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From: The Socialist issue 1103, 30 September 2020: Our lives and jobs not safe in Tory hands

Search site for keywords: Tax - Trump - Capitalist - BBC

News in brief

Trump's tax

photo Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)

photo Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

A self-declared dollar billionaire US president pays $750 in federal income tax a year, whereas the average US worker pays $8,196 a year in income taxes. Who says capitalism is unfair?

This disparity was revealed by the New York Times (NYT), which got hold of Donald Trump's tax returns. But as a rich US socialite once remarked: 'It's only the little people who pay taxes. Indeed, the world's super-rich employ tax lawyers to minimise their tax bills, as do the giant corporations who continually shift their wealth - accumulated from the labour of the working class - from tax haven to tax haven.

That said, while the NYT report shows that the author of 'Trump: The Art of the Deal' has paid no income tax in ten of the last 15 years, it also reveals that he has been a complete capitalist failure with his investments.

A series of crashed business ventures has left him owing hundreds of millions of dollars which, while lowering his tax bill, has left Trump teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

Media jobs for the boys

Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Boris Johnson has demonstrated his political objectivity by considering appointing capitalist ideologues Paul Dacre - former Daily Mail editor and editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers - to head media regulator Ofcom; and Charles Moore - former Daily Telegraph editor and biographer of Margaret Thatcher - to become chairman of the BBC.

Apparently, Johnson touted the Ofcom job to fellow Tory Dacre over drinks in Downing Street last February. The Sunday Times reported that Moore's BBC post is a 'done deal.

Expect an increased output of anti-trade union and anti-socialist propaganda programmes on the BBC, set in 1950s colonial Britain. Any complaints, feel free to raise them with Mr Dacre.

Patriotic Ratcliffe

Sir James Ratcliffe - the anti-union billionaire of petrochemicals giant Ineos, who also happens to be the UK's richest person - continues to demonstrate what his version of a capitalist Brexit looks like.

In an unbridled display of patriotism, he tore-up a deal with the Welsh government to build a 4X4 vehicle manufacturing plant in Bridgend and instead moved it to France. Ratcliffe then followed up his 'I'm backing Britain' commitment by decamping to Monaco, where he will become a 'non-dom', potentially saving him £4 billion a year.

Any suggestion that 'patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel' is simply socialist envy of a man whose estimated wealth has increased by £1.25 billion in this pandemic year.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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