Finally a great idea from a politician. I completely support Rep. Kendall Van Dyke’s statement (Missoulian, March 13) that if corporations wish to be treated as regular people allowed to spend freely on political campaigns, they ought to be taxed as regular people.
I believe possibly the worst decision our government ever made was to decide corporations were citizens with all the same rights, then grant them numerous tax benefits through loopholes not available to the rest of us citizens, and allow them to throw obscene amounts of money at politicians to protect and entrench those loopholes.
Warren Buffet, America’s wealthiest citizen who owns many corporations, freely admits he pays less taxes each year than his secretary. But now it appears those huge tax breaks aren’t enough.
A Montana political group is suing the state to overturn our law banning corporate donations to political campaigns, crying crocodile tears that the law unfairly treats corporations differently than individuals. They’re right, it treats them better and yet greed makes them seek even more. They want to be just like us (except when paying taxes, of course, and the less they pay the more we do).
Our law bans corporations from spending freely in elections so three of every four dollars spent on our state elections comes from you and me. That same law allows corporations to spend freely on ballot initiatives, however, and that changes everything. When given free reign, corporations spend almost nine of every 10 dollars on them and if we undo all restraints they will throw the same amount of money at our elections also. If we treat them as regular citizens on campaign contributions, we must also treat them as regular citizens when it comes to taxes by eliminating all corporate tax breaks. Fair is fair.
Jim Thornton, Arlee