ROLDO RIGHTS ON GIFTING OUR ONE PERCENT…

June 4th, 2012

Roldo Bartimole writes:

How much money are you willing to give to wealthy corporations and their wealthy executives? How much will you tolerate them taking? I am talking about free money. Gifts. Tax free, too.

Not much? But you already are.

Let’s see.

The State of Ohio – that’s YOU and your taxes if you live here – has awarded General Electric $115,335,000. Nice if you can get it.

Marathon Petroleum got $72,128,036.

These are massive figures. Even in this day and age.

And we get furious at Jimmy Dimora for taking some tens of thousands. As we should. But how about the legal graft that has become part of our give-to-the-rich culture? All the money goes up the ladder. To the top.

What about these guys? The guys that don’t get the headlines for what they take. They escape notice or exposure. Walk on to the bank.

How about Eaton Corp., the company that apparently now wants to shift even of its normal U.S. income tax to Ireland so it can escape higher U.S. taxes. Our state has given Eaton Corp. $30,417,493 and another $17,670,632. That’s $48 million for a company that doesn’t even want to call its headquarters here home.

(We also have given Eaton Corp. virgin land in Chagrin Highlands for its new headquarters building. This enabled the company to move out of downtown Cleveland, which I predicted would happen back in 1989 when Mayor George Voinovich, helping his former law partner, and George Forbes, helping Dick Jacobs, opened that valuable land to corporate exploitation. And profit for their friends.

The list of giveaways is so long that I couldn’t possibly recount all the corporations here in Ohio taking these payoffs. You’d stop reading.

Here, however, is a sample of the public cost. There are two categories – Job Creation and Job Retention. That’s what they call these giveaways.

The totals for Ohio – $393.8 million for so-called job creation. And $56.9 million for so-called job retention. They cover the years 2007-2012. More will come that’s for sure.

These figures were compiled by an organization called Good Jobs First.

Where does the state money come from for these subsidies? The income taxes paid by workers! The money diverted from state revenues to these private corporations. Neat. Taxes paid by workers go to their bosses. How better can Robin Hood work in reverse?

How crazy have we become?

Here’s what David Cay Johnston, a 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner for beat reporting on taxes for the New York Times, wrote about the report:

“Across the country more than 2,700 companies are collecting state income taxes from hundreds of thousands of workers – and are keeping the money with the states’ approval,” citing the non-profit Good Jobs First report.
Here’s his Reuters’ article:

What’s of value to know is that while this major shifting of tax revenue to corporate coffers is going on we are losing government jobs and worker income is diving. The recent news verifies this disaster for workers. And there’s a right-wing Republican push to blame police, firefighters, teachers and other government workers for our fiscal problems. Even as the money is being poured into corporate pockets.

Workers aren’t the people running away with public dollars in the hundreds of millions.

So what’s the percentage in giving state revenue to private interests? Who benefits? Who pays? The same old unanswered questions. It’s one state trying to bribe from another. A rush to the bottom.

While I couldn’t possible list all the corporations being bestowed with our money by the state. However, here are a few more:

- Ford Motor: $19,047,100. (Wonder what the $100 is for?).
- Explorys: $17,697,000.
- Whirlpool: $16,524,624.
- Ernst & Young: $16,524,624.
- Bridgestone-Firestone: $16,124,625.
- Lio Energy Systems (US): $15,942.235.
- ALCOA: $15,942,235.
- B & C Research: $15,626,375.
- Med Pace: $14,167,494.
- Net Jets: $11,709,508.
- Procter & Gamble: $11,741,508 and $6,669,207. Double dipper.

These are real figures. Real dollars.

But why go on. If you’re not disgusted by this now, I’m wasting my time and energy.

Here is the entire list of thousands of such gifts all over the nation. You can find it listed under “spreadsheet.” The states are trying to steal companies from each other with bribes of tax revenue. Here’s a spread sheet for all who want to be further disgusted and thanks to Susan Miller of Cleveland Heights for bringing this to my attention
CORRECTION: Last week I referred to Pat O’Malley as former county auditor. He is the former county recorder.

[Corrected in the original, JH]
Cleveland, Journalism, Newspapers, Plain Dealer, Roldo Bartimole

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