We’re Not Broke

We’re Not Broke is a searing exposé that explores the discontent of activists fed up with the U.S. government that allows huge U.S. corporations to skip out on paying their fair share of taxes. Many make billions in profits but pay $0 in taxes, leaving consumers to shoulder the brunt of a great recession. This documentary is a spectacular look at the amount of money corporations deprive our government of when they use tax loopholes and shelters. The exposé effectively shows you the ways companies evade taxes, how much it costs our government, and the shameless defenses they use to justify their behavior. You’ll also have a look at the gimmicks these companies employ to get their offshore money back to the United States, without paying much. There aren’t very many docs made on this subject matter. This one stays on the point and is very clear explaining how the major corporations avoid paying taxes legally by bribing Washington (they call it lobbying). This is going to be at the top of the list of the great issues of our time regardless of the people who want to trivialize it and how many Americans don’t get how corporations play off countries and tax havens against each other in the race to the bottom line. Powerful documentary that provides the facts for those things that most of us working stiffs know in our gut is going on. It prompted me to check some of the statements, and I was unhappily surprised how many corporations in the United States pay no taxes. None. Even GE which is a dominant force in the Department of Defense (under contracts from its subsidiaries) often pays no taxes. None. We pay for the roads, even their electricity is paid by taxpayers. GE doesn’t even pay its own utilities. The average working person pay higher taxes so corporations like GE don’t have to. Meanwhile, they pay taxes in China, Europe, Japan, but not to the USA. GE hasn’t been paying their fair share for at least a decade. If you take all of their US federal tax obligations for the past decade over their total pre-tax revenue, you’ll see that they’ve paid a yearly average of 1.8% federal income taxes per year. You should sincerely doubt that the people who defend these corporations have you or the country’s best interest at heart. What this documentary says is that we have allowed corporations to buy our government while we stand back and blame government for why we lack jobs, why the jobs we have pay little, why jobs are outsourced, off-shored, etc. This is what Reagan brought us. We have been sold a lie that we are overtaxed and over-regulated — which has gotten far too many of us to think, well, just throw government out and then it all will be better. That works in corporations’ favor not against them. They do not want to follow labor laws, environmental laws. antitrust laws, etc. The foolish think that this means they will create jobs. What they will do as they have already shown as well documented in this film is lay off more people, move more jobs overseas, and increase executive salaries as well as push their own stock options higher. Destroy the system and they no longer need to spend all that money gaming it or keeping profits offshore. As somebody who worked in corporate taxation and personally dealt with these issues, I would say this film is well worth any American’s time – whether conservative or liberal.  Extremely well done, fascinating and infuriating film. Everyone needs to watch this and tell their elected officials to stop selling out the American people to corporate interests! For more information on the subject, check out “Treasure Islands”, a book by Nicholas Shaxson. Documentary 2012 NR 1hr  20m.


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