By Paul Murphy
As an American progressive and social democratic leftist, I am always annoyed when those who indicate that we simply do not have enough financial resources to fund new public programs or reforms such as tuition free and debt free public higher education, direct infrastructure investment, expanding social security, or either enacting a public option or a single payer healthcare system. However, we do have the financial capabilities to enact bold and needed public projects. We just need to show them were money is actually going towards. A 2015 study by the United States Public Interest Research Group revealed that major American corporations, such as Apple and Microsoft, are holding $2.1 trillion or more in foreign tax havens, which includes countries such as Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore.
If all of that specific tax haven money were collected at the national corporate tax of 35%, it would raise more than $700 billion dollars for the government to invest in student financial aid, Medicare for the elderly and social security. Also, other forms of corporate welfare for the rich big businesses and other privatized institutions, including tax credits, breaks, loopholes and subsides, cost the working class, the middle class, small and medium businesses more in higher taxes. Why should wealthy individuals and businesses be given large amounts of money that already have or generate from domestic or international activities? It is almost like giving your young adult child an allowance while he or she has a steady middle income career with well-established benefits through their own company. Not to mention if cannabis were legalized and if we taxed exempt organization were taxed such as churches and private higher education, billions of dollars worth of revenue would start to kick in. Apparently, we do have the money. It’s just going into the wrong places. Let us also not forget are continous funding of our bloated, militaristic, imperialist and colonial defense budget that wasted, especially when an internal study exposed $125 billion in administrative bureaucratic waste in the Pentagon’s business operations. So much fiscal conservatism from our neoconservative, neoliberal state. With that kind of money, we can easily invest it into assisting our veterans and their basic needs at home. They have already suffered enough state sponsored war and violence that plagues the rest of the world, especially developing nations in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. We should also remind ourselves about the more than $50 billion we are going to invest this year in foreign aid to corrupt developing countries and Israel, which continues its illegal occupation and marginalization of
Palestinian Arabs, rather than providing food assistance for our own country’s poorest of poor.
Essentially, we should use this money for ordinary citizens rather the rich and developing countries. I would rather see my taxes go towards public education expansion rather than corporate welfare. I would rather see my taxes go towards roads and bridges that I drive on rather than building roads in the developing world. I would rather see tax reductions for the working class and middle class rather than tax loopholes, credits, subsides and breaks for the rich and powerful corporations. Show us where the real money from the people are going towards. Taxation must have representation for all ordinary peoples. The People’s money must go back and serve their collective, social interests that will benefit and enhance our own country from sea to shining sea.
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