Friday, December 16, 2011

FedEx Occupies Congress

You know how poor widdle Fwed Smith likes to complain about all that nasty wegulation pweventing FedEx from creating jobs?

Smith is one of dozens of multimillionaire CEOs so busy dodging taxes and blowing the corporate treasury on lobbying Congress that they somehow don't get around to hiring workers. In America, that is.  

The peerless David Cay Johnston writes that 30 of the biggest U.S. companies could have hired thousands of workers if they hadn't spent a half billion dollars lobbying Congress over the past three years. In fact, they could have hired 3,100 people for $50,000 a year in wages and benefits to actually do something productive.

Johnston points out that FedEx spent $25 million lobbying to protect a rule that treats its express delivery drivers as pilots, making it impossible for them to join a union. Writes Johnston, that's 67 percent of what FedEx paid in taxes. And FedEx's tax bill is less than 1 percent of its profit.
FedEx says it was "educating lawmakers" about a proposal "that would cripple competition in the express delivery industry and hinder our nation's future economic success."
The Teamsters, who represent drivers at United Parcel Service, say FedEx was protecting a special interest rule that shorts workers. UPS pays its unionized drivers 53 percent to 104 percent more per hour than FedEx does.
Johnston drew his conclusions from two recent studies. One, "Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-201," by Citizens for Tax Justice, reported that the 280 most profitable U.S. companies shelter half their profit from taxes.

The second, "For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%?" by Public Campaign, shows how corporations spend more for lobbyists than they do in taxes.

It's enough to make the 99% want to Occupy Congress.

Oh wait, isn't that the way democracy is supposed to work?