Thoughts on Handing Our Money to Corporations and the Rich

Help protect the disabled, the poor, our seniors and our kids from having to absorb the cost of yet another irresponsible, fiscally indefensible tax giveaway to the superrich

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To those who think we should slash $300 million from programs affecting the people of Wisconsin instead of rescinding the estate tax on the heir and heiresses to the state’s largest fortunes, consider this:

“In 2005, the 300,000 men, women and children who comprised the top tenth of 1 percent had nearly as much income as all 150 million Americans who make up the economic lower half of our population. Add the income the rich are not required to report and those 300,000 made more than the 150 million.” [Free Lunch, David Cay Johnston]

“Of each dollar people earned in 2005, the top 10 percent got 48.5 cents. This was the top tenth’s greatest share of the income pie since 1929, just before the Roaring Twenties collapsed into the Great Depression.” [Free Lunch, David Cay Johnston]

The facts are indisputable — the tax policies of this state and this country are pouring a higher percentage of dollars into the bank accounts of those at the absolute top of the income stratosphere than they ever have.

We are careering towards an economic meltdown and yet, rather than correct this horrid shift in tax policy which started under Reagan’s nonsense, we continue to watch elected officials promote the handing off larger stacks of our cash to the wealthy and to corporations.

This is madness.

Sign our petition now and help protect the disabled, the poor, our seniors and our kids from having to absorb the cost of yet another irresponsible, fiscally indefensible tax giveaway to the superrich.

Again, if all this tax policy that benefits the rich and corporations was “so good” for the rest of us, why did the average income peak in 1973 at $33,000 and now resides at $29,000?

Think about all of that the next time you hear some lame politico telling you that somehow giving your money to a corporation or to an heir or heiress is the right thing to do.

Think about that when you have to work longer hours just to pay your health care, home and energy bills

Think about that when you graduate from college with a student loan debt that has a higher monthly payment than your rent.

Think about that when have less vacation time.

Think about that when don’t have the time know your neighbors.

Think about that when you have less time to simply hang out with your family.

Think about all of that and then do something about it.

The next time you hear an elected official talk about opening our treasury to benefit a corporation that makes more in a day than you do in a year or a rich person who will pay less on money they get in inheritance than you earn in your lifetime, call and write that “leader” and tell them to open up their own wallet and hand over their paycheck instead of taking money from yours.

Here’s a perfect indication that the ungodly taxdollar investment we make in corporations is garbage: Why doesn’t the state of Wisconsin (or the federal government) require corporations to file paperwork for public viewing that show how the money provided them by the government actually creates jobs and is a benefit to the rest of us?

Why, like Senator Dave Hansen has proposed, is there not a disclosure mechanism showing the people of Wisconsin how corporations evade the taxes we end up paying because they dodge them?

Why? Because if we were more informed about how the system doesn’t work, we’d stop the gravy train flowing from our savings accounts to their offshore accounts.

Just because the corporate television airwaves are full of pro-corporate messages and just because they can always find some hell-bound lackey to parrot their talking points, doesn’t mean it’s not a heaping, steaming pile of nonsense.

They try to divide us by telling the ever-squeezed middle class that the real reason it’s suffering is because of money going to the poor, or “those people.”

Again, remember that the top tenth of 1 percent of income earners, a population less than the size of Waukesha County, had more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.