Letter to Rep. Dave Reichert, as a follow-up to our meeting

[Note from the editor:  Last Friday, the author (Linda Boyd), Robert Sargent, and I had a meeting with 8th CD US Congressman Dave Reichert (R), at his Mercer Island office.  My report is here.  — Don Smith]

Representative Reichert,

It  was a pleasure to meet with you on Friday and to express my views about  the debilitating cost of war to the 8th CD, Washington State and our  nation.  I urge you to work vigorously to lower military expenses, in  order to responsibly invest our tax dollars in infrastructure, higher  education, alternative energy and low cost loans to entrepreneurs and  students.

Regarding taxes and the debt ceiling:  The articles below express surprise and outrage that large corporations such as Boeing and G.E. pay NO Federal income taxes. You  said on Friday that corporations were anxious to have  “tax certainty.”  I think that paying nothing in Federal income tax year after year is  more than enough certainty, and shows that there is no “shared  sacrifice” coming from the richest sector of our nation.

I  urge you to reconsider your stance on “no new taxes,”  and to replace  it with “FAIR TAXES FOR ALL.”  Your constituents understand that income  disparity in the U.S. is at an all-time high.  In fact, the U.S. is one  of only a few developed countries where  income inequality has increased  since 1980.  So, you see, “trickle down economics” is a cruel fantasy.   Wealth is more concentrated in the hands of a few tnow than in the roaring twenties.

The  individuals and corporations with the highest incomes must be required  to pay taxes at the same rates as the rest of us.  Anything less is  criminally parasitic.

I  met Robert Sargent for the first time in your office on Friday.  The  facts about disparate and unfair tax rates support his politely  delivered comments.  I hope next time, that you won’t threaten to leave  the room when your constituent points out that there is currently “no  shared sacrifice,” when it comes to balancing the budget.   Can we count  on you to support fair taxation for the people of the 8th C.D. and  throughout  the U.S.?

Thank you in advance for you response,

Linda Boyd
8th C.D.


Boeing was in this group. The company made $9.7 billion in profits in 2008, 2009 and 2010. It paid nothing in federal taxes, booking $178 million back from the government in various credits, for a total federal tax rate of -1.8 percent.

These figures are from the company’s financial reports. Still, I was expecting when Boeing executives went to Congress recently to ask for even lower taxes that they would deny this report. But they didn’t. “Over the last three years, we have not paid,” confirmed James Zrust, Boeing’s vice president for tax.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

Wealth And Inequality In America

The gap between the top 1% and everyone else hasn’t been this bad since the Roaring Twenties

Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power

Some additional facts about exorbitant pay and tax avoidance by corporations

  • Executive Pay at Big Companies Rose 23% Last Year. (source)
  • America’s largest global corporations are holding $1.5 trillion dollars in profits overseas in order to avoid US taxes. (source)
  • Goldman Sachs, which received a $10 billion taxpayer bailout, got their effective tax rate down to 1%. (source) They are outsourcing 1000 jobs. (here)
  • GE paid no US taxes on worldwide income of $14.2 billion. (source)
  • In the 10 years ending in 2010, Boeing had $29 billion in profits, and paid minus-$948 million in federal taxes. (source)
  • Twelve major U.S. businesses, with $171 billion in profits, combined to pay negative $2.5 billion in federal taxes the past three years. (source)
  • The IRS estimates that individuals and corporations currently hold $5 trillion in tax haven countries. (source)
  • One year loss in unpaid payroll taxes from businesses: $58 billion (source)
  • Annual cost in oil & gas subsidies: $2.7 billion (source)  First quarter 2011 profits of the six largest oil companies: $38 billion (source)
  • Last fall, Senate Republicans voted unanimously against a bill that would have ended tax breaks for companies that shift American jobs overseas. (source)

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