Their masters’ voices

We have an observation about the Republican National Convention. Ted Cruz is taking a lot of grief for withholding his support from Donald Trump. Why haven’t a lot of Republican “leaders,” like Joe Heck, done the same? Where were their principles and good judgment?

Now, on to the Democratic National Convention. This week is likely to give the party a rise in the polls, momentum for the campaign, and enthusiasm in the ranks. So it seems like a good time to remind everyone that this is not the Democratic Party of their grandparents—the party that championed the working poor and called the big boys to account. Rather, it is a corporate-funded party, and that funding has changed its ways.

To be specific, while its presidential candidates were out on the campaign trail, with Bernie Sanders trying to return the party to its historic agenda, and Hillary Clinton trying to act like an economic populist, guess what was going on back in D.C.?

Democrats like Charles Schumer—Harry Reid’s handpicked successor as party floor leader—and alleged liberal Barbara Boxer—who in May said she feared for her safety when Nevadans shouted at her—have been cooking up a scheme for the biggest corporate giveaway since the spectrum giveaway (“The great HDTV swindle,” RN&R, July 10, 2008).

In one of those marvelous loopholes that come from nowhere, multinationals do not have to pay their U.S. taxes on foreign profits until they bring the money back home. As a result, a handful of corporations have “parked” their profits outside the country until they can extort a tax cut from Congress. We are not making this up. More than $2 trillion in untaxed profits await “forgiveness” of taxes, and the party that has turned caving in to corporations into an art form is working hard to see that they get it.

This was a chance for political reporters to illustrate the real-life consequences of the economic issues Sanders and Clinton were discussing, but that would have meant passing up stories on polls and campaign war chests, so you never heard about it. Thus, Schumer, Boxer and other Democrats were able to work in relative secrecy.

To most folks, the logical remedy might have been to close the loophole to require prompt payment of foreign taxes. Boxer and Republican Rand Paul have proposed a one-time giveaway that would reduce the 35 percent tax rate—which is not actually paid at that level by many corporations—to 6.5 percent. President Obama wants to hold that down to 14 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls it a “giant wet kiss for the tax dodgers.”

Who would benefit? Just a handful, including Apple, Cisco, Citigroup, Bank of America, Gilead Sciences, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Oracle, Qualcomm, Goldman Sachs. Wonder who would make up the loss?

Work on the measure has now stopped. Ron Eckstein of Americans for Tax Justice told us, “Negotiations have continued, but there clearly will not be any legislation considered by Congress … before the election.”

The irresponsibility of Republicans in nominating Donald Trump should not give Hillary Trump and the Democrats a free ride. They need to be held accountable on this sellout before the election.