Thursday, August 14, 2003

This is why I'm supporting Arianna Huffington for Governor of California. 

Arianna Huffington gives us the lowdown on the huge, corporate dodgers, avoiding taxes at ever greater, and expensive numbers, and what this is doing to states' programs:

Corporate tax shelters robbed states of $12.4 billion in desperately needed revenues in 2001, a figure representing more than a third of the money corporations rightfully owed, according to a study released last week by the Multistate Tax Commission, a nonpartisan coalition of state taxing authorities. Companies sheltering their assets overseas are draining an additional $70 billion a year from the federal treasury -- funds that often make their way back to states through programs such as Head Start and AmeriCorps.../em>

...Take California: The Golden State lost an estimated $1.34 billion in corporate tax revenue because of tax shelters, according to the commission. That might not seem like that much to a state facing an elephantine $38 billion budget shortfall, but it means specific cuts to specific programs that affect hundreds of thousands of people...

...In Florida, which lost $554 million to tax shelters in 2001, just $7.7 million would have saved a program that provided glasses and hearing aids for low-income people. In Kentucky, which lost $150 million to tax shelters, $2.6 million would have allowed Gov. Paul Patton to leave behind bars the 883 prison inmates he released early in a desperate effort to balance the state's budget. I suspect that the 25-year-old woman who was raped by one of these freed inmates three days after his release would have considered that $2.6 million well spent.

And the list goes on of vital programs and services cut or eliminated that could have been saved had corporate America paid what it owed.