I received the following email from a friend. I really can’t add anything to it:
I just read the most ungodly economically ignorant article I have ever read. . . . It even beats out the $15 an hour minimum wage arguments, which at least are based on rational fantasy. [Bookworm here: Or maybe not so rational.]
Let me set this up: Bernie goes to Brooklyn, where he rails against all of the evil businesses he means to destroy, starting with Verizon. Bernie claims that Verizon has paid nothing in taxes, and that it is time for Verizon to pay its “fair share.” (I am starting to become violent every time I hear the word “fair” at this point.)
Sayeth the Bern, “[Verizon] is just another major American corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans.”
Verizon’s CEO responds calling Bernie an economic idiot in none too veiled language: “The senator’s uninformed views are, in a word, contemptible.”
After laying out all the facts, including the pivotal fact that, while an NY subsidiary lost money and paid no taxes, the parent company paid over $15.6 billion in taxes in just the past two years, the CEO states, “Nostalgia for the rotary phone era won’t save American jobs, any more than ignoring the global forces reshaping the auto industry saved the Detroit auto makers.”
Wonderful stuff. The CEO’s letter is worth a full read.
Seeing that Bernie is in trouble, enter those economic morons at Huffpo, who try to make an argument that Verizon is full of it. Naturally, they use progressive math — the kind that shows Obama as our nation’s greatest fiscal conservative. Here is the key paragraph as regards the NY subsidiary:
However, Verizon is a large company and its revenues were $659 billion for these years, as told by the annual reports. Verizon, therefore, paid an effective tax rate of 1/2 of 1%. (We didn’t even bother to check whether Verizon paid $3.4 billion for those six years.)
Anyone who’s graduated from velcro fasteners to tying his own shoelaces can see that there are two major problems in just those two sentences. First, as Bernie did, the authors are mixing corporations. Secondly, and more seriously, how economically retarded does one have to be not to understand that taxes are paid on profits, not gross revenues?
Moreover, if the HuffPo writer is not an economic ignoramus, he must then be a duplicitous, cynical person who is deliberately setting out to fool credulous, ignorant readers (i.e., HuffPo’s intended and actual audience).
With every passing year, it becomes clearer that the Founders were on to something when they limited direct democracy to the House of Representatives and then had the states choose Senators and the Electoral College (in its original, pure form) choose presidential candidates. Americans are manifestly not prepared for actual democracy.