Jesse’s Café Américain: US Corporate Taxes As a Percent of Corporate Profits

Jesse’s Café Américain

“A revolution is coming: a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough. But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.” Robert F. Kennedy

18 November 2011

US Corporate Taxes As a Percent of Corporate Profits

“Once upon a time, the corporate income tax generated a significant share of tax revenues; now, it’s bumping along in the 2%-of-GDP range. Yes, the marginal rate of corporate income tax is high, at 35%. But US companies are extremely good at not paying that.

But at least we know the aggregate amount that corporations pay in taxes. What we don’t know — because they won’t say, and no one’s forcing them to say — is how much any given public company pays.

Allan Sloan has a very good column on this today. Companies already report 16 different tax metrics; they should simply be required to add a 17th — the amount they pay the IRS in taxes — which in many ways is most important. The companies already file tax returns; the number’s right there, on lines 31 and 32. They just refuse to say what it is.”

Charts of the day, Corporate Income-tax Edition, Felix Salmon

One thing that is true is that the US has a high ‘headline’ corporate tax rate at 35%. This was used to justify the distribution of corporate profits as dividends that were made tax free.

But like most things in America, the headline numbers are one thing, and the reality behind the headlines is a very different picture. Some of the loopholes that allow ‘offshoring profits’ are eating like acid into the real economy. Why is this? As Jack Abramoff recently admitted, Congress is a willing vassal to the monied interests.

“During my years as a lobbyist, I saw scores of congressional staff members become the willing vassals of K Street firms before soon decamping for K Street employment themselves. It was a dirty little secret. And it is a source of major corruption in Congress.”

And nothing will make this more clear than the discussions about the US budget. All politicians will work for tips and favors and campaign funds. But if you cannot spot who is on the full-time payroll of the 1 percent, then you might need to change your news channel.

The corporate propagandists do a good job of managing the American people. As one of the more pre-eminent of the pigmen once privately told me: ‘Old people are the easiest to handle. You just scare them.’

Greed draws people in, and fear keeps them in line. Its a well-worn script. It is the basis for most ponzi schemes and financial frauds. It is the well-spring of a credibility trap.

The reporting on NYC financial TV was particularly repugnant this morning, as they called the OWS movement over, with nothing left but a few professional agitators.

They contrasted its lack of purpose and organized ideology with the much more compliant Tea Party Movement, that allowed itself to be reorganized around corporate advertising principles. It morphed from a financial reform movement into a obedient lobbyists for the Koch Brothers and the monied interests.

And it angers the Wall Street demimonde that the loose organization of OWS does not permit a foothold, or a few influential leaders that can be easily bought and scripted.

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US Corporate Taxes as a Percent of Corporate Profits

Posted by Jesse at 10:18

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