Next Time You Hear About the Tax Burden…

12Aug08

Remember this story. The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, is releasing a study today that reports that roughly 2/3rd of major corporations do not pay taxes.  The scope of the study was massive; done over the course of 7 years, it measured as much as 110,000 tax returns a year. In 2005, it found that 1.2 million American companies do not pay taxes. It’s interesting to note that 2001-2005, Bush was president. We don’t know how the numbers break down; what exactly corporations paid during the three Clinton years is uncertain, but if you look at other economic numbers (trade deficits, tax rates, price of oil), they all see drastic changes when Bush comes into office, and there’s not much of a reason to think that the numbers would stay all that consistent between the two administrations–this being said, you don’t always know with Clinton’s triangulation; remember, many people thought there was no difference between Gore and Bush.

And here we are presented with actuality in the face of lies and spin. When John McCain says that Barack Obama is going to raise your taxes, it means that McCain thinks Obama will start cracking down on corporations for not paying their taxes that they already should be paying. It means that Obama will help regulate a volatile market in which a small percentage of Americans are reaping drastic benefits while the rest of us suffer.

Just imagine what we could have done by now if we properly taxed these companies. Billions could have gone to fund alternative energy efforts to stop this oil crisis, giving us cheaper energy and advantage over the rest of the world. Just imagine if there was no threat of war with Iran, let alone the war with Iraq which seems abundantly clear now that was for oil. I have to wonder what the candidates will make of this news; Obama being on vacation doesn’t seem to be helping him, but the Olympics and the Russian-Georgian conflict (by the way, how scary is that?) seems to have disarmed him for the most part. If Obama can spin this into an almost Reagan-esque philosophy of working hard and having everyone play by the rules, it should be a winner for the blue-collar crowd, many of which have been laid off by companies not playing by the rules. This is really bad news for McCain; he already wanted to reduce the corporate tax rate by 10%; and if the economy is this bad with corporations not paying a lot of taxes, it could stand to get worse.

The original story is by the AP and can be found here.

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