We know, because the Supreme Court and Mitt Romney told us, that corporations are people. And we know, because we have been at war for more than a decade, that it is people who fight our battles and who get wounded and die for our country. It is people who are persuaded that, sometimes, it is necessary to summon up the courage necessary to sacrifice for a cause greater than mere individual self interest.
We call that patriotism and such patriotism is taught to our children, when we take them to parades where old men in uniforms wave to the crowds, when they hear Taps played at funerals of the fallen, when they see the President place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We teach this kind of patriotism to our kids because the national well-being may one day require some amount of sacrifice on their part, if we want to remain strong and free.
But for all the lessons on sacrifice we teach to our young ones, for all the talk of patriotism we try to instill in our people, some people among us—those now disguised as corporations—reject that message. These corporate-people don’t give a damn about sacrifice or patriotism or anything except one thing: keep as much money as possible away from the government, away from the entity that enables these corporate-people to thrive and profit.
From Citizens for Tax Justice via MSNBC this morning:
One panelist on Morning Joe tried to make the point that this was all perfectly legal. That there is a distinction between tax “avoidance” and tax “evasion,” the first being okay in the eyes of the law and the second bringing down the real fury of the IRS on the guilty.
I suppose, during any of our wars involving conscription, a person who refused military service could have claimed that he was merely avoiding the draft and not evading it and then throw himself on the mercy of the court, but I would not have liked his chances because at one time we actually required young men to go and fight and, if necessary, die for America.
But the truth is that all this tax avoidance-evasion is perfectly legal, if perfectly dreadful and absolutely unpatriotic. And as long as lawmakers, most of them Republicans, honor this practice rather than abhor it, as long as they enable it rather than abolish it, the practice will continue and our country, for which many real people have fought and died, will suffer.