Is the CEO who said that
"Americans don't want shared sacrifice; what they want is shared prosperity"
astonishingly idiotic and "out of touch" with the rest of america? Or is he simply so insulated and arrogant that he really believes that he and the privilege he enjoys are correct and shouldn't be questioned?
Tax paying americans pay a hefty amount of their income into taxes and social security and medicare. We pay for ourselves and help pay to ensure that we aren't destitute when we reach old age starting with the very first day we work and we pay money into programs that modestly help us achieve basic stability in retirement. And there is another standard for corporations. They pay very little into the treasury, yet tax payers subsidize many of them and have done so for a long time. Why is that? How did that come to be? And, for what purposes were tax monies ever put to that use in the first place?
When, if ever, have corporations paid taxes in the same proportion that ordinary everyday tax-paying american citizens pay taxes, paying a rate of 28 to 34% of their income into the treasury? Ordinary every day tax paying americans live their lives with that reality and comply with it. Will corporations ever be required to pay their fair share into the treasury? When will that discussion take place? Why is it that only ordinary tax paying americans are expected to pay into the treasury at the rates they do and business gets essentially a free pass, and then is also often rewarded by tax payer subsidies? When did the system become so perverted and twisted and non-sensical?
Republicans have been screaming about the deficit and reducing the deficit while totally ignoring the promises of working on job creation that they ran on in the last elections. They have been bleating incessantly about the deficit and how we have got to do something about it now, today, immediately, without further ado, so that our children and their children will not be stuck with the terrible burden of having to pay it off. They continue making this ruckus even though they are the creators of the debt and deficit that we do have through their tax cuts to the wealthy and their creation of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which they never bothered to pay for "on the books" as long as Bush/Cheney were in office. In fact, it was Cheney who said "Deficits don't matter." So, why now? Why is the deficit this critical, must-act-now-or-else-we-will-all-be-crushed-by- debt matter of life and death issue, the all important and critical issue of the republicans that must be attended to right now at the expense of everything else, including the creation of jobs, which was so important to them when they recently ran in elections claiming to know what the american people want?
And these are the same politicians who en masse want to maintain this corporate welfare for oil and other corporate interests. They say they want to erase the deficit. But they also want to maintain the same policies that caused the debt in the first place, including subsidizing oil and energy and other industries that don't need it.
The subject of today's meeting with these oil executives was tax subsidies that they have been receiving for many years. Tax payer funded subsidies. If the oil companies haven't noticed, their republican lackies started this very intense process of scrutinizing the economy to find ways, at their insistence, to cut spending. They are demanding trillions of dollars worth of spending cuts, and to do it now. Yet they don't want to cut spending of wasteful tax subsidies to the big oil companies. Democrats are following the lead of the reduce the deficit frenzy that the republicans spearheaded, as happens so often in Washington DC. and are now beginning to ask some questions about it.
Subsidies, all of them, that the government doles out, should be reviewed. The tax payer money that is wastefully spent such as subsidies to these corporations should be funneled back into the treasury and used in different ways, whether to help pay off the debt, or to help build the economy in practical ways. All subsidies should be reconsidered and redirected as needed to do what we need to do to set the country back onto solid ground financially.
The oil executives today showed that they have absolutely no interest in helping America out in its time of need. They have absolutely no interest in paying their fair share into the treasury as do ordinary american tax paying citizens. These oil executives had a chance to have their say and state their case. The just showed how truly selfish they are and how little they care about the economy and the state of the nation in general. They more or less flipped the entire nation off with their hubris.
The subsidies should not even be a matter of discussion. Republicans will, of course, do everything that they can to maintain the current state of corporate welfare as long as they continue to get money from these corporate welfare queens. But subsidies are discretionary governmental spending, and, it needs to be done more efficiently and with good cause. The government needs to reduce spending and stopping these and all wasteful subsidies is a good way to start reducing wasteful, inefficient spending. The money saved could then be put to better uses, like setting up a hydrogen economy or solarizing every house and structure in the country. Those would be some worthwhile expenditures of tax payer monies.
All this brouhaha is about 1% of the profit, not the revenue, but the profit, that the 5 big oil companies make. Why are we even asking about it? These executives have already gone on record saying that they think it is un-american to take away these subsidies, that it discriminates against them. And, these executives have made it very clear that they have no interest in helping the economy recover or paying off the debt if it means voluntarily giving up 1% of their profits. I am glad that the government has the ability to do with discretionary spending as it sees fit. I just hope that the republicans don't get their way and see to it that this corporate welfare continues. If so, it would be just one more example of how american politics have been perverted and are controlled by special interests.
As a tax paying american, I can only say to conclude that I do for one, want shared sacrifice. I want the corporations and the business world to stop being so fucking selfish and to help rebuild the economy and to work for creating a better, stronger america. As long as there is no shared sacrifice, there cannot be shared prosperity. That CEO didn't even know he was making an oxymoron. As long as there is this huge, lop-sided structure with ordinary americans paying for everything and then still falling between the cracks and having their (elected republican politicians) make life even worse for them, there is no prosperity, but only increased poverty and deprivation. As long as there are 2 systems of taxation and a monopoly of wealth held by a tiny minority there will be no prosperity for most people. When business invests and pays fairly into the United States economy and is less selfish and puts back into it, then, there might be a chance that there can be a shared prosperity. But, until that happens, "shared prosperity" is only an oxymoron.
Yes, I do want shared sacrifice so that maybe in the future we can all enjoy more of a shared prosperity.