Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3041, October 6th, 2015

Beau Biden and Vice President Joe Biden. (Photo: NY Daily News)
Politico reported today that it might have been either Vice President Biden or a member of his staff that leaked the death bed conversation he had with his son Beau. The story was given to Maureen Dowd who used it as a launching pad for attacks against Hillary Clinton.
The conversation, widely reported had the Biden son urging Mr. Biden to run for President as a last wish to him as he lay dying. I was too polite to say anything when this happened and Mrs. LuLac scolded me for being too cynical. But I thought it strange that a personal death bed conversation would be given to the media. I like Biden. I think he would make a great President. But something nagged at me about the constant talking about the son’s death. I understand that Mr. Biden had to grieve and if he had to do it in public, fine.
But as a cancer survivor and one who had cancer, I realized that I wasn’t so special. Maybe it was my way of coping. I remember coming back to work at Blue Cross after they found the malignant tumor. The appointment was at 10:30, I got back there at 12:30. A co worker asked how it went and I replied that it was either going to go one of two ways. She looked at me like I was nuts as I got back to my job. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. There are people more powerful and wealthier than David Yonki that are long gone. I was lucky.
So my antenna went up when the media spoke of the tragedy. True, losing a child of my own is not a pain I will ever feel. But Beau Biden was not the only person to die of cancer this year. The only thing that makes his passing more newsworthy is that he was a gifted public servant who was the son of a sitting Vice President.
If the Politico story gets legs, and there is an adverse reaction to it, maybe Biden won’t have such a tough decision to make. The tragic death of Beau Biden and the intimate conversation between father and son will now, in the current media environment be reduced to a “Who, what, where and when” story. And that's the real tragedy.

Here’s something interesting from Keystone Progress Education Fund regarding Pennsylvania companies. - Tax loopholes encouraged 11 Pennsylvania Fortune 500 to maintain a total of $16.5 billion in profits offshore in 2014, much of the money in tax havens, according to a report released today by Keystone Progress Education Fund. These 11 companies, led by Air Products & Chemicals, PPG Industries, and PPL, had a total of 74 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens last year. The corporations are most likely paying a tax rate on these profits of no more than 6 percent in these tax havens and are able to dodge paying any U.S. taxes on these profits until they are brought back to the United States, which may never happen.
The Report, “Offshore Shell Games,” was prepared by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) Education Fund and Citizens for Tax Justice and is available here.
Nationally, the report found that 72 percent of Fortune 500 companies used tax havens in 2014 and reported booking $2.1 trillion offshore for tax purposes, with just 30 companies accounting for 65 percent of the total, or $1.4 trillion.
The report is being released as leaders in Congress have been considering legislation that would enable corporations to bring the $2.1 trillion in offshore profits home at a deep – and unwarranted – discount and to use those funds to plug a shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund. The report found that 57 companies reported that they are paying an average tax rate of 6 percent on these offshore profits, as most of them are in tax havens. Based on that, the report estimates that the U.S. could reap $620 billion if corporations pay what they owe on these offshore profits.
“I pay my taxes. My neighbors pay their taxes. Shouldn’t these corporations, with trillions of dollars in profits offshore, pay their taxes like the rest of us do?” asked Michael Morrill, executive director of Keystone Progress Education Fund. “They owe more than $600 billion in back taxes that could help us through our federal budget crunch and allow us to adequately finance our infrastructure, education and basic human services. We’re asking Senators Robert Casey and Patrick Toomey to work to end this offshore tax dodging now and make multinational companies pay the full amount of taxes they owe.”
“When corporations dodge their taxes, the public ends up paying,” said Stephanie Monahon, State Director of the PennPIRG Education Fund. “The American multinationals that take advantage of tax havens use Pennsylvania roads, benefit from our education system and large consumer market, and enjoy the security we have here, but are ultimately taking a free ride at the expense of other taxpayers.”
Key findings of the report include:
Pennsylvania Fortune 500 Companies
- 11 Pennsylvania Fortune 500 companies have a total of $16.5 billion in offshore profits that are untaxed in the United States, as of 2014.
- Those companies operate 74 subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions.
All Fortune 500 Companies
- Fortune 500 companies are holding more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore for tax purposes. Just 30 Fortune 500 companies account for 65 percent of these offshore profits. These 30 companies with the most money offshore have booked $1.4 trillion overseas for tax purposes.
- At least 358 companies, nearly 72 percent of the Fortune 500, operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions as of the end of 2014. All told, these companies maintain at least 7,622 tax haven subsidiaries. The 30 companies with the most money booked offshore for tax purposes collectively operate 1,225 tax haven subsidiaries.
- Approximately 60 percent of the companies with any tax haven subsidiaries registered at least one in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands. The profits that American multinationals collectively claim to earn in these island nations’ totals 1,643 percent and 1,600 percent, respectively of each country’s entire yearly economic output.
- Only 57 Fortune 500 companies disclose what they would expect to pay in U.S. taxes if these profits were not officially booked offshore. In total, these 57 companies would owe $184.4 billion in additional federal taxes. Based on these 57 corporations’ public disclosures, the average tax rate that they have collectively paid to foreign countries on these profits is a mere 6.0 percent, indicating that a large portion of this offshore money has been booked in tax havens. If we apply that average tax rate of 6.0 percent to the entirety of Fortune 500 companies, they would collectively owe $620 billion in additional federal taxes.
- The company that dodges the most taxes by stashing its profits in tax havens is Apple. It has booked $181.1 billion offshore on which it has paid less than a 3% tax rate to foreign governments, based on filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple would owe $59.2 billion in U.S. taxes if these profits were not officially held offshore for tax purposes.
The report concludes that to end tax haven abuse, Congress should end incentives for companies to shift profits offshore, close the most egregious offshore loopholes, and increase transparency.


At 7:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If untrue about Biden being the source, would not be surprised if the fabrication has come fro the Clinton camp.

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

I just went back and re-read the Dowd column. Even if it came from Joe Biden directly, I don't see the big deal.
The VP has been known to be open about his emotions, and his family history of dealing with death. If he related what happened with his son to Maureen Dowd, and she printed it --- so what? It read more about Beau being unselfish and concerned about his father than about Joe Biden and a run for president.
I find the story touching, and if it came directly from a father remembering some of the last words of his son, a family who lives a public life, I find it more touching and a little inspiring.
I really hope Biden runs, it would be nice to see someone who has genuine emotion and concern run for the office.

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plain and simple: money will always flow efficiently. When we tax at the highest rate it will flow to the lowest rate. Until we acknowledge that fact of life money earned offshore will stay there.
Citizens,too when able, will settle in states that allow them to earn and keep more of what they earn.
Check to see how many working Americans are leaving California. Check to see how many businesses are leaving.
Would I want to start a business here in PA? NIYFL!

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Biden is being Biden. He's a lovable goof with a declining sense of propriety and common sense. He's reduced his son's last moments to a "scoop".
Self-serving, easily manipulated or both.


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