Possibly the Most Important Video You Will Ever See — Just Say NO!

Pre-NAFTA trade deficits, 1962-1992

NAFTA related trade deficits, 1993-2012Read More:

AHHH — The Junk Yard Dog is Back!

It’s so nice to see him back on the floor of the House.  Deem this. Deem that.  You might as well deem a balanced budget or deem world piece!  Watch as Rep. Alan Grayson Slams Keystone Advocates:  ‘It’s Our Job to Pass Laws, Not Give Favors to Foreign Oil Corporations’

No More Corporate Tax Breaks

by Alan Grayson, Democratic Candidate for Congress from Florida

Yogi Berra once said: “You can see a lot by just looking.” This is what you see if you look at corporate income tax revenue, as a percentage of GNP, since World War II:

Corporate Income Tax Rates Have Fallen Over Time

I came up with this chart myself (hold your applause, please), after downloading the data from the White House’s website, here. Corporate income tax revenue has dropped all the way down from 7.2% of GNP at the end of World War II to only 1.2% last year.

Go to a different government website, do a little arithmetic, and you’ll find that corporate profits are now 12.7% of GNP. Some division then tells you that corporations are paying less than 10% of their income in taxes.

Wow! That’s a tax rate that might make even Mitt Romney blush.

Under the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, corporations are people. Well, it appears that they are people who pay little or nothing in taxes.
Ben Franklin said: “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” For corporations, though, neither is true.

There is something of a consensus among Washington, D.C. policymakers that corporate income taxes ought to be cut. That seems to be why the Obama Administration, unbidden by the Republicans, stuck in $100 billion in corporate tax breaks (“accelerated depreciation”) into the so-called “compromise” bill that extended the Bush tax breaks for the rich through this year. (A bill that I voted against, by the way.)

That consensus is wrong. Based on this data, the notion of more corporate tax giveaways is laughable. If you care anything about the federal deficit, then corporate income tax revenues need to be higher, not lower.

If we simply returned corporate income tax revenue, as a percentage of GNP, to where it was six years ago in 2006 (2.7% of GNP), then we would reduce the federal deficit by over $200 billion a year. That is roughly fifty times the amount by which the “Buffett Rule” would reduce the deficit.

Fifty times as much.

Why isn’t this all over the newspapers, radio and TV? Why aren’t our so-called leaders saying something about this? As Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra’s manager during most of his playing days with the Yankees, once asked, “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

The Dream — and the Reality

In America, whites have 20 times the wealth of African-Americans.  So says census data.

Not 20% more.  Not twice as much.  Twenty times as much.  Specifically, the median household wealth for whites in 2009 was $113,149, and the median household wealth for African-Americans was $5,677.

When I heard this a few months ago, it was not entirely news to me.  When I was in Congress, I read the reports that the Federal Reserve sent to Members; to me, that was interesting reading.  In the appendix to one of those Fed reports, from a survey of respondents selected in 2007, these numbers caught my eye:

White, non-Hispanic households – $149,900

Hispanic and African-American households – $23,300

So from $149,900 down to $113,149, and from $23,300 (including Hispanics) down to $5,677.  These numbers confirm just how hard the Great Recession has whacked minority households.

But there is a deeper issue.  Can someone please explain to me how, in a country where we are told again and again that we are “all created equal,” one group ends up with 20 times as much as another?

MLK’s dream was that his four young children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  What are we supposed to think – that one group has twenty times as much character as another?

In the face of incredible numbers like these, you will still find right-wingers who insist that America is now a color-blind society (except for the scourge of “reverse racism”).  But the numbers tell a different story.  They suggest that America is not a color-blind society, but rather a racism-blind society.

And ask yourself:  when has any elected official, ANY elected official, ever discussed this inconvenient truth, and tried to discern what should be done about it?  Why is there a veil of silence over such a salient, central fact about the country we all share?

I went to a wonderful parade on Saturday, celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.  And if there is one thing that we know in Central Florida, it’s how to put on a parade; we have several every day.  All those smiling, happy faces that I saw on Saturday.

And it’s not my job to rain on anyone’s parade.  That’s why I’m saying this today, not yesterday, when we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.  But here we are, 49 years later, his “four young children” as old as I am, and one of them already gone from us.

And I have to say, about that dream of equality that he had, it’s still just a dream.

Just a dream.


Alan Grayson

Robert Kennedy, on dreams:  “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why . . . . I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”