Those who benefit from Hillary Clinton (and others) should pay more to Washington

20 Jan

Hillary Clinton

Here is what I think is a logical, no-nonsense tax policy: Those who benefit most from the government should pay the most.

Let’s say I own land on which I plant corn for ethanol. If the government decides to restrict the importation of sugar cane – which if allowed kill my sales– then I am indebted to the government in a big way. I’m a Great Benefiter.

I should not be able to get off just by contributing to the political campaigns of the few congressional leaders who pushed my bill through. I should have to pay more for the actual government, since it is working directly for me. I’ve got to pay more salaries, more electric bills, more for everything that keeps it running.

The same would be true for Amgen, the largest biotech company in the world. The New York Times recently reported that a few paragraphs in the “fiscal cliff” legislation give Amgen a two-year delay on Medicare price restraints for a drug it makes. This was its second delay, God bless them. Amgen is willing to pay 74 Washington lobbyists to get what it wants, but is it willing to pay more in taxes?

It should be.

It’s a Great Benefiter.

I’m glad our 430-ship Navy protects the sea-lanes so I can purchase imported products. That, however, is only an indirect benefit. What about the people and companies who profit from safe shipping?

They’re Great Benefiters. Charge them!

A couple weeks ago there was a somewhat surprising article in Bloomberg Businssweek. Well, maybe not so surprising. It was about Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, but the headline was: “Secretary of Commerce.” The underline was, “How Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into a machine for promoting U.S. business.”

It begins by recounting her 79th visit overseas, which took her to the Czech Republic. She discussed foreign policy but also found time to ask Prime Minister Petr Necas to choose Westinghouse Electric for a nuclear plant contract worth $10 billion.

The article says she regularly makes personal pitches to world leaders on behalf of businesses.

What is that worth? Whatever it is, it’s a lot more than the $50,000 Westinghouse might later pay Hilary to speak for an hour at a corporate retreat.

Westinghouse needs to pay more.

So, have I come up with the answer to our budget and debt problems? All we need is some accountant to figure out what is owned, and for Congress to do the right thing and pass legislation that taxes the Great Benefiters. Of course, the Great Benefiters should have the option of not paying in exchange for the not benefiting. In such cases, the government would have to permit, say, an attack on Exxon tankers by Somalian pirates.

That is an option the Great Benefiters are unlikely to choose. Hence, we have found a way to balance the budget. See, things aren’t as bad as they seem.

By Lanny Morgnanesi

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5 Responses to “Those who benefit from Hillary Clinton (and others) should pay more to Washington”

  1. Chris Kolbe Karver January 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Lanny, What about all the recipients of food stamps, welfare, disability, unemployment, etc.? Aren’t they “Great Benefiters”? I don’t think you can only point to large businesses as those getting the benefits from our gov’t w/o including the vast majority of those who take from the gov’t w/o giving anything back in return.

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    • NotebookM by Lanny Morgnanesi January 22, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      Your reaction is understandable. But I don’t think we can compare a few hundred dollars a month to a $10 billion contract. There’s a significant difference between a Benefiter and a Great Benefiter.

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  2. Rick Senkowsky January 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    I can to some extent agree with your concept….special benefits to special companies are unfair and frankly should be done away with but to Chris’ point a “Benefiter” is a benefiter and should have some obligation to the tax burden or to the society that supports them. Two other points….Westinghouse is no longer in business. The company sold off all of it’s assets and the present owner of Westinghouse Electric is Toshiba, so what is the SoS doing promoting a Japanese company other than to ensure that the Americans working there keep their jobs. Our Constitution provides for the Navy and the protection of commerce on the seas.

    Lastly, your disdain for big business is incredible to me. I don’t quite understand why the hatred and why the constant desire to see them fail. I have what I have to day because I had an option to work for big companies, they have allowed me to “ply my trade” as an engineer. I have been paid a fair wage for the work I perform over the years and if I didn’t I could go elsewhere to another big company. What I do deem unfair is that tax burden that is placed on companies by a government that has to assume none of the liability risk that the company must assume only to have that tax passed on to the consumer.

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    • NotebookM by Lanny Morgnanesi January 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

      Rick, thanks for you detailed comments. But you are mistaken about my feelings toward business. The only thing I want business to fail at is the easy purchase of what is supposed to be the people’s government. But forget about the people for a moment. How does GE feel when Clinton speaks for Westinghouse? It’s supposed to be a free market. The market is not free when doing a simple deal requires you to have a senator in your vest pocket.

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      • Rick Senkowsky January 27, 2013 at 6:39 am #

        I am not going to argue with you on this point as I have said far too many times we have too much government. There are far too many rules, regulations and laws on the books that are there to control, benefit or snipe. I’ll use your GE – Westinghouse example. Here we are today and GE and Westinghouse were once the two largest providers of nuclear reactors and equipment. Not anymore, GE supports the systems they have installed but Westinghouse is gone and now owned by Toshiba and currently has the only modern reactor for sale to the market. But why? The technology of nuclear power is pretty mature all in all been pretty safe like most things it has it’s issues but technology solve problems and solutions to issues come in time. But why have there been no nuclear plants built in the US in years? Since TMI the government law books have been filled with junk designed to keep the nuclear plants from being built, put there by special interest groups, other companies and uninformed politicians.
        We will both agree that the purpose of a business is to make a profit and I don’t care what kind of business it is. Your sales have to be greater than your expenses. In todays business arena to accomplish this feat one has to do what they can to succeed and if it means a politician in your pocket then I say the system is broken and that the problem is the over bearing and over burdening government as well as the people that have allowed the system to become bloated. The current system lacks balance and we truly need to get back to that point.
        By the way I do have a major disdain for big government as I have seen how things during my adult life have been placed into turmoil from their involvement in day to day life……

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