by Jim Hightower
Last year, the American Jobs Creation Act was signed into law by George W. Bush. So how many jobs has it created?
Well, gosh, say the Bushites, uh... um... er... none. Well then, how many jobs will it create later on? Golly, say the Bushites, actually... uh... we don't know... maybe none.
This is because both the title and the promise of this law are lies. It's not a jobs bill at all; it's a boondoggle for huge corporations, giving them a massive tax cut.
For years, these giants have used loopholes that let them shelter their profits in various tax havens around the world. Finally, though, there comes a time when they want to bring this stash home -- but, goodness gracious, this would require them to pony up their taxes. No problem for them, though, for this is why they hire hordes of lobbyists and make big campaign donations to lawmakers. They simply got Bush and the Congress to declare a "tax holiday" for them, letting them repatriate their hidden cash at a tax rate of only 5 percent -- a fraction of the normal rate and way below what we working stiffs and small businesses pay.
This corporate tax dodge is so stinky that it needed some perfume to get it through Congress -- so the Bushites called it a jobs bill, promising that the companies would invest these billions in new operations here at home and hire workers. However, there was one little catch to their promise: They put no requirement in the law that the tax dodgers would have to do any of this.
Guess what? They aren't. Pfizer, for example, will haul at least $28 billion home from its international tax hideaways. Far from using this pile to create jobs in the good ol' USA, Pfizer says it will cut thousands of workers over the next three years. Asked about the ethics of this, Pfizer says curtly that it's "following the intent of the law."
Yeah, a law your lobbyists wrote! It should be called the Corporate Tax Cheat Forgiveness Act.
Publication date: 06/02/05