Monday, December 3, 2012


This morning in the New York Times, we read about how pervasive corruption is in our society.  States cut vital services to citizens so they can offer tax-free incentives to corporations that reduce the community's revenue and thus make it impossible to meet communal needs.  This is done in return for promises of good-paying jobs that rarely materialize or endure for long.

Somewhat sleazier is the revelation that the Mets' benighted owners took into their investment ownership group the billionaire owner of a florist website that has specialized in defrauding customers for years.  Wilpon and Katz were able to faze Madoff bankruptcy trustee Irving Picard into agreeing to a sweetheart deal that let them escape from refunding the truly ill-gotten gains they had taken from Madoff's phony investment pyramiding scheme. They continue to show total lack of perspicacity in selecting their business partners except that for some reason, baseball continues to let them get away with it.

Consider these examples when you wonder why no one commenting on the pending fiscal cliff dealings never seems to mention closing fiscal rat holes such as the ability of the hedge fund guys toreduce their effective tax rate below 15 percent or the continued existence of the oil depletion allowance.  Better of course to threaten middle-class benefits such as the mortgage deduction or even valuable ones such as charitable contributions. That these business giveaways are unquestioned makes any effort to cut Social Security or Medicare obscene.

The more you look at the zillions of ways businesses can cut their taxes, you will realize the extent of legalized corruption that permeates our entire economic structure.  The reason these deals do not come up on the public agenda is that both parties are bought by the corporate and financial interests; if you don't believe that, recall how Chuck Schumer defended the tax deals given to the hedge fund guys.  They only helped sink our economy but don't dare touch their special deals.

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