Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Corporate vs. Public
Jon Stewart "gives up."
In a informative sketch, Stewart once again expresses dismay about the GOP-led campaign against public workers as "budget busting" leeches, while ignoring any sense that our corporate tax structure is integrally linked to the fiscal crisis. This is an argument that simply doesn't seem winnable by Democrats - and neither Stewart nor I can figure out why.
How many times have I heard conservative pundits and politicians decry our outrageous corporate tax rate - "highest in the industrialized world" - while completely ignoring (or being shamefully clueless) about the discrepancy between tax rates and taxes paid. Yes, the corporate tax rate is officially 35%. But NO corporation pays anywhere close to the rate .... and 2/3 of US corporations pay no corporate income taxes. That's none. Zero. And to make matters worse, the top earning corporations receive additional tax benefits in the from of subsidies and rebates.
It is astonishing, I know. How can such a profoundly corrupt system be completely lost on voters and Republican congressman? And I get the criticism of the Democrats. It is absolutely valid. Liberal leaders do try to accomplish too much, and they are reasonable targets for out-of-control public spending. But this double-standard is just too much for an unaffiliated, moderate voter like me.
I sympathize with Stewart, and I wonder how Democrats can be so clueless about educating the public on this. Unless they don't really want to. What would be wrong with a series of commercials - especially during elections - that is committed to exposing the corruption of the system? Why is that so hard? Where are the Democratic versions of the Koch brothers?