Opponents Getting For Those Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars?
1 Mar 2010 // It’s too early to say how the messy, protracted health care debate will end. But one thing is already clear: It’s generated record lobbying expenditures. And like health care itself, the lobbying battle over health reform just keeps costing more.
Health-care-related lobbying and TV advertising have easily cleared the half-billion mark, topping $700 million in 2009, according to political money and ad tracking experts. Much of that went to pay for an army of lobbyists that numbered 4,525 last year, reports the Center for Public Integrity — eight for every member of Congress.
The health care lobbying bonanza has raised uncomfortable questions, both for lawmakers and for industry players and activists……
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Corruption in Politics – Part 1 of 2
Corruption in Politics Part 2 of 2
Public Citizen president Robert Weissman fired up a rally at the Washington, D.C., offices of Goldman Sachs – you know, the taxpayer-bailed-out financial services behemoth that, according to its own CEO, is “doing God’s work.”
What a perfect day for a protest! Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman and SEIU’s Andy Stern rallied the crowd in front of the Capitol Hill headquarters of Goldman Sachs. Our message? Break up the banks.
Written by laudyms
December 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm
From Paying big to buy Congress Capitol Hill Blue 09/16/09
By ALAN FRAM
Sen. Max Baucus, a leader in the troubled effort in Congress to write a health care overhaul bill, has received more campaign donations from the health industry than any elected federal official except President Barack Obama and three other senators.
Baucus, who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has collected $3.9 million in donations from the health industry since 1989………
Baucus’ bill — set to be unveiled Wednesday — is seen as the closest to a draft that might win Senate passage with some GOP support. It’s also the closest to what the health industry wants: It has no government-run insurance option, would require individuals to get coverage and sets up experiments in limiting medical malpractice suits……
Corporate and individual contributions from the health sector to current officeholders have totaled $328 million over the past two decades…….Health insurers alone have donated at least $42 million to lawmakers, including nearly $2 million to the six senators working on the health legislation.
|Clearly with campaign contributions now a euphemism for graft, Senators no longer have any concern about consequences from conflicts of interest.
Senators held stock in bailed-out banks
By Reid Wilson and Kevin Bogardus TheHill
|Senators who oversee the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package held stocks in many of the banks bailed out towards the end of last year, according to financial disclosure reports released Friday.
According to the reports detailing senators’ finances in 2008, nearly half of the members of the Senate Banking Committee had holdings in financial institutions that have taken funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The panel has jurisdiction over the bailout fund and other relief efforts directed by federal regulators to save the nation’s financial system.