Economic Change We Can Believe In
To improve the economy, eliminate the corporate income tax
Jeffrey A. Miron | February 6, 2009
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President Barack Obama’s stimulus proposal entails an awkward tradeoff between spending and efficiency. Fiscal stimulation suggests large, rapid increases in spending, while efficiency means cautious, modest increases. Similarly, Obama’s plan favors tax cuts for low-income families, since they are most likely to spend rather than save, yet the drive for efficiency means cutting marginal tax rates on high-income consumers.
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One policy change, however, can stimulate both the economy in the short-run and enhance efficiency in the long-run: repeal of the corporate income tax, which collects up to 35% of the difference between revenues and costs of incorporated businesses.
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Corporate income taxation has other negatives. It requires a complicated set of rules and regulations, over and above the personal income tax system, generating compliance costs. Special interests ensure that corporate tax systems favor specific industries or activities, further distorting private investment decisions. Along those lines, corporation taxation reduces financial transparency, making it harder for investors to monitor corporate behavior.
So repeal of the corporate income tax is good policy independent of the state of the economy and would provide short-run stimulus.
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Corporations don’t pay taxes; they hide them in the final price of goods sold!
Only people pay taxes!
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