I like the word “lift.” It implies upward progress and a can-do communal spirit: Yes, let´s all put our backs into it, and lift this load. It´s so American!
That´s why I was intrigued to see the emergence of a new group called the “LIFT America Coalition.” The acronym stands for Let’s Invest For Tomorrow — and, boy, is that overdue in everything from public education to development of a green economy. But then, I peeked behind the shiny LIFT America logo, and — uh-oh — there was Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Eli Lilly, IBM, Intel, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Xerox, and … well, all the usual global giants that constantly want Washington to do special favors for them.
Despite its uplifting name, LIFT America is nothing but another corporate lobbying and PR front trying to dupe our Congress critters into giving them a lift. In particular, they’re crying for a lower corporate tax rate, wailing about “antiquated U.S. tax laws” that “are threatening America’s economic competitiveness.” Big Bad Government, they preach, has saddled these poor giants with a 35 percent tax bite — one of the highest of industrialized nations — so Congress must whack that rate to make America “a more attractive place to invest and create jobs.”
Not so fast, Slick. First, these super-rich powerhouses are masters of the tax-dodging-and-loophole game, so the rate they actually pay is not 35 percent, but 12 — and many of them pay zero. Second, they’ve already slashed their commitment to America, not only by offshoring jobs and eliminating our middle-class future, but also by reducing the percentage of our nation’s revenue that corporations pay from 30 percent in the 1950s to less than 8 percent today.
And third, if the whining CEOs in the LIFT lobby think Luxemburg is more “attractive” than America, why don’t they move there?
This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.