Is that really what you want?

Recently, prompted by a Republican rant about how America’s economy and the world would be better off if we would only get government off the backs of corporations, I engaged in a sometimes dangerous exercise. I started thinking about it. Almost every speech Mitt Romney or his surrogates make contains the same philosophy. They talk about how, if we simply gave tax breaks to corporations and rich people, and did away with the oppressive regulations, we would free up the job creators to produce untold numbers of jobs, and we would all once again be prosperous, rolling in dough.

Mostly, the regulations corporations cite as being oppressive are first and foremost regulations dealing with environmental concerns. In fact, Rick Perry, our governor, who jumps every time the big money boys say frog, even had the state of Texas sue the federal government to avoid implementing regulations to keep our air clean. Second, usually on the list of complaints is that we should not be taxing corporations at all; and if so, only a small amount. Of late, we’ve been hearing about unreasonable safety regulations, and the fact the government system since Taft Hartley has allowed labor unions, particularly in the private sector, to enjoy benefits such as vacation time, hospitalization and other luxuries that corporations deem too expensive to allow them to do business with American workers.

Suppose we had a free society of unregulated and untaxed corporations. What do you think, would happen in regard to the areas now regulated by our national government? What about the safety of workers? Suppose we let corporations operate their refineries, for example, in any manner they chose, free from regulation having to do with pollution. Could any mother feel comfortable living in a community where emissions carrying carcinogens were exposing her children to such diseases as asthma, leukemia or other cancers? Suppose we didn’t have OSHA to regulate safety in the workplace? Could any family feel comfortable sending their breadwinner into a place where safety was ignored in favor of higher profits? Do you think the good ole boys who love to fish on weekends could afford bass boats and places on the lake if corporations were allowed to repudiate union contracts that guaranteed decent wages, dignified treatment and benefits? How about taxes? Should we allow corporations to pay only what they volunteer to pay to support their communities? Do you really believe corporations would pony up enough to help keep our schools open and provide police and fire protection?

I agree that without regulations business would certainly be more profitable. However, there must be a balance between the quality of life we all desire while maintaining an environment where businesses can make a profit. I cite as an example the major oil companies who operate out of the United States of America. With all of the “onerous” union contracts, government oversight, safety and environmental regulations, for the past few years oil companies have made huge multibillion-dollar profits. At a time when America needs more revenue, big oil is fighting to hold onto these multibillion-dollar corporate welfare payments.

Current Republican plans for adding jobs are simply to curtail spending on such things as Social Security and Medicare while cutting the corporate tax rate and bringing the tax on invested money to zero. In interviews, Romney and Paul Ryan claim the cost associated with giving corporations and the mega-rich folks further tax breaks will be more than made up for by reforming the tax code and closing loopholes. Very few specifics have leaked out concerning what kind of loopholes Republicans intend to close; however, there has been some indication that items under consideration would include taxing health care benefits furnished by employers and disallowing the deductions of interest payments on home mortgages. Every working American should ask themselves if it would it be better for America to tax health benefits furnished by employers or not allow deductions for interest payments on a home while continuing multi-million dollar subsidies to oil companies that have gasoline prices at record highs and are enjoying multibillion-dollar profits.

Carl Parker has practiced law in Port Arthur since 1958. He is a 1958 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1962 and the Senate in 1976, Parker continued to practice law while writing and sponsoring hundreds of bills that became laws relating to



Political Shotgun Approach Fails on the Merits

Gotta consider whether the political shotgun approach in slinging dung against the wall to see what might stick is truly effective . . . . especially when only criticizing Republicans. Look only at the results of daily life in Port Arthur, TX to determine whether the Democratic politicians in office really are the ones to emulate.

Regarding the current federal tax system, it is hardly a tax system that can be defended due to politicians of both parties fundamentally transforming it into something other than a tax system that is fair and equal to each and every individual and, for business entities, is not competitive within the global market place.

But, at least one can agree that regulations need to be balanced . . . though, today, they are not. For example, as of January 2012, over 1200 business entities (mostly 'friends' of the current administration) have received waivers opting out of ObamaCare. And, for the individual business owners who must participate?

Needless to say, ObamaCare (The Affordable Health Care Act) is a prime example of overregulation for 16% of the US economy that will guarantee the results of unintended consequences. But, then again, when delegates at the DNC were asked what a reasonable rate of profit should be for a 'corporation', the answer frequently given was that the profits should be capped by our government . . . or that there should be the consideration that corporations would have no profits . . . believing that 'socialism' (actual words of the DNC delegates) was preferable to 'capitalism'.

As for the current model for Social Security, any individual proficient at math and familiar with actuarial tables knows that the model must be altered given that (per the Social Security board of trustees in 1945), there were 41.9 workers paying into Social Security for each Social Security beneficiary. As of September 2011, there were 1.75 workers paying into Social Security for each Social Security beneficiary. And, due to the more recent extensive political wrangling, Medicare fares far worse.

It is rather interesting, though, whenever a politician slings around the term 'corporate welfare', are we not really talking about government subsidies . . . . the direct monetary benefit (actual taxpayer dollars paid) to a corporation . . . . such as Solyndra, Solar Trust of America, Bright Source, LSP Energy, Energy Conversion Devices, Abound Solar, SunPower, Beacon Power, Ecotality, Fiska, A123 Solar, UniSolar, Azure Dynamics, Ener1, General Motors, the proxy banks (such as JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo et al) that often act on behalf of the Federal Reserve? And, what about the Federal Reserve itself that, by statute, is guaranteed a profit while paying no taxes . . . printing ever more money that results in driving down the value of the US dollar . . . and holding interest rates abnormally low, resulting in overtly punishing anyone who intends to save money for future needs? Could say that is cruel and unusual punishment (by a GSE - Government Sponsored Entity) placed upon the very people who are making every effort to be self sufficient . . . living within one's means . . . planning ahead . . . doing the right thing . . . .not being a burden on society.

Our republic needs statesmen who will honestly speak in terms of solving the current fiscal and monetary issues created by the politicians and their cronies. Otherwise, the people are destined to feel the pain perpetuated by the politicians of today's socialist Democrat party members and by the misguided RINOs.

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