who have little or no interest in farming to buy as much farm land as they could from farmers, in order to be able to falsely declare their non-farm income as farm income to avoid taxation. Needless to say much of the best agricultural land, that was formerly used to grow food for Brazil, is now lying fallow. The displaced farmers then had to compete with businessmen for a share of the remaining rain forest land, which incidentally, is practically unusable for growing crops. However, because there is a tax on unimproved land (i.e. land with forest on it), the trees are being chopped down to avoid taxation. Additional tax credit schemes favoring the cattle ranchers are further speeding up the process. A handful get rich while the planet's air supply is jeopardized. {B95}

Yet another planetary rip-off for the feudalists in pinstripes!

A Quick Recap

Arranging The Getaway

Because the elite have milked the corporations almost dry, run up horrendous bad debts in the banking system, and siphoned of both the Social Security and private corporation Pension Funds, it should surprise no one that they now wish to bail out with the profits.

With all the capital gains recently made from the current wave of "debt for equity swaps", an immediate need has arisen for the elite to be able to temporarily bypass taxation on capital gains.

As the ultimate insult, George Bush and his friends are trying to pass legislation that would drastically reduce the Capital Gains Tax for a brief two year period. If they succeed, it will allow the super-rich to take their quick and dirty profits out of the system, and ultimately out of the country and into the 3rd World to inflict the same exploitive tricks and measures on less sophisticated victims. Economically rape a country, and then head off for virgin territory to do it all over again.

Do the elite care who follows in their wake to buy up the bankrupt banks and corporations?
Not really, their allegiance is not to any country, but to profits. And at this stage of the game, they can make more profit abroad, especially because the American taxpayer has already paid for their existing foreign factories.

On September 14 1989, the House Ways and Means committee voted to approve a temporary cut in the capital gains tax. {B96} The potential cost to taxpayers in lost tax revenues will be horrendous. In the wake of a decade of leveraged buyouts, George Bush's intention of drastically reducing the capital gains tax for a two year period is somewhat equivalent to his saying "...let's show some goodwill to society's thieves by leaving the prison gates half open for about five minutes". {B97}

The bottom 90% have been fleeced and will continue to be fleeced in any and every way the elite feel they can get away with, without provoking an out and out popular revolt.

Sooner or later, wage earners must learn to equate the dollars they pay into the tax kitty, with dollars that the banks and corporations don't pay into the same kitty. A dollar is a dollar! Every billion dollars not paid in taxes by the corporations or banks will have to be made up by the wage earners, ...or else additional health benefits, education benefits, or retirement benefits will get axed!!

And that's the bottom line!!!!

What can be done? Plenty. The following ideas are provided as a springboard for discussions or reforms.

Possible Corrective Action

From Feudal times, the taxation system has been at the very heart of economic inequities. By using their influence to shape taxation policies, the economic elite have not only maintained, but are currently dramatically increasing their concentration of wealth.

Radical Tax Reforms are Required

We are faced with the situation today, whereby tax avoidance opportunists have reduced the government's revenue mechanism, based on "taxable income", to a shameful display of contempt for social equality and fair play.

Just 4 of the 300 companies involved in leverage buyouts and takeovers (Safeway, Macy's, Unocal, and RJR/Nabisco), represent a potential annual loss of Federal and State tax revenues amounting to roughly $2.2 billion dollars. Additionally, they represent billions more in scandalous tax rebates.

The possible tax avoidance from these 4 companies alone is equivalent to 400,000 taxpayers, each with $25,000 in "after deductions" taxable income, ceasing to pay their taxes. Can you imagine the media storm and congressional outrage that would ensue if 400,000 taxpayers refused to pay their taxes!!

We must no longer allow the government to simply go through the motions of trying to keep one step ahead of the corporate tax lawyers and economic opportunists. Only RADICAL TAX REFORMS will now put an end to economic bondage.

Safeway, Unocal, Macy's, RJR Nabisco, and hundreds of other corporations, and innumerable wealthy individuals as well, have displayed all too clearly the absurdity of basing tax revenues on taxable income.

Tax Wealth ! ...Not Income

(Achieving this reform should be Priority # 1)
The simplest, fairest, and most logical approach to taxation would be to assess taxes proportionally based on the degree of one's ownership of assets. If the justification for doing so is not already intuitively obvious, consider the issue with regard to the cost of defense.

Logically, all citizens share an equal interest in defending life and limb. However, for the economic elite, defense spending is an insurance premium spent to safeguard their physical property. This includes all the nation's factories and manufacturing plants, all the nation's towering office blocks, and of course the majority of the nation's residential real estate which is owned as much or more by wealthy landowners and banks, as by those who actually occupy the mortgaged dwellings. The cost of the insurance should logically be paid proportionately by those who own the equity of the property. Why should an individual, who owns little or no property or wealth, be forced to risk his or her life on the battlefield, or even to pay the insurance premium (i.e. the defense bill) to protect assets belonging to an economic elite who are otherwise indifferent to his or her well-being or suffering. This is especially relevant in light of the fact that, like Vice-president Quayle, the elite rarely risk their own lives on the front lines. They're the ones who end up in the hidden fortified strategy bunkers, if they choose to participate at all.

Defense is, however, just one of the nation's costs that should logically be prorated based on wealth distribution. If the top 1 percent own 50% of the nation's wealth (as a study by the University of Michigan has shown), then let them pay 50% of the 3 trillion dollar defense bill. Perhaps they may not be so hawkish if they had to pay their proper share of the defense bill. In short, if you own little or nothing of the nation's wealth, you pay little or nothing of the nation's tax bill. Simple, fair, and effective. Taxing the nation's wealth would yield another benefit that would, by itself, justify the policy:

Deficits would be a phenomenon of the past!

The government would simply figure out, as per normal, how much money it required to operate for the next fiscal year. The treasury would then take the amount required, and figure out how much prorated tax would be owed "for each $100,000 of equity owned", in order to collect the "exact" amount required. The principal is not new, many municipal governments assess school taxes based on property value assessments.

One's "Taxable Assets" would be based on one's total assets, especially including those assets "invested abroad" to take advantage of the remaining slave labor pools, or currently held abroad in tax havens. Very heavy fines and penalties could be devised to adequately discourage those hiding wealth at home or abroad. (undeclared wealth) Americans could at last begin to benefit from all the industries they paid to have built abroad.

There would be no more advantage to giving your company or yacht to your dog Spot, or to your one day old child, because whomever or whatever legal entity owned the equity would be taxed.