Why reward bad corporate behavior with more tax breaks?

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

Here’s a question for our Trumpestuous President and his Trumpeteers in Congress: “Why are you even considering giving more tax breaks to corporate giants?”

First, the self-serving corporate class is wallowing in wealth, greedily hoarding it in offshore tax shelters and stock-buyback schemes, refusing to invest it to benefit the vast majority of people they’ve been knocking down and holding down.

Second, you shouldn’t give away our public treasury when our nation has a budget deficit and faces huge needs for public investment – from our deteriorating infrastructure to our disappearing middle class.

Third, our people’s sense of equality and social unity has been severely fractured by 30 years of gross wealth inequality, so intentionally widening the wealth gap is criminally stupid… and dangerous.

Fourth, why would you think over-paid, over-pampered CEOs deserve more pampering? They’ve become imperious potentates who feel entitled to gouge, cheat, defraud, lie, and otherwise run over us commoners.

Consider Jeff Immelt, the recently retired imperious CEO of General Electric. Not only was he a frequent flyer on GE’s corporate jets, but we now learn that he often took two jets at once! One carried him, while a second jet, called a “chase plane,” followed right behind him. Number Two Jet carried no passengers or equipment, it was just a spare in case his royal highness needed it for… well for what? GE offers no reasonable answer, for there isn’t one. Immelt says he never used the spare, but there it was tagging along behind him, costing GE shareholders thousands of dollars for every hour it flew.

This wasteful extravagance cost you and me, too, for GE got a tax deduction for every flight Jeff’s chase plane made. Why would Trump & Company reward such outrageous corporate ripoffs with more tax breaks?

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Reposted from The Hightower Lowdown

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

Union Matters

Freight can’t wait

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

A freight train hauling lumber and nylon manufacturing chemicals derailed, caught fire and caused a 108-year-old bridge to collapse in Tempe, Ariz., this week, in the second accident on the same bridge within a month.

The bridge was damaged after the first incident, according to Union Pacific railroad that owns the rail bridge, and re-opened two days later. 

The official cause of the derailments is still under investigation, but it remains clear that the failure to modernize and maintain America’s railroad infrastructure is dangerous. 

In 2019, 499 trains that derailed were found to have defective or broken track, roadbed or structures, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database of safety analysis.

While railroad workers’ unions have called for increased safety improvements, rail companies have also used technology and automation as an excuse to downsize their work forces.

For example, rail companies have implemented a cost-saving measure known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), which has resulted in mass layoffs and shoddy safety protocols. 

Though privately-owned railroads have spent significantly to upgrade large, Class I trains, regional Class II trains and local, short-line Class III trains that carry important goods for farmers and businesses still rely on state and local funds for improvements. 

But cash-strapped states struggle to adequately inspect new technologies and fund safety improvements, and repairing or replacing the aging track and rail bridges will require significant public investment.

A true infrastructure commitment will not only strengthen the country’s railroad networks and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of family-sustaining jobs needed to inspect, repair and manufacture new parts for mass transit systems, all while helping to prevent future disasters.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work