Democracy Now! Interviews the (Tax) Dodgers: Going to Bat for the 1%
At the May Day rally in New York City’s Union Square, Amy Goodman bumped into the Tax Dodgers — a baseball team on which all of the players share the same number: 1 percent.
ALEC DICKMAN, TAX DODGER: We’re a baseball team, and we go to bat for the 1 percent, not the 99 percent. We’re the Tax Dodgers, the best team that corporate money can buy.
AMY GOODMAN: And can you describe what you’ve got here?
ALEC DICKMAN: Well, we’ve got our full baseball team out here, and we’ve got all the best heavy hitters in corporate America who are part of our team: Verizon, GE, Citibank, ExxonMobil, Pfizer, Bank of America, Time Warner. You know them all. We’re practically household names at this point.
AMY GOODMAN: And what’s this that we’ve got here? It says “Loopholes”?
ALEC DICKMAN: Well, no baseball team is complete without their cheerleaders, and these are our corporate hula hoopers, the Loopholes.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell me who you are?
CORPORATE LOOPHOLE: I’m a corporate loophole. I’m what allows these guys to get out of paying taxes and to receive rebates that are billions of dollars beyong.
AMY GOODMAN: So are you guys a winning team?
ALEC DICKMAN: We always win, because we bought the refs, and we own the stadium, and we get to change the scoreboard.
GENERAL ELECTRIC, TAX DODGER: The game is rigged.
ALEC DICKMAN: The game is rigged.
GENERAL ELECTRIC: The game is rigged.
MAN WITH MONEY BAGS: Thanks for my new boat.
AMY GOODMAN: What did you say?
MAN WITH MONEY BAGS: Thanks for my new boat. You should come see it.
AMY GOODMAN: So, why are you smiling then? You’d think—I mean, baseball is sort of supposed to be like good for America. You think you guys are good for America?
ALEC DICKMAN: Well, you know, what’s good for the 1 percent isn’t necessarily good for America. And we know a lot of people are out there suffering, and they paid their taxes in order to make some sort of sacrifice for the common good. But for us, Tax Day is payday. Some of the biggest corporations in America actually make money on Tax Day. For example, GE, which made over $4 billion in profits, then paid no taxes and got $3 billion in tax refunds and rebates. That’s a negative-76 percent tax rate. So that’s all money that’s coming back to us.
AMY GOODMAN: GE, you mean General Electric.
ALEC DICKMAN: General Electric.
AMY GOODMAN: Isn’t that headed by Jeffrey Immelt, President Obama’s drug czar?
ALEC DICKMAN: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. But, you know, we’re able to—we’re a very elite team, so we get wined and dined by, you know, everyone in the country, including the President.
AMY GOODMAN: What’s your name?
ALEC DICKMAN: My name is Alec Dickman.
AMY GOODMAN: And what about everyone else? Are you—what base do you play, or what position?
GENERAL ELECTRIC: I’m the heavy hitter, the cleanup. I represent GE.
AMY GOODMAN: How about you?
BANK OF AMERICA, TAX DODGER: I’m Bank of America. I’m a job creator, so, you know, all that tax revenue is really helping get the economy going, so keep it coming. Keep it coming.
AMY GOODMAN: How about you?
VERIZON, TAX DODGER: I’m Verizon.
AMY GOODMAN: You are.
AMY GOODMAN: And what are you doing with that bat?
VERIZON: With this bat, I’m ready to knock one out of left field for the 1 percent.
AMY GOODMAN: And how about you?
GENERAL ELECTRIC 2, TAX DODGER: Me? I’m General Electric.
AMY GOODMAN: There’s two General Electrics here.
GENERAL ELECTRIC 2: That’s OK. We play in twos when it’s corporate America.
ALEC DICKMAN: We don’t need to play fair.
AMY GOODMAN: OK, well, thanks very much.
ALEC DICKMAN: You want a song?
AMY GOODMAN: You have a song?
ALEC DICKMAN: Oh, we’ve got a song. You guys—
GENERAL ELECTRIC 2: Oh, yeah.
ALEC DICKMAN: Keeping it clean, keeping it clean.
GENERAL ELECTRIC 2: All right.
ALEC DICKMAN: Here we go! We got a song for y’all today!
TAX DODGERS: [singing] Take me out to the tax game
Bail me out with the banks
Buy me a bonus and tax rebate
Never pay nothing, not federal or state
So just shoot, shoot, shoot for the loopholes
It’s law, so you can’t complain
Where the one, two, three trillion you’re out
Since we rigged the game.
Take me out to the tax game
Flip the bird to the crowd
Losers pay taxes, we take rebates
Cause we make the rules for the corporate state
And it’s wham, bam, slam through the loopholes
We always win, what a game!
We’re the one, yes, the 1 percent
And we have no shame!
ALEC DICKMAN: Go back to work, everyone! Strike’s over!
GENERAL ELECTRIC: Thanks for paying your taxes so we don’t have to!
GENERAL ELECTRIC 2: Get a job in China, will ya?
OCCUPONIC: We are the Occuponics, and we are the house band for the Tax Dodgers. They pay us a lot of money. I used to be in the 99 percent, but they bought me out.