The Real Deal: Time for a “Freedom Tax”
If you want less of something, tax it. If you want more of something, subsidize it.
Republicans, and corporations, understand this perfectly.
They take advantage of it all the time. That is why the big companies have their own personal army of lobbyists arm twisting and buying politicians. A tax break for a big corporation is nothing more than a subsidy to big corporations because, after all, someone has to pay, but if it’s not you, you are, relatively speaking, being subsidized by the suckers who do.
Who pays taxes? As Leona Helmsley once famously said, not people like her. And not most big corporations, despite Trumps constant refrain that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Most corporations, in fact, pay taxes far below the nominal 35% rate: CNN Money and especially look here: ITEP
You, the little guy who works for someone else, and the other little guys who work for themselves or have companies way too small to afford an alligator-shoed lobbyist. That’s who pays.
And guess what? If Trump gets his tax “reform,” YOUR taxes are going up while corporate America and the rich get an even bigger subsidy than they do now.
The dirty little secret is Republicans have discovered that the present system ensures that if you want more corporate lobbying, regulate it. And with more corporate lobbying comes more political donations and lots of opportunities to join the other side and make big profits if and when the voters finally figure out the scam and toss your sorry ass out of office.
How much has lobbying increased?
Wikipedia is a convenient source: History of Lobbying in the United States
What has been the effect? The Atlantic basically says we don’t have a democracy in the US. We have a lobbyocracy. The Atlantic
So, let’s return to first principles and instead of rewarding and subsidizing lobbying (yes, corporations get to write off their lobbying costs) let’s tax it. Instead of permitting corporations to write off the costs of lobbying, lets tax everything spent on lobbying at 100%.
That is, every dollar spent by a for-profit entity on lobbying has to be matched by a dollar in tax. And if a “non-profit” lobbying outfit receives more than, say, half its donation amounts from corporations, and those donations are say, larger than $1,000, that “non-profit” lobby gets IRS treatment as a corporate lobby and taxed accordingly.
Then give all the taxes collected over to publically funding elections, including funding (and Federally mandated) proper, secured, unhackable voting methods.
Preferably, at least for me, vote by mail using the US Post Office. And pay the PO for doing this.
And ban any legislator or member of the executive or judicial branch from lobbying for any corporation or corporate lobby for at least 5 years after leaving office.
I guarantee we will have much less lobbying, less corruption, and less venality in politics.
The Republican party might even rediscover science and conclude, with the Koch’s money no longer stuffing their pockets (and blinding them), we ought to do something about climate change.
Of course, this means Democrats have to win majorities and the presidency. And the whole system, including nearly every Republican and far too many Democrats, are currently owned by corporations.
But if lightening strikes again like it did in 2009 when Democrats dominated all three branches of government, this should be the very top priority. Because if we do this, everything else, whether it’s economic or social or “minority” identity or rights or whether Progressive or centrist, whatever, becomes possible.
This is not the “Better Deal.” We can’t get a better deal when every politician gets rewarded for cutting the cards and dealing from the bottom of the deck, and that’s what lobbying encourages (subsidizes with big payoffs, actually).
This is the Real Deal, and the only one that will fundamentally restore our democracy.
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