August 20, 2008

I've seen various refutations of the sensational "corporations pay no taxes" study that came out recently, but so far this one is the best. FTW:

The politics behind the GAO report are transparent—to undermine the momentum that’s building to cut corporate tax rates. As I wrote several weeks ago (“In the U.S., Selectively Applied Capitalism,” July 28), the U.S. has the second highest corporate tax rate among 30 countries in the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development. That matters because, as economists for the OECD recently concluded, the corporate tax is the most harmful to economic growth of all the levies most commonly used by member nations. That’s why GOP presidential nominee John McCain favors lowering it, but so does the powerful Democratic Chairmen of the House Ways & Means Committee, Charlie Rangel. The Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, has also said in newspaper interviews that he would consider cutting the corporate tax, but he hasn’t made that an official part of his platform.

Now, however, labor-friendly legislators egged on by union leaders are trying to derail calls for a corporate tax cut by manufacturing outrage against U.S. businesses. That’s not hard to do when you have so many journalists reporting and commenting on these issues who can’t get behind headlines that are spoon fed to them, like the editorial writer at Newsday who found the GAO report “jaw dropping.”

I wonder how long it'll take them to declare that anyone who doesn't work for a union is rich and gets taxed much more because of it? Yeah, I don't think it'll happen either, but I bet they'd sure like to try.

Posted by scott at August 20, 2008 03:55 PM

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Holy shit. This whole report that's driving media reports is based on the confusion between earnings and sales?

I knew the stupid was bad - but this has to be one of the more willful and deliberate misrepresentations of the data that I've seen in quite some time.

yay congress.


Posted by: ronaprhys on August 20, 2008 04:27 PM

Ever since about 1962, it's been extremely fashionable to be "bad at math". The same people who rant about the Bush Administration's "anti-intellectual policy" will tell you that they can't figure out a 20% tip without using the calculator in their cell-phone. They see no contradiction in their thinking.

I recall an article from a few years back about how banning smoking resulted in a "40% drop in heart attacks". Wow, that sounds great! Except that this was a drop from seventeen heart attacks to twelve, in a city of twenty-five THOUSAND. So the "40% change" was in the overall number--but "heart attacks per 1000 people" changed from .68 to .48...

Posted by: DensityDuck on August 20, 2008 05:38 PM
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