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LAST week, the US government announced that it was building the biggest-ever war machine. Military spending will rise to $379billion, of which $50billion will pay for its "war on terrorism". There will be special funding for new, refined weapons of mass slaughter and for "military operations" -- invasions of other countries.
Read the rest of the article at http://pilger.carlton.com
In this time of national crisis, amid calls for sacrifice, here's the Republican idea of an economic stimulus package:
The repeal is retroactive, so companies would get rebates of all the Alternative Minimum Tax they've paid for the last 15 years. The numbers above are a sampling of these rebates. The House also voted to allow corporations to store their profits overseas as a tax shelter. That's right - this "stimulus" would actually take money *out* of the U.S. economy. It's backwards.
U. S. corporations aren't even subtle about it. Waving a flag and carrying a big shovel, corporate interests are scooping up government benefits and taxpayer money in an unprecedented fashion while the public is preoccupied with the September 11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan. Shamelessly, the Bush Administration and Congress have taken advantage of the patriotic outpouring to fulfill the wish lists of their most generous corporate campaign donors. Not only is the Treasury being raided, but regulations protecting everything from personal privacy to environmental safeguards are under attack by well-heeled lobbyists who want to stampede Congress to act while the media and citizens are distracted.
Only a handful in the Congress--members like Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin and Representatives Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Barbara Lee of California--have shown the courage to question the giveaways and the quick wipeout of civil liberties and other citizen protections. In most cases, such as the $15 billion airline bailout and corporate tax breaks, legislation has been pushed to the forefront with little or no hearings and only fleeting consideration on the floor of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
One of the boldest grabs for cash has been by corporations seeking to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which was enacted during the Reagan Administration to prevent profitable corporations from escaping all tax liability through various loopholes. Not only do the corporations want relief from the current year's AMT taxes, but they are seeking a retroactive refund of all AMT taxes paid since 1986.
This giveaway, as passed by the House of Representatives, would make
corporations eligible for $25 billion in tax refunds. Just 14 corporations
would receive $6.3 billion of the refund. IBM gets $1.4 billion; General
Motors, $833 million; General Electric $671 million; Daimler-Chrysler $600
million; Chevron-Texaco $572 million. The 14 biggest beneficiaries of the
minimum tax repeal gave $14,769,785 in "soft money" to the national
committees of the Democratic and Republican parties in recent years.
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For More Information read www.citizenworks.org
. . . In a reiteration of a now well-known claim by one of George W Bush’s former business partners, the BBC said he made his first million 20 years ago on the back of a company financed by Osama’s elder brother, Salem. But it added the more disturbing assertion that both presidents Bush had lucrative stakes along with the bin Ladens in Carlyle Corporation, a small private company which has gone on to become one of America's biggest defence contractors. The bin Ladens sold their stake in Carlyle soon after September 11, it said.
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