Corporations enjoy 'free' speech, all right: Tax-free
The New York Times told us General Electric paid no corporate taxes last year. That was the issue for a day.
It should be the issue for the year, so everyone might learn just how corporations convince voters they are indeed good citizens worthy to be called people, ethical contributors to the common good and decent in their efforts to promote worldwide democracy.
All of which is simply not true.
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Here are other big companies that paid fewer taxes than I did, or you did:
■ Google — 2010 pre-tax profit: $10.8 billion — reports income in overseas tax havens and then reports its costs here at home.
■ News Corp. — 2010 pre-tax profit: $3.3 billion — Fox News' owner has one of the greatest number of subsidiaries offshore, more than 150 of them.
■ Boeing — 2010 pre-tax profit: $4.5 billion — paid three-tenths of a percent in taxes in 2010.
■ Pfizer — 2010 Pre-tax Profit: $9.4 billion — uses "transfer pricing" to record phantom profits in low-tax countries based on sales in other countries.
The 10 most egregious tax-cheating corporations can be found in the April 5 article by Joshua Holland at Alternet.org.
Little by little, we are learning. To make more and more and more money, the officers of these companies indulge in fancy Wall Street gambling. When things run amok, our taxes pull them through.
There is absolutely nothing fair or free in this "free market."
Every lawmaker should be working to reverse the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case.
Sara M. Porter
BBB sells out
Last summer, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and it was totally useless since the company I filed against was and is listed in the BBB "Directory of Businesses You Can Trust."
Here's the truth, whether the BBB wants to admit or not: It was a very hot summer day, and I went to a prominent oil-change company to have my radiator flushed to help with the cooling system in my truck.
The said company used my battery to run the machine for nearly 45 minutes out in the hot sun (96 degrees); after that, the battery was nearly dead.
I barely got home in time to recharge the battery. But that didn't work, so I ended up having to buy a new one. Also, since 90 percent of any automobile runs its electrical system from the alternator and not the battery, I had to change that, too, because it was also drained.
It ended up costing me more than $300, and it would have been much more had I not installed the alternator myself.
That's why I say that BBB has sold out to the highest bidder, and that wasn't me. If you just got a recent BBB directory, throw it out and go to whomever you heard by word of mouth.
Darrell G. Gross
Praise for Palumbo
State Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo is a true representative of the people and for the people, so it was a pleasure to read the April 3 story about her now being the longest-serving female in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
As an advocate for those with Alzheimer's disease and for Kentuckians in nursing homes, I've contacted her on many occasions about proposals before the House Health and Welfare Committee on which she serves.
Although I'm not in her district, she has been unfailingly kind and responsive. She provides a fair hearing to all, but clearly her heart is with those who most often lack a voice or a vote.
Lexington and Kentucky are blessed to have someone like Palumbo working unselfishly in Frankfort.