Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

September 1, 2013

Sept. 1, 2013: Letters to the editor

Help U.S. workers,not the tax-dodgers

Talk about kicking someone when she’s down: A woman, who lost her job when the AJ Wright distribution center in South Bend shut down, was told her unemployment benefits will be trimmed by more than 10 percent, thanks to the mindless federal budget cut known as the “sequester.” Meanwhile, major corporations continue to get huge tax subsidies from Washington to ship jobs overseas.

This indiscriminate, across-the-board reduction in federal spending has also denied cancer treatment to seniors, stopped Meals on Wheels deliveries, imperiled education for our youth, and is projected to have cost our country 1.6 million jobs by this time next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

With Labor Day upon us and the budget battle about to resume in Washington, it’s time to reverse course and adopt measures that actually help working families.

As president of the North Central Indiana AFL-CIO Council, I represent thousands of working Hoosiers. And whether currently employed or temporarily unemployed, they should not be the ones bearing the brunt of deficit reduction. They’ve struggled too hard for too long through a national recession, punctuated here in the South Bend area not only by the Wright closure — which cost 600 jobs — but the shuttering of the Bosch and Cequent plants, which cost hundreds more.

The way to get both our economy and our national finances moving in the right direction is to require big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes.

You don’t have to look far for examples of corporate tax dodging: Multinational corporations headquartered right here in Indiana work the system to avoid paying their fair share. Eli Lilly of Indianapolis made $5 billion in profits from 2008 to 2010 and paid just a 4 percent tax rate, according to Citizens for Tax Justice. In one year, it even got a refund check from Uncle Sam, one bigger than its bottom line.

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