We must amend the Constitution because political corruption costs us $trillions every year!

Big money in politics corrupts our democracy—at taxpayer expense, and 96% of Americans are concerned about its corrosive effects. Multinational corporations and wealthy individuals spend billions on political campaigns, much of it untraceable. Corporate lobbyists write legislation governing the industries they represent. Congress rubber-stamps it, and the rest of us foot the bill. The items identified here come to almost $6,000 per person, per year.  Elimination of just these rotten fruits of big money in politics would be enough to raise a typical 2.5-person household income from $63,000 to almost $78,000 – a 24% increase. Each item is listed with its approximate per person toll.

Fossil fuel interests have won direct and indirect subsidies as calculated by International Monetary Fund (see also).

 $1,966 

Wealthy elites have won lower tax rate for dividends and capital gains compared to wages.

$1,919

Health insurance industry holds onto excess profits. Medicare pays out 98% of revenue in health benefits while private insurance pays 85%.

$1,161*

Pharma influence has raised U.S. drug prices much higher than in other wealthy nations.

$350*

Individuals and corporations make big campaign donations and hide wealth in foreign tax havens.

 $337

 

Business influence won a lowered corporate tax rate of 21% as well as subsidies that drop actual average tax rate paid to only 11%.

$225

Sum of items in this partial list of corrupt subsidies and corporate welfare:

$5,958 per person

 

 

It’s worse than this! The $2 trillion listed here does not include:

  • Low wages and union busting
  • Failure to regulate banks and guns
  • Unnecessary treatment and other health care waste
  • Corrupt weapons contracts
  • Human suffering and $6 trillion spent in Mideast wars
  • Reductions in the inheritance tax in the past 20 years and special loopholes on capital gains for heirs
  • Wealthy do not pay income tax on salaries in excess of the "wage base," $132,900 for 2019.
  • State and local corporate giveaways ("race to the bottom")
 

*A recent article in the Washington Post estimates the excess cost of our health care system at $8,000 per person.

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  • Martin Wulfe
    published this page 2020-01-13 09:45:13 -0500