Something to Pass Around
But it's not just wealthy individuals who grotesquely manipulate the system for their benefit. It's the multinational corporations they own and control. In 2009, Exxon Mobil, the most profitable corporation in history made $19 billion in profits and not only paid no federal income tax—they actually received a $156 million refund from the government. In 2005, one out of every four large corporations in the United States paid no federal income taxes while earning $1.1 trillion in revenue.
There's lots more at the link that will massage your outrage button. But the reason I put this up today is because it's getting to be that season when Americans sit back on their porches and enjoy the summer heat, shooting the shit about the world with their neighbors and sowing seeds of ideas about how to vote this fall.
For a long time now I've advocated reaching out to those who share our disaffection with the legacy party system, but express it differently than we do, perhaps with fewer facts and less information. Many bloggers have derided the idea of working with "independents" or "libertarians," even as they admit that those labels are very flexible and can mean a wide range of things in the minds of those who adopt them for themselves. I have found that even on a bad day (when I'm overly pushy and annoying, rather than calm and reassuring) I generally can get even a conservative fellow Little Person to agree on basic ideas and things that must change if we're to have any sort of future here. Corporate taxation is almost always a winner, in this respect.
I don't expect either of the legacy parties to change our current laws regarding corporate taxation rates. They are too beholden to them for that to happen. But I do think that it's a simple question that many voters of all stripes can ask candidates: do you favor taxing those who currently pay no taxes?
No matter who you support this fall, remember to talk to your neighbors about it. We have no control over TV or the rest of the SCLM, but we can have an impact on people's minds just by talking about the truth behind the facade. "Does your candidate support taxation for those who pay none?" is a simple question that isn't offensive and a vast majority of Americans right now would want to answer, "Yes."