Monday, April 11, 2011

An Inside Job

As tax day approaches, many may wonder where their tax money goes.

Well, if you watch "Inside Job," the Oscar-winning documentary about the 2008 collapse of the economy, you'll find out a little.

Or, you can read a piece from in The Source, Bend's weekly newspaper, written by the esteemed, award-winning journalist/author David Cay Johnston, and you'll learn little more.

In short, your tax dollars go to subsidize the wealthiest people and richest corporations in America. Oh, and they also go to subsidize Wall Street banks and their billion-dollar bonuses.

"Inside Job" shows step-by-step how Wall Street banks purposely destroyed themselves -- and the world economy -- because they knew they were too big to fail and would be bailed out by the American taxpayers.

Here are some facts:

* In the U.S., hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost
* In China, roughly 10 million lost their jobs
* Iceland, the most stable country in the world, went bankrupt and has high unemployment for the first time since World War II.
* Wall Street types spent millions from their bonuses on cocaine and prostitutes
* Academic economists sell their views and principles to the highest bidder on Wall Street

These last two facts point out two important issues:

1) Apparently, the only jobs Wall Street has created in the past decade are in investment banks, prostitution and cocaine production and distribution.

2) You hear a lot from the academics from Columbia and Harvard about how deregulation and tax cuts benefit society as a whole. "Inside Job" shows that these same academicians are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars from the likes of Goldman Sachs (aka "Government Sachs") and Morgan Stanley. In fact, the best thing about "Inside Job" is how it destroys the credibility of academic economists. As we have learned, tax cuts and deregulation, particularly of the financial industry, destroyed our economy, bankrupted the country and led to the greatest income disparity in American history.

Johnston's article shows how Oregon gets more revenue from the lottery than it does from corporations. In essence, the tax burden is pushed down from the very top of the economic strata to the lowest.

Johnston notes that no Oregon daily newspaper has published this fact.

Why? Well, newspapers are corporations as well and, as the Supreme Court ruled, corporations are people and they have feelings, too.

Newspapers usually whine about how the Oregon personal income tax rate is one of the highest in the country and how it's such an unstable funding source for government.

Now we have Megabucks, Powerball, Mega-Millions, Keno and other games to help balance our state budget. Oh, and Oregon has a $3.5 billion biennial budget deficit.

As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War this week, we should take note of the acronym CSA, which stood for the Confederate States of America.

Well, CSA now stands for Corporate States of America, which continues to wage war against unions and the working class. The uniforms aren't gray, but rather the color of money.

Doesn't the CSA know that the "class war" is over? The rich won.

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