Did anyone watch 60 Minutes on Sunday? If you missed it, you can watch the clip that supercharged my bitchiness here. I thought I was going to watch a clip on how US corporations use overseas tax havens to get out of paying their fair share of taxes. What I instead saw, was a propaganda piece about how the US should lower corporate taxes in order to keep jobs in America.
Oh where to start expressing my rage?
First of all, jobs will continue to leave the US as long as we have higher human rights standards. As long as we insist on safe, fair working conditions, labor will be cheaper in other places. So if you want to keep jobs in America you would have to turn employees into wage slaves, desperate to earn money in any condition. That’s what the union busting epidemic is about, but that’s another topic. As long as we have laws that protect the worker, we’re going to have higher labor rates. Period, end of story. If you want to keep jobs here, you’re going to have to be prepared to work side by side with your ten year old child for twelve hours a day.
Now that we have one implausible, bullshit argument down, let’s move to the other inane point made in this piece.
For this piece, 60 Minutes interviewed the CEO of Cisco. I give him credit for doing the interview, but everything he said was fucking ridiculous. He was talking about businesses moving to Ireland and Switzerland because they have more “reasonable” corporate tax rates. And he went onto caution the US government that it was driving businesses away by having high tax rates. Honestly, I can’t believe this douchecanoe runs a company. I would expect that a person who runs a company would have more business savvy that this. Okay, that’s not true. I actually have come to expect that people that run companies are know-nothing asshats that inherited their lot in life through luck of birth. But I didn’t always have such bitchy, low expectations of CEOs. They drove me to my low opinion of them by saying stupid shit like, “The US better lower its tax rate, or we’re going to leave.”
Here’s the deal, Switzerland and Ireland can have lower tax rates because the US is taking care of their high ticket item in terms of their countries’ budget. We essentially provide defense for all of Europe. They don’t have to spend as much on defense because we do. Does anyone honestly think that Ireland is prepared to defend themselves in a war with another country? No, of course not! Because if Ireland ever gets attacked, the US will jump right in to defend them. Why do you think the Italians or the French aren’t really leading the Libyan mission? Because the lack the tactical and operational capabilities that the US has. Like it or not, we have the strongest military in the world because we spend exponentially more of our GDP on defense than anyone else does.
Am I in love with this situation? No, but that’s how it is. We are the world’s military. And as long as that’s the case, being America just fucking costs more. Deal with it.
These asshat American CEOs who are oblivious to that fact need to bitch slapped repeatedly until they’re cured of their stupid. In their childish fantasy world, they get to drive around in a Ferrari that they paid Hyundai prices for. Idiots! Honestly, just when I’m thinking that politicians are the dumbest people in America, a CEO pipes up to disprove me.
We essentially have two options for keeping jobs in America, according to our CEOs. We can either go back to the days of treating our workers like shit in order to maximize profits, or we can seriously reduce our biggest expenditures; defense, medicare, and medicaid. The latter two go back to treating our citizens like garbage. All three would put us on a fast (er) track to giving up our position as leaders of the free world.
Is that what these idiot CEOs want? For America to become devolve? No, I don’t believe they do. I just believe that they’re incapable of seeing past the next dollar in earnings.
Being the leader of the free world isn’t cheap. And we’ve spent the last thirty years dropping corporate taxes, and taxes on the super fucking rich enough to have a pretty good idea of where the threshold is for revenue that we need to generate in order to maintain our position in the world.
The smartest thing that Obama can do right now, is to lower corporate taxes. Yes, you heard that right. He needs to lower corporate taxes, but he also needs to make the new rate a flat tax. If he took the corporate tax rate down to a flat 28% and eliminated all right offs, we would bring in more revenue. And it would be a win, because republicans wouldn’t have an argument to make against lower taxes. Right now, US corporations pay around 6.6% of total revenues. That’s just not enough to keep America, America.
Being America just fucking costs more than being anyone else.