STEPHEN PIZZO FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
911: Hello, 911. What's your emergency?
Me: Yes, I'd like to report a crime.
911: Okay sir, what kind of crime?
Me: Kidnapping and extortion.
911: Who was kidnapped?
Me: Well, it's not a 'who,' more like a what.
911: Ah sir, that would be a theft, not a kidnapping. What's been stolen.
Me: It wasn't stolen, per se, more like held for ransom.
911: (Sigh) Okay, what's being held for ransom sir, and by whom?
Me: Well I don't know the exact amount but it's gotta be close to a quarter trillion dollars.
911: Someone is holding a quarter trillion dollars hostage, you say.
Me: Exactly! And they're demanding money for it's return.
911: Sir, is this a joke? Because if it is, you should know that jerking emergency services around is a crime.
Me: I'm NOT joking. They're holding a hundreds of billions of dollars hostage and are demanding tens of billions of dollars to return it.
911: Just who is this "they" you keep referring to?
Me: American companies; Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and other US-based companies. Would you please send the police and arrest these guys. They're a den of extortionists. Here, wait a second, I have evidence. Let me email this over to right now and you'll see what I'm talking about. Hold on a second, I'm sending:
"Some of the nation's largest corporations have amassed vast profits outside the country and are pressing Congress and the Obama administration for a tax break to bring the money home.
Apple has $12 billion waiting offshore, Google has $17 billion and Microsoft, $29 billion. Under the proposal, known as a repatriation holiday, the federal income tax owed on such profits returned to the United States would fall to 5.25 percent for one year, from 35 percent." (Full Story)
Me: Got it?
911: Yes sir. I see, but this is just a newspaper article, not evidence of a crime. All this is is a tax issue. These companies and the others you are accusing of a crime are simply taking advantage of tax loopholes which, sir, is completely legal.
Me: Oh, great. Then I'll open an offshore account and start doing it too.
911: I wouldn't if I were you sir. I hear the IRS is criminally charging individuals who try this kind of thing. All they the IRS is offering individuals with money hidden offshore is to not put them in jail if they declare it now and pay back taxes.
Me: But corporations are, under the law, treated as individuals. Why isn't the IRS charging corporations?
911: Don't know sir and this is not the place for this kind of debate. Unless you have an actual crime to report I am going to have to cut you off.
Me: So, let me get this straight; Bush Jr. slashed their tax rates to historically low levels, gave them more tax breaks for sending US jobs off to who-knows-where, and in return these same companies squirreled hundreds of billions in those tax savings outside the reach of US taxes -- all of which gutted the US economy and treasury and through the nation into a near-depression. Now these very same companies have the gall to send us a ransom note offering to return some of that money to the US in return for a tax rate usually reserved for low-income earners and high schoolers working summer jobs. And you're telling me that none of this is a crime?!
911: We've been through this sir. No. It's not a crime. Now I have go sir. We have real crimes being committed by those unemployed folks you just referred to. Now goodbye!!