RESISTANCE CINEMA Presents “WE’RE NOT BROKE” Onshore Productions, directed, written and produced by KARIN HAYES & VICTORIA BRUCE, Executive Producer CHARLES G. DAVIDSON (2012, 81 minutes)
WHEN: Sunday October 7, 2012 1:15 PM
WHERE: Community Church NY Gallery Room, 28 East 35th St. btwn Park & Madison Aves.
ADMISSION: Free; donations appreciated
SPECIAL GUESTS: Filmmaker KARIN HAYES & Tax attorney LEE SHEPPARD
RESISTANCE CINEMA continues our Fall season by turning our attention to the economy and a penetrating look behind one of the most egregiously unexamined concepts of our times.
With the United States in the grip of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression and an unprecedented budget deficit, the conclusion that our country is broke seems unquestionable. Lawmakers cry “We’re Broke!” as they slash budgets, lay off schoolteachers, police, and firefighters, crumbling our country’s social fabric and leaving many Americans scrambling to survive. Meanwhile, multibillion-dollar American corporations like Exxon, Google and Bank of America are making record profits. And while the deficit climbs and the cuts go deeper, these corporations—with intimate ties to our political leaders—are concealing colossal profits overseas to avoid paying U.S. income tax.
Karin Hayes and Victoria Bruce's searing exposé reveals that, strangely absent from this rhetoric, is the infuriating fact that multibillion-dollar corporations are based in the U.S., make money from American consumers, and often even receive lucrative contracts from the government, yet pay nothing in U.S. income taxes. By exploiting tax-law loopholes and spending millions on lobbyists to pressure politicians to protect their interests, corporations pocket billions while the less-connected middle class disappears, and the poor get poorer.
WE’RE NOT BROKE is the story of how U.S. corporations have been able to hide over a trillion dollars from Uncle Sam, and how fed-up Americans from across the country take their frustration to the streets and vow to make the corporations pay their fair share. It explores how the government has allowed this inequality to develop and the growing wave of discontent that it has fostered.
The film aims to say more than the simple message "Corporations are bad — BOO!, but every animated statistic and interviewed expert points in that direction. The filmmakers marshall the facts well, lucidly explaining the complex tax laws that allow multinational corporations to funnel profits out of the United States and into tax-haven nations (such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Ireland) to avoid income taxes.
Presaging the larger wave of protests that have arisen in recent months with the international Occupy movement, the film follows a number of activists who have had enough and are demanding that corporations finally pay their fair share. The footage of these plucky activists puts a human face on what could have been a dry reading of economic policy.
KARIN HAYES and VICTORIA BRUCE are the recipients of the duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for their first film, The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt (HBO/Cinemax). Bruce and Hayes also produced and directed Held Hostage in Colombia, a documentary about three American contractors captured and held hostage by FARC guerrillas in Colombia, and the 2008 Target® Filmmaker Award-winning Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship.
LEE SHEPPARD, is a Tax Attorney and Contributing Editor of Tax Notes, a Washington-based weekly tax journal and at Tax Analysts for 20 years. She covers all areas of the tax law, including international taxation, corporate taxation, partnership taxation, bankruptcy tax, pensions, and tax accounting. Sheppard frequently speaks on tax subjects for the media and at conferences.