By Jeremy Wallace
August 11, 2014
According to the Albert Lea Tribune: founders would be ashamed of executions
Last month, the state of Arizona performed the most recent in a string of botched executions. While we certainly don’t condone what these convicted felons did — in many cases horrendous acts of violence — at stake here is one of basic rights protected under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution — protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
Our Founding Fathers clearly intended to protect this land’s citizens from cruel and unusual treatment, and a two-hour execution — as was reported in the state of Arizona’s killing of Joseph Rudolph Wood III in late July — fits that criteria.
The problem stems from many drug companies’ refusal to provide the necessary drugs, which had been used in most prior lethal injections. States are left to trade and barter among themselves, in other markets, or who knows where else (some states won’t even reveal what exactly they’re using.)
Compounding the issue is most doctors, after taking the Hippocratic oath, will not participate in executions, which in some instances leaves less qualified technicians to perform the deed. In April, Calvin Lockett, a convicted killer and rapist, writhed and grimaced during what probably was the most obvious of the controversial executions, this one in Oklahoma. According to witnesses and official comment from the state, the problems were caused by a failure of a vein that allowed the drugs to seep into Lockett’s tissue, something missed until after it was too late.
It should be no surprise when this system, flawed from the start, fails. The question governors, state legislatures and residents of these states should be asking is: Should we continue blindly and allow more cruel punishment to inevitably happen, or should we institute a moratorium until these issues are resolved? The answer should be obvious.
Whether states should sanction executions is another debate, but those on both sides of the issue should be in agreement on this. Any citizen who claims to be an adamant supporter of Constitutional rights should certainly be concerned with the state of executions in this country. Our founders would be.
According to the Tampa Tribune: on flogging corporate deserters:
President Obama wants to lash “corporate deserters” — companies that move overseas to avoid U.S. taxes — with penalties and additional regulations.
It is another case of the president trying to pit Americans against one another instead of supporting an economy that would offer more jobs and opportunities for everyone.
“These companies are cherry-picking the rules, and it damages the country’s finances,” the president said in California last week. “It adds to the deficit. It sticks you with the tab to make up for what they are stashing offshore.”
Decrying the lack of “corporate patriotism” may sound good on the campaign stump, but if the president was genuinely interested in keeping American companies from shifting operations overseas, he would attack the country’s tax burden.
The nation’s 35 percent corporate tax rate is the highest in the industrial world, and even though exemptions allow some companies to pay considerably less, the U.S. tax rate remains unduly burdensome, precisely the reason more companies are moving abroad.
As The Wall Street Journal points out, when state taxes are added, the average corporate tax rate in the United States is 40 percent, double the average in Europe.
Small wonder companies look for relief.
Since 1983, according to the Congressional Research Service, 76 companies have moved their corporate headquarters from the United States — 47 in the past decade.
The Journal reports 19 such deals in the past year.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, he wrote, “American businesses are taxed on a worldwide basis regardless of where in the world revenue is earned. This means U.S. multinationals pay taxes twice, first to the foreign country in which they do business and then to the U.S. …”
It seems to us that “corporate patriotism” should mean making American businesses as strong as possible. The president — and Congress — should stop looking for scapegoats and get serious about corporate tax reform.