Giant Transnational Corporate Tax Dodgers are eating our towns

Small businesses are screwed. Giant transnational corporate tax dodgers are costing small businesses thousands of dollars. Not only have 26 major American corporations used tax loopholes to avoid paying any federal taxes over the last four years, but roughly $60 billion in revenue is lost every single year thanks to corporations stashing cash in offshore bank accounts. And guess where that money has to be recouped from – working people and small businesses.

According to a new report by the U.S. PIRG – corporate tax dodgers cost every small business more than $2,000 each every single year. As the PIRG report says, “Instead of competing on a level playing field, small businesses and those without offshore tax havens must pick up the extra tax tab and compete against the artificially lower costs of multinational companies using tax havens.”

You can see the effect of this unfair competition in Main Streets across America – where small businesses have shuttered – and massive corporate chains have set up shop. These giants are monopolizing US towns.


sheild 12 years 10 weeks ago


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 12 years 10 weeks ago

When talking about taxes this is the only phrase the left needs: You get what you pay for.

Simple sound bite for the uninformed.

When talking about the wealthy vs the working class this is the only phrase the left needs: Labor proceeds capital.

Simple sound bite for the uninformed.

Self explanatory phrases, if someone needs either explained keep the explanation simple (because you're dealing with simple mindedness). You get what you pay for, means you get valuable goverenment services for you tax, Police & Fire Depts, Roads, Public Education, etc... Labor proceeds capital, means without labor doing the work, nothing of value would be produced to provide capital. (Even if that labor is bending over to pick up a gold nugget, you have to do the work to get the capital).


mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 10 weeks ago

Precedes, not proceeds. Although, somehow "proceeds" makes it kind of a profound statement.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 12 years 10 weeks ago

Why isn't this whole system falling from its own weight? Well, it probably is, but conservatives are too busy blaming school teachers or Social Security for our economic problems.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 12 years 10 weeks ago

The American NAZI party and the "civil rights" gunslingers in Florida: "Separate but Equal."

David32's picture
David32 12 years 10 weeks ago

Thom, why is it that you and so many other people harp about corporate taxation and yet you don't say a word about the source of the money to pay said taxes. There is one lesson we all must learn and learn well, EVERYTHING A BUSINESS HAS COMES FROM ITS CUSTOMERS. When you tax a business, you are taxing its customers. When you cry that businesses don't pay their fair share you are confirming that businesses are indeed people. BUSINESSES ARE TAX COLLECTORS, NOT TAXPAYERS. Why is this such a difficult concept to learn and why is the consumer not made painfully aware who really pays a businesses taxes by you and others with a loud public voice? State sales taxes are at least shown on your sales rececipt when you buy something. Business income and corporate taxes are generally hidden from the customer.

I generally agree with much of what you say Thom, but your stand on corporate taxation is simply wrong. Corporations indeed need reigning in which as you say starts with movetoamend stripping corporations of personhood and money from speech. It should be made abundantly clear that businesses role in society is to provide goods and services to customers and that their profit is dependent on how well they accomplish that role.


RNF123 12 years 10 weeks ago

Thom, the irony of the "Buffett" rule is that it is fair that the wealthy pay a higher rate of tax, especially when their income exceeds a million dollars a year. However, Buffett has, for years, made aggressive use of the tax code for his own benefit. Nothing illegal but he is the master of the tax code and has used it to accumulate much of his wealth. He is also a major shareholder in two of the most despised corporations in America, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs from which he receives tax benefits for the loophole that minimizes taxes on dividends paid from one corporation to another. He will also avoid most or all estate taxes by leaving his wealth to the Gates Foundation which will eliminate most or all of his estate tax liability. The "Buffett" rule is a good one, but someone should do more due diligence on Buffett, his use of the tax code and his investment portfolio before making him a poster boy for tax reform.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 12 years 10 weeks ago

Businesses will take the money from consumers regardless of its disposition. To say it's evil to tax a business because the consumer pays ignores that the business will take that money anyway and just shove it into its vault.

The worker pays for everything, and the business must pay taxes to support the society that allows it to profit. To allow a business to just grab the cash and run to Switzerland is irresponsible and stupid.

Uncle Jimbo's picture
Uncle Jimbo 12 years 10 weeks ago

Once a year we make a trip cross country and one thing has struck us like a brick in the head. There is no more small town mom & pop buisness districts left in the down town areas of America. Many of these small town busness districts are boarded up or just closed as a result of the big shopping centers on the outskirts of these towns with their Wal-Marts, Appelbees, Home Depots, chain restaurants, and big stores like Target, Cosco and the likes. Its realy tuff to find that mom & pop restaurant / diner with good food, or a local 5&10 for a souvenir. Our second home town of Versailles Mo. is a perfect example - Wal-Mart moves in on the outskirt of city limits and the entire 3 square blocks of down town Versailles comes to a halt in just a couple years. Very Sad.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 10 weeks ago

Okay, David, let's say a company spends $10 to make a product, and charges the customer $30 for it. They made $20 of profit. Then let's say the company pays a flat 30% tax on their $20 of profit, which is $6. After tax, they made $14, not $20.

If you then restructure corporate tax to have low rates on lower brackets (say 0%), and high rate on higher brackets (say 100%), you can get the same effect as above (0% on the first $14 per unit, 100% after that), but the company couldn't raise profits by raising their prices above the level where they start paying 100% tax. In a more realistic situation, a tax rate below 100% can still have that effect by making the profit per unit inadequate to make up for the reduction in total units sold at the higher price. So a bracketed corporate tax system can keep prices down.

The fact is that a corporation needs enough revenue to cover their costs, plus some profit to be able to expand the business, and that's it. They always like to make more than that, but taxes can discourage such price gouging.

David32's picture
David32 12 years 10 weeks ago


You hypothetical has nothing to do with where the money comes from which is the ONLY point I am trying to get across. More simplly, if you buy an item at WalMart part of the amount you paid is for taxes, capiche? So my question for you is, who paid the tax? Or is it you think businesses have a money tree out back that they pick money from to pay their taxes with? Come on, no offense, but don't make a simple idea so complex.


David32's picture
David32 12 years 10 weeks ago

Stupid, oh really, one I never said it's evil to tax businesses, I said the fact should not be hidden as it is. Secondly, competition will force businesses to pass along the tax savings in most situations. As I said to mathboy, the ONLY point I am making is where the money comes from to pay taxes. Grabbing the cash and running is a big corp tactic that could and should be discouraged. Rather than taxation and fines (that the customer again pays for) as a punishment for bad behavior some form of corporate capital punishment should be meted out to irresponsible corporations.

As for your statement the worker pays for everything, the same question must be asked, who pays the workers, businesses, with their customers money. So you see we are all dependent on the movement of money, from the customer to the business, from the business to the worker, ad infinitum.

I believe the fairest taxation would be to scrap the system that we have that taxes productivity and consumption for a tax on the movement of money. The majority of money changes hands electronically and by skimming a quarter to a half percent of every transaction (a few lines of code on a computer) of the trillions of dollars that change hands in America annually government would have more than enough money to carrry on their duties. Yeah, it means businesses are taxed, but everyone would know who is taxed and by how much.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 10 weeks ago

David, don't make a complex idea so simple. You pay income tax on the money you make from your job, but you got that money from the corporation you work for, so--aha!--your company is really the one paying that tax, isn't it? And then you can look back further and further, infinitely.

It's all a big swirling pot of money. Whatever the government takes in comes from somewhere and goes somewhere.

Nuula's picture
Nuula 12 years 10 weeks ago

Watching most, but not all the Mom 7& Pop Shops disappear from my own small previous city forced me to boycot the Franchise Operations that are squeezing them out, one by one. With some great ingenuity however, I am very pleased to tell you that such has resulted in new, better and innovative ways of creating and maintaining some terrific privatley owned businesses, from hospitality to media, endless.

Dare the people to fight for themselves and - THEY SHALL! DARE the people to encourage memebers of their communities to support local initiatives and - THEY ARE! End of day, not all bad. TRAGIC for those who lost their life's dream to retire on and often their financial saving and investments for maintenance, overhead costs, inventory, often their homes - EVERYTHING! But NOT - in all cases, their spirit. The last 30 years wiped out many people, and brought all the perils of socail downfall raining relentlessly upon them.

My particualr Government's response? Why - a Government Charity Casino of course! Brilliant! Truly. What a marvelous way to rake back Welfare dollars, drug deal money, Social Securty cheques, Disability funds.... LOTS of money to be had! Their doing marvelously! The community is dying fast, but - who cares? They can relocate when the next victim community surfaces, as I'm sure is solidified many times over, in the province of Ontario. Why, the Capitol of Canada lives there. Where better to work from. Couldn't have better resources to draw from to ensure success. I left the dying community 4 months ago. My life said "stay & die" or run like hell. Choosing the later, I'm doin fine, Landing myself in Oil Country, where prosperity abounds at the expense of the envirnment and the land.....

WE DARE them!!!!!! to rescind their intentions. The voices are rising and the people are ready to march, blockade, what ever it takes to stop the Pipeline reaching the West Coast Pacific Ocean. What a great time to be here, to witness and partake in History in the Making - yet again! The Six Nations Peoples, Canada's greatest leaders and voices shall do what they do SO well, and save themsleves, the land AND the happless employees of The Tar Sands Project. No dollar value can buy what's left of our great nation. We want it, as is, long term, like - forever. The land belongs to Mother Earth and it's our DUTY to protect her from death and destruction. Mankind can destroy and/or mankind can save. Wars to save Her, but THOSE battles are worth fighting for! Money buys their war. We come FREE!

Have a great week end!!!!!!

David32's picture
David32 12 years 10 weeks ago

I think I said that just a moment ago. I also offered a simple solution. Tax the swirling of money and forget all the other taxes.

Uncle Jimbo's picture
Uncle Jimbo 12 years 10 weeks ago

Your last paragraph reminded me of an old quote by Chief Seattle 1885 -

Man did not weave the web of life. He is merely a strand in it. What he does to it - he does to himself.

When we destroy precious portions of our enviroment for immediate and temporrary proffits, everything suffers in the end.

The tar sands project makes absolutly no common sense in my mind.

David32's picture
David32 12 years 10 weeks ago

Would that there were 'common sense'. We would live in a very different world. Tar sands oil and fracking are close bedfellows in the amount of environmental damage and humongus depletion of water resources that result from their use. Stopping the piplines to the Pacific and to Texas are important but even more important is ceasing forever these damaging processes.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 12 years 10 weeks ago

If you worked in Germany for years and finally come back to Albany, you wonder where the boutiques are. Either you go to the mall (outside Albany), or sneak to those private houses where seamstresses probably don't pay taxes...

If you see all those small businesses in German cities, you end up amazed. Where start shopping in this exorbitant variety?

That's Keynesian, folks! The present U.S.A. look like the communistic east of Germany, at that time when it still was ruled by communists. Pretty much dead. That's the inheritance of GOP austerity and present gridlock, folks. As devastating as communism.

microsrfr 12 years 10 weeks ago

Small businesses are at a disadvantage with respect to percentage income tax paid, per capita health care cost, shipping costs for FEDEX and UPS while they are much more likely to need to charge sales tax.

Teddy Roosevelt must be turning over in his grave. Can we continue to suppress the golden goose that creates jobs?

michaelward's picture
michaelward 12 years 10 weeks ago

The only way change will come is when members of a community are willing to pay $2.00 for a loaf of locally baked bread made in a local bakery owned by local people, rather than $1.00 for a loaf of bread made by some other. This will only happen after people decide that it is better to spend the cable bill money on such things rather than tune into coporate adverising. Spread the word -- education is the only answer.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 10 weeks ago

So what is wrong with the Dollar Store? They are not exactly Walmart...and you can buy a loaf of bread as well as everything else for...a dollar.

The problem with a lot of small-scale "merchants" is that many all vote Republican and believe that Democrats are leaches who don't want to pay anything but expect everything in return while the merchant "slaves" away and "earns" everything they "work" matter how many people they cheat and steal from along the way.

They expect nice big houses, yearly vacations, medical insurance, and nice cars and nice everything else and if they don't get it...they rag on the competition and on the customers who patronize those businesses who can provide the same products at cheaper prices. And on top of that, they all believe that they should pay lower taxes than those who make less than they do....and find and use loopholes and hide their money that lets them do just that....push the tax burden down the food chain. That's the real "trickle down"'s really "trickle down taxes" where the tax burden is push down to those who can least afford to pay them.

When you don't have a lot of money you have to buy the cheapest. If you have a lot of money, you can afford to be picky and avoid paying the cheaper order to make a political statement against corporatism, or be patriotic, I suppose.

So, those small-scale merchants, in useful-idiot lock-step with the ruling elite who voted Republican, or Blue-Dog Democrat, can now reap what they sowed....a monopolistic, too-big-to-fail, economy whose major customer base can no longer afford to pay the prices of those small-scale merchants who still expect to live in big, expensive, houses and drive nice expensive cars.

I, for one, have given up on the hope that America will survive it's own stupidity and idiocy and expect it to become just another third-world country. "Hope" is for dummies and suckers!

I expect most of us will be forced to learn Chinese in order to keep from starving to death in the future. And what the heck does it really matter if we are controlled and ruled by the Chinese ruling elite or our own ruling elite. We are obviously not going to get one crumb more from our own ruling elite anyway...especially since the ruling elite is profiting from having those crumbs manufactured in Asia. And they do not care a whit about us either.

So, to hell with patriotism, and silly-assed flags, because it is all stupid bullshit to play the world's populations off against each other until we all kill one another in order to satiate the meglomaniacal whims of those who managed to steal their way to the top. We've all been had! The only way to change things around is to stop playing their games. Stop joining the military under the guise of fighting for your country...that's total crap! Most people know it by now.

Nobody will boycott the places that have the lowest prices because they are stuck. But, all those right-wing merchants need to wake up and change their ideology in favor of more progressive and liberal views and massively vote for and change the system so that we all can afford to pay their higher prices.

Henry Ford had the right idea but lots of businesses and merchants have lost touch with that idea. For the last 30, or so years, they have done nothing but screw their workers by reduced wages, reduced benefits, and even giving their jobs to low paid workers overseas. And this has not been just a higher corporate practice...the "screw-the-worker" mentality has trickled down to the lowly merchants as well.

So, keep buying at WalMart or the Dollar Stores or any way you can to avoid paying more than you have to...THEY ALL DO..(pay the cheapest they can get away with...wages...interest...etc) why shouldn't we?

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