Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

10.30 When a Community College Transforms a City

10.30 The Female Pioneers Who Changed STEM Forever

10.29 Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns

10.27 The American Dream Is Leaving America

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

10.31 Chocolate compound restores age-related memory loss [Another business opportunity is born!]

10.31 Stanford engineers develop tiny, sound-powered chip to serve as medical device

10.31 Fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone: ‘The world is not safe’ [video]

10.30 The New Heroin Epidemic

10.30 As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost [audio clip]

10.30 Will a Breakthrough Solar Technology See the Light of Day?

10.30 Two genes linked with violent crime

10.28 Japan edges back towards nuclear power with vote to restart reactors

10.28 Living with anxiety: Britain's silent epidemic

News Media

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

Justice Matters

10.29 SEC Commissioner Kara Stein Fighting for Tougher Bank Sanctions, Stymies Bank of America Settlement

US Politics, Policy & Culture

10.31 Why the U.S. Has Fallen Behind in Internet Speed and Affordability

10.30 Republican politicians aren't climate scientists or responsible leaders

10.30 Election 2014: Women's Rights in the Balance

10.30 Will a Republican Congress Be a Hot Mess?

10.29 More tea party conservatives expected to win House seats, challenge Boehner

10.29 The Great Kansas Tea Party Disaster

10.29 Charles Barkley and the Plague of 'Unintelligent' Blacks

10.29 Chris Hedges and Sheldon Wolin on Inverted Totalitarianism as a Threat to Democracy [26:47 video, transcript]

10.28 Detroit: The Dispersal of Urban Black America Begins [depressing]

10.28 The Secrets of New Jersey [must read]

10.28 Drilling Deeper: New Report Casts Doubt on Fracking Production Numbers [investor risk heightened from bad data]

High Crimes?

10.27 In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis

Economics, Crony Capitalism

10.31 Why Taxation Must Go Global

10.30 Oxfam warns wealth gap is spiralling out of control

10.29 On Superstorm Sandy Anniversary, Red Cross Under Scrutiny

10.29 Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General

10.28 7 things the middle class can't afford anymore [depressing]

10.28 Exploding Wealth Inequality in the United States

10.28 Why Do Banks Want Our Deposits? Hint: It’s Not to Make Loans.

10.27 The Stark Facts of Global Greed, a Disease as Challenging as Climate Change

International

10.31 Crisis in Mexico: Could Forty-Three Missing Students Spark a Revolution?

10.31 Government, Not the Private Sector, Leads Innovation

10.31 Bound for Syria: German Kurds Join Fight against Islamic State

10.31 New Alignments: The Kurds' Lonely Fight against Islamic State Terror

10.30 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel: Get Used to Endless War

10.30 Tunisia election results: Nida Tunis wins most seats, sidelining Islamists

10.30 UAE's leading role against Isis reveals its wider ambitions

10.29 The Rise of ISIS [53:41 video]

10.29 Pope Francis: evolution and creation both right

10.29 The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here

10.29 Binyamin Netanyahu 'chickenshit', say US officials in explosive interview

10.28 Child poverty up in more than half of developed world since 2008

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: A Crock Pot Tax-Exempt Idea
FACT-BASED FISCAL SATIRE:

A Crock Pot Tax-Exempt Idea

by Walter Brasch
A Government Accountability Office analysis showed that almost three-fifths of all American-based corporations pay no federal taxes.

A wall of suffocating heat nearly vaporized me as I walked into Marshbaum's house. In the kitchen was a portable kiln spewing fiery venom that was curling the linoleum. In the den, wildly pumping a potter's wheel flinging clay all over the room, was Marshbaum.

“Got a new hobby?” I asked from a puddle of water that I assumed was what was left of my body.

“Hobby, nothing!” shouted Marshbaum over the noise. “This is my path to fame and fortune.”

“Every one of your fame-and-fortune paths has ended in a cul-de-sac,” I reminded him. “You scamming the public into believing that slops of glazed clay dipped into leftover house paint are the last sculpture of a dying genius?”

“They're cookie jars,” said Marshbaum, wounded.

“Still looks like schlock to me,” I suggested.

“Work with me on this,” Marshbaum commanded. “It could result in a column for you.”

So I played straightman while Marshbaum threw pots together. “Who,” I asked skeptically, “is going to buy ersatz cookie jars?”

“Corporations,” he replied smugly.

“For gifts?”

“For receipts. Taxpayers keep their receipts in cookie jars,” Marshbaum explained, “so why not corporations? It’ll help them avoid paying any taxes. It’s easy. It’s simple. It’s—”

“Probably illegal.”

“It’s in the Tax Code,” said Marshbaum. “Individuals pay; corporations don’t.”

“I doubt the IRS Code says anything like that.”

There are four million words in the IRS Tax Code, but only a few thousand of them apply to lower- and middle-class Americans. The rest of the Code tells the wealthy and their corporations how to avoid paying taxes.

“There are four million words in the IRS Tax Code,” said Marshbaum. “Lower-class and middle-class Americans get a few thousand of those words. The rest of the Code is a roadmap to help the wealthy and their corporations avoid paying taxes.”

“The IRS encourages corporations to cheat?”

“No, Congress does that. It writes the code to give rebates, tax deferments, subsidies, and all kinds of tax shelters that only the wealthy and their corporations can take advantage of. It’s just a way to reward their friends.”

“But, it’s the people who vote for their representatives,” I said naively.

“You think some homeless vet can afford to donate to Sen. Sludgepump’s campaign? You think Rep. Bilgewater even listens to the opinions of the impoverished and disenfranchised? Why do you think the Republicans want to cut into Medicare and Medicaid?”

“To balance the budget?”

“Because, Ink Breath, the rich don’t need those programs. That’s also why they want to cut funding for public education. The rich can afford private schools. The poor can’t. Besides, you can’t have an educated population of middle-class citizens. They might do something un-American, like actually learn something about the issues.”

The issue, said Marshbaum, slinging clay and getting high on pot fumes, is that Congress allows the rich to realize their dreams--greed is not only good, it’s encouraged.

Marshbaum explained that a Government Accountability Office analysis showed that almost three-fifths of all American-based corporations pay no federal taxes. The GAO study didn’t identify individual companies. Marshbaum, with the help of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), did.

Pretending that the international crisis-of-the-week has led to the highest gas prices in years, the oil companies—smirks of greed tucked neatly into their wallets—made record profits, paid no taxes, and even received rebates and refunds from the IRS. Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009, paid no taxes, but received a $156 million rebate. Chevron made $10 billion, paid no taxes, and received a $19 million refund. ConocoPhillips during a three-year period, had a $16 billion profit, paid no taxes, and received a $451 million tax break. Valero Energy had $68 billion in sales, and a $157 million tax refund.

General Electric had a $26 billion profit in five years, and a $4.1 billion refund. Boeing, tucked into bed with a $30 billion Defense Department contract, got a $124 million refund to sleep better.

Even those that received taxpayer-supported bailouts, after being a major cause of the sub-prime housing debacle, made profits, paid seven-figure executive bonuses, and received refunds. Bank of America scammed the people for a $1 trillion bailout, made a $4.4 billion profit, and received a $1.9 billion tax refund.

CitiGroup, with a $2.5 trillion bailout, paid no taxes on a $4 billion profit. Goldman Sachs and Carnival Cruises were model corporate citizens by paying all of 1.1 percent taxes. Goldman Sachs had a $2.3 billion profit on an $800 billion bailout; Carnival, which took passengers and the taxpayers on a cruise, made $11 billion in profit over five years.

“Assuming everything you say is true, how does your overpriced crock pot cookie jar allow the rich to cook the books to avoid paying taxes?”

“Because it comes with extras,” said an enthusiastic Marshbaum. “With every 25 jars, you get a scanner and software that I created. All you have to do is scan the receipts, and my patent-pending pot-ware zooms through the receipts to match the tax code and declare that the rich guy and his even richer corporation are tax-exempt.” The best part, said Marshbaum, is that corporations will be able to lay off thousands of six-figure income CPAs in order to maximize their profits.

“But wouldn’t that just increase the problem we already have with unemployment?” I asked.

“Not when the accountants and auditors—the ones who know all the corporate secrets—realize that the government pays 15 to 30 percent of all money it collects from whistleblower tips. They may never have to work again.”

“You’re brilliant,” I said, commending my pot-throwing friend. “Just brilliant.”


For decades, Walter Brasch has used cookie jars to collect his tax receipts, much to his wife’s and accountant’s annoyance. His next book is Before the First Snow, a work of journalistic fiction that explores war in the Gulf, the peace movements, and the effects of “clean” nuclear energy. The book is available from Amazon.com for pre-orders.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on April 14, 2011.

 


Public Service Ads: