Tag Archives: policy solution

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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