Society class agrees to try to keep Trump-GOP tax cut – people’s world
WASHINGTON — With Congress returning to town after the Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah recess, the nation’s business class agree to kill an important item on lawmakers’ agendas: legislation helping people who were given a roadmap when the Solons approved the $ 3.5 trillion budget “reconciliation” resolution in August.
Their reasons have little to do with the programs that reconciliation paves the way for, including an expanded earned income tax credit, elements of the Green New Deal, expanded and improved child care, and better pay. for caregivers – permanent paid family and medical leave, or the law on the protection of the right to organize (PRO).
Instead, their goal is to hold onto the financial windfall that the GOP Trump regime and a GOP-led Congress have given them: personal and business tax cuts of more than $ 1.7 trillion.
Progressives and unions are fighting back, in particular by defending the virtual repeal of this 2017 Trump-GOP tax disaster.
“We must not lose this historic opportunity to crack down on tax evasion by offshore companies and to align our tax rules with the interests of workers rather than ultra-rich, multinational corporations,” wrote the AFL-CIO and 13 high level unions.
Outdoors and behind closed doors
A corporate campaign vehicle that is both open, in tweets and statements as well as behind closed doors in lobbying and campaign contributions, is the “America’s Job Builders for a Strong Recovery,” a coalition of 28 industrial groups.
Led by the National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors, the “job creators”, formed in May, include the notoriously anti-worker and anti-union associated builders and contractors. Separately, the Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses are also trying to kill the legislation, including the tax hikes that reconciliation allows.
But the PRO Act, the most comprehensive labor law in favor of workers since the first national labor relations law, particularly shakes up the NFIB, a key cog of the radical right.
“The PRO Act would significantly suspend long-standing labor laws in favor of unions, to the detriment of #small businesses and employees,” the NFIB tweet states.
The NFIB’s analysis is particularly interested in the severe restrictions of the PRO Act on evading “independent contractor” from employers. This misclassification deprives workers of the right to organize and the rights to unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation. It also charges the employer’s share of payroll taxes for social security and health insurance on the backs of workers, joining their own shares.
“@Chadheinrich says the PRO Act would bring independent California-style procurement rules to the rest of the country,” a follow-up tweet from NFIB’s Arizona affiliate read. “Less flexibility, reduced choice, more litigation if the PRO law passes, bad news for small businesses. Count on @SenatorSinema and @SenMarkKelly.
This tweet also gives a clue to another part of the company’s strategy: Targeting “moderate” lawmakers who are wary of reconciling social programs would pave the way for Senators Krysten Sinema and Mark Kelly, both D-Ariz. , and Joe Manchin, DW. Go., And the nine House Democrats who threatened to vote against reconciliation.
They said they would kill him – and had enough votes to do so since the House Dems only have a majority of 220-212 – unless the Biden-GOP “compromise” infrastructure plan of $ 978 billion is presented first. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Deftly deflected their threat. The infrastructure will be put in place in September. The reconciliation has already passed.
Another business coalition is Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably (Rate), a group of 35 of the nation’s largest corporations, formed a decade ago. They include AT&T, Boeing, General Dynamics, Home Depot, FedEx and UPS, drugstore chain CVS, the Edison Electric Institute – the lobby for “investor-owned” utilities – Ford, Nike, Verizon and Walmart.
The rate also includes the National Retail Federation, one of the main enemies of the federal minimum wage increase. Co-chaired by veteran Democratic operator Elaine Kamarck, Rate Crusades for Lower Corporate Tax Rates. Biden and the architect of the reconciliation bill, Senator Bernie Sanders, Ind-Vt., Want to raise the corporate tax rate to 28%, as part of their cancellation of the Trump-GOP tax cut .
“We believe that a lower corporate tax rate would allow US businesses to be more competitive in today’s globalized marketplace. We believe that the best way to achieve a more competitive tax system is to directly reduce the overall corporate tax rate, ”states Rate’s mission statement.
Lobbying expenses are another matter. There’s Big Pharma, run by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PHARMA), and there’s everyone. PHARMA alone has already spent $ 15.22 million in the first half of this year alone, OpenSecrets.org reported. This is in addition to the lobbying expenses of individual drug companies. Pfizer led them ($ 6.67 million). Lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry focuses, among other things, on anti-reconciliation.
Pharmaceutical lobbying through the roof
Pharmaceutical lobbying expenses up to June 30 totaled $ 171.6 million. That’s one in nine dollars that all businesses nationwide spent on lobbying in the first half of 2021. In contrast, unions spent $ 22 million, combined, in the same six months, OpenSecrets noted.
There’s another reason Big Pharma wants to kill anything out of reconciliation. Not only would this $ 3.5 trillion plan increase domestic corporate tax rates, it would institute a 15% federal tax on overseas profits. Big Pharma has a lot of factories overseas. And, more importantly for drug makers, it would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, just as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicaid, and the Department of Defense can negotiate them now.
With these four agencies accounting for roughly half of all health care spending in the United States, including spending on drugs, leaving the largest of them, Medicare, lowering prices would also mean lower revenues and profits. pharmaceutical companies.
“At least 60 new treatments and cures will be sacrificed if this proposal to ‘negotiate drug prices’ becomes reality and is further evidence that patients with devastating disease could be denied access to drugs today and in the future, ”said Steven Ubl, CEO of PHARMA. website. “Members of Congress shouldn’t buy the false choice that we need to have less life-saving treatments to reduce drug costs.”
Progressive groups and lawmakers are sounding the alarm bells about pressure from companies to hold onto their wealth by avoiding taxes, including the proposed hike in overseas profits. “This is what the oligarchy and a corrupt political system are. The rich and big corporations are getting richer and their lobbyists are doing all they can to protect their wealth and greed. Not this time, ”Sanders tweeted.
“Our members live and work in all congressional districts across the country, and they expect their congressional representatives to take action now to fix the faulty system that is putting their jobs at risk,” the AFL wrote. CIO and 11 unions to Representative Richard. Neal, D-Mass., Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, just before Labor Day.
“Currently, offshore profits of US corporations are taxed at about half the rate applied to US profits under rules enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017,” said the unions. “Other provisions of the TCJA punish companies for their investments here.
“US multinationals currently pay an effective tax rate of 7.8%, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, well below the effective rate of 18.1% levied by our top ten global trading partners. A non-partisan Reuters analysis confirms that even if everything of proposed Build Back Better corporate tax reforms are passed, US companies will still pay an effective tax rate several percentage points lower than their foreign rivals, ”the unions added (emphasis added).
They also noted that Biden’s Treasury Department proposed two federal rules to stop further corporate tax dodging. One would be to crack down on companies that sell to foreign companies to avoid US taxes, by restricting the access of those combined companies to the US market. The other would prohibit “reversals”, where the American multinational is reincorporated in a tax haven abroad and channels its profits there. Some $ 97 billion in profits were reported for Bermuda alone last year.
“This kind of offshore corporate tax evasion… benefits corporate shareholders who are mostly wealthy Americans and foreign investors. A recent study found that 40% of the shares of US companies are held by foreign investors. Corporate tax evasion is bad business for workers – and our members know it, ”the union letter told Neal.
Besides the AFL-CIO, other unions on the letter were Communication Workers, Auto Workers, Teamsters, AFSCME, Teachers (AFT), Bakery, Confectionery Workers and tobacco and millers, machinists, professional and technical engineers, the National Association of Education, service workers, Unite Here, steelworkers and utility workers.