Friday, March 30, 2007

Oil roylaties and income

Two stories today show how we are paying more in taxes than we should and how the rich are getting richer. The first here reports that auditors at the Interior Department were prevented from collecting revenues that were owed to the government by oil companies that drilled on federal land.
“There’s hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars out there, and I don’t think we should be scared of the oil companies,” said Bobby L. Maxwell, a former senior auditor who, as a private citizen, sued the Kerr-McGee Corporation, claiming it intentionally cheated the government of royalties for oil and gas it produced in the Gulf of Mexico.

The second story here notes that the rich are getting richer.
Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 — receiving their largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newly released tax data shows.
. . .
The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.

Perhaps we at Albany Catholic are getting jaded, but do you think there is any connection between allowing large corporations to avoid legitimate payments to the government and the large salaries their executives receive? Or between having the rest of us make up the difference in lost revenue and the fact that we are falling behind in income?

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