Friday, March 21, 2008

Corporate Taxes In America - Too Low?

I frequently hear my friends on the left complaining that corporations are not taxed fairly, which means, not highly enough. The reasoning is that business can afford higher taxes, while individuals struggle.

Let's put that second thought on the shelf for a moment, and look at whether or not corporate taxes in the USA are high or low.

According to The Tax Foundation, the US corporate tax rate is 35%. That's highest in the world, with France right behind at 34.43% and Belgium at 33.99%. Ireland is lowest, at 12.5%.

But those are just federal taxes. Let's not forget that our states add their own corporate taxes. After the state corporate taxes are added, corporations in 24 states by higher taxes than anywhere else in the world. Indiana is among these 24. Only 3 states add zero corporate tax: Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Wonder no longer why so many corporations are registered in those states. Here's a link to the rankings.

My wife has been urging me to incorporate my business. I have been hesitant. Can you blame me?

Can business afford the taxes? No, but then, they really don't pay them. Individuals do, in the marked-up price that covers these (and so many other) taxes.

Even still, can they afford it? It means that products made in Ireland can be shipped here and still be vastly cheaper than products made here. Ever wonder why we have a trade imbalance? Hmm. Maybe this has something to do with it. Coincidentally, Ireland has been one of the world's economic growth leaders. Hmm. Maybe, just maybe, this has something to do with it.

What is more important? Our ability to compete in the global marketplace? Or, to fund more government? From the Tax Foundation:
24 states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than top-ranked Japan.
32 states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than third-ranked Germany.
46 states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than fourth-ranked Canada.
All 50 states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than fifth-ranked France.

"If federal lawmakers are serious about making the U.S. corporate tax system more competitive globally, they will have to partner with state officials to lower the nation's overall corporate tax burden," Hodge added. "Likewise, state officials should have a vested interest in cutting the federal corporate tax rate because there is only so much they can do to improve their own competitiveness. After all, even corporations in the three states that do not impose a major state-level corporate tax—Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming—still shoulder a higher corporate tax rate than France, and 25 other major countries, because of the 35 percent federal corporate rate."

I'd say the corporate tax rate is ridiculously too high. The left may enjoy targeting big, bad corporations as some kind of evil, but funnelling tax money to government is something they actually do with aplomb- to the detriment of us all.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Three Lousy Choices

If the only three choices the average American is going to consider are McCain, Clinton, and Obama, then I'm positively uninspired, and darned near frightened. All three will do greater damage to our country, in my opinion, and there is no 'lesser of the evils' here.

Thanks to Gregg Puls for forwarding this image this morning. Pretty well sums it up.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wanted - An Adult For President

I was reading some of the Washington Post opinion stuff today, and happened upon a Eugene Robinson column that started like this:
The Democratic presidential candidates squabble over real or imagined racial sensitivities, the Republican presidential candidate stages photo opportunities with the troops in Iraq, and meanwhile the financial system is coming apart at the seams.

Would someone please tell Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain that here in the real world, we have what looks like a real problem. It would be nice if they'd pay attention and maybe, you know, come up with some ideas for getting out of this mess.
Funny enough, there is a candidate for President who has been talking about the financial crisis and the need for a return to sound money for about 30 years. Oh, that's right. I don't know what I was thinking. Ron Paul must not be a candidate for President. Columnist Eugene Robinson used the singular when describing the Republican offerings.

Problem is, when you have candidates who talk about fluff, and when you have voters who demand freebies, you get people like McCain, Clinton, and Obama at the fore. The LAST thing you're going to get from them is serious talk about finances. That's kook stuff, the kind of thing that gets the 'tinfoil hat insults' going.

Maybe Robinson is part of the problem. He, like so many others who have already given coronation to John McCain, treats Ron Paul like he doesn't exist. So, don't be surprised when Ron Paul type solutions aren't part of the discourse. And yet, Robinson continues:
A good start would be to acknowledge that putting the economy back on a sound footing is likely to be the new president's first task -- and then to begin laying out some ideas for how that might be done. A little honesty would be preferable, too -- an admission that no president will be able to turn around the economy overnight.

I realize that's heresy. Presidential candidates like to tell us about all the largesse they're going to provide. They like to invite voters to envision the sunshine of happy days, not the gloom of an economic slump. But real leadership involves dealing with the economy as it is, rather than as we would like it to be.
If you really wanted it, you could have written an article that read, "Ron Paul may be a longshot, but he's got exactly the right plan for returning the American financial system to sound money," or, "Ron Paul might not promise you the moon, sky, and socialized medicine, but he would get the country back on economic track".

But no. Exclude a good candidate with great ideas because you find their candidacies 'unwinnable', and you exclude the ideas. Thanks for nothing. I'm already reminded of the South Park episode, that lampooned the election choices of George Bush and John Kerry, ridiculing as the choice between a 'giant douch and a turd sandwich'.

OK- If I can't have Ron Paul, I'm ready for the Libertarian Party candidate now.