Op-ed in the New York Times by James Livingston, Rutgers professor.
HERE’S an idea: why not tax corporations as if they were natural persons, in accordance with their newly discovered rights of free speech? That move would solve any impending fiscal crisis. . . .
In 2010 G.E. employed more than 130,000 people in the United States, and earned $14.2 billion, $5.1 billion of which was generated in the United States. And yet its American tax bill for that year, according to a report by The New York Times, was zero. . . .
So, by slashing corporate income taxes and forcing a new reliance on payroll taxes to finance government spending, we have redistributed income to the already wealthy and powerful. Our tax system has actually fostered inequality. The fiscal problem we face is not, then, a lack of revenue sources. . . .
All the good things that were supposed to happen by cutting corporate profits have not materialized, and
corporate profits soar and full-time job creation languishes. American corporations are now sitting on $4.75 trillion in cash, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
In view of these facts, there’s no downside to replacing payroll taxes with increased taxes on corporate profits, wherever they’re made or held. By doing so, we make the tax code more progressive, and mobilize capital that is otherwise inert. In other words, we can lay solid foundations for economic growth simply by going back to the tax principles we used to have. What could be more conservative than that?
Not to mention that large corporations more and more employ people part-time only, basically, and those people qualify for food stamps and other programs. These corporations pay fewer taxes and we pay more, and we pay for all their employees to simply live. Besides simply being inhuman, this corporate philosophy is anti-community and anti-economic growth. Poor people can’t buy luxury goods or save money for investment in stocks, bonds, etc.