SEQ CHAPT ER \h \r 1
FEDERAL DEFICIT : FAILURES OF THE BRAT-GENERATION
There was a time in the this country when children were disciplined. The thinking was that children were more of an intrusion in the life of the parent, than a budding human being with great potential. All of that seemed to change after the publication of Dr. Benjamin Spock's 1946 best seller The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
Spock was a pediatrician who studied psychoanalysis to try to understand children's needs and family dynamics. Spock's book influenced several generations, teaching parents to be more flexible and affectionate towards their children. By 1998, the book had sold over 50 million copies and was translated into 39 languages.
While the concept was practical and much needed to counter the effects of child mis-treatment, it was taken on by many parents as the bible of child rearing and evolved into the concept of adoring the little ones and made them all "something special." Parents began spoiling their children, promoting an "indulging" parental style. Children were given freedoms to express themselves in whatever manner they wished without restrictions or limitations. The result of permissive coddling became obvious when children were given trophies for participation, rather than contribution. The society began bringing up generations of spoiled brats. Today these brats are in Washington, demanding special favors and the "me first" attitude has evolved into a generation of selfish greed.
Spock was on target with his advice, but parents took his recommendations a bit too far. Today, we see Democrats and Republicans arguing over the Federal Budget, trying to eliminate waste, while still insisting that their own personal agendas not be stripped away. Acting more like children than adults with professionalism, the bickering may result in closing down the Federal government in order to "make a point." Compromise seems to be a bad word and not allowed to be considered, while these modern brat-warriors are beating their chest like the monkeys and apes in the Washington Zoo.
We do not have a budget problem, we have a maturity problem in our legislators. They have spent like drunken sailors since the 1980s, and proclaim Ronald Reagan as their inspiration. The latter-Ronald Reagan; not the early democratic champion of union rights and supporter of progressive liberal programs. When Reagan joined the employ of General Electric, he turned to "the dark side" and became Janus, the two-faced ancient god of transitions and new beginnings.
Examples of the spendthrift ways leading to our current budget deficit can be found everywhere. With a tax-code of over 7,500 pages, legislators have written so many tax laws to protect their friends and supporters that gathering tax revenues has become a national joke. While the top rates for corporations is "said" to be 35% of profit, the highest in the industrialized world, the truth is quite different. Corporations have avoided and escaped paying their fair share into Federal coffers through tax-evasion. Using 115 foreign tax havens, major corporations hide their profits in off-shore accounts, untouchable by the IRS. Consider:
Bank of America : $4.4Billion in income profit, paid ZERO taxes (2010)
General Electric : In 2010; $14.2Billion in profits, paid zero taxes and actually received tax-credits totaling $3.2Billion. The prior year (2009) GE made $10.3Billion and paid no taxes, yet received $1.1Billion in tax rebates. Over the past 5-years, GE average tax rate was 3.4%. GE holds $84Billion in overseas income, untouchable. [President Obama has appointed GE CEO Jeff Immelt to head the President's Job Creation Commission . GE shed 4,000 jobs in 2008; 16,000 jobs in 2009; 19,000 job were shed in 2010.]
Exxon : $45Billion in world-wide income (2009); paid zero US taxes.
Citigroup : 4-quarters of Billion-dollar profits; zero taxes paid. Citigroup has $17.5Billion in tax-credits to offset paying any taxes in future years. Citigroup maintains 427 offshore tax-haven subsidiaries.
Wells Fargo : Tax law prevents any company from claiming the tax losses of an acquired company, however the IRS exempted banks. Wells purchased Wachovia and was allowed to use their $19Billion tax credit against it's $12.3Billion profits. Wells paid zero taxes.
Hewlett-Packard : Allowed to defer taxation on $14.4Billion of foreign earnings in 2004; lowering it's tax rate to 12%. According to Dailyfinance.com. HP's tax rate for 4.3% in 2008; 2.3% in 2009.
Verizon : Due to it's joint venture with Vodaphone, Verizon's tax rate is 10.5%.