Why are we talking about corporate taxes?
Corporate taxes are a stark example of the inherent injustice of Capitalism and the war that the rich are waging against the middle class and everyone else. In 1961, corporate income taxes were over 1/3 of federal income tax revenue; today they are half that share. It is the income taxes paid by individuals and small businesses that have made up for the declining share of taxes paid by corporations.
Q. I hear that state and city government budgets are in the red. Is that bad?
A. It’s bad. State and local governments provide the bulk of basic public services. With these governments facing budget shortages of some $200 billion (out of annual expenditures nationwide of $1.7 trillion dollars), essential services are at risk. These include public education and health, police and fire, transportation, parks, libraries and building and repair of most sewers and water mains, not to mention funding half the costs of unemployment insurance and Medicaid. Without more money coming in, most localities will witness significant layoffs of police and fire personnel, while close to 200,000 of the nation’s 3.4 million K-12 teachers may receive pink slips by September 2011.
The governors of Wisconsin, Ohio and other states with Republican majorities in legislatures have introduced legislation to restrict or even eliminate the rights of public employees to bargain collectively for decent benefits. They claim that eliminating the rights of teachers to have any say in their conditions of employment is essential to balancing their state budgets. The Wisconsin governor even threatened to call out the National Guard to suppress resistance by public employee unions.