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I’m no fan of General Electric – for many reasons – but, I can’t bring myself to blame them or to demonstrate against them (and others) because they’re paying no taxes. (I’m assuming here that their 970+ tax lawyers have ensured that they haven’t broken U.S. Tax laws).
The reason I can’t blame them for this is that our tax laws allow them to pay no taxes. And the reason our tax laws allow them to pay no taxes is that their lobbyists have been, for years, (along with those of many other large multinational corporations) writing the tax laws as they wanted them. They’ve also written most trade and commercial regulations that give them the playing field they want! And, as you know, they financially back the legislators who vote for those laws in Congress. Read “revolving door” relationships between Congress-Corporations-Lobbyists!
And why can they do all that? Because, starting in 1886 with an inappropriate Headnote in a Supreme Court Decision (Santa Clara County vs. the Southern Pacific Railroad) and culminating with the 2010 Supreme Court Decision in “Citizens United vs. the FEC” all corporations are considered “persons” just like “We The People”. This was the bill referred to by President Obama in his State of the Union Address the next week as one of the worst decisions the court had ever made! Thus they can call on the Constitution and its Bill of Rights to claim our rights for themselves. This most recent victory gave them the right to spend unlimited funds to purchase advertisements in support of or against any candidate for political office! Estimates are that $300 million were spent in the 2010 mid-term elections by “non-persons”, more than in the total of all previous mid-term elections! What chance do you think “we the people” have to elect a candidate who is not the corporations’ choice? An ABC-Washington Post poll conducted right after the “Citizens United” decision showed that 85% of Democrats and 77% of Republicans opposed that decision!
How can we get them to pay appropriate taxes and get out of politics? There’s only one way to do it once and for all: to propose, support and pass a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not persons and do not have any constitutional rights, such as “freedom of speech” or avoidance of “search and seizure” and “self-incrimination” or “equal protection”, etc.
For your information, www.MoveToAmend.org is a coalition of NGO’s working to bring this about by encouraging town and county councils, and then state legislators, to declare corporations not to be persons. The State of Vermont is well on its way to do just that. Cities such as Fort Bragg, CA; Essex, NY; Lincoln, VT have passed ordinances declaring that corporations are not persons. The next step will be to bring the states together to propose and pass the constitutional amendment that will free “We the People” from the yoke of subservience to these corporate inanimate objects!