The
AGRIBUSINESS
EXAMINER                                                 Issue # 92  October 26, 2000
 

Monitoring Corporate Agribusiness From a Public Interest Perspective
 

A.V. Krebs
Editor\Publisher
 

EDITORS NOTE

While THE AGRIBUSINESS EXAMINER is a subscription free e-mail newsletter
it still welcomes contributions. However, such contributions in recent months
have been few and far between. Thus, plans to purchase new computer
equipment in an effort to improve  the production and distribution of THE
AGRIBUSINESS EXAMINER  have been unfortunately postponed due to said
lack of such  contributions. Nevertheless, it is hoped that readers still value THE
AGRIBUSINESS EXAMINER to such an extent that they will willingly  and
generously financially support its continued circulation as it enters its third year.
Checks should be made out to A.V. Krebs and  sent to P.O. Box 2201, Everett,
Washington 98203-0201
 

FAMILY FARMERS, RURAL ACTIVISTS
FORM ALLIANCE IN SUPPORT
OF RALPH NADER\WINONA LADUKE CANDIDACY

Some 49 nationally known family farmers and rural activists have announced  the formation of a Family Farmers’ National Alliance for Nader\LaDuke and urged all who believe in and support the nation’s family farm system of agriculture and the revival of rural America to join in voting for Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke for president and vice-president on November 7.

In a “Statement of Support” the newly-formed Alliance pointed out that “throughout the years Ralph Nader has sought to not only call the nation’s attention to the economic, social, political and environmental plight of rural America and its agricultural backbone, but his concurrent efforts to enforce anti-trust laws against corporate concentration while assuring consumers of safe, healthy, nutritious, available and fairly-priced food has been unmatched by any current candidate for the nation’s presidency.”

They continue:

“Recognizing that the ill-conceived and misnamed 1996 Freedom to Farm legislation has been a disaster for our nation’s family farm system of agriculture as has the increasing economic and political power of such agribusiness giants as ADM, Cargill, ConAgra, Chiquita International, IBP Inc., Smithfield Foods and Tyson Foods; recognizing the economic and safety risks of untested and unregulated genetic engineering, Ralph Nader has called for a federal farm policy that would accord with consumer, environmental, worker and family farm standards of justice and sustainability.” ( "Toward a Better Farm and Food  Policy," )
http://votenader.org/press/000922agriplan.html

"This entails shifting government policy to provide research and information relevant to independent food producers, ensuring open and competitive markets, promoting new food infrastructures, and preventing pollution and the degradation of natural resources," Nader has declared.

“We believe,” the committee concludes, “as family farmers and rural activists it is time that we and all those who support family farm agriculture and the revival of our rural communities speak out and endorse Nader\LaDuke and on November 7 we cast our vote not out of fear of another candidate, but out of a firm conviction that the Nader\LaDuke ticket is the best choice for our communities, our nation, democracy and the common good.”

Explaining the purpose of the Family Farmers’ National Alliance for Nader\LaDuke, committee coordinator A.V. Krebs notes that its formation “was to bring a measure of new support to the Nader\LaDuke ticket by way of  a committee that could specifically concentrate on those issues directly affecting family farmers today --- mainly a fair price for what they produce, excessive corporate concentration in agribusiness and the false promise of "free trade" --- all issues Ralph has long addressed, but with little exposure in the rural countryside and the nation.”
 

ADM, USDA & U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE:
NEW EVIDENCE BEING SUBMITTED TO JUDGE
CHARGING OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE AND COVERUP

New evidence, including documents and audiotape that implicates the influence-peddling Washington, D.C. law firm of Williams & Connolly,  the U.S. Department of Justice’s Joel Klein and a select Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) committee, in obstruction of justice and a coverup involving the 1996 plea agreement by the “Supermarkup to the World” regarding its role in world-wide price fixing in the feed additive market is slated to be presented by request to United States District Court Judge Ruben Castillo this week in Chicago.

It was in 1996 in Judge Castillo’s court that ADM pled guilty to price fixing in the world lysine feed additive market and paid $100 million fine and later in 1999 had three of its executives convicted of price fixing, fined and sent to jail.

The new evidence being present to the court had its genesis and relates to comments made at an April 18, 1999  town meeting on "Concentration And Monopoly In Agriculture" held in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Hosting the event were Senators Paul Wellstone (Dem-Minnesota), Tom Harkin (Dem.-Iowa, and Tom Daschle (Dem.-South Dakota). Special guests included  Klein, Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Anti Trust Division, and Michael Dunn, Assistant Secretary, USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Packers & Stockyards Programs.  In attendance were over 800 farmers and farm groups from numerous surrounding states.

Klein was asked at the meeting if he was the person who supervised and signed off on the ADM plea agreement, and he confirmed that he was.  He was also asked how the Justice Department calculated the enormity of such a fine, and he gave an explanation. 

Dunn was asked why the USDA would let ADM keep its contracts worth $85 million and on the other hand fine ADM only $100 million dollars. Dunn replied that ADM wanted to keep this business, and this was part of the plea agreement. Dunn not only made it known that Klein was involved in the decision, but went into detail on how this deal was done with the Justice Department concerning ADM being allowed to keep USDA business. 

Yet, the plea agreement signed October 15, 1996 makes no mention of this part of the deal. 

It is an automatic three-year disbarment from government contracts when a company is convicted or pleads guilty to a criminal offense.During this same month that the Justice Department signed off on the ADM plea agreement Sun-Diamond Growers of California was automatically disbarred for three years after they were convicted of illegal gratuities to former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and illegal campaign contributions made to Espy's brother.The ban included all of Sun-Diamond's cooperatives and dozens of its top executives.

On December 17, 1996 Bloomberg News Washington Bureau reporter Roger Runningen, in an article titled "ADM's $83.5 Million in USDA at Risk in
Review," quoted Clayton Yuetter, former Agriculture Secretary under Presidents Reagan and Bush and now a member of the ConAgra Corp. board of directors, "It seems to me that it would be very difficult for the USDA not to move to disqualify the company from new government business.The department would get criticism from a lot of sources if it, in essence, let ADM off the hook." 

Bob Bergland, Secretary of Agriculture under President Carter, said in the same article, "Some people will argue, I suppose, that ADM is too big to kick out, but when it comes to criminal charges, there's no deals to be made."  All the time the deal between the Justice Department and the USDA was already agreed upon.

Again on January 17, 1997 Runningen reported that "ADM Keeps USDA Business, Avoids Ban in Agreement".The article noted that "Under the five-point agreement ADM must establish a corporate code of conduct, develop antitrust guidelines, distribute guidelines to sales employees, certify that ethics guidelines will be obeyed, and conduct ethics and antitrust training seminars annually." 

Grant Buntrock, head of the USDA's Farm Service Agency stated that the USDA is "implementing this agreement to fully protect the public interest."  Gary Spratling, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the criminal enforcement section of the anti-trust division stated at a press conference in Washington DC on October 15, 1996 that "It's not for the Department of Justice to comment on the governance matters of ADM."

Critics of the entire DofJ and USDA “arrangement” point out that although
the Department of Justice felt it was inappropriate for it to comment, they
certainly did not feel their involvement with the USDA in corporate governance matters at ADM was appropriate when they reached the aforementioned agreement.

On October 15, 1996 Steven R. Mills, comptroller at ADM stood before Judge Castillo under oath and made numerous "misquotes,” according to people familiar with the plea agreement.Standing with Mills was Aubrey M. Daniel III of Williams & Connolly who represented ADM in negotiations with the Justice Department and knew that the plea agreement did not reveal the truth of the agreement between the DofJ and USDA.

Williams & Connolly also represented President Bill Clinton at his impeachment trial before the U.S. Senate and is now representing FOX Television in its legal battle with Florida reporters Jane Akre and Steve Wilson after they were fired for refusing to lie, distort and slant an on-the-air report on the use and dangers of rBGH.

In presenting this requested new evidence of the details in the plea agreement to Judge Castillo, ADM Shareholders Watch Committee’s David Hoech notes that in August of 1996 “a prominent lawyer from Washington D.C. told me that this case involves a bigger coverup than Watergate. This coverup involves the Department of Justice, FBI, USDA, CIA, FDA, EPA and the accounting firm of Ernst & Young. 

“This same person also told me that the only way the truth will ever have a chance of coming out is if a federal judge will stand up against the Justice Department's coverup.”

Hoech also points out that in August this year Kurt Eichenwald, a writer for the New York Times “asked me for a copy of a letter I received from Anne K. Bingaman who in 1996 was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the anti-trust division.The letter appeared to be from Bingaman but was signed by Joel Klein. 

“When Joel Klein declined to be interviewed by James B. Lieber the author of `Rats In The Grain,’ he stated, `I really didn't have very much to do with it.’  Klein did the deal, and Eichenwald knows this is true, but never even mentioned Klein in his book `The Informant.’  One attorney involved in the ADM case said, `We understood that Eichenwald was working for Williams & Connolly.’”
 

‘SUPERMARKUP TO THE WORLD”:
STARLINK CONTAMINATED CORN
MAY BE ETHANOL BONANZA FOR ADM

Despite what may be one of the nation’s worst incidents of food contamination, as over nine million bushels of StarLink genetically engineered corn unapproved for human consumption are being dumped into U.S. grain elevators, the nation’s largest corn processor --- Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) --- may ultimately reap a financial bonanza.

StarLink corn was not segregated from other corn that was sent out for use in human food products and it is still unknown to what degree this contaminated corn has worked its way into the American and worldwide food supply.

To date, a number of food firms have already recalled their food products from grocery shelves and this past week Tyson Foods Inc., the world's largest poultry producer, said it  has stopped feeding its chickens with the gene-altered corn approved for use only as animal feed. ConAgra announced it was temporarily stopping operations at a Kansas mill it fears might have received StarLink contaminated corn, and Kellogg’s has been forced to shut down production at one plant because the company could not find corn guaranteed to be free of the genetically modified grain.

StarLink corn was first found last month in store-bought taco shells distributed under the Taco Bell brand by Kraft Foods, which issued a nationwide recall. Safeway also made a similar finding that its house-brand taco shells sold by the Safeway supermarket chain contained the unapproved corn. The two products were made of yellow corn from the same mill, run by Azteca Milling in Plainview, Texas, a subsidiary of the Gruma Group of Mexico.

Shortly thereafter Mission Foods, also a Gruma subsidiary, based in Irving, Texas.,which produced the Safeway shells, announced a recall of all its tortilla products made with the yellow corn.

Gruma Group of Mexico is a joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland whose mills located in Texas ground the corn used to produce the taco shells.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s William Claiborne reports that “anxiety is sweeping across farm communities throughout the Midwest because of fears that large amounts of this year's corn crop may have been contaminated.”

By way of example, he relates that at least one farmer in Iowa has lost money because a trainload of corn waiting to be shipped for processing into products that could wind up in food was found to contain the corn . . . in testing last Thursday.

"I think we're just hitting the tip of the iceberg here. We just don't know what's in those elevators, and when we start letting this stuff go and it's  tested, it's going to get worse," said Gary Strube, manager of the Superior  Cooperative Elevator Co. in Dickinson County.

Strube said he planned to ship 265,000 bushels of corn on a 75-car train to
an Archer Daniels Midland  plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but that ADM rejected the shipment after it was found to contain some StarLink corn. Strube, in a telephone interview with Claiborne, said he was lucky because ADM honored his contract and found a buyer in Arkansas, where the grain will be used for chicken feed. But Strube said he lost $22,000 because he was paid a lower price and had to pay extra freight expenses. The “buyer in Arkansas” was not identified.

Also, Aventis, which manufacturers the Starlink corn seed,  recently agreed to buy the entire crop at a 25-cent premium, and is selling much of it to feedlots and ethanol producers.

While ADM is currently the nation’s leading corn processor with elevators scattered all over the nation and the world, boasting that numerous food products which consumers buy every day contain its ingredients, it has also become the nation’s largest ethanol producers during which it has received generous and long-standing federal subsidies.
 

FARM AND RURAL LIFE POLL:
IOWA FARMERS OVERWHELMINGLY SEE
FARM ECONOMY WORSENING

An annual Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll, conducted by Iowa State University Extension rural sociologist Paul Lasley reveals that only 24% of the state’s farmers said they think their quality of life will improve in the next five years, while 13% expected their neighbors' lives to improve as only about one of eight Iowa farmers thinks the overall farm economy will  improve in the next five years --- the lowest rate of optimism in 18 years.

"I think in general it's a shroud of uncertainty and concern that farm prices and the farm economy continue to languish behind the general economy," Lasley told the Associated Press.A number of issues, most of them beyond the control of farm families, contribute to the pessimism, including low commodity prices, rising interest rates and fuel costs, Lasley added.

Just 12% said they think the farm economy will get better while 64% said the economy will get worse, and 24% expect it to stay about the same.Those numbers are just slightly higher than during the farm debt crisis in 1986.

Questionnaires were sent to 4,977 Iowa farmers in February, with 61%
responding. The figures represent the latest in a downward trend in optimism, despite peaks in 1988 and 1996, Lasley said.

Some of the respondents wrote comments on the questionnaires to highlight the grim situation. "Individual owner-operators will become extinct very shortly without prompt and favorable government action," a Story County farmer wrote.

John Whitaker, president of the Iowa Farmers Union, said government
subsidies farmers receive in bad times are helpful, but farmers would prefer not having to use them. "Farmers would a lot rather have money from the marketplace and not the mailbox," he said.

In addition to low commodity prices, Whitaker said farmers are dissatisfied with the Freedom to Farm Act, which he calls a failed federal policy, and the large corporate agribusinesses, which farmers perceive as controlling certain segments of the market.

Whitaker is raising two sons, ages 17 and 15, on his farm between Hillsboro and Stockport in southeast Iowa. He said farm life is in their blood, and they both intend to become farmers. What could deter them and others, he said, is not the pessimism, but the lack of profit. "When kids see they can't make a living, they may love it, but they'll distance themselves from it in their first job, and they'll never go back,"

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the proportion of farmers age 55 and over has risen from 37% in 1954 to 61% in  1997. The average Iowa farmer is now 52.4 years old, Lasley notes.

Michael Kiernan, spokesman for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge, said the Iowa Poll numbers reflect a nationwide trend that can be remedied only by a new national farm policy.The drought and low commodity prices a year ago contribute to that, Kiernan said, including the lowest corn prices in more than a decade, the lowest soybean prices in 27 years and the lowest hog prices since the Great Depression.

"We must move beyond the annual damage control to a policy that gives
farmers the tools they need to thrive, not just basically survive from disaster to disaster," Kiernan said.
 

JUDGE RULES CONAGRA CORP.
VIOLATED ARKANSAS TRADE SECRETS ACT
MUST PAY TYSON FOODS $20.1 MILLION

Judge John Lineberger  has ruled that ConAgra Inc., the nation’s second largest food manufacturer,  did violate the Arkansas Trade Secrets Act in taking and incorporating Tyson Foods' confidential chicken feed nutrient profile. Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest poultry producer said ConAgra will pay $20.1 million as part of the judge's ruling.

In April, ConAgra, based in Omaha, Nebraska, maintained that the formula was not a trade secret because its components could be determined by chemical engineers, and asked a Washington County judge to dismiss the case.

Tyson sued ConAgra last August, saying the food giant had exploited proprietary information by hiring four Tyson executives. In January, Lineberger barred ConAgra from using three of the executives in poultry positions for one year. The remaining portion of the case involves  how ConAgra came into possession of Tyson's feed formula.

The executives were dropped from the lawsuit, Dow Jones Newswires reports, and remain involved only as ConAgra employees.

A spokeswoman from ConAgra said the company is "reviewing its options,"
regarding Judge Lineberger's ruling in favor of Tyson Foods.
 

INDEPENDENT CATTLE RANCHERS
PURSUE IBP PRICE-FIXING SUIT
DESPITE JUDGE’S CLASS CERTIFICATION DENIAL

Vowing to continue their price-fixing suit against IBP Inc., the nation’s largest meat processor, a handful of independent cattle ranchers will pursue the company that has been called “the nation’s number one corporate outlaw.”

“Cattlemen throughout the industry,”  Mike Callicrate, one of the original plaintiffs in the Pickett vs. IBP suit , points out that  we “are now awaiting the
next development which should be a redefining of the “class” and the setting of a trial date and seeing justice done in a Federal Alabama courtroom.”

When Federal Judge Lyle Strom, denied Class Certification in the ongoing
class-action lawsuit, many in the beef industry jumped to the conclusion
that the case was over. Nothing could be further from the truth, say the Plaintiffs' lawyers, noting that steps are now underway to redefine the “class” in a new form which will win Court approval, and allow the case to proceed to trial.

“Nobody except the defendant, IBP, and their supporters deny the truth of our claims. The facts in this case are clear and on our side, but so far, the law and procedures are not. The lawyers must and will use the truth to get IBP to trial and get a judgment,” said one of the plaintiff's attorneys,  Randy Beard.  “Even if we end up with only one plaintiff, this case will go to trial.”

Cattle producers are of the opinion that they were once again denied the
justice they could expect from the court. Judge Strom had the broad  discretion to define a “class” acceptable to the Court, and to forward this case for trial. Yet he decided, the plaintiffs charge, to almost let IBP off the hook.

“Regardless of IBP's claims,” Callicrate, a St. Francis, Kansas feedlot operator notes, “here's no doubt that IBP is depressing prices to producers  through their illegal use of captive supplies and other methods.

“It’s unfortunate that because a method of distributing damages can’t be  agreed upon, that this agricultural plunderer should get off the hook. Cattle producers don’t care about damage awards, they care about stopping the illegal behavior of IBP that is forcing them out of business,” he adds.

Callicrate also pointed out that USDA has failed miserably in its enforcement responsibilities of the very powerful, market protecting Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act).

As a result, he said, “They're now leaving a few independent cattlemen and
private lawyers saddled with the enormous task of restoring competition and fair prices to the cattle industry. Congress placed the P&S Act in the hands of the Secretary of Agriculture to enforce.

“The Act was passed in 1921 to prevent the, then powerful and monopolistic, meatpacking cartel from ever again exerting abusive market power, which brought down the cattle industry in the early 1900’s. In 1921, five packers controlled less than 50% of the market compared to four, controlling over 80% today.”

One plaintiff's attorneys, David Domina, stated in a client communication that, “Nothing in the Order expresses any judgment, or hint of judgment, about the legality of IBP's conduct or the propriety of its market practices. The ruling is not a commentary on the use of captive supplies.”

As a rebuttal to IBP’s claim that supply and demand have been the primary
cause of low cattle prices, Domina wrote: “Strong evidence has developed during this case --- through the course of  nearly a hundred depositions and tens of thousands of pages of materials --- to prove a cause-effect relationship between captive supply usage and cash price changes.”
 

STUDY REVEALS MEAT CONSUMERS PAY MORE
FEEDLOTS CONTINUE TO RECEIVE LESS
WHILE PROCESSORS FATTEN PROFITS               

In 2000, when an East Texas feedlot sold one of their 1000 pound choice steers at $.62/lb they received $620.00.That same steer went to a packing  plant where he dressed out at approximately 61.5 %. Which means that 615 pounds went into a box and was shipped to one of our favorite grocery store meat departments.That packer received an estimated $645.08 for his boxed beef making that an average of $1.05/lb.This price does not include the value of the hide, offal, or other by-products, all of which are also soldfor money. Once in the meat department, that 615 pounds was cut into various retail cuts.The fat and bone total an average of 183 pounds.Thisremaining 432 pounds ends up in the meat case and sells for an average of $3.93.That means that the retail out the door price for that once 1000 pound steer is an estimated $1697.40.
 
The price spread in 2000 between what the feedlot received for the
1000-pound choice steer and it’s out the door retail value is $1077.40
($1697.40 - $620.00). The packer received $645.08 for his boxed beef (not
including the monies received for hide, offal, and other by-products). However, the price spread between the packer’s boxed beef and the out the door retail value was $1052.32 ($1697.40 -$645.08), a very minimal margin of change exists here.
 
A similar comparison for 1998  would find that the same feedlot received $630.00 for his 1000 pound choice steer, the meat packer received $584.25 for his boxed beef, and the retailer sold it out the door at a price of $1440.43.This means that the feedlot owner between 2000 and 1998 (2 years) received $10.00 less for his steer a decrease of 2%, the meat packer received an additional $60.83 for his boxed beef (and remember those hides, etc) an increase of 10.5%, and the retailer received an additional $256.97 an increase of 17.8%.
 
In 1993 the feedlot owner received $780.00 for his steer, the meat packer got $676.50 for his boxed beef, and the retailer sold it to the consumer for
$1067.40.So what has actually happened between 1993 and 2000 is that the feedlot is receiving $160.00 less for his steer a decrease of 20.5%, the meat packer is receiving $31.42 less (but remember the by-products) a decrease of 5%, and the retailer received $630.00 more for an increase of  59%.
 
The price spread in 2000 between what the feedlot owner received or $620.00 and the out the door retail or $1697.40 is $1077.40.The packer received $645.08, so the price spread between what the packer received and the retailer received is $1052.32.In 1993, the spread between the feedlot and the retailer was $287.40.However, the spread between the meat packer and the retailer was $390.90. 

Which direction is all of this going? 

This means that in the last seven years the spread between the feedlot and the retailer has increased by $790.00 or 375%.At the same time the spread between the meatpacker and the retailer has increased by $661.42 or 269%, and remember there are additional monies received for hide, offal, and other by products that help to add to the profit margins of these packers. While all of this is going on the feedlot owner has received $160.00 less for his once 1000 pound choice steer, a decrease of nearly 21%.
 
Obviously the price decrease at the feedlot level is not being passed on to the consumer. In fact the consumer is continually paying more while the feedlot is continually receiving less. How far can this continue to go?Who is making money here, and who is being forced out of business?

---  Based on a comparative Analysis of the Value of a Choice Steer: 1993, 1998, and 2000 study conducted by a Beef Cattle Production Class at Trinity Valley Community College, Athens, Texas as reported by Wayne Burkhalter
 

MICROSOFT ON THE BOUNTY:
LOBBYING FIRM OFFERS CASH PAYMENTS
FOR GRASS-ROOTS COMMENTS
TO LAWMAKERS AND POLICY MAKERS

Bounty payments are being offered for pro-Microsoft letters and calls, the
Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire reports.

Republican Ralph Reed's lobbying firm coordinates a network of  public-relations and lobbying partners that generates grass-roots comments for cash. Payments are for letters, calls and visits  to lawmakers and policy makers. An e-mail offers sample letters opposing a Microsoft breakup.

A letter to a member of Congress from a mayor or local Republican Party official is worth $200, the guidelines say. A "premier" letter or visit by a fund-raiser known to the lawmaker or a family member can be worth up to $450 apiece. An op-ed piece in local papers fetches $500.

Microsoft says, "Our competitors are attacking us, and it's no secret we're working to assure  our supporters are heard."
 

CITIZENS FOR TAX JUSTICE:
41 COMPANIES PAY NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX
MADE MORE MONEY AFTER TAXES THAN BEFORE

Forty-one companies, in a three-year period (1996-1998) studied by Citizens for Tax Justice, not only paid no federal income tax, but received money back in at least one of the years studied reporting a total of $25.8 billion in pretax profits.

They made more money after taxes than before taxes," said Robert McIntyre, the study’s principal author, told the Washington Post’s Albert B. Crenshaw.

His, released by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, was sponsored by the Ford Foundation and other philanthropies. It found 24 companies --- nearly one in ten studied --- received tax rebates in 1998 alone, including such household names as Texaco Inc., Chevron Corp., PepsiCo Inc., MCI WorldCom Inc., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and General Motors Corp.

Texaco, for example, received a tax rebate of $67.7 million, which meant that it paid taxes at a rate of negative 37.2% on the $182 million in  profit it reported in 1998. The maximum corporate tax rate is 35%.

In dollar terms, the study found that tax breaks enabled the companies to
reduce their taxes by $98 billion over the three years, with 25 companies
receiving almost half of that amount. General Electric Co. topped the list,
with $6.9 billion in breaks, which cut its tax bill by 77% over the three years.

McIntyre told Crenshaw that the findings suggest that big companies have succeeded in recovering much of the ground lost to federal revenue collectors since the 1986 tax bill. That law eliminated or restricted a number of commonly used write-offs and imposed the alternative minimum tax to prevent corporations from eliminating their tax burden altogether.

McIntyre did similar studies on corporate taxes in the 1980s which were part of the background that led to inclusion of an alternative minimum tax (AMT) on corporations in the tax reform act of 1986.

The AMT has been weakened twice since then, McIntyre said, and companies are using such devices as accelerated depreciation, research credits and breaks for operations in Puerto Rico to reduce or eliminate their taxes.

 In the 1960s, corporations paid about a third of all income taxes --- with individuals paying the rest, the report said. That figure fell to 25% in the 1970s and 15% in the early 1980s, climbed back to 19% after the Tax Reform Act passed, but it dropped back to 17% in fiscal 2000.

Some of that has been caused by the explosion in personal income among
high-income individuals, but McIntyre said in general corporate taxes have
not risen nearly as fast as profits.

McIntyre, a longtime critic of federal tax policy, got his numbers from annual reports of corporations, which he said "have become very difficult to read." He suggested that companies be required to disclose their U.S. and  foreign tax payments clearly and specifically in their annual reports.

The report is available at
http://www.itepnet.org.
 

CORPORATE AGRIBUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT
WEBSITE SEARCH ENGINE NOW AVAILABLE

The Corporate Agribusiness Research Project (CARP) web site now contains a
streamlined search engine which will not only allow viewers to  find needed
information by  simply using key words, but they will be able to also access
Issues #1 through  #77 of THE  AGRIBUSINESS EXAMINER.

The CARP web site, which is now posted on the World Wide Web, features:
THE  AGBIZ  TILLER, THE AGRIBUSINESS EXAMINER and "Between the
Furrows."

THE AGBIZ TILLER, the progeny of the one-time printed newsletter, now
becomes an  on-line news feature of the Project. Its initial essay concerns one
Hillary Rodham  Clinton,  the Democratic Party candidate for a U.S. Senate seat
in New York State.

In "HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON'S $99,537 MIRACLE: IT'S THE PITS!!!" now
available  through THE AGBIZ TILLER you'll learn some of the messy details
behind her cattle  futures "miracle." You will also find in this section the archives
for past editions of  the THE  AGBIZ TILLER.

In "Between the Furrows" there is a wide range of pages designed to inform
and  educate  readers on the inner workings of corporate agribusiness. In
addition to CARP's  "Mission  Statement," "Overview" and the Project director's
"Publication Background," the  viewer will  find a helpful "Fact Sheet" on
agriculture and corporate agribusiness; a "Fact  Miners"  page  which is an effort
to assist the reader in the necessary art of researching  corporations; a  page of
"Quoteable Quotes" periaing to agribusiness and corporate  power; a  "Links"
page  which  allow the reader to survey various useful public interest,
government and  corporate  web sites; a "Feedback" page for reader input, and
a page  where readers can  order  directly the editor's The Corporate Reapers:
The Book of  Agribusiness.

The CARP web site was designed and  produced by ElectricArrow of Seattle,
Washington.
http://www.electricarrow.com

Simply by clicking on either of the addresses below all the aforementioned
features and  information are yours to enjoy, study, absorb and sow.

http://www.ea1.com/CARP/
http://www.ea1.com/tiller/