For far too long Corporate America has gotten away with not fulfilling their duty to our country. Since the days of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the beginning of the far right's ascension to places of power and influence, corporations have shirked their responsibility by shipping profits earned in America to offshore banking accounts. Using shell companies that are nothing more than post office boxes in places such as Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, household names including Halliburton, KBR, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and even Kellog's, (who in 2007 boasted of sales in excess of $11 billion), have spent lavishly on upper management bonuses while shifting the burden of paying taxes onto the workers of America.
President Obama is changing all of that according to what he said yesterday. No longer will companies reap windfall profits by shipping American jobs overseas, and the cash made by causing misery across the country sent to offshore bank accounts. Tax loopholes will be closed, and companies will once again be forced to (GASP!) pay some of their fair share of the taxes that go towards the services they all enjoy. Now we need to go after the fat cats themselves who ship their multi million dollar salaries to those same overseas banks in order to avoid paying income tax. That could potentially rival the amount expected to be realized by closing the corporate loopholes.
The President, in keeping with his campaign promise to bolster consumer protection that had been allowed to virtually disappear under the far right's decimation of America, announced the nomination of Inez Tenenbaum to the post of Chairperson of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as well as a request for an additional $107 million dollars per year to fund the agency properly. Corporate fat cats are probably apoplectic over these two moves by the President, as they can no longer get away with selling unsuspecting Americans garbage wrapped up in blue ribbons.
Reaction seems to be muted save for the far right lunatic fringers, who claim the world is ending and the Apocalypse is at hand because of these moves. But some who have a modicum of maturity and actual knowledge of the way things are supposed to work, (ie; corporations paying all the taxes, ordinary citizens paying none), are clapping their hands in loud applause at these first baby steps towards restoring a balance between the super filthy rich and the rest of us.
The next move by the Obama Administration must now be to undo what Senator Arlen Spector pulled back in 2006 while he was leaving his post as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. As the Democrats welcome the 'defector' into their fold, they must have forgotten that it was Spector who pushed through new rules, along with then Attorney General Gonzales, that weakened the government's ability to prosecute or even investigate corporate wrongdoing.
Another step in the right direction would be ending the practice of deferred sentencing for corporate executives who get caught with their hands deep in the cookie jar. Every day citizens who get caught stealing a loaf of bread to feed their families during these hard economic times caused BY the corporations end up sitting in a cell. But corporate fat cats who rip off millions and even billions, receive 'deferred sentences', which means they never see the inside of a jail. What that teaches the rest of the population is that there are two sets of laws. One for the rich, one for everyone else. Or it could teach us that if you're going to steal, make sure you grab at least a million bucks in order to avoid jail time.
But back to the matter at hand. Although no one is going to be happy with the word of the hiring of an additional 800 I.R.S. agents, if those agents are going to be concentrating solely on corporate malfeasance, we should all be able to live with that. The only ones who are really balking at the additional agents are the super rich any way. Oh, and the far right radio goons, who claim they're really going to be going after regular folks. 800 agents vs. 300 million people. Should be an impressive feat to watch them audit everyone.
Yes, the President did the right thing. For decades, every President has sworn to tackle the issue of Big Business getting away with murder, but not one had the actual guts to take on the corporations face to face. No political contributions would flow in you see. But since Obama's main source of campaign funding comes directly from the American people themselves, Obama probably doesn't give two hoots what the corporations think. And that friends, is one of the biggest leaps forward this nation has taken in many a year towards restoring this country to it's rightful owners. We the People.
This isn't even a partisan issue. Republican, Democrat, Independent, whatever your political leaning, all of us who work in the trenches for a living should back this move by the President as strongly as we can. It isn't very often that anyone has the guts to stand up to the corporations who have hijacked the country and say "No more." When someone does, all of us should rally behind that person and push for even more changes. Like breaking up the huge conglomerates, much like they broke up Ma Bell. Three cheers President Obama! Go get them sons of guns. We'll back you all the way on this one.....................