Corporations Don’t Need a Tax Cut, So Why Is Obama Proposing One?
“The Obama administration is proposing to lower corporate taxes from the current 35 percent to 28 percent for most companies and to 25 percent for manufacturers.
The move is supposed to be “revenue neutral” – meaning the Administration is also proposing to close assorted corporate tax loopholes to offset the lost revenues. One such loophole allows corporations to park their earnings overseas where taxes are lower. Why isn’t the White House just proposing to close the loopholes without reducing overall corporate tax rates? That would generate more tax revenue that could be used for, say, public schools.
It’s not as if corporations are hurting. Quite the contrary. American companies are booking higher profits than ever. They’re sitting on $2 trillion of cash they don’t know what to do with. And it’s not as if corporate taxes are high. In fact, corporate tax receipts as a share of profits is now at its lowest level in at least 40 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office, corporate federal taxes paid last year dropped to 12.1 percent of profits earned from activities within the United States. That’s a gigantic drop from the 25.6 percent, on average, that corporations paid from 1987 to 2008.
And it’s not that corporations are paying an inordinate share of federal tax revenues. Here again, the reality is just the opposite. Corporate taxes have plummeted as a share of total federal revenues. In 1953, under President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, corporate taxes accounted for 32 percent of total federal tax revenues. Now they’re only 10 percent. […]
The Administration’s initiative doesn’t even make sense as a bargaining maneuver.”
— Robert Reich