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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

As anyone who has ever been to any of the many cities that are graced with a Trump hotel, casino, golf resort, etc. likely knows, Donald Trump insists that his name be gaudily displayed in giant letters across every structure he owns — preferably in gold.

Now, he’s taken ownership of a massive new structure that’ll reach across all of America, and he might not want his name slapped all over this one. It’s Trump’s towering redo of our country’s tax law — and, no surprise, his plan is truly golden. For the super-rich, that is, revealing in hard numbers whom his presidency really serves: Not just the 1 percent, but especially the 1-percent-of-the-1-percent who are multimillionaires and billionaires… like — guess who? — him.

First and foremost, the Trump tax plan slashes the payments that giant corporations make to support our nation. He claims that this will let corporate elites raise the wages of workers and create jobs, winking at the fact that, of course, the elites will pocket every dime of Trump’s tax giveaways. And he doesn’t mention a little secret gotcha: A third of his corporate benefits would go to foreign owners of American corporations.

Meanwhile, Trump’s luxurious new tax structure eliminates many benefits for middle class families, such as tax deductions for medical expenses, college tuition and interest paid on student loans. He wants modest-income families to pay more, so he can eliminate current taxes on his own uber-rich family, including killing the alternative income tax paid by the rich and the estate tax.

Did I mention that the gilded tax structure proposed by this self-described business genius would hang an additional $1.5 trillion debt around our children’s necks? No surprise, for Trump’s grandiose luxury projects were often built with other people’s money, advancing himself before he slipped away, leaving others to grapple with the bankruptcy.

Here’s a question you might want to ask our Trumpestuous President and his mousey Trumpeteers in Congress: “Why are you even considering giving more tax breaks to corporate giants?”

First, the self-serving corporate class is wallowing in warehouses of wealth, greedily hoarding it in offshore tax shelters and stock-buyback schemes, refusing to invest their unconscionable profits to benefit the vast majority of people they’ve been knocking down and holding down.

Second, you shouldn’t give away our public treasury when our nation has a budget deficit and faces a frightening backlog of crying needs for public investment — from our deteriorating infrastructure to our disappearing middle class.

Third, our people’s sense of equality and social unity has been severely fractured by 30 years of gross wealth inequality, so intentionally widening the wealth gap is criminally stupid and dangerous.

Fourth, why would you think over-paid, over-pampered CEOs deserve more pampering? They’ve become imperious potentates who feel entitled to gouge, cheat, defraud, lie and otherwise run over us commoners.

Consider Jeff Immelt, who resigned as the imperial CEO of General Electric until this June. Not only did he have a fleet of corporate jets to fly him around, but we now learn that when this royal chief jetted here or there, he had a second jet, called a “chase plane,” follow right behind him. Jet Number Two carried no passengers or equipment; it was just a spare in case his highness needed it for… well for what? GE offers no reasonable answer, because there isn’t one. Immelt says he never used the spare, but there it was, zipping along behind him costing GE shareholders thousands of dollars an hour.

This pompous waste cost you and me, too, for GE got a tax deduction for every flight Jeff’s chase plane made. Why would Trump & Company reward such common corporate rip-offs with more tax breaks?

Populist author, public speaker, and radio commentator Jim Hightower writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America’s ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at


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5 responses to “Why Reward Bad Corporate Behavior With More Tax Breaks?”

  1. johninPCFL says:

    Any tax rate reductions will be spent on stock buy-backs (to increase stock value), which in turn increases the CEOs annual pay package.

    Labor is an expense in business, to be minimized like any other expense. Pay raises are given when employees exceed performance goals (set by management) or when certain employees have irreplaceable skills. CEO bonus pay is gifted to them when stock prices exceed target points.

    Guess where the CEO will spend the GOP tax largesse?

    • Sand_Cat says:

      Actually, the reductions will help the corporate and wealthy classes to purchase what little of our government they don’t already own to destroy what remaining good there is in it. But I guess that is what you were getting at in your last sentence.
      One correction: my understanding is that CEOs are more often than not given their “performance” bonuses whether or not there is any performance.

      • johninPCFL says:

        Corporate boards have largely abandoned their role of guiding corporate management. The no longer deal with the “details” of determining whether the CEO is actually doing his (or her) job. Instead they have offloaded their fiscal responsibilities to “compensation committees”, whose job is ostensibly to determine what appropriate pay and bonus levels are for the CEO who nominally reports to them.

        One problem with the system is that the committee is made up of other CEOs, and at the Fortune-500 level, it’s a pretty shallow gene pool. Would Jack Welch really NOT approve an over-the-moon compensation package for Larry Bossidy of Allied Signal? How about if you knew that Larry and Jack were good friends, met several times per year on “Six-Sigma Quality issues”? How about if you knew that good-buddy Larry was on Jack’s compensation committee?

        How did the committee arrive at the conclusion that Jack Welch deserved $600 million in compensation during his last year at GE?

        • Sand_Cat says:

          Beats me. :>)

        • Independent1 says:

          $600 million!! That seems like quite a stretch given these glowing comments about GE’s performance over the past 15 years; a lot of it while Jack Welch was CEO:

          General Electric Used to Be Bigger Than Apple — What Happened?

          With a market cap of just over $730 billion, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the most valuable company in history, and the largest component of the S&P 500 by a fairly sizable margin. Apple makes up about 4% of the index — an historical accomplishment that only a handful of other companies have ever been able to claim.

          One of those companies is General Electric (NYSE:GE). In fact, GE — on a relative basis — was larger. In the year 2000, GE accounted for nearly 5% of the S&P 500. But the industrial giant took a turn for the worse shortly thereafter, and its stock has been a notable underperformer in the years since. Even factoring in sizable dividend payments, GE shares have fallen more than 13% in the last 15 years.

          In my mind, given the downward slide of GE performance under Welch and its lowering stock price, Welch should have gotten nothing for leaving the company. Being a publicly owned company, there should be an SEC ruling that, when the performance is not good, and the stock price is down – no bonus is due.

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