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LETTERS – Big business loves Trump’s welfare state for the richest

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Issue 2651
Donald Trump - friend of the rich
Donald Trump – friend of the rich (Pic: Palácio do Planalto/Flickr)

US president Donald Trump is rightly often criticised as a racist, a sexist and a climate change denier. But we should never forget that he is also a vicious class warrior for the rich.

His tax changes in 2017 were one of the greatest acts of financial chicanery in the modern world.

Sixty of the US’s biggest corporations paid $0—not a single cent—in federal taxes last year.

Amazon, Chevron, General Motors, Goodyear, Halliburton, Honeywell, IBM, Netflix and US Steel were among them.

Together these 60 businesses grabbed over £60 billion in profit.

As a result of Trump’s tax cuts for the rich, the rate these firms are supposed to pay on their profits has fallen from 35 percent to 21 percent.

But they used loopholes and tax breaks to pay nothing according to a report last week.

Most big firms backed Hillary Clinton to be US president and find Trump a disturbing character who cannot be relied on all the time.

But they are lapping up his welfare state for the capitalists.

Trump’s tax law will save big business over £1 trillion by 2027.

The tax not paid is a direct theft from poor people across the US who see their incomes stagnant or falling and their services and infrastructure collapsing.

No wonder the number of strikes has been growing. There are signs of more radical policies from some of those who are running to be the Democrat candidate against Trump in 2020’s election.

The idea that everyone is treated equally under capitalism is a myth that would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.

Whether in the US or Britain it’s a rigged system where “little people” get hammered and the ones at the top stuff their bank accounts.

I can’t wait to see these people forced to pay what they should—or better still have their wealth and power taken away entirely.

Ali Jones, East London

Shameful for Galloway to back Farage

When he was good, he was very, very good. When he was bad, he was awful.

I have known George Galloway, a bit, over the years.

I debated against him in 1982 during a student occupation at Glasgow university. I was a constituent of his in Hillhead.

In 2003, I was named as one of the reasons he was expelled from the Labour Party.

This was because he congratulated me on winning a council seat in Preston as an anti-war candidate. From 2004-08 I was on the Respect party’s steering committee with him.

In 2005 I was in awe of his performance in front of the US Senate. I’ve always respected his support for the Palestinians.

I was utterly dumbfounded by his appearance and performance in Big Brother.

I utterly opposed his unionist position during the Scottish referendum.

Last week I was both shocked and disgusted by his support for a vote for Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party in the European elections.

It is shameful.

Michael Lavalette, Liverpool

Stand more clearly with Julian Assange

Why the casual coverage of Julian Assange’s arrest (Socialist Worker, 17 April)?

Where were the tears of shame and sadness and rage at the sight of a sick man being dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy by British police at the behest of the US authorities?

He faces possible extradition and torture and even the death sentence.

Why has our brilliant paper not reported seriously on his seven-year detention at the Ecuadorian embassy for telling the truth about US war crimes?

He also told the truth about Britain’s collusion with the US torture and rendition programme and about the millions of victims of its bloody and illegal regime-change wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Assange and Chelsea Manning have risked their lives to speak truth to power. We must stand in solidarity with Assange.

Cathy Porter, Oxford

Labour is helping parasites

I will be voting Labour in the European Parliament elections and would do so in any council elections.

But I am constantly angered and disappointed that so often Labour councils merely pass on the Tories’ attacks.

They often say they don’t get enough from the government, but they also make decisions that seem to show a lack of any radical or socialist attitude.

For example, the campaign group Action for Argentina UK has shown that Labour-run Waltham Forest council in north east London has awarded a cleaning contract to a nasty privatising company.

Multinational firm Urbaser was part of a consortium that sued Argentina when the Province of Buenos Aires terminated its water and sewerage contract in July 2006.

Had they been successful, Urbaser would have been awarded a huge settlement taken from public money that could have otherwise been used on poverty relief, health and education.

Its claims were eventually dismissed but significant costs were incurred defending the case.

The contracting out of public services is a cornerstone of neoliberal economic doctrine that has hit both Argentina and Britain.

A Labour council should not be privatising at all, let alone using parasites such as Urbaser.

Deborah Williams, Bristol

Land for a few not the many

We found out last week that half of England is owned by less than 1 percent of its population

About 25,000 landowners—typically members of the aristocracy and corporations—control half of the country.

Major owners include the Duke of Buccleuch, the queen, several large grouse moor estates, and vacuum-cleaner overlord James Dyson. It’s like living in feudal times. Take it back for all of us.

Bob Richards, Bridgend

We remember David Oluwale

Fifty years ago last week David Oluwale, a homeless Nigerian man living in Leeds, was last seen running from two policemen. They assaulted him, urinated on him, and wrote “wog” as his nationality on police papers.

He was later found in the River Aire. Two police officers were found guilty of assaulting him, but not manslaughter or murder.

We should remember him.

Colin Vince, On Facebook

Unions are missing out

If trade unions such as the GMB continue to be hostile to climate campaigners then they are going to become even more irrelevant to young people.

Mary Burnside, Dundee

Sharing tea with Jeremy?

I’m not sure that the Extinction Rebellion activists who protested at Jeremy Corbyn’s home chose the best target.

But given one of them had walked for eight days to get there, I think Jeremy could have offered them a cup of tea.

Peter Lisburne, Newcastle

XR has really cheered me up

I’ve loved watching the Extinction Rebellion protests.

In dark times I have felt hopeful again.

Julie Harrison, On Facebook

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