| As we approach the next congressionally-contrived budget event (it is not a crisis and does not require us to cut Social Security or Medicare), truly Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has a new proposal to help balance our nation's budget.
When everyone, like Colorado's Senator Michael Bennet, says the next best step should be balanced and bipartisan, don't forget that current budgets already have built in cuts of around $1.8 Trillion. And many of the cuts already in place have affected those in the middle class who continue to bear the burden of the banker-caused financial meltdown: teachers, police, and firefighters and more:
Government job losses are at the heart of overall job losses in numerous states since the recession officially ended in June 2009.Despite what lying Republicans would have you believe, these aren't people sitting in Central Planning filling out 5-year-plans in triplicate with a No. 2 pencil.
They do valuable work that benefits the whole of society.
At the state level, government accounted for more than half of all job losses for industries that lost jobs since Aug. 2010 in 27 states. Government losses also made up more than 50 percent of losses in seven of the 10 states with the largest number of jobs lost, and six of the 10 states with unemployment rates above 9.5 percent.
So besides the empty goal of "bipartisanship", God help us, would Michael Bennet's and Mark Udall's desire for more budget cuts be good or bad?
Make no mistake, the idea that drastic cuts to public budgets would somehow spur private-sector growth is a myth that has undermined recovery efforts both in the United States and in Europe.
In reality, cuts to public-sector budgets have a significant negative private-sector impact.
All this makes Bernie Sanders' proposal that we eliminate these massive Cayman Island tax havens much more practical than either Bennet's Cuts that must not be Named or Mark Udall's Deficit Hawk tendencies or this silly sequestration plan spat out by our dysfunctional congress.
Take it away, Bernie:
A Question For Corporate America: Are You With America Or The Cayman Islands?
At a time when the nation was suffering from a huge deficit, largely created by the recession that Wall Street caused, the major financial institutions did everything they could to avoid paying American taxes by establishing shell corporations in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens.
In 2010, Bank of America set up more than 200 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands (which has a corporate tax rate of 0.0 percent) to avoid paying U.S. taxes. It worked. Not only did Bank of America pay nothing in federal income taxes, but it received a rebate from the IRS worth $1.9 billion that year.
They are not alone.
In 2010, JP Morgan Chase operated 83 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens to avoid paying some $4.9 billion in U.S. taxes.
That same year Goldman Sachs operated 39 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to avoid an estimated $3.3 billion in U.S. taxes.
Citigroup has paid no federal income taxes for the last four years after receiving a total of $2.5 trillion in financial assistance from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis.
This tax avoidance does not just reduce the revenue that we need to pay for education, healthcare, roads, and environmental protection, it is also costing us millions of American jobs. Today, companies are using these same tax schemes to lower their tax bills by shipping American jobs and factories abroad.
These tax breaks have contributed to the loss of more than 5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs and the closure of more than 56,000 factories since 2000. That also has got to change.
So the big guys have their tax havens in the Cayman Islands that allow them to evade paying taxes that would help balance the budget. They also use those tax havens to ship jobs over seas which has damaged the middle class tremendously.
Sanders wants to end those policies that are both unfair and hurt the economy. He wants big corporations to pay their fair share just like all of us little guys do.
Will our senators join with Bernie and ask business to chip in for the benefit of all or will they continue to insist the budget be balanced on the backs of the Middle Class?
It must be hard to hear the voice of the people over the blue waves softly caressing the shores of the Caribbean beaches, because Bennet and Udall show no signs that reality will affect their view from the tax-free island paradise that is the Cayman Islands.