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Reader Input: Plug holes in tax code

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Well here we are, all sequestered up. Our cowardly representatives in Washington have done it again!
While the government-assisted programs many of us count on fade away and airplanes circle the airport waiting for an air traffic controller, the stock market rages forth toward a new record every week. Corporate profits are at an all-time-high while personal income in the U.S. fell 3.6 percent in January.
They say the corporate tax rate of 35 percent is too high but they really only pay 24 percent on average. Many don’t pay a thing. Our beloved General Electric didn’t pay a penny last year even though they made billions.
Some multi-nationals haven’t paid federal taxes for years: five years for Pfizer, three years for Microsoft, Citi-Group has $42.5 billion in an off-shore account. Four-thousand rich Americans have secret tax havens and these records were recently made public. The British Virgin Islands have a half-million off-shore companies protecting the profits of the very rich. Can we plug the holes in the tax code and stop tax evasion?
The U.S. collects less in taxes as a share of its overall economy than all but two nations, Chile and Mexico. That’s right, Mexico! Corporate America and the big banks are currently sitting on almost $2 trillion in cash.
So while some of us chant “no new taxes,” the fat cats watch our demonstrations, amused as they light their cigars with hundred dollar bills.
Warren Buffet, an extremely rich man who says he needs to pay a higher tax rate, recently said: “If there was a class war, my class won.”
So what was Congress’ answer to our fiscal woes? Blind, rampant, across-the-board cuts.
Call your representatives today and demand that they do better, with tax reform and smart cuts to worn-out government programs, like the billions of dollars we give to oil companies!
PAUL PIERCY, Colfax