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Oh Say Can You Seethe..

Another Independence Day, and times are tough for everyone.

No, not everyone.

Sit back, get uncomfortable, and choose any one of these facts to make you mad.

(1) The financial maneuverings of a single hedge fund manager made him enough money in one year to give a $30,000 per year job to every one of the 168,000 unemployed people in Louisiana.

(2) One year of Bush tax cuts would pay ALL U.S. unemployment benefits.

(3) If the median household income had kept pace with the economy since 1970, it would now be nearly $92,000, not $50,000.

(4) The trillion EXTRA dollars a year taken by the richest 1% (by TRIPLING their cut of the income pie since 1980) would provide a $50,000 a year job for every college student in the United States.

(5) According to Citizens for Tax Justice, 12 of our largest corporations paid an effective tax rate of negative 1.5% on $171 Billion in Profits. The oil industry paid only 4% in U.S. federal income taxes over the past three years.

If you're not mad yet, maybe this will do it:

-- A GE spokesperson: "We are committed to acting with integrity in relation to our tax obligations."

-- Paul Ryan: I talked to [Boeing CEO] Jim McNerny a couple of weeks ago, their tax rate is extremely high, far higher than their competitors.

-- An Exxon spokesperson: "..any claim we don't pay taxes is absurd...ExxonMobil is a leading U.S. taxpayer."

-- Chevron CEO John Watson: "The oil and gas industry pays its fair share in taxes"

The reality, according to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, is that the percent of total tax revenue derived from corporate taxes has dropped from about 20% in the 1960s to under 9% in 2010.

Why shouldn't profitable corporations and finance-savvy individuals pay back to the system that made them rich? Why shouldn't they pay for government-funded research, national security, infrastructure, and untaxed financial speculation opportunities?

They don't want to pay, and that should make the rest of us angry. But if you don't like being angry, heed the advice of Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein: "Everybody should be, frankly, happy...the financial system led us into the crisis and it will lead us out."

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