Businesses have dangled before public officials the lure of well-paying jobs after the government. In the 1970s only about 3% of retiring members of Congress went on to become Washington lobbyists. By 2016 fully half of all retiring senators and 42% of retiring representatives had turned to lobbying, regardless of party affiliation.
Special Interest groups and big companies spent $3.22 billion in 2015 lobbying our elected officials, and have spent at least $ 3 billion each year since 2008. That money is spent to influence laws, rules, and policies that benefit themselves. Most of that money is not tax deductible for the companies. Therefore, they find it to be a good investment, since businesses don’t spend money that doesn’t yield a reasonable return.
Due to under-payments and bankruptcies, the Black Lung Fund has borrowed around $4 billion from the U.S. Treasury. Three coal companies who recently filed bankruptcy posted $27.4 million of collateral and were able to push $865 million of liabilities on to the government, making it a taxpayer expense.
The IRS computer system is old and needs replacing. The IRS Commissioner asked Congress for $2.7 billion over 6 years to modernize its I.T. department but congress has only given them about $.3 billion a year on average, for that department.
When the Affordable Care Act was written it included a small paragraph at the end that stated small clinics and hospitals aren’t eligible for orphan drug discounts that bigger hospitals get. Activase is the drug, that if given within a few hours of having a stroke, can bust the blood clot and save the patient from more brain damage.
Within large corporations there are accounting mechanisms that allow for a variety of creative practices designed to lower tax rates. One of these is called transfer pricing. According to Forbes, “Transfer pricing is the way firms use internal bookkeeping to allocate expenses among various affiliates. For a company like Apple, nearly all the value of its products is in its patents and other intellectual property. By charging a relative pittance to a foreign…
$61.6 billion. If you work for BP, you’d know exactly what that looks like because that’s what the Gulf oil spill cost them. And according to the Washington Post, the company is looking to save billions from it in the form of tax deductions.