Corporate America's Lame Tea Party: No Taxation, No Innovation


Taxes might be the new ethics. After all, a country that skims more off its companies can usually do more positive public work with that green, right? According to the map above, however American corporations are a bit stingy, coughing up proportionately far less of their gross domestic product than many foreign counterparts. Our private citizens don't really share their wealth that well either; we're virtually last in giving versus what we gain as a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. So just what might a more hefty give-back buy us? Perhaps a public health care system like they have in Canada. Or more nationally-funded green tech projects like in Norway. Of course, many privately held companies will argue that they innovate on their own already. After all, weren't all of our lives somehow enriched by the advent of Casual Jeans Friday?


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  • Chris Reich

    "There is no such thing as a good or positive tax. There is no such thing as a bad tax cut."

    Now there's a piece of solid American reasoning.

    How would one pay for the glorious military which is the source of great pride with the tea party crowd? Let's stop all social security payments now. After all, those who paid that "tax" collect far more than they paid in [on average]. And by golly, we can get together locally and build our own roads, bridges and airports. I can sink a well and put in a septic system and burn my own garbage. Let's totally eliminate taxation! Free society from the tyranny of government!

    Or, we could start electing people who would act responsibly with our money.

    The old quotes are cute, but if we don't start taking a practical, intelligent approach soon, this country is going fall a lot farther than to second place.

    Chris Reich

  • Imre Beke

    Louisiana Purchase - The Louisiana Purchase led to introduction of slavery where there had been none. Consequently, it led to the Civil War. It was also the indirect cause of the duel between Hamilton and Burr.

    Erie Canal - The Canal was built by entrepreneur Jesse Hawley with the participation of Joseph Ellicott and the Holland Land Company.

    Transcontinental Railroad - This was actually a conglomeration of several interconnected railroads originally built by private companies. Amtrak (the railroad run by the Government) is plagued by inadequate funding and a myriad of quality issues. It is incapable of survival without constant Government subsidies.

    Land Grant Colleges - These allowed States to select lands in OTHER States to fund their own efforts. New York used Wisconsin timber lands to finance its land grant colleges even while maintaining massive amounts of its own forest lands. Far from fair. There is no standard for measurement of success.

    Homestead Act - The Homestead Act led to land erosion and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

    Panama Canal - The Canal was constructed following a fraudulent story planted by William Nelson Cromwell that the Momotombo Volcano in Nicaragua had erupted, thus fooling Congress into situating the Canal in Panama instead. Panama was part of Colombia at the time, so the U.S. Government fomented revolution in order to get a 99 year lease from the new Panamanian Government. 5,600 people lost their lives during the construction of the Panama Canal.

    Rural Electrification Administration - The REA's work was declared completed in 1975. It took the Federal Government until 1994 to abolish the agency. The REA was funded to the tune of $75 million every year for almost two decades (1975-1994) to do essentially nothing.

    Reconstruction Finance Corporation - From Wikipedia: "The RFC was bogged down in bureaucracy and failed to disburse much of its funds. It failed to reverse the growth of mass unemployment before 1933. Butkiewicz (1995) shows that the RFC initially succeeded in reducing bank failures, but the publication of the names of the recipients of loans beginning in August 1932 (at the demand of Congress) significantly reduced the effectiveness of its loans to banks because it appeared that political considerations had motivated certain loans. Partisan politics thwarted the RFC's efforts, though in 1932 monetary conditions improved because the RFC slowed the decline in the money supply."

    GI Bill - In the private sector, this would be called an "employment benefit," something EARNED by our military men and women The GI Bill is not an entitlement or Government program. It is employment compensation. Calling this a success is no different than calling military paychecks a success. Payment of a debt is not a success, it is the minimum every organization must do.

    Interstate Highway System - 2,900 miles of US interstates exist as toll roads, funded by those who use them instead of by the Government. The NY Thruway Authority collected so much money at one point that Gov. Mario Cuomo "sold" Ossining Prison to the Authority in order to get it off the State's books.

    Government projects, even those to which one can attach a modicum of "success," are plagued by problems and issues which the private sector would never tolerate.

    Robert Heinlein once wrote that an elephant is a mouse built to Government specifications. That is a perfect metaphor for how the Government screws up everything it touches. Projects grow to thousands of times their optimum size and add parts originally not envisioned.

  • Pam Stuckey

    Democracy is a messy diffcult proposition, noting in this world is perfect. That being said I have a list of ten things our government made happen that transformed our lives and will again.

    LA Purchase
    Erie Canal
    Transcontinental Railroad
    Land Grants College
    Homestead Act
    Panama Canal
    GI Bill
    Interstate Highway System

    Bold endeavors that built America and were transformative events in American history.

  • Imre Beke

    "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." (Thomas Paine)

    "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." (George Washington)

    "Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government. The history of government is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of government, not the increase of it." (Woodrow Wilson)

    Some of the greatest leaders in our Nation's history have told us how dangerous Government is (not "can be" but rather "is," as in always). Governments do not do positive work - public or private. They do what the private sector cannot and even that they do poorly.

    When they try to step outside that strict limit, they not only prove their natural and inescapable incompetence, they inevitably embark down a path of ever increasing limitations on individual rights and freedoms, ultimately ending in the complete elimination of liberty, unless the citizens force their representatives to put on the brakes and move in the other direction.

    There is no such thing as a good or positive tax. There is no such thing as a bad tax cut. There is certainly no such thing as a good or virtuous Government program.

    Those who believe otherwise understand neither history nor human nature.