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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

February 3, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Vote: Should corporations pay more taxes?

Corporate profits are at records and major companies are sitting on enormous piles of cash. Corporate tax rates are at their lowest level since 1972. According to the Wall Street Journal, “total corporate federal taxes paid fell to 12.1 percent of profits earned from activities within the U.S. in fiscal 2011, which ended Sept. 30, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” From 1987 to 2008, the average rate was 25.6 percent.

One big reason is the “bonus depreciation” temporary tax break, supported by both parties. Another, less discussed, is the many ways the biggest companies deploy massive resources to use perfectly legal tax dodges. This might not matter so much if the country didn’t face a $10 trillion deficit, shrinking funding for education and research, and was stuck with a 1970s infrastructure, and that falling apart. So, today’s poll:

Corporate taxes

Mea Culpa Department: In Sunday’s column on manufacturing, I discussed Henry Ford’s influence on raising wages, also noting he was a crank and no friend of unions. I neglected to note he was also an anti-semite, especially through his writings in the Dearborn Independent, a newspaper he owned. Later, he tried to do a Ron Paul and claim he didn’t know of the vile slanders published in his name. It won’t wash and stains his legacy. Anti-semitism is a special evil that culminated in the Holocaust. No wonder Hitler admired Henry Ford. I regret my omission.

Continue reading to see the week’s links and the haiku:

This Week’s Links:

  • White House offers a plan to lure jobs to America || NY Times
  • Jobs report: It will still take until 2019 to recover lost employment || EPI
  • Britain’s best export: Lessons in intelligent fiscal policy || Financial Times
  • Sustainable humanity || Jeffrey Sachs/Project Syndicate
  • Understanding past and future financial crises || Vox
  • Inequality, mobility, opportunity || Consider the Evidence
  • Who’s afraid of industrial policy? || Salon
  • Germany’s role in Europe and the debt crisis || Stratfor
  • U.S. state science standards are mediocre to awful || Scientific American
  • Parents ensnared in $100 billion college trap risk retirement || Bloomberg
  • SEC is avoiding tough sanctions for large banks || NY Times
  • Seven positive ways to ensure our economic future || Fiscal Times
  • Today’s Econ Haiku:

    Liquor price increase

    I love a dry martini

    Now two at the most

    Comments | More in Debt, Deficit, Tax policy

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