Has President Obama blown it for himself? Yes. Why? Because he wasted 18 months on being a partisan player instead of passing laws that he promised as a Democrat while canvassing prior to his election.
Is the united States in dire straits? Yes. Why? Because American Republicans during the 8 years of George Bush refused to acknowledge the fact that a government, any government, relies on taxation to pay it bills and debts. Remember the presidential debates in 2000 between Al Gore and George Bush, and how the two men argued over how to spend America’s anticipated $2.2 trillion budget surplus?
How’s this for increases! For the fiscal year ending 2008 when Bush left office the US budget deficit was $10.8 trillion. Yes. I said deficit; a $1.3 trillion that was spent per year on average. And as of fiscal year ending 2010 under Obama, the US deficit sky-rocketed to $14.3 trillion an increase of $4.1 trillion, thanks to Mr. Bush signing bills allowing for tax reductions during his Presidency to continue after he left the Oval Office of which Obama had his hands tied to repeal.
It is my impression that most Republicans do not understand how governments pay their bills, debts and obligations which, I might add, includes their own Republican salaries. Nor do they realize where that money comes from. Taxation. Isn’t that simple? Amongst other income revenues, the majority will come from taxation. The populace and corporations that supply this revenue helps to pay a countries bills. It also pays down the national debt. Taxes pay for the infrastructure of a country. Taxes pay for the salaries of teachers, our policing and fire personal and equipment, new roads and repairs, health services, Search and Rescue and assistance in time of disasters. I must correct myself on the latter entry. President Bush didn’t help those who lost everything in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Why? Because most were black minorities living in poor areas with no insurance. He let them fend for themselves or bused them to an even worse site in Dallas. A football stadium with a lack of any decent service for the thousands. He even allowed them to be shot by the Louisiana State National Guard for trying to survive on rotting food in half submerged supermarkets.
Taxation. That is what pays the bills. Most countries know this. That is why they succeed. But the United States? Not on your life. Under Bush’s Presidency, the first major economic initiative he was a massive tax cut for the rich, enacted in June of 2001. Those with incomes over a million got a tax cut of $18,000-more than 30 times larger than the cut received by the average American.
These inequities were compounded by a second tax cut by the Bush administration. In 2003, this one skewed even more heavily toward the rich. Together these tax cuts, when fully implemented and if made permanent, mean that in 2012 the average reduction for an American in the bottom 20 percent will be a scant $45, while those with incomes of more than $1 million will see their tax bills reduced by an average of $162,000. (1)
In 2009, 7,000 tax incurring Americans earning more than $1 million didn’t pay federal taxes on their income. 28 percent of large foreign corporations, those with more than $250 million in assets, doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes in 2005 despite $372 billion in gross receipts. In addition, about 25 percent of the largest U.S. companies paid no federal income taxes in 2005 despite $1.1 trillion in gross sales that year. (2)
The Republicans know the following but don’t want You to know. That’s because it involves lobbyists that support and donate huge sums of money to their coffers and once in the White House will receive more tax breaks increasing more personal wealth. So, here we go.
The New York Times reported that, in addition to paying no federal income taxes this year (2010), General Electric (GE), the largest US corporation, is set to get a tax credit from the government of $3.2 billion.” (3) But is there any real reason to believe that? Sure, GE has an army of accountants and lobbyists trying to reduce its tax burden, but wouldn’t you if you had $150 billion in worldwide revenue and $14.2 billion in pre-tax income last year? (4) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings. Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS in 2009, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion. Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009. Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS in 2009. Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS in 2009 and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction. Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department. ( I loved that one! ) Next, Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury. ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction. Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent. (5)
Taxation. Where some of the American tax dollars are being spent on a massive scale? The Military. Think very carefully about these figures and consider the following. How many school children could continue their education to college ‘free’ for the amounts spent by the United States? Or, provide Medicare or Medicaid “Free” to all American citizens? Or, provide most seniors with the funds to live reasonably? I can go on and on.
The amount the U.S. military spends annually for tent air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion, according to the Pentagon.
The 33,000 troops who will return home by the end of next year match the numbers sent to Afghanistan in 2010, at a cost of about $30 billion. That comes out to approximately $1 million per soldier.
The Obama administration has requested almost $13 billion to train and equip Afghan security forces in the next fiscal year.
The US military consumes about 1.2 million barrels of oil, or more than 50 million gallons of fuel, each month in Iraq at an average $127.68 a barrel which amounts to $1.84 billion per year. And that’s just Iraq.
By the end of 2008, the U.S. had spent approximately $900 billion in direct costs on the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.
Budget Breakdown for 2012, which includes the DoD spending, FBI counter-intelligence, International Affairs, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Veterans Pensions, Interest on debt incurred in past wars, NASA, satellites and Other defence-related mandatory spending is estimated between $1.030-$1.415 trillion.
This is how a great portion of American tax revenue is being spent with no return on the dollar. Just thought I would let you know. Dire straits? Undeniably yes.