‘We The People’ Just Lost Bigly to Corporate America

The 2017 GOP tax plan treats corporations much better than people.

If you don’t believe it, watch this incredible 2 ½ minute video of Congresswoman Suzan DelBene of Washington questioning Thomas Barthold, Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee of Taxation.  (Link to Video)

Says Congressman Mark Takano of California, who posted the video:

  • Under the Republican plan, corporations are still allowed to deduct state and local taxes. Workers are not.
  • Corporations are still allowed to deduct business expenses. Teachers are not.
  • Corporations are still allowed to deduct more than $10,000 in property taxes. Homeowners are not.
  • Corporations are still allowed to deduct moving expenses. Families are not.
  • And this is on top of a $1.5 trillion corporate tax cut. (Link to Reference)

“Let’s be clear,” says Takano, “this is not a ‘Middle-class tax cut.’ Working families get the crumbs and the super-wealthy get everything else.”

If you’re not a multi-millionaire, this should infuriate you.

Modern capitalism’s great flaw is that it continues to value corporations over individuals in a country that claims to do otherwise.  America was created for ‘We The People’ not ‘We the company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law.’

Let’s not forget, it was never supposed to be this way.

My history teachers taught that when American colonists declared independence from England in 1776, they also freed themselves from control by English corporations that extracted their wealth and dominated trade.  Our forefathers feared corporations so much, they wisely limited corporations exclusively to a business role. Corporations were forbidden from attempting to influence elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society. (Link to Article)

Forbidden – as in you violate a law, you’re revoked.

When America began, the signers of the Constitution weren’t picturing our country being run by faceless legal entities.  Initially, the privilege of incorporation was granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals. They served a specific purpose – we need a bridge built so a bridge corporation is formed, shareholders invest, the bridge is built, reasonable profits are distributed to the investors, then the corporation is dissolved.

Seriously, that’s how it’s supposed to go.

Now we’ve got major corporations influencing elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society, just as Jefferson and Madison feared.  Giants like GE, GM, and Apple are financing campaigns and lobbying politicians.  Behemoths like Exxon and Chevron are deciding if and when we switch away from oil.  Big boys like Walmart and Netflix are closing up mom and pops across every state.

In other words, we’ve become the exact same thing that caused our forefathers to revolt.

The GOP Tax Plan favors corporations over workers, teachers, homeowners, and families.  The Republicans actually decided that a teacher who buys pencils for her students can no longer deduct them but a corporation who buy pencils for its workers still can.  Are you okay with that?   Jefferson and Madison and the others who started and won a revolution against that exact same thing would stand before us today and say:


Another thing my teachers taught me was that immigrants long to be American because this country provides its citizens with the opportunity to make something of themselves.  That’s how the U.S. rolled for years – dream big, work hard, dedicate yourself to a decent job or start up a mom and pop business, provide for your family and set yourself up for retirement.  It was called The American Dream, and it was the carrot the powers that be held in front of us all.

Not any more.

While ‘We The People’ were watching Desperate Housewives and the NFL, powerful corporations took over our country and began to outsource, downsize, and relocate.  They’ve decided maximizing shareholder profit trumps the rest of us, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Authors Blaine Bartlett and David Meltzer suggest Compassionate Capitalism.

They say, “The true purpose of business is to uplift the experience of existing. It is not to make owners wealthy. It is not to produce ever-cheaper goods and services. Compassionate capitalism is an economic system meant to make a lot of money, help a lot of people, and have a lot of fun.”

Is America about maximizing shareholder profit or offering its citizens the greatest experience of existing in the world?

It’s time for ‘We The People’ to decide.

  • Mike Lukas


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