Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hi, I'm Earl. How Do You Sleep at Night?

No, I haven't had a sex (er, gender...) change, or even a name change, nor am I paying homage to some 90s sitcom.  I have been trying to summon the will to write for weeks. After I read about Earl, will weaved and bobbed and sputtered a sequence of cogent sentences, but ultimately sighed and laid back down, defeated.   Here's the thing (thankfully, someone else said it for me):
You campaign in poetry, someone once said, but you govern in prose. The poetry was magnificent. The prose, in far too many ways, has been dreck, and those who believed now find themselves more demoralized than they can easily describe. William Rivers Pitt, from The Nowhere Man.

While many, if not most, members of Congress are millionaires and
  • public service workers, like practically HALF the payroll for the City of Costa Mesa, Calif, for example, are being laid off, and 
  • school budgets (read teaching staff) get slashed across the land and, 
  • college students can't get funds to stay in school, nor jobs to offset the costs their return home has caused their retirement-fund depleted, underemployed or laid-off parents to incur, 
  • and unemployed veterans like Earl who are no longer eligible to receive unemployment compensation, have to prove eligibility to continue to receive health care assistance (just to name a few)--
exists contiguously with, to quote Sen. Bernie Sanders:
1)      Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009.  Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.
2)      Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.
3)      Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.
4)      Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.
5)      Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.
6)      Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.
7)      Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.
8)      Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.
9)      ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.
10)  Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.  (Just to name a few)
And YOU who are in a position to do something about it, DON'T -- I can barely sleep at night (let alone write.)  I don't know how you manage to.


Mike Golch said...

most member of congress and the senate recieve their marching orders from big business in the form of contrabutions for the election bids. in return they owe big business.That what big business pays little to No taxes.

MtnGrl said...

I know, Mike, but I got swept up in the eloquence and began to hope against hope that he'd at least *try* to change that!

Ruth said...

Unfortunately I'd say he's outnumbered. He went in with great intentions about fixing what was wrong but realized once he got there that he was trying to dig out an avalanche with a teaspoon. And many of the forest rangers have been dumping on more snow with an army of backhoes. And now thanks to Citizen's United rigging the 2010 midterm election the problem is even worse.

And they said on the news tonight that if the government shuts down on Friday night military troops and other government workers lose their paychecks but guess what? THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS STILL GET THEIRS! Supposedly Boehner has said he thinks Congress shouldn't take theirs (yeah, right, like that's really gonna happen).

Ruth said...

<---Wonders how much it would help lower the deficit if members of Congress would give up their congressional paychecks for, say, six months or a year.....

MtnGrl said...

Ruth, I so heart that: "dig out an avalanche with a teaspoon"! Such apt imagery! LOL


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