Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Rich Get Richer, Taxpayers Foot the Bill

It was only a couple of months ago that Goldman Sachs announced it was setting aside $16.5 billion for salaries, bonuses and benefits for employees because investment bankers “work hard and want to live well.” Now we hear the company set a record and reported a 29 percent increase in first-quarter profit.
The firm reported profit of $3.2 billion, or $6.67 a share, for the three months ended Feb. 23, topping the $2.48 billion, or $5.08 a share, it reported in the period a year earlier. Goldman said that it had net revenue of $12.7 billion for the quarter.
My question is this: Why is there always taxpayer money available to help these big corporations raking in record profits?
In the summer of 2005, Goldman Sachs successfully extorted money from New York, threatening to leave the city unless it received tax breaks and low-interest bonds. It did so in a fairly ugly way. Using the specter of September 11th as a club, the company pocketed an unbelievable deal: $1.65 billion in low-interest, triple-tax-exempt Liberty Bonds, enabling the firm to save as much as $9 million a year in financing costs, which would save Goldman about $250 million over the life of the bonds. If that wasn't enough, the city also threw $115 million in sales and utility tax breaks at the company...
Too bad taxpayers can't get a refund and use the money on stuff that average Americans consider "living well" like health care and shoring up social security.

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