One of the biggest issues in the 2016 elections has been income inequality and corporate greed. It is so bad, that even some Republican candidates have touched on it, but not to the extent that Democrats have.
Millions of Americans have been forced to accept wages that have not increased, even while Wall Street continues to enjoy massive profits since the economy rebounded after the 2008 recession. Many high-paying jobs have been eliminated or outsourced offshore in the constant need for corporate profits.
Now a new report finds that 27 very large, very profitable American companies paid no net income tax, thanks to exploitation of tax loopholes.
Via USA Today:
There are 27 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500, including telecom firm Level 3 Communications (LVLT), airline United Continental (UAL) and automaker General Motors (GM), that reported paying no income tax expense in 2015 despite reporting pre-tax profits, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Only profitable firms were included in the analysis since firms that lost money – like many energy companies – wouldn’t be expected to pay taxes.
Escaping the taxman, so far, hasn’t been an advantage at least in the eyes of investors. Shares of the companies that paid no taxes are down 11% on average over the past 12 months, which is more than twice the 4.8% decline by the S&P 500 during the same period. (Source)
It’s important to note that some ended up paying taxes in some countries, but these taxes were offset by credits in others. Even in the United States, corporations prey on the poorest states like Louisiana who hand out tax credits in the hopes of drawing business- at the expense of local taxpayers.
Consider the fact that Louisiana gives out more in tax credits and exemptions than it collects from corporations. That is why the state is finding itself in massive financial trouble after 8 years of Bobby Jindal. Despite all of these handouts, Louisiana is in a budget hole it can’t recover from without eliminating these loopholes or slashing social services in the unhealthiest state in the country.
Simply put, trickle-down economics and giving more money to corporations doesn’t work. If this scheme actually raised the working class, Louisiana would be the richest state in America – but it isn’t.
Fed with a high-fat diet of conservative politics, the Bible Belt is falling even further into economic ruin. These same politicians and pundits want you to believe that giving more money to corporate greed will finally make the massive Wall Street cup flow over and rain down prosperity on everyone else.
It’s time that working class Americans realize that giving their tax dollars to Wall Street handouts will not lead to their personal gain. The banks, the defense contractors, the hedge fund managers, and the politicians who represent them don’t give a shit about us.