07.31.2010 0

Radical Left-Wing Non-Profits Aligned with Sen. Levin Falsely Posture as Small Business Advocates

  • On: 08/02/2010 20:46:17
  • In: Economy
  • By Kevin Mooney

    Small business groups have joined forces with Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) to block offshore tax havens for large companies and wealthy Americans that come at the expense of job producing enterprises, according to The New York Times. Or have they?

    Although Sen. Levin has never been a friend of the free market system in the past, he has suddenly developed a concern for law abiding business owners who lose out when more sizable corporate operations exploit tax shelters, a July report informs readers.

    Three non-profit organizations — the American Sustainable Business Council, Business for Shared Prosperity and Wealth for the Common Good — are indentified as the primary authors of a 25 page report that calls out multinational companies for avoiding $37 billion in federal taxes; an estimate that is probably on the low end.

    “The campaign is unusual because it is the first time that small businesses have organized to combat offshore tax avoidance and evasion in a significant way,” The Times observes. But instead of investigating the coalition’s self-proclaimed business concerns, the Gray Lady blithely invokes the report’s major recommendations, which are not reflective of free market values.

    The operative word here is not “unusual” but duplicitous. All three non-profit groups have tangible links with far left activists who favor greater government control of the private sector, according to new research published by Americans for Limited Government. This places the coalition’s partnership with Sen. Levin into a logical and understandable context that would better serve readers.

    Unfortunately, the NYT remains more committed to its big government agenda than it does to straight reporting. Here are some hard facts that should be included in subsequent reports about the coalition and its key players.

    Holly Sklar is currently the director of Business for Shared Prosperity. She has served as senior policy adviser for the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign and as an affiliate staff member for Demos, a think tank allied with ACORN and the Institute for Policy Studies. Chuck Collins, who co-founded Wealth for the Common Good has served as an affiliate staffer of Demos and as the Tax Program Director of Business for Shared Prosperity. He is also a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and directs IPS’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good.

    The other lead author here, the American Sustainable Business Council, makes no attempt to camouflage its progressive leanings. Its home page includes a long and copious list of allied organizations that advocate for left wing causes. Key personnel include Atlee McFellin, who works as a strategy consultant. McFellin was previously a member of Students for a Democratic Society and the Radical Student Union.

    The website for Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse also opens the way for an informative investigation. It contains a list of 25 businesspersons who signed the petition oppose the use of tax havens. An examination of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) records shows that most of the campaign contributions from these same individuals went to Democratic organizations and liberal activist groups.

    Why is this not considered news?

    The concluding paragraph from the NYT lists some of the major recommendations included in the report that is aimed against larger companies. They are as follows:

    “The report calls for laws that would block transfers of intellectual property designed to evade taxes; ban shell corporations that earn profits offshore, even when a corporation’s management team is based in the United States; repeal a rule that allows American corporations to reduce or eliminate their United States tax bills if 80 percent of their business takes place overseas; and set penalties for government contractors that use tax havens.”

    Those are not immodest proposals.

    The NYT piece suggests any additional tax revenue collected could be used to boost small business. In reality, the anti-profit, anti-capitalist mentality animating this non-profit coalition suggests otherwise.

    Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) News Bureau, and the Executive Editor of TimesCheck.com.

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