America the Uncompetitive

By August 15, 2008Economy, Taxation

The Wall Street Journal opinion page recognizes the implications of the Tax Foundation’s latest report on corporate tax rates around the world. From “America the Uncompetitive“:

The new international tax rankings are out for 2008, and congratulations to Washington, D.C., are again in order. Our political class has managed to maintain America’s rank with the second highest corporate tax rate in the world at 39.3% (average combined federal and state).

Only Japan is slightly higher overall, though if you are silly enough to base a corporation in California, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or other states with high corporate levies, your tax rate on business income is even higher than in Tokyo. For the first time, the U.S. statutory rate is now 50% higher than the average of our international competitors, continuing a long-term trend as the rest of the world keeps reducing corporate tax rates.

The Journal also debunks the populist corporate bashing that accompanied the latest GAO report on corporate tax payments.

Last week Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota waved around a new politically generated study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finding that 28% of large U.S. corporations paid no income tax in 2005. “It’s time for big corporations to pay their fair share,” Mr. Dorgan roared.

Well, the Tax Foundation looked at those numbers and found that, among the large companies that paid no taxes, 85% of them also made no profits that year. American Airlines and General Motors escaped income tax for 2005 through the clever tax dodge of losing $862 million and $10.5 billion, respectively. How unpatriotic.

Read the whole thing, if you would.

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