“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 U.S. companies are extremely good at not paying that.” — Felix Salmon
Update: Kevin Drum creates the chart I should have led with: corporate taxes as a percentage of pretax profit.
And while you’re at it… this chart, too, showing corporate income tax as a percentage of GDP.
Feds send checks to millionaires for not working
A leading Senate conservative is taking aim at tax breaks that he says amount to welfare for millionaires, a line of critique that usually comes from liberal Democrats. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released a report detailing special tax breaks for wealthy income earners that could give members of the supercommittee common ground for raising tax revenues.
GE Filed 57,000-Page Tax Return, Paid No Taxes on $14 Billion in Profits
General Electric, one of the largest corporations in America, filed a whopping 57,000-page federal tax return earlier this year but didn’t pay taxes on $14 billion in profits. The return, which was filed electronically, would have been 19 feet high if printed out and stacked.
The fact that GE paid no taxes in 2010 was widely reported earlier this year, but the size of its tax return first came to light when House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan (R, Wisc.) made the case for corporate tax reform at a recent townhall meeting. “GE was able to utilize all of these various loopholes, all of these various deductions—it’s legal,” Ryan said. Nine billion dollars of GE’s profits came overseas, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. tax law. GE wasn’t taxed on $5 billion in U.S. profits because it utilized numerous deductions and tax credits, including tax breaks for investments in low-income housing, green energy, research and development, as well as depreciation of property.
“I asked the GE tax officer, ‘How long was your tax form?’” Ryan said. “He said, ‘Well, we file electronically, we don’t measure in pages.’” Ryan asked for an estimate, which came back at a stunning 57,000 pages. When Ryan relayed the story at the townhall meeting in Janesville, there were audible gasps from the crowd.
With all of this profit and constantly decreasing tax obligation for U.S. corporations and the rich, where are the jobs, Republican Teaparty? Are we looking at job creators or simple political extortionists?