© 2005 Greg Kaiser

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News Report: August 30, 2005

Reporting on the News

   Much attention is given to looters along the Gulf Coast, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Videos show poor people in hand cuffs or in some cases, picking up food items from the flotsam in the still flooded streets. Other clips show people entering stores or distributing presumably looted items from door to door in older neighborhoods. There’s no sign of the owners of the stores, who have profited off these communities for decades. Apparently they took advantage of their means and opportunity to evacuate. Presumably, those left behind to loot, had no way out. Somewhat more attention was given to scenes of destruction and rescue in the suburbs.

   Occasional mention-- less than one sentence per hour on the cable news channels, while I watched on Tuesday-- was made of the even higher gasoline prices that are likely due to Katrina’s disruption of Gulf Coast refineries. No mention was made of the decades long looting of the American People through the excessive profits of the oil companies. Nor have any editorial comments suggested that the money could be returned to the community through a windfall profits tax. That leaves US to borrow it back at interest to further fatten the corporate looters. Also glaringly absent was any description of the possible public works, decrease of debt or reduction of consumer tax burden-- the additional load on those whose purchases keep the economic wheel spinning-- that taxes on corporations might allow and which might benefit the entire community. Taxing the profits of those who have taken all the money is obviously not an option in America, especially if it benefits those from whom the money has been taken.

---------------------------- Editorial ---------------------------
   If the increase in gasoline prices consisted mostly of taxes instead massive oil company profits, how might we the community benefit instead of suffer? We’re already paying almost $3.00/gallon. The only question is: should a few CEOs and stockholders become enriched by our money or should we use it to address our common needs? Should we borrow it back from them at the expense of their further profit or should we take it back through taxation to support the same community services, while restricting prices by law? The consumer’s dollar, whether taken by corporate profits, a direct tax on whatever product or tax on profits is, all the same, lost to all who buy the gas or any other necessity. Why not take it back through taxation, so it may be used for our own benefit, instead of borrowing it back and further enriching the corporate looters of America?





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