The Republicans are planning to cut $100 billion (this year more like $50 billion) from
the budget where it will adversely affect children, women, poor folks, the middle class, schools,
infrastructure, police, etc., but they could be going after far greater sums of money that the
wealthy are getting away with unimpeded and unexamined.
The Defense Department released a report (to Sen. Bernard Sanders) that says that
the Department paid $285 billion over a three-year period (2007-2009) to hundreds of military
contractors who defrauded the Pentagon during the same period. For example, about $270
billion went to 91 contractors involved in civil fraud cases that resulted in only about $1 million
in judgements. Another $682 million went to 30 contractors convicted of “hard core” criminal
fraud in the same three-year period. Billions of additional dollars went to firms that had been
suspended or barred by the Pentagon for misusing taxpayer dollars.
We learn from The New York Times (Feb. 2) how many corporations, most earning
many billions in profits, are paying far less than the federal corporate tax rate of 35%. Examples
cited are: Carnival Corporation, over five years paid 1.1% of its cumulative $11.3 billion in
profits; Boeing paid a total tax rate of just 4.5%; Southwest Airlines paid 6.3%; Yahoo paid 7%;
Prudential Financial. 7.6%; General Electric, 14.3%, and the list is long.
All of the above are examples of the very rich in this country either ripping us all off or
being sure not to pay their fair share. I have not even mentioned the continuation of the big tax
break for the upper 2% which its Republican authors had designed to end in 2010. This alone
could reduce the deficit by $700 billion over ten years.
Do the Republicans really need to go after those mentioned in my first paragraph to help
reduce the deficit or could they find far more savings than the amounts they want to cut?