Economics, Pethokoukis, Taxes and Spending

The tax that is hurting workers and business investment

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Bruce Bartlett in The New York Times investigates who really pays the corporate income tax, workers or investors. He outlines the views of four sets of researchers whose papers appear in a new issue of The National Tax Journal. Estimates certainly vary, with one study finding workers bear 60% of the burden, another finding capital bears 80%. Still, I think you can argue two reasonable conclusions from the data:

1. Lowering corporate taxes would help workers. As Bartlett explains: “A $1 increase in corporate taxes will reduce wages by about 60 cents.”

2. Corporate taxes and investment taxes should be considered together as a joint, integrated tax on capital. So even if we were to eliminate investment taxes to boost savings, investment, and growth, investors would still bear a healthy share of the corporate tax burden. There is no free lunch here for them. This is why someone whose income is mostly capital income, such as Mitt Romney, may on paper pay a 15% tax rate, his or her real rate could be three times higher. When you combine current investment taxes with corporate tax rates, the US might well be taxing capital income in the 50% to 60% range. The current tax code’s (increasing) bias against investment is terrible for long-run economic growth.

One thought on “The tax that is hurting workers and business investment

  1. Public Campaign reported on 30 large corporations and 29 of them had a tax burden for 2008 through 2010 that was less than zero even though they all made enormous profits. And all 30 of them spent more on lobbying than they did on taxes.

    Key Findings

    The thirty big corporations analyzed in this report paid more to lobby federal policymakers than they paid in federal income taxes for the three years between 2008 and 2010, despite being profitable.
    Despite making combined profits totally $164 billion in that three-year period, the 30 companies combined received tax rebates totaling nearly $11 billion.
    Altogether, these companies spent nearly half a billion dollars ($476 million) over three years to lobby Congress—that’s about $400,000 each day, including weekends.
    In the three-year period beginning in 2009 through most of 2011, these large firms spent over $22 million altogether on federal campaigns.
    These corporations have also spent lavishly on compensation for their top executives ($706 million altogether in 2010).

    http://publicampaign.org/sites/default/files/ReportTaxDodgerLobbyingDec6Final_rev.pdf

    Corporate profits are at record highs while labor’s share (wages, salaries, and benefits) of total income is at an historic low…

    This chart is shocking…

    http://tinyurl.com/asqleox

    Take a look at the Monthly Treasury Statement for January, 2013…Table 3

    Individual taxpayers are projected to pay approximately 1.3 trillion in federal taxes for fiscal year 2013. Corporations are expected to pay 294 billion.

    http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/index.html

    I am sure you understand the consequences of GATT and NAFTA which led to the off shoring of millions of manufacturing jobs and the fact that the last ten years have been the highest immigration decade in history of our country. All have led to the suppression of wages.

    http://www.dhs.gov/yearbook-immigration-statistics-2011-1

    http://www.migrationinformation.org/datahub/charts/historic1.cfm

    61% of American households were middle class in 1971. By 2011, that percentage had been reduced to 51%

    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/08/22/the-lost-decade-of-the-middle-class/

    I hope I have given you a much clearer picture of what is taking place in our nation. We have become a Corporate Oligarchy at the expense of our middle class.

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