The View From 1776

Generational Behavior Modification

Over a period as short as two generations, roughly fifty years, expanding the entitlements mentality of the liberal-progressive welfare state can corrupt expectations and behavior of an entire society.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/25 at 10:14 PM
  1. Tom,

    In a recent post you indignantly responded to my claim that many major US corporations pay no US taxes. You said I was off base and that they did in fact contribute mightily to the US treasury.

    I am sure you were somewhat chagrined to read the front page New York Times piece (25 March) entitled, "At G.E. on Tax Day, Billions of Reasons to Smile." This article reported that this year GE reported 5.1 billion (with a "B") in US profits. And that the American tax bill was? That's right! Zero!

    I am sure in keeping with the high standards of "The View From 1776" you will issue the appropriate mea culpa.

    If you want to read it - and weep, here is the link

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/article_cfcda554-5671-11e0-9c86-0017a4a78c22.html
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/26  at  10:26 AM
  2. I make no apology, Mr. Jay, as one is not warranted.

    General Electric's response to the misstatements and lack of understanding in the Times article can be found here:

    http://www.gereports.com/setting-the-record-straight-ge-and-taxes/?kmed=ppc

    http://files.gereports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/GE-Tax-QA.pdf



    Quote:


    Q: Your 10K filings since 2005 show:

    ? GE has reported $26 billion in domestic profits yet its cash taxes paid in the U.S. amount to a rebate of $4.1 billion from the Treasury.

    ? GE has amassed tens of billions in profits offshore to defer paying U.S. taxes and reduced domestic employment while increasing its workforce overseas.

    A: This is not a correct reading of the 10-K. As disclosed in the cash flow statements of the 10-K, we paid over $14 billion of income taxes to governments around the world over the past 5 years. Individual country tax payments are not disclosed, but we did not receive a net rebate from the U.S. Treasury over this period, and in fact paid substantial income taxes to the U.S. Treasury during this period. [There is information in the 10-K about the company
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/26  at  11:03 PM
  3. [url=http://www.lendersgreen.com/]new york mortgage
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    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/27  at  06:24 AM
  4. Whether GE paid taxes or not is irrelevant to the topic at hand--the post which suggests that the welfare mentality promoted by socialists has permeated the minds of the people of America and altered their personal attitudes and beliefs.

    America's extraordinary growth and accumulation of wealth and advanced technology was created in the last few hundred years. By the time of World War I, and the incipient beginnings of the Progressive Big Government programs, we were the most powerful nation on earth. Up to that time the American people were distinguished by their self-reliance, personal responsibility, thrift, and initiative- It was those constructive personal characteristics of the people that made America great.

    Other nations had comparable natural resources, harbors, rivers, climate, and opportunity, but they were all left behind as Americans built a great nation. Those Americans were empowered by a free and open economy, sound legal and financial institutions that had been developed in Western Europe, and they were unburdened by the aristocracies, government regulation, and onerous taxes that stifled European entrepreneurs.

    That combination-- a free and open economy combined with a resilient enterprising people hasd always created societal progress and affluence. A major component is the "attitude" of the people. No other place on earth offered that combination to the extent that it was present for 300 years in America from 1620-1920.

    The "Radzewicz Rule" provides that the common people, when given security of life and property, and freed from oppressive burdens of government or aristocracies, will almost always create progress, affluence, and a successful nation. (CM + S - O = success) And, if those common people are imbued with a constructive, honest, responsible attitude and character, the Success will occur more surely, faster and to a greater degree than otherwise.

    As the post indicates, the welfare state negates all those requirements for success: It undermines the self-reliant attitude of the people, and it burdens those who continue to work with restrictive rules, regulations and finacial-fiscal burdens. The new elite, our Ruling Class, in a ballooning government becomes a new form of aristocracy just as burdensome as the Lords and Ladies of Old England. Our griowth came in the 300 years we were free of such negative influences.

    Harping about taxes paid by corporations misses the whole point and indicates a total ignorance of the problem--the tax code is one of the burdens placed on business by the government elites who rule in Washington. If someone gets an unfair break it is Congress's fault--not the recipient. The subsidized corporations, farmers, unions, and NGO's, are no different from the individual welfare recipients that opt for a handout, giving in to the temptation laid before them by socialist advocates of big government.

    In my opinion, the fault lies not so much with the recipients, but with the socialist demagogues in Washington and State capitols who offer the special deals to whatever group or individual that will help them remain in power. Sure, the recipients should resist the temptation, but when the collusion of politicians, Wall Street financiers, trade unions, and eccentric millionnaires have reduced the free marketplace to a corrupt form of crony-capitalism, we will find more and more people joining the corrupt. That is why big government and welfare state policies are like a cancer, first infecting and then spreading and eventually destroying its victims.

    What the people see today is an adminstration that retains Goldman Sachs executives in the Cabinet, bails out the Wall Street bankers, gives bonuses to Fannie Mae executives who brought the economy to its knees, helped favored hedge fund speculators make billions, and buys votes with sweetheart deals to pass legislation. That liberal-Left elite, made up of both Democrats and Republicans, have expanded the entitlements mentality of the people, forged a liberal-progressive welfare state, and corrupted the expectations and behavior of an entire society.

    That is how national decline destroys once successful nations--the collapse does not come from global warming, environmental degradation and pollution, guns, germs or steel--It does not come from smoking cigarettes, eating transfats, or drilling oil wells. Societal failure does not come from posting the Ten Commandments on a court house wall, or from hunting, or from slashing the federal budget.

    Collapse comes from the disastrous policies of a new elite that reverse the attitudes and institutions that made the society great, from burdening the initiative and enterprise of the people with a massive central planning government, and from the character debasing policies of a bloated welfare-socialist state. Think of cancer, gradually destroying the self-reliant attitude of a person, bringing the individual eventually to his or her knees, a pathetic helpless victim, looking for a Mama State to protect and mother them! What would Davy Crockett and Sam Adams say to these people?
    Posted by bill greene  on  03/27  at  09:51 PM
  5. Tom,

    If you are correct, and the front page New York Times article is off base, I am sure will can expect a retraction in the Times, or at least some contrary letters to the editor. So far I have seen nothing that would suggest that your analysis trumps the Gray Old lady.

    Best wishes!
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/28  at  09:08 AM
  6. The Old Gray Lady has never retracted A DECADE OF FALSE REPORTING IN THE 1930'S FROM THEIR PULITZER WINNING CORRESPONDENT IN RUSSIA WHO FILLED THE TIMES' PAGES WITH GLOWING REPORTS ON THE WONDROUS HUMANITARIAN AND ECONOMIC SUCCESS OF STALIN'S VARIOUS PROGRAMS.

    THE PULITZER SELECTION COMMITTEE ALSO HAS NOT TO MY KNOWLEDGE EVER EXPRESSED REGRET ABOUT THEIR DECISION TO HONOR THOSE ESSAYS BY COLUMNIST DURANTY WITH THEIR PRIZE.

    WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THE TIMES WILL NOW CHOOSE TO CORRECT THEIR MIS-INFORMATION ABOUT CORPORATE TAX PAYMENTS? 100 YEARS OF PAST BEHAVIOR INDICATES THEY WILL NOT!

    AND DO YOU RECOGNIZE THE DUPLICITY OF A PAPER'S EDITORS THAT RAIL AGAINST BIG EVIL CORPORATIONS AND YET SUPPORT THE DEMAGOGUES WHO VOTE FOR THE SUBSIDIES AND SELECTIVE TAX BREAKS GIVEN TO THOSE SAME CORPORATE INTERESTS?

    THE INSTITUTIONALIZED MIS-INFORMATION EXEMPLIFIED BY THE TIMES AND MANY OF THE PULITZER AWARDS ARE OBVIOUS AND CLEAR SYMPTOMS OF THE SPREADING CANCER IN AMERICA THAT HAS DESTROYED ANY RESPECT FOR TRUTH OR OBJECTIVITY.
    Posted by bill greene  on  03/28  at  10:19 AM
  7. I'm reading Jonah Goldberg's _Liberal Fascism_ and it's kind of frustrating because he fails to nail his case. Many of the quotes don't quite definitively support the assertions, etc., but it's still moderately good. The reason I mention it here, though, is that he goes back to Woodrow Wilson. Both Hoover and FDR were bureaubums during the Wilson admin, when the war emergency (building on the Regressives' various campaigns) let them get away with hugely expanding federal government power. They got used to it; made it the new norm, and expanded more.

    What I noticed in earlier looks at federal spending (using mainly _Historical Statistics of the United States_ from the census bureau) is how, before WW1, war debt (and war was the primary trigger for the federal government to take on debt) was quickly paid off. In my graphs, it looked like a brief shadow of the increased spending. But after WW1, that shadow was much longer, and after WW2 it never went away, but grew.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/28  at  02:13 PM
  8. Re: GE
    2011-03-25
    Jake Tapper _abc_
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/general-electric-paid-federal-taxes-2010/story?id=13224558
    GE made $14.2G in profits, paid no federal taxes, and got a $3.2G refund in 2010

    2009
    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Tax/ge-exxon-paid-us-income-taxes-09/story?id=10300167
    Christopher Helman: Forbes/abc: GE and Exxon paid no US income extortion in 2009

    (This is additionally interesting because the Exxon operations illustrating the article are built on Point Pleasant, which was a cattle ranch in the 1820s-1890s belonging to the family of William Scott and his wife Mary Hannah, who moved there from the Shenandoah valley via KY... and some of whose relatives were participants in the Scottish Enlightenment to which TEB's and RC's other thread refers.)

    One of the things they're pointing out is that foreign profits are not taxed in the USA, and a lot of GE's profits (after 2 decades of heavily investing in India and Red China, and beating the drum to encourage other execs to follow suit) were over-seas this last year. There's been some talk in the financial media over the last decade about elements of US tax rules and rates that encourages sending funds over-seas and discourages bringing them back into the USA.

    In one case, during the GWBush admin, an act was passed to adjust that and encourage them to bring the funds back into the USA, but it was shot down by Lamy and the WTO. Ironically, part of the motivation was to counter protectionist VAT kick-backs to domestic producers in Europe and elsewhere, which the WTO has blessed. (We're members of WTO, not by treaty but merely by "executive agreement". Apparently, the WTO's protectionist fine system has been effective at discouraging the USA from backing out.)

    I'd appreciate more illumination on these matters (and GATS) if we've got any international tax and trade experts here, with specific knowledge.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/28  at  02:44 PM
  9. "Individual country tax payments are not disclosed"

    Yep, it's time they started disclosing.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/28  at  02:56 PM
  10. Another facet of this corporate tax issue is that Obama's administration is actually considering the long-standing proposal from economic conservatives that we substantially lower or abolish the corporate income tax. That, of course, would make this whole question moot.

    In the meantime, America's most productive enterprises must wrestle with the mind-boggling intricacies of the tax code. That includes moving operations and jobs overseas to minimize the burden of our governmental taxes and regulations that make our companies less competitive. It would be very helpful if they could repatriate their foreign earnings tax free so Americans, who own most of their stock, could benefit therefrom.

    On a side note, IGO's questions about the VAT, the WTO, and the complex ways that foreign nations try to protect and subsidize their producers, all point to the importance of NOT cavilling to world organizations and foreign governments that use every means to penalize our corporations and help their own. An example is how Japan for years reluctantly matched our tariff system, but made up for it by imposing so many "licensing" requirements on any shipments from America that the tariffs became irrelevant--they could sell their cars here but we could not gain entry there! Yet they could claim they were cooperating on GATT agreements.

    Hopefully, the administration will not apply Sharia law to Pepsi's brilliant female CEO and make her wear a burka when she travels!
    Posted by bill greene  on  03/28  at  05:40 PM
  11. Those expectations were decidedly bleak in the face of continual threats by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid to impose higher taxes; to support labor unions
    Posted by looisbrown  on  04/01  at  04:02 AM
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