Tuesday, September 07, 2004

FITE: The Corporate Crime Wave

For years corporations have been treating the US Treasury as if it were their own private piggy bank. They have lobbied for tax 'reforms' and special legislation that has not only cut their tax liability but actually paid them blackmail if they'd continue to do business here ('Pass this "tax relief" or we'll move to Thailand'--that's blackmail, folks. Tony Soprano would be so proud.)

FITE--Fairness in Taxes for Everyone--reminds us that no matter who wins the election, these corporate criminals will still be right there with their hands out.

FITE newsletter #36

The presidential campaign is now in the final stretch. Traditionally we as voters should be deciding who we will vote for by evaluating the positions taken on a range of issues we are concerned about, but this campaign is at least as notable for what both candidates aren’t mentioning.

The tough-on-crime issue, a staple of most presidential campaigns, is conspicuous for its absence. Even though the country has suffered the biggest crime wave in its history, neither candidate has mentioned it. We aren’t talking about the Willie Hortons, the average shop lifter and pick pocket, or even the so-called identity thieves and the murderers. We are talking about the corporate crime wave that embezzled as much as $10 trillion – the value of one year’s gross domestic product (GDP) – from the savings of hard working Americans.

We have documented how, with rare exceptions, just about every large corporation listed on the stock exchanges participated in this crime wave. It has been freely talked about in financial publications like Business Week, Fortune Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.

Yet listening to the conventions – or reading the candidates’ web sites – you would think it didn’t happen. The Bush web site does mention it in one sentence, but in words so confusing that it could have been written by Bush himself: "At a critical moment in the Nation's economic history, while a recession was taking hold, America was attacked, and corporate fraud was exposed." Huh?

Neither party will mention it because both were complicit in gutting the enforcement powers of the stock market police, the SEC or the Environmental Protection Agency. The savings of hard working Americans were savaged; countless lives were ruined.

Bill Moyer’s NOW (PBS) and Lou Dobbs (CNN) documented how these very same corporations and their lobbyists were at both conventions, providing lavish parties where the media was mostly barred. Their intention was to guarantee that their massive embezzlement schemes would continue.

FITE is a non-partisan organization because it is obvious that both parties are owned and operated by the criminals whose only intention is to continue their crime wave. We have a lot of work to do now – and when the elections are over.