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(The Atlantic)   Nine progressive reasons to eliminate the corporate income tax. "It is an extraordinarily clumsy vehicle--it doesn't raise that much revenue, and it doesn't necessarily fall most heavily on the rich"   (theatlantic.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, corporate tax, a better way, tax lawyers, household budgets, income tax rates, tax bills, tax avoidance, funnel  
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1847 clicks; posted to Politics » on 30 Oct 2010 at 9:16 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-10-30 05:50:03 PM  
I'm really fine with it. Making it very easy and efficient for businesses to operate is for the most part a good thing. It can be made up by increasing income, capital gains, and dividends taxes, which are much easier to track and difficult to avoid.
 
2010-10-30 06:20:26 PM  
Written by the same joint that hired McMegan McDouchbag. They've lost all economic credibility.
 
2010-10-30 07:04:24 PM  

hillbillypharmacist: I'm really fine with it. Making it very easy and efficient for businesses to operate is for the most part a good thing. It can be made up by increasing income, capital gains, and dividends taxes, which are much easier to track and difficult to avoid.


Yes, because trickle-down works! Also, capital gains and dividend tax hikes will hurt the middle-class more than anything. They are the ones relying on mutual funds, 401k, IRAs and other returns on investment to fund their retirement.

No, we need a complete overhaul of the Corporate Tax code to eliminate loopholes and off-shoring their wealth to avoid payment. However, this is far easily said than done. Clinton tried this with the Alternative Minimum Tax, but it ended up wiping out a lot of individual's money during the dot bomb, while the large corporations it targeted still got off without paying any taxes on their billions in profits same as before.
 
2010-10-30 07:20:31 PM  

rcain: Clinton tried this with the Alternative Minimum Tax


Um, the AMT's been around since the late '60s.

Unless you're saying that Clinton tried to jigger with the AMT when he was in office, in which case, disregard my comment.
 
2010-10-30 07:32:44 PM  

Shostie: Unless you're saying that Clinton tried to jigger with the AMT when he was in office, in which case, disregard my comment.


Sorry, should have put it differently. But yes, Clinton farked with it (with best intentions), and it screwed a lot of middle-class people instead of the mega-bucks corps it was meant to bring into line.
 
2010-10-30 07:50:57 PM  

hillbillypharmacist: I'm really fine with it. Making it very easy and efficient for businesses to operate is for the most part a good thing. It can be made up by increasing income, capital gains, and dividends taxes, which are much easier to track and difficult to avoid.


I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends. Not only does secure tenure of land require government recognition, it's extremely difficult to hide land in a Swiss bank account, offshore it to China, or sell it on the black market.
 
2010-10-30 08:08:27 PM  

Snarfangel: I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends. Not only does secure tenure of land require government recognition, it's extremely difficult to hide land in a Swiss bank account, offshore it to China, or sell it on the black market.


I've heard this argument before. It's beginning to grow on me.
 
2010-10-30 09:20:10 PM  

rcain: Yes, because trickle-down works!


I'm quite certain I'm more liberal, and more dedicated to progressive taxation, than you.

Nonetheless, there's a good argument to be made for getting rid of corporate taxes.
 
2010-10-30 09:20:53 PM  
Everybody deep down inside loves large corporations.
 
2010-10-30 09:21:09 PM  

Snarfangel: I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends.


I haven't heard of it. How does it work?
 
2010-10-30 09:26:20 PM  

Snarfangel: hillbillypharmacist: I'm really fine with it. Making it very easy and efficient for businesses to operate is for the most part a good thing. It can be made up by increasing income, capital gains, and dividends taxes, which are much easier to track and difficult to avoid.

I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends. Not only does secure tenure of land require government recognition, it's extremely difficult to hide land in a Swiss bank account, offshore it to China, or sell it on the black market.


What if all your employees telecommute?

How much would you tax a 5 acre data center or server farm?

Or a cloud computing cluster thingy....
 
2010-10-30 09:27:54 PM  
I can support it as long as they do follow through and tweak top rates and tax capital gains as income. But considering just how much of a break rich people get from the capital gains system, don't expect a single republican to back doing that, or any democrats in the pocket of moneyed interests.

So basically, don't expect it to happen.
 
2010-10-30 09:30:32 PM  

hillbillypharmacist: rcain: Yes, because trickle-down works!

I'm quite certain I'm more liberal, and more dedicated to progressive taxation, than you.

Nonetheless, there's a good argument to be made for getting rid of corporate taxes.


Yes, but seemingly good theories often turn out to be rather shiatty realities.
Especially for the middle and working classes.
 
2010-10-30 09:34:43 PM  

Giltric: How much would you tax a 5 acre data center or server farm?


All land will be taxed at the same amount regardless of what is actually on the property.
 
2010-10-30 09:34:47 PM  
You forget subby, liberals don't support taxes because they are used to fund programs. They like them because they steal from the who work hared to provide for for a large inefficient government (after they have their take of course) and to enslave the poor to vote for them.

they would tax the air we breath if they thought they could get away with it.
 
2010-10-30 09:35:20 PM  

rcain: Yes, but seemingly good theories often turn out to be rather shiatty realities.
Especially for the middle and working classes.


I'd say that to offset the loss of revenue, we add higher tax brackets. Probably won't affect the middle or working classes at all.
 
2010-10-30 09:37:01 PM  

Free_Chilly_Willy: they would tax the air we breath if they thought they could get away with it.


It's more efficient to tax one thing a whole lot, rather than everything a little. And air has some serious practical limitations vis a vis taxation...
 
2010-10-30 09:39:38 PM  

cptjeff: I can support it as long as they do follow through and tweak top rates and tax capital gains as income. But considering just how much of a break rich people get from the capital gains system, don't expect a single republican to back doing that, or any democrats in the pocket of moneyed interests.

So basically, don't expect it to happen.


Clinton was the one who originally lowered capital gains taxes by like 30%, from 28% to 20% for the top earners in America. you're dems are in the pockets of big business and the rich as much as any republican. the only difference is Dems lie and pretend to be anti-corporatist/anti rich until they get into office and then *sell out* everyone else (and some dumbasses continue to fall for it).
 
2010-10-30 09:42:32 PM  

Free_Chilly_Willy: They like them because they steal from the who work hared to provide for for a large inefficient government


Hey if you failed at spelling then you deserve to be a ditch digger the rest of your life.
 
2010-10-30 09:42:49 PM  

Free_Chilly_Willy: You forget subby, liberals don't support taxes because they are used to fund programs. They like them because they steal from the who work hared to provide for for a large inefficient government (after they have their take of course) and to enslave the poor to vote for them.

they would tax the air we breath if they thought they could get away with it.


Yes, because Democrats are Snidely Whiplash.
 
2010-10-30 09:44:00 PM  

rcain: Yes, because trickle-down works!


1.bp.blogspot.com

The issue is not lowering taxes on businesses. As far as revenue, as pointed out in TFA, it doesn't raise that much anyway. The issue is lessening the burden of compliance for business. Ditching corporate income tax would greatly lower costs for business

rcain: Also, capital gains and dividend tax hikes will hurt the middle-class more than anything. They are the ones relying on mutual funds, 401k, IRAs and other returns on investment to fund their retirement.


They already pay for that in the form of reduced earnings and dividends. Those increases will be largely offset by the massive decrease in costs businesses have in complying with the tax code. Decreased cost means more profits meaning larger dividends so it's largely a wash. Yea some companies may not increase their dividends, they will loose out in attracting capital vs those that do.

rcain: No, we need a complete overhaul of the Corporate Tax code to eliminate loopholes and off-shoring their wealth to avoid payment. However, this is far easily said than done. Clinton tried this with the Alternative Minimum Tax, but it ended up wiping out a lot of individual's money during the dot bomb, while the large corporations it targeted still got off without paying any taxes on their billions in profits same as before.


So you're essentially admitting that it's easier to just eliminate the CIT. Screaming "reform" without getting into details is not going to get you anywhere. TFA goes into the fact that you CAN'T eliminate the loopholes without seriously screwing over some people.
 
2010-10-30 09:44:57 PM  

rcain: hillbillypharmacist: I'm really fine with it. Making it very easy and efficient for businesses to operate is for the most part a good thing. It can be made up by increasing income, capital gains, and dividends taxes, which are much easier to track and difficult to avoid.

Yes, because trickle-down works! Also, capital gains and dividend tax hikes will hurt the middle-class more than anything. They are the ones relying on mutual funds, 401k, IRAs and other returns on investment to fund their retirement.

No, we need a complete overhaul of the Corporate Tax code to eliminate loopholes and off-shoring their wealth to avoid payment. However, this is far easily said than done. Clinton tried this with the Alternative Minimum Tax, but it ended up wiping out a lot of individual's money during the dot bomb, while the large corporations it targeted still got off without paying any taxes on their billions in profits same as before.


Highly truncated food for thought for both liberals and conservatives:

There should be no corporate income tax because there should be no corporations. Corporations (the main distinguishing feature of which is that liability of the owners is limited) create societal imbalances.

We as a species made a bad mistake several hundred years ago: creating the corporation. The first corporations were vehicles for royalty to get some of the goodies while being shielded from liability and hidden from view. They essentially got worse from there. Legally, a corporation is a fictional individual which outlives its owners. The existence of corporations have had mixed results:

Yes, they concentrate enormous funds into few hands so economies of scale are more easily be created. "Progress" and economic prosperity often follow.

No, they concentrate enormous funds into few hands so economic, social, political and ecological imbalances are often the result.

In very many ways, the main difference between a large corporation and a State is that the State has a legal monopoly of force and can legally make war on you and kill you. This line is being blurred with the rise of "corrections corporations."

Eliminating lack of personal liability would make shareholders sit up and take notice of exactly what their property is doing. The "rub" is getting from "here" to "there."
 
2010-10-30 09:50:15 PM  

Snarfangel: hillbillypharmacist: I'm really fine with it. Making it very easy and efficient for businesses to operate is for the most part a good thing. It can be made up by increasing income, capital gains, and dividends taxes, which are much easier to track and difficult to avoid.

I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends. Not only does secure tenure of land require government recognition, it's extremely difficult to hide land in a Swiss bank account, offshore it to China, or sell it on the black market.


Just curious, don't you think that taxing companies based on land holdings would encourage multinational corporations to move manufacturing out of the country? One pretty easy way to avoid taxes on land value is to sell the land and move the factory to Mexico.
 
2010-10-30 09:59:44 PM  
The "Vile Maxim of the Masters of Mankind" is reaching its apotheosis in the USA, isn't it?
 
2010-10-30 09:59:58 PM  
All forms of taxes on businesses make it wonderfully easy for the cost of government to be hidden in the cost of everything else.

The more complex the tax code, the easier it is for the big swinging dicks to game the system in favor of themselves.

Which is why the corporate tax will stay, and would stay even if Sarah Palin was crowned empress-for-life and everybody in DC to the left of Jim DeMint was beamed up into a UFO.
 
2010-10-30 10:00:21 PM  

hillbillypharmacist: Snarfangel: I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends.

I haven't heard of it. How does it work?


Well, it works like this: each corporation declares itself a "farm" -- for example, by putting a few cattle in their parking lots (which hotels in Florida actually do, today, to avoid taxes.)

Then real farmers get screwed, and the average joe gets screwed.
 
2010-10-30 10:01:04 PM  
As a progressive, I have no problem with lowering the corporate tax rate significantly as long as a serious effort is made to close the absolutely massive, intentional loopholes the system currently allows.

I mean sure, there will always be small loopholes in any taxation system. Some people in some industries will always find a way to avoid some taxes. But right now, our corporate taxation system is an international joke compared to most other western countries, whose collection rates are higher while often sustaining lower overall rates of taxation.

Our system is rigged currently to force the bulk of small- and medium-sized businesses to basically subsidize the tax bills of the megacorps and "multi"nationals (wink wink).

We'll never have a fair system of taxation as long as the wealthy and the powerful are allowed to continue to write their own rules.
 
2010-10-30 10:01:22 PM  
Yeah, good luck with that.

In the 90s, states (and others) got together to "streamline" sales taxes. The underlying purpose was to simplify and modernize the administration of the sales and use tax laws of the member states in order to facilitate multi-state tax administration and compliance.

One of the easier definitions coming out of that:
Candy remains subject to sales tax. "Candy" is defined as a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruits, nuts or other ingredients or flavorings in the form of bars, drops, or pieces; candy does not include any preparation containing flour or requiring refrigeration. As a result of the new definition, products such as Twix bars, Milky Ways and Twizzlers licorice, which have been subject to tax as candy, will now be exempt from tax because they contain flour. The taxability of a candy-like product will depend upon whether it meets the definition of "candy," which will require knowledge of the ingredients.

See how easy they made it?
 
2010-10-30 10:03:36 PM  

HK-MP5-SD: Snarfangel: hillbillypharmacist: I'm really fine with it. Making it very easy and efficient for businesses to operate is for the most part a good thing. It can be made up by increasing income, capital gains, and dividends taxes, which are much easier to track and difficult to avoid.

I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends. Not only does secure tenure of land require government recognition, it's extremely difficult to hide land in a Swiss bank account, offshore it to China, or sell it on the black market.

Just curious, don't you think that taxing companies based on land holdings would encourage multinational corporations to move manufacturing out of the country? One pretty easy way to avoid taxes on land value is to sell the land and move the factory to Mexico.


Moreover many of the wealthiest companies own relatively little land. Sure, you've got big oil companies which own refineries or manufacturing plants which own their facilities, but most banks and retail establishments lease the majority of their properties.

What Churchill said about Democracy is equally true for the progressive income tax, it's the worst form of taxation except all the others that have been tried.
 
2010-10-30 10:06:23 PM  

Pope George Ringo: The "Vile Maxim of the Masters of Mankind" is reaching its apotheosis in the USA, isn't it?


This. And being championed by the poorest.
 
2010-10-30 10:06:58 PM  

hillbillypharmacist: rcain: Yes, because trickle-down works!

I'm quite certain I'm more liberal, and more dedicated to progressive taxation, than you.

Nonetheless, there's a good argument to be made for getting rid of corporate taxes.


Nope. You're wrong. We should eliminate taxes on private individuals. This would give individuals more money to spend on corporate products. Call it "trickle up."
 
2010-10-30 10:07:51 PM  

hillbillypharmacist: Snarfangel: I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends.

I haven't heard of it. How does it work?


Land value taxation is a tax on site value minus all improvements -- the "location, location, location" part of the real estate mantra. Typically, a property tax is a combination of a land value tax and a tax on improvements.

Land value taxation is a central part of Georgism. The core passage is probably:

Georgists also argue that all of the economic rent (i.e., unearned income) collected from natural resources (land, mineral extraction, the broadcast spectrum, tradable emission permits, fishing quotas, airway corridor use, space orbits, etc.) and extraordinary returns from natural monopolies should accrue to the community rather than a private owner, and that no other taxes or burdensome economic regulations should be levied.

This implies a high land value tax, as well as taxes on other natural resources that are fixed in supply, and correspondingly lower income taxes and the like.

/I also like Pigovian taxes, but those can be harder to collect, since a polluter (for example) can pollute in secret. He would have a harder time, though, of owning land in secret and avoiding a land value tax.
 
2010-10-30 10:08:15 PM  
Doing away with deductions would create a lot more business income tax revenue immediately.
 
2010-10-30 10:13:13 PM  

Snarfangel: hillbillypharmacist: I'm really fine with it. Making it very easy and efficient for businesses to operate is for the most part a good thing. It can be made up by increasing income, capital gains, and dividends taxes, which are much easier to track and difficult to avoid.

I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends. Not only does secure tenure of land require government recognition, it's extremely difficult to hide land in a Swiss bank account, offshore it to China, or sell it on the black market.


It also has a bad habit of forcing families that have lived on their property for several generations (in newly trendy places around Santa Fe, for example) to sell out (to rich Californians, for example) because, although the property might be paid for, they can't afford the taxes on it.
 
2010-10-30 10:14:40 PM  
The "employer half" of the payroll tax, for example, is thought by most economists to fall pretty much entirely on the worker; corporations compensate for the extra cost by lowering the wages they offer.

So, by that logic, if that tax was eliminated overnight, We should all expect a raise the next day equal to the amount of tax our employers were paying?

Pardon me while I die laughing...
 
2010-10-30 10:16:26 PM  
what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.
 
2010-10-30 10:19:17 PM  

stiletto_the_wise: So, by that logic, if that tax was eliminated overnight, We should all expect a raise the next day equal to the amount of tax our employers were paying?


In the long term it would work out that way. Look at the Bush tax cuts - because employees were doing the same work for more take-home pay, employers could thereby cut wages to make up the difference. And thus the wage stagnation of the last decade. Though social security money is a little less 'visible' to your average employee, so maybe it wouldn't occur as quickly.
 
2010-10-30 10:20:18 PM  

Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.


So you're in favor of company housing? And unions? Sounds socialist.
 
2010-10-30 10:23:08 PM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: Snarfangel: hillbillypharmacist: I'm really fine with it. Making it very easy and efficient for businesses to operate is for the most part a good thing. It can be made up by increasing income, capital gains, and dividends taxes, which are much easier to track and difficult to avoid.

I am contractually obligated to point out that land value taxation is even easier to track and far harder to avoid than taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends. Not only does secure tenure of land require government recognition, it's extremely difficult to hide land in a Swiss bank account, offshore it to China, or sell it on the black market.

It also has a bad habit of forcing families that have lived on their property for several generations (in newly trendy places around Santa Fe, for example) to sell out (to rich Californians, for example) because, although the property might be paid for, they can't afford the taxes on it.


In NJ you could probably get taxed out of your home in the shiattiest slums just because you got too old.
 
2010-10-30 10:24:55 PM  

Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.


Don't forget company stores, where workers can buy goods at special rates. And if they can't afford those goods, they can buy on credit, with the money being taken out of their future earnings. All very efficient.

16 tons, baby.
 
2010-10-30 10:26:27 PM  

Sun God: Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.

So you're in favor of company housing? And unions? Sounds socialist.


no unions and the housing isn't free it is provided at normal market cost as well as the food which the company can set, the workers can exchange their services for teh food and shelter. without the unions in place there will be no need for paying for things like overtime and will cut down on abuses like sick time and paid vacation. There are countless examples of employees taking advantage of both of these as well as workers compensation which will be eliminated as well unless the employee can prove the company was at fault for their accident and not their own lack ofpaying attention
 
2010-10-30 10:28:40 PM  
There shouldn't be a corporate tax. We should make up for it by raising taxes on the uber-wealthy by about twenty percent, taxing both their salary and capital gains.
 
2010-10-30 10:28:57 PM  

0Icky0: Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.

Don't forget company stores, where workers can buy goods at special rates. And if they can't afford those goods, they can buy on credit, with the money being taken out of their future earnings. All very efficient.

16 tons, baby.


more or less, there will be a higher return on investments this way.
 
2010-10-30 10:29:28 PM  

Sun God: So you're in favor of company housing? And unions? Sounds socialist.


In fact, there's a specific term for it: "welfare capitalism" or "industrial paternalism".

It's been tried in the US; specifically in the early 20th century. To say that it didn't go well is a comically deliberate understatement.

And the fact that stuff like this has been systematically excised from our educational systems says more than I ever could about the causes of our current economic and social problems.
 
2010-10-30 10:32:57 PM  

Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.


Could you pay me in some sort of scrip that I can only use at the company store too?
 
2010-10-30 10:35:39 PM  

Giltric: Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.

Could you pay me in some sort of scrip that I can only use at the company store too?


If that is what the company choses, it's up to them. There is no place for the government to tell small businesses what and how they should pay their workers.
 
2010-10-30 10:36:31 PM  

Tymast: Sun God: Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.

So you're in favor of company housing? And unions? Sounds socialist.

no unions and the housing isn't free it is provided at normal market cost as well as the food which the company can set, the workers can exchange their services for teh food and shelter. without the unions in place there will be no need for paying for things like overtime and will cut down on abuses like sick time and paid vacation. There are countless examples of employees taking advantage of both of these as well as workers compensation which will be eliminated as well unless the employee can prove the company was at fault for their accident and not their own lack ofpaying attention


Wow. You're a piece of work. How's this: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
 
2010-10-30 10:37:26 PM  

Tymast: Giltric: Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.

Could you pay me in some sort of scrip that I can only use at the company store too?

If that is what the company choses, it's up to them. There is no place for the government to tell small businesses what and how they should pay their workers.


You need a moustache to twirl if you're going to take this troll tack, dude.
 
2010-10-30 10:38:08 PM  

Tymast: Giltric: Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.

Could you pay me in some sort of scrip that I can only use at the company store too?

If that is what the company choses, it's up to them. There is no place for the government to tell small businesses what and how they should pay their workers.


I'm just about ready to fill out an application but I am concerned about my safety and security....could you per chance hire them nice Pinkerton fellows as watchmen?
 
2010-10-30 10:38:28 PM  

A Dark Evil Omen: Tymast: Giltric: Tymast: what we need to do is eliminate the min wage, corporate taxes, capital gain taxes and give tax cuts for corporations that provide group housing and meals for their employees at current market rates.

Could you pay me in some sort of scrip that I can only use at the company store too?

If that is what the company choses, it's up to them. There is no place for the government to tell small businesses what and how they should pay their workers.

You need a moustache to twirl if you're going to take this troll tack, dude.


and a top hat with a matching cape ;)
 
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