Second, accompanying this massive debt-ridden budget proposal is a call for a
national income tax cut and the elimination of the taxes on dividends. Our
calculations show that the nation's wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers, those
making over $356,000 per year, will get about 50 percent of the benefits by
eliminating personal taxes on dividends. Tax breaks are really government
subsidies to the rich. Keep in mind that in Texas just 48 wealthy families
more than half the campaign funds for major Republican state candidates in the
2002 elections. One can observe the correlation of beneficial tax legislation
Third, at the federal level it was revealed, early in 2003, that the e-rate
program, which subsidizes Internet connections in public schools and libraries,
with fraud. Again, this is evidence that immoral and unethical entrepreneurs
are among us.
Fourth, at the CEO level this Nation has observed obscene, immoral, unethical
behavior that challenges free-market fundamentalism. We were shocked by the
Enron and Andersen Accounting frauds. These were closely followed by financial
disasters in TYCO, Tenet, WORLDCOM, Kaiser Aluminum, United
Airlines, Global Crossing, Adelphia, and CONSECO; to list but a few.
Fifth, the condition of our economy was worsened through market-place-factors
when some of our largest capitalized companies lost their financial leverage.
For example the following market and world leaders lost at least 50 percent of
their value due to our economic crisis-General Electric, Microsoft, Cendant, AT
& T, McDonalds, Cisco, Intel, Corning, AOL Time Warner, Lucent. All Americans
who have 401 K plans, or who invested their IRA's in these American
Icons suffer catastrophic losses in their retirement programs.
Sixth, greedy, unethical, immoral and unscrupulous CEO's directly precipitated
the cause of America's economic malaise. When CEO pay is measured in the
tens of millions of dollars, one begins to fathom the depth of corporate greed.
They are not alone; the behavior of "Wall Street" is equally disgraceful in its
of critical information disclosure. Why weren't market analysts and specialists
examining the most obvious "cooking of corporate books?" They must all be
held accountable to the American people for these Un-American actions.
THE TOOLS AT HAND
We are confident that America can address this risk. We must be forceful in
reforming our economic infrastructure. We must reverse the weakness of moral
fortitude in corporate boardrooms, eliminate confusing visions, reverse the lack
of leadership and reshape the institution that has given us a better life. The
materials are in place. We cannot have patience with undemanding and
superfluous boards of directors or investment banking houses that "look the
way." The public demands high requirements that set world class standards.
The public supports the prospect of constructive reform. The best term to
characterize it may simply be the honorable word "patriotism." Citizens
intuitively know what economists have shown in their research that good business
behavior is one of the chief engines of our material well being. Citizens also
know in their bones that the preeminence of our safety depends on the wit, skill
and spirit of self-confident people. It is therefore essential-especially in
period of long-term economic decline-for government at all levels to affirm its
responsibility for nurturing the Nation's capitalistic enterprises. We cannot
one more great American industry to fall to world competition and continue to
observe the layoffs of tens of thousands of Americans. The citizens of this
great country demand that business accountability be at the top of the Nation's
Teachers College Record, Date
11153, Date Accessed: 5/6/2003
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