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As we stumble further into the nether Randian regions of amoral behavior pushed by the apathetic rich, given such "voice" by the Citizens United outrage, it should be noted that corporations are persons only when it benefits them.  

A funny thing happened to corporations when they became people:  they sprang to life with very little personal responsibility.  They appear in their monstrous glory, supporting right wing nuts or tone deaf blue dogs, but pay taxes far less than the people they devour.  These corporate zombies decry unions and mislead idiots, but have become the supernatural embodiment of Republican Welfare Queens.  Corporations now pay a lower tax rate than anytime in history--this post bail out and post outsourcing.  Corporate taxes as a percentage of GNP hover at about 1.25%.  The financial industry and the oil companies pay taxes at a rate about 13-percent below average taxpayers.  Indeed, the incredibly profit-rich oil "industry"--extracting oil from American wells or redistributing oil from elsewhere at a huge premium, pays only about 11.3% in taxes.  

Here's a modest proposal at creating a budget surplus:  if corporations are people, they must pay taxes at the same base percentage as an American taxpayer.  And good luck with that sales tax, state tax, municipal fees and burdensome property tax responsibility that the little people also pay.  If an irresponsible corporation is allowed to defame teachers and union workers thru their distorted Fox megaphone, by God they can pay the same taxes as the American people or shut the Hell up.  As the Tea Party chants in unison, "Freedom isn't free!"--nor should it be available at a gross discount.  So, Koch Industries, you can write us large check on your way out. . .

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Comment Preferences

  •  A plethora of outrage needed. . . (6+ / 0-)

    Again, we need to stand together and give voice to common sense.

  •  Interesting point. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sparko, martini, esquimaux

    One of the peculiarities of R spending cuts has always been that the favors they do their favorites are usually tax deductions exemptions adn the like, which will not be affected by any spending cuts, because they insist tax cuts are not that, but, lo and behold, will not be affected either by a government shutdown.

    There is no inherent reason for R favorites to have a totally different connection to the gummint from which they get so many benefits than the rest of the little people. Particularly when those benefits mean that not only will a government shutdown not affect them but also that four fifths of them or so pay no taxes but do get refunds.  The chart that was up just a few days ago here about the sources of US income for the '12 budget showed just how much more individuals pay than corporations, a horrible shock since corps make so much more net income each year as a group than people do.

  •  Robert Reich's book (9+ / 0-)

    Supercapitalism is an excellent read.

    In it he argues that all vestiges of treating corporations as persons should be eliminated and does so quite convincingly... not that folks like us need much convincing on the subject.

    But one of his points... both economic and political... is that corporations should not pay income tax as that is something people do and corporations aren't people (that's the political part).

    He also argues that the place where corporate money gets taxed is when it transfers out of the corporation into the hands of individuals as capital gains, dividends, etc. At that point it should be taxed heavily.

    I summarize greatly there of course and highly recommend reading his book for a better idea of what he is talking about.



    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 09:56:45 PM PST

    •  And tax salaries in excess of $1 million (7+ / 0-)


      Oh, look.....I get a tagline. I better not waste it. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

      by sd4david on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 10:11:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Grand Bargain (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White, Samer, Calamity Jean, CMYK

      If some compromise could be reached wherein Federal corporate income taxes are eliminated in exchange for setting the taxes on dividends and capital gains at levels comparable to the taxes on wages, it would be a great day for America.  I just don't see it happening.  The Republicans are convinced that taxing income derived from capital at super-low levels trumps everything and will refuse to any compromise.  Just look at how they've distorted the arguments about taxing capital gains, depending on what you mean by "capital gains?"  The current law treats capital gains income which is indistinguishable from gambling winnings with very preferential rates.  Why?  Gambling should be considered gambling, no matter what the game is being played.  Patient capital needs to be rewarded, but we now have the most corrupt, counter-productive alternative possible.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 10:40:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know that and you know that, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sparko, VClib

    the US has to compete with countries, including some progressive countries, that have a low corporate tax rate.

    If we raise our corporate tax rate, even more companies will relocate overseas.  I worked for a company that outsourced its manufacturing to Taiwan.

    Taiwan?  WTF?  The Taiwanese make almost as much money as we do.

    But Taiwan's corporate tax rate is lower.  My employer moved its manufacturing to Taiwan and booked the profits there.  Even after paying US customs duties; they still came out ahead.

  •  Bank of America paid ZERO taxes in 2009! (5+ / 0-)
    From the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, 83 of the top 100 publicly traded corporations that operate in the US exploit corporate tax havens. Since 2009, America’s most profitable companies such as ExxonMobil, General Electric, Bank of America and Citigroup all paid a grand total of $0 in federal income taxes to Uncle Sam.

    Tax havens alone account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade, money that could be invested in K-12 education, colleges, public health, job creation and hundreds of other worthy public programs.

    If we pay our taxes, why don’t they? If corporations profit here, shouldn't they pay here?

    If the GOP did ONE thing to help the average worker, Unions would donate to THEM.

    by MartyM on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 10:23:53 PM PST

    •  That quoted snippet is a real mess. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      First, are corps "exploiting" tax havens?  They use them legally and in accordance w/ the Internal Revenue Code.  Second, Exxon did, in fact, pay tax in 2009.  Third, while estimates of lost income do go up to $1 trill / decade, it's due primarily to individuals stashing accounts abroad.

      •  iirc - (0+ / 0-)

        Obama has mentioned banning the tax havens and restructuring the whole corporate tax thing.
        GOP will fight him all the way.

        If the GOP did ONE thing to help the average worker, Unions would donate to THEM.

        by MartyM on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 06:36:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's quite a bit more complex than that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Under our system, there's nothing wrong w/ using havens as bases for offshore subsidiaries.  As far as I know - and I'm a tax wonk, so I pay attention - his proposal wouldn't change that.  The most significant proposals deal w/ definition of "controlled foreign corporation" (reducing ownership % from 80% to 50% to trigger the CFC rules) and w/ the timing of foreign tax credits.

  •  And furthermore . . . (6+ / 0-)

    if they are "persons" they should be subject to jail.  OK:  You're guilty of corporate malfeasance, then you do NO BUSINESS FOR 12 YEARS (or whatever) with time off for good behavior.  (What would that be?)
       Oh . . . you killed some people?  A longer sentence unless you are registered in a capital punishment state in which case . . . you no longer exist!
    Thanks.   Let's make it happen.

  •  Too bad many of the randriods are dems (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, CMYK

    so the idea will not even be floated.

  •  They pretty much do. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The difference is in the deductions.  All taxpayers - individual and corporate - can deduct business expenses, so the difference is that individuals have a lot of personal expenses they can't deduct and tend to have fewer business deductions.

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