Merriam-Webster Online’s Dictionary defines a patriot as “a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.“
It’s second usage defines patriot as “a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.”
This is interesting in light of the Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and the decision by Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan Inc., to incorporate her company in the Netherlands because U.S. corporation taxes are the highest in the world.
Higher than North Korea.
Democrats are apoplectic over the Citizens United decision. In it, the Supreme Court ruled the First Amendment allows you to pool your money to pay for an advertisement for the showing of a documentary critical of a sitting U.S. senator before an election.
In so doing, justices neutered the Draconian campaign reform legislation of 1974.
Democrats have used this decision to raise money. They contend that the court bestowed personhood upon corporations.
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is basing his re-election effort on his exaggerated interpretation of the decision.
“Look, Citizens United was a disaster. The question is, what are we going to do about it? How are we going to stuff this corporations are people, elections are auctions, democracy is for sale mess into the Dumpster of Bad Ideas?” Franken wrote online.
“Here’s how: A constitutional amendment that puts power back in the hands of the people. The actual, human people.”
Corporations are not people.
Which brings us to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s reaction over the decision by Bresch, daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin, to incorporate elsewhere.
Unpatriotic, he says.
“What we need as a nation is a new sense of economic patriotism, where we all rise or fall together,” Lew recently wrote. “We should not be providing support for corporations that seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”
Wait a minute.
If corporations are not people -- as Democrats said in response to Citizens United -- then how can they be patriotic?
You must be a person to be a patriot.
And for the past few years, Democrats have mocked the idea that corporations have any rights by saying they are not persons.
Corporations include all those tax exempt non-profits that keep calling for ever higher corporate taxes.
Lew’s career has been spent working for groups that pay no corporate taxes: federal and state governments, college and the Center for Middle East Research at Harvard.
Finally in 2006, he went to work for Citigroup, On his watch, he increased the number of Citigroup subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands to 113.
That’s some patriot we have as our treasury secretary.
Oh and Lew also oversaw a hedge fund that bet on the housing market to collapse.
Now what is this noise about Mylan 1.) not having rights and 2.) being unpatriotic?
When the Center for Middle East Research starts paying corporate taxes, then I’ll let its former executive director define patriotism.
Till then, I’ll stick with Merriam-Webster.