San­ders to CEOS: Look in the Mir­ror

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Burling­ton, VT

Sen.Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) last week said cor­po­rate lead­ers should look in the mir­ror be­fore lec­tur­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple on ways to tackle the deficit.

The se­na­tor’s com­ments came af­ter the heads of more than 80 big com­pa­nies is­sued a state­ment on deficit re­duc­tion. San­ders re­leased a re­port de­tail­ing how many of the com­pa­nies headed by the same CEOs have avoided taxes, sent Amer­i­can jobs over­seas and took tax­payer bailouts.

“There re­ally is no shame,” San­ders said. “The Wall Street lead­ers whose reck­less­ness and il­le­gal be­hav­ior caused this ter­ri­ble re­ces­sion are now lec­tur­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple on the need for courage to deal with the na­tion’s fi­nances and deficit cri­sis. Be­fore telling us why we should cut So­cial Se­cu­rity, Medi­care and other vi­tally im­por­tant pro­grams, these CEOs might want to take a hard look at their re­spon­si­bil­ity for caus­ing the deficit and this ter­ri­ble re­ces­sion.

“Our Wall Street friends might also want to show some courage of their own by sug­gest­ing that the wealth­i­est peo­ple in this coun­try, like them, start pay­ing their fair share of taxes. They might work to end the out­ra­geous cor­po­rate loop­holes, tax havens and out­sourc­ing pro­vi­sions that their lob­by­ists have lit­tered throughout the tax code – con­tribut­ing greatly to our deficit,” San­ders added.

Many of the CEO’s who signed the deficit-re­duc­tion let­ter run cor­po­ra­tions that evaded at least $34.5 bil­lion in taxes by set­ting up more than 600 sub­sidiaries in the Cay­man Is­lands and other off­shore tax havens since 2008. As a re­sult, at least a dozen of the com­pa­nies avoided pay­ing any fed­eral in­come taxes in re­cent years, and even re­ceived more than $6.4 bil­lion in tax re­funds from the IRS since 2008.

Sev­eral of the com­pa­nies re­ceived a to­tal tax­payer bailout of more than $2.5 tril­lion from the Fed­eral Re­serve and the Trea­sury Depart­ment.

Many of the com­pa­nies also have out­sourced hun­dreds of thou­sands of Amer­i­can jobs to China and other low wage coun­tries, forc­ing their work­ers to re­ceive un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance and other fed­eral ben­e­fits.

“In other words,” San­ders said, “these are some of the same peo­ple who have sig­nif­i­cantly caused the deficit to ex­plode over the last four years.”

San­ders, a mem­ber of the Se­nate Bud­get Com­mit­tee, said the $16 tril­lion na­tional debt is a se­ri­ous is­sue. He has pro­posed spe­cific ways to lower deficits.

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