Early on in the baseball season it is common to see extremely high batting averages. No doubt, there are some fairly average players who are hitting 667 right now. That’s two out of three. As the season moves along, most major league players will hover around the 300 mark or the high 200’s. Many hope to end the season there or at least when the contract signing takes place.
Yesterday, the brightest bulb in the GOP House, Paul Ryan, unveiled his plan to save America. A hero, so-to-speak, not unlike Superman or FDR. He was proud as punch to visit all of the cable news rooms and talk about his plan. No doubt, he offered some great ‘fixes’ to the problem- a problem that has resulted from ‘kicking the problem down the road.’ Nice metaphor, don’t you think? He even tugged at the heart-strings of grandparents with the over-used cliché about burdening our grandchildren with heavy debt. He seemed to have all of the bases covered as one would expect from the team captain. GOP leaders were shining with pride as the young gun unveiled the plan that would not only save America, but their butts as well.
Continuing on with the cliché, the devil is always in the details. rudimentary economics details three ways to balance a budget: cut spending, raise revenue, or both. Ryan hit two out of three. That damned ‘raise revenue’ seems to have been missing from his plan. Or did that piece of paper get lost? Elephant in room. BAWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAANNNNKKKKK!
Ryan could not raise taxes because to do so would violate the most important Republican value. The GOP goal of achieving smaller government will never work if the tax burden is increased because, after all, one ought not feed the greedy pig too much. Just consult any regressive-thinking Tea Party member for details and/or spin.
Ryan wants to reform the tax code by removing tax breaks and lowering rates for both businesses and individuals. Swell idea. I’m smelling the flat-tax stew simmering on the stove in the kitchen. Removing tax breaks, he says. Let’s apply this to corporations right away: how many more billions would pour into the Treasury with that one simple adjustment? Perhaps hundreds of billions? What about a flat rate for corporations of say 18 percent? No loopholes.
Carnival Cruises paid 1.1% in taxes last year out of its $11.3 billion in profits. If they paid 18%, then the U.S.Treasury would be $2 billion richer. If Boeing paid 18%, the Treasury would grow by $720 million rather than the $160 million it received last year. Southwest Airlines paid $27million last year rather than $83 million under the 18% plan. How’s that for increasing revenues?
Naturally, the Right-wing echo chamber will be yelling that the poor corporations can’t afford such a tax ‘burden’ and it will drive them offshore, as if that doesn’t already happen, eh? Johnny one-note.
ExxonMobil, despite recording more than $15 billion in income taxes, “paid none of its 2009 income taxes in the U.S.” – Forbes Is this the same ExxonMobil that sucks the oil from the Gulf of Mexico and sells its gasoline to us at $3.79/gallon? Why, yes indeed. Poor corporations!
Of course, Uncle Sam can’t get its hands on all of the profits of these multinational corporations, For example, GE has $84 billion in overseas income parked indefinitely outside the U.S. in places like Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands that (legally) shelter the cash flow from these corporations. That’s why it’s U.S. tax bill was -25%. Poor corporations. Why, if we tax them any more, they will go off-shore and….. Oops.
Paul Ryan had to watch out, yesterday, for the massive piles of elephant dung in the room where he was laying out his new vision of America. Too bad he didn’t see the elephant there in the room, eh?