Two-Thirds of Corporations Don't Pay Taxes – Nothing More Than Political Hogwash

Are Businesses Getting Out of Paying Taxes or is it Just a Good Story for the Media and Politicians?

One of the big stories last week was from the Government Accountability Office study that reported that two-thirds of American corporations didn’t pay any taxes in 2005. Of course, a statement like this is sure to create a lot of media coverage, and people who are against business immediately cried foul.

The first thoughts that come to mind are big evil companies shuffling their money through various tax loopholes in order to avoid paying taxes, but is this fact or fiction? Luckily there some people out there who understand the realities of how businesses operate and can paint a clearer picture of what is really going on.

A Good Business Should be Structured so It Doesn’t Pay Taxes (Or Pay as Little as Possible)

What the layperson doesn’t often understand is why most businesses aren’t taxed. A lot of it comes down to the double taxation of corporate profits. If you recall from Business Entities 101, a corporation is a separate legal and taxable entity. This means that corporate profits are taxed at the corporate level, and when disbursed to business owners or shareholders in the form of dividends, are taxed again at the personal level. Clearly, business owners want to avoid having their profits taxed twice, so they will structure the profits to be paid out in a way that minimizes or eliminates this. One common method of doing this is to shift the corporate profits into salaries as opposed to being paid out in dividends. The money is still being taxed, but just at the personal level.

Steven Malanga from Real Clear Markets discusses this in an article today. He mentions something by Kevin Hassett from Bloomberg:

Kevin Hassett, in a Bloomberg commentary, explained that most small businesses are now organized in such a way that many prefer to take their profits as an owner’s salary and pay taxes on the wages. It’s not that they aren’t paying taxes, as the headline incorrectly says, but rather that the money is not flowing to the government through the corporate levy.

But what about “big” businesses? Obviously they can’t shift all of their income into salaries in order to eliminate corporate income taxes, so how do you explain that? Again, Steven points out that even in a good economic year such as 2005, a lot of businesses weren’t making money, thus had nothing to tax.

Even in good times, there are plenty of losers in a dynamic economy. The BLS’ Business Dynamics Survey, for instance, shows that in 2005 there were 7.3 businesses that were contracting for every 7.6 that were expanding, including 1.3 that were closing their doors for every 1.5 that were starting up. Large businesses were hardly immune to this kind of tumult. For every 5.8 jobs added by firms with more than 500 employees, other firms that big eliminated 4.9 jobs. Among those hit hard in 2005 was General Motors, which despite $193 billion in revenues wracked up a $10.4 billion loss and cut its workforce.

As you can see, even during this time frame, there were almost as many businesses doing poorly as there were businesses doing well. Of course, the sensational headlines you’ve read over the past week make it sound like every corporation was thriving during 2005, so the fact that two-thirds didn’t pay any taxes appeared to be shocking.

Sales Do Not Equal Profits

One of the easiest ways to draw attention to your headline is to throw around millions, billions, or trillions in sales while alluding to the fact that corporations don’t pay any tax. To the average person, they see this as a company making billions of dollars and not paying a single cent in tax. Of course, when you hear about these big numbers, they are almost always talking about gross sales or revenue, not taxable profits.

Just look at the General Motors example above. If you walked up to someone on the street and told them that GM had $193 billion in sales and didn’t pay any taxes, you’d probably have 9 out of 10 people act shocked and disgusted that a big company can get away with it. Even though they had nearly 200 billion dollars in revenue, the media will fail to point out that they also had over $203 billion in expenses which resulted in an over $10 billion loss. Without an actual profit, there isn’t much to be taxed.

From that same article by Steven:

As Michigan Senator Carl Levin, a frequent critic of corporations, said of the study, “Twenty-five percent of the largest U.S. corporations [those with more than $50 million in revenues] had $1.1 trillion in gross sales in 2005 and yet paid no federal income taxes.” That statement suggests that Levin is either trying to mislead us or that he has made it into the world’s most exclusive club, the U.S. Senate, without knowing the difference between earnings and sales.

Again, we heard this $1.1 trillion number thrown around quite a bit last week, but what does it mean? There is no context here. Ok, so larger companies had over a trillion in sales, but what was the actual profit from these companies? Of course, including this information would not be as shocking as just arbitrarily tossing out an unfathomable number like $1.1 trillion.

As I mentioned earlier, most businesses are streamlined to the point that actual profit margins are very small. They may be selling billions of dollars in goods but only seeing a profit margin of a couple percent.

The difference, of course, can be enormous. For one thing, many industries have extremely small profit margins because as soon as it gets too easy to make a buck in a free-market system, you’re sure to get plenty of competitors crowding in, driving down your margins.

Many businesses we regard as successful operate on small profit margins. After paying $5.8 billion in taxes in 2005, Wal-Mart earned $11.7 billion‒a nice chunk of change. But those earnings were on revenues of $312 billion, a mere 3.4 percent net profit margin.

A Business Isn’t That Different from You and Me

Take a look at your own tax situation. Do you do things that minimize your income tax bill? Whether it’s putting money into an IRA or 401(k), deducting property taxes, or claiming your children as dependents, you’re obviously going to take advantage of any tax break you can get so that you pay the least amount of taxes as possible. The same thing goes for a business. The owners are already having their salary taxed, so they are going to try and minimize the impact of having their profits taxed yet again.

Of course, it’s always easier to complain about companies that make money, call them evil, and exaggerate facts to fit your agenda. And I’m sure there are a few companies that get a little liberal with their accounting or tax-saving measures, but a lot of individuals do the same thing in an effort to reduce their taxes.

But it’s up to you to believe what you want. If you want to believe everything the media says and chastise businesses because some numbers make it look like businesses are scamming the tax code, go ahead. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at least try to make it an informed opinion rather than let the media make it for you.

Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle

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38 comments
Hogwash
Hogwash

This article is hogwash made by the government. The reason these companies aren't taxed is very simple. The run the government, the politicians go campaigning and the corporations give them loads of money to pass the bills that help their business. Then the politician gets a cut and gets rich the company gets richer and avoidsball taxes it works out perfect for them. Because of our tax dollar the corporations do what they want and get big bonuses while we stay in poverty. The
CEO's of these big companies got 270% bonus to their salary while the average middle man got 1% average this year. Tell me there is nothing wrong with how america is being ran, this is not the America our founding fathers made

Faithsowers
Faithsowers

I understand the profit versus revenue thanks to your explanation. It really is quite obvious.

One question though: if they are paying so little taxes, how do they receive such huge tax refunds? That implies they are over paying. Anyway, could you shed some light on this portion of the issue for me?

Thanks!

Karen
Karen

You've gotta be kidding me! You want us to believe Exxon didn't make a profit?? You want to take a closer look at what some of those "Expenses" are? We as individuals may try to minimize our tax debt, but we don't get to totally avoid it. What you're spewing is a bunch of propaganda and you're trying to make people who believe otherwise out to be morons because they're "lay people" who don't get it.

robin
robin

I think you mean "foul" and not fowl.

sensistar
sensistar

Using Wal-Mart was a bad example.

Does this writer work for the heritage foundation.

Your math is pretty faulty.

Americans need to understand down to their very bones that their money is going to - and their country is being run by - people who know that an inconvenient tax law doesn't need to be suffered, it needs to be changed. These people know that if $200k of lobbying saves them $200m in taxes that lobbying is their most financially efficient tax strategy. Americans need to understand that the entire system is rigged against people who take the 1040EZ, who always get the Standard Deduction, who think that their $10k account on eTrade makes them a "player." The entire system is rigged so heavily against the individual with a middle-class income that the average taxpayer still thinks he's a small fish in a small pond - he doesn't even realize he's a goldfish in an aquarium bought and paid for by people whose fortunes dwarf his so extravagantly that scientific notation is necessary to illustrate the difference.
The AP ran a pie chart in 2001 that I saw in a newspaper once and haven't seen since. It broke down who, exactly, benefited from the Bush Tax Cuts - remember, back when you got a $300 check as pablum to get you to shut up? Prosperity for everybody, right?
That graph had a lot of stuff on it that wouldn't surprise you. "Businesses" got a big chunk of it. "The Middle class" got a tiny chunk of it. "The wealthy" got a big chunk of it. But way down at the bottom, next to a "2%" there was an asterisk. That asterisk, down in the footnotes, said "Samuel, John, Christy, Alice and James Walton."1
2% of the benefits of an entire national tax cut - about four billion dollars - went directly to five people. Who happen to own Walmart. They cut you a $300 check so yo wouldn't grumble about it. Each Walton, individually, got more tax cut than 2.5 million people, collectively. But it's okay, because you got an X-box.
That's the system we live in. And the people who have the most direct power to change it are the ones that are benefiting the most. Be angry at GE. Be angry at the tax laws. Be angry at the lobbyists. Be angry at the people taking advantage of it. If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention.
"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporality embarrassed millionaires." -- John Steinbeck

Sources:
1 - http://1.usa.gov/gxo6I0
2 - http://usat.ly/eUml1W
3 - http://www.walmartmovie.com/facts.php

"FAST has calculated that in 2004, assuming the Walton family continues to hold their 1.68 billion shares of Wal-Mart stock and the company actually pays the 48 cent per share dividend projected, the five Walton family members (Helen, Rob, Alice, Jim and John) will save at least $190,367,803 in federal income taxes."

sensistar
sensistar

And....how many net jobs have been created since the upper echelon tax brackets have plummeted?

What's that figure again?

Oh...and before the sunshine conservabot crew chimes in about how lowering the rate magically increases revenues....no...it doesn't.

It didn't during the Kennedy cuts. It didn't during the Reagan cuts, and it didn't during the Bush cuts.

I've charted all three, using source data and inflation adjusted dollars.

3 years for revenues to bounce back after Kennedy's cuts
5 years after Reagan's
6 years (and an overheated economy with a nasty surprise at the end) after Bush's.

So...since trickle down hasn't produced the promised jobs, and since revenues don't increase, and since Greenspan's argument that it might be BAD if we pay off the debt seems to have done a COMPLETE about-face these days, and the conservabots who once thrilled to phrases like, "Ronald Reagan showed us that deficits don't matter" are now suddenly reformed spendaholics and now keen on righting the financial ship, shouldn't we start looking to new revenue sources, in addition to cutting spending?

The charts for the three tax cuts can be found here, along with the spreadsheet, along with links to the source data. (if this link doesn't take you right to it, it's the 3rd post from the bottom)

http://uvent.info/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=24&p=4341#p4341

Run the numbers yourselves.

harley
harley

Sorry..I hit the wrong button before I could edit the previous comment...

harley
harley

Malarkey...

I own a very successful international agri-business. I make immense profits but the formulae for determining how much my company pays allows me to make it appear I am making very little profit. What constitutes actual profit and taxable profit is the real issue. Your various explanations (I call it spin) assume that most of your readers are ignorant; which is probably true. Some of us in business are not so duped by your lunatic fringe contentions.

Yes, I also pay taxes on my personal taxable income. I take a salary & a percent of annual net from my business and pay taxes on that personal income. You can call that double taxation but you and I both know that is BS.

The company uses the public infra-structure assets provided by the governing bodies (local, state, federal) just as individuals do. Why should individuals have to pay for that usage while the company pays little or nothing for it, from a "global" perspective?

Regarding my personal income and taxes on it, there are ample legal scenarios which allow me ample deductions and other methods of minimizing my personal tax bill so that, in reality, I never pay more than 10%-12% of my total income in federal taxes.

Based on the ag exemptions and depreciation's plus other actual costs of doing business, we, as a business, don't pay nearly what an individual pays for the shared assets provided by the various levels of government (local, state, federal). My ag property tax is a fraction of my personal real estate (home in town, etc,) property tax and is a fraction of the average property owner's property tax level based on valuations. In other words, I have a bird nest on the ground provided to me by the local, state and federal levels of government; the same is true for those corporations you claim make a 2% profit or show massive losses year in and year out but whose owners and top level employees live the "life of Riley!" Meanwhile, the shareholder/stockholders receive a virtual pittance because the corporations, via the gifts from gov't's on high, make it appear they are barely profiting. American Airlines' "high hogs" don't live in South Oak Cliff; they live in Highland Park. When is the last time American showed a profit? Showing a loss and actually losing are two different breeds of cat! You know that, surely!!!!

Quiot with the malarkey!!!

Ankita
Ankita

Tax deductions are set up so businesses can take advantage of the deductions. The government does this on purpose. The feel by giving businesses tax deductions it will help business and encourage people to start a business.

More and more people need to be encouraged to start any business so they can take advantage of tax deductions.
Anktia@ Top MBA Colleges

Sporty
Sporty

Interesting.... now if we can further lower the the taxes for the rich we can raise the national debt or cut programs for the non deserving.... I am thinking let the corporations pay taxes and lower the taxes for individuals.... I know it isn't a simple task to figure out...

Brip Blap
Brip Blap

@Drew: But in a sense, why not tax revenue and not profits? Again, if you're an individual in the US you don't get to write off much in the way of expenses. I used to take clients out for "business dinners" all the time and get those expenses written off for tax purposes. I know it helped the restaurants out, etc., but I still think that the revenue is the key indicator and not profit. Profit can be manipulated. I'm a corporate auditor working as a consultant for Fortune 50 companies and I see "profit" hidden every day.

AndyS
AndyS

Like some of the other commentors I think you need to look at the entire financial picture and what these companies contribute to society - directly and indirectly. Just look at one set of figures, like tax receipts can paint a distorted picture.

Drew
Drew

Well .. When you made the comment about people not understanding the difference between net profit and net sales - all I can say is look at Exxon. I am not an apologist for the oil industry, but most people are looking to lynch Exxon for having $552.4 billion in net sales, but only $41.6 billion net profit. That is about 7.5% net profit. About standard for business (you mentioned Wal*Mart being 3-4%). Funny that we have people in Washington D.C. calling for a windfall profit tax. They don't want to tax their profit (as the taxes are setup now - doing something different is what Brip Blap is talking about). They want to tax their revenue.

Jeremy
Jeremy

You're absolutely right, JD. I was just counting federal income taxes for an apples to apples comparison in regards to what the articles that talk about corporations not paying taxes are referring to. There are obviously many other taxes on a personal and corporate level that will change the overall amount of taxes paid. Payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, state tax, local tax, etc.

And I completely agree with you about our tax system. It is ridiculous, but I don't see it changing any time soon, unfortunately.

JD
JD

Thanks for the reply Jeremy but when you talk about your 12% effective tax rate you are not including payroll taxes. If you are, as you say, in the middle of the middle class range than you are paying something like an extra 9%, but because payroll taxes are only paid on the first $100k of income the more you earn the lower that tax becomes - its regressive. If you make $500k your payroll tax rate is less than 2% while for the middle class family it is over 9%. If you make a million dollars it is less than 1%. Payroll taxes aren't talked about in politics too much simply for this reason - it doesn't effect the rich but instead is the burden of the middle class.

There was an article a few years ago in the New York Times about median incomes in the city and if you look up the statistics anywhere you see median incomes of something like $100k-$150k for nice parts of Manhattan but the fact of the matter is that virtually NO ONE in those areas makes only $100k-$150k. They get those numbers from the AGI listed on tax data and the reason they are so low is simply because when you have high income (especially from a variety of investments, trusts, partnerships, etc) there are a lot of ways to shield them from taxes. I've seen the head of my firm's tax records and his listed AGI a couple years ago was somewhere around $600k even though he technically made several million dollars. But because of the way his pay was structured most of it wasn't considered income even though it was. And the same applies to businesses. If you're running a large profitable business you're going to have way many more options of protecting yourself from taxes than will the guy who is running a small family business. My point with all of this, and saying it as a person who does benefit from the system, is that the progressive tax system is largely nullified by loopholes in the tax code. We have the most complicated tax system on the planet, every other developed country regardless of whether taxes are higher or lower has immensely simpler tax codes. Ours is the only one that has literally thousands of loopholes in it that are almost all geared toward being advantageous to the rich. The fact that I pay the same or even lower tax rate than the average middle class person when my income is 10 times larger than theirs is absurd when we're made to believe we have a progressive tax system.

Brip Blap
Brip Blap

"$193 billion in sales and didn’t pay any taxes, you’d probably have 9 out of 10 people act shocked and disgusted that a big company can get away with it. Even though they had nearly 200 billion dollars in revenue, the media will fail to point out that they also had over $203 billion in expenses which resulted in an over $10 billion loss."

I have to disagree with everyone else, to be honest. As an individual, if I make $100,000 and spend $110,000 I won't have to pay taxes, right? Right? The simple fact is that corporations in America have been given the legal rights of individuals - a corporation is a PERSON for legal purposes. As such, as a means for removing the liability of the individuals running the corporation, that entity pays taxes. Yet the corporate tax code taxes profits. I'd like to see my income taxed NET of "necessary cost of doing business" expenses - after I pay for food, shelter, electricity, water, etc.

There's a myth going around that American business would burst loose and thrive if only taxes would be lowered - as it is, American corporations pay less taxes than companies anywhere in the Western world already. The article was misleading in many, many ways but the gist of it is still dead true.

Ron@TheWisdomJournal
Ron@TheWisdomJournal

GREAT article! I've always said that no corporation pays taxes anyway. None of them. Taxes are paid by the customers through increased prices! Raise the "corporate tax" rate and prices will go up. Guaranteed. A business HAS to make a certain ROI or it will go under.

"Corporate" tax is a myth.

Ryuko
Ryuko

Great article. I used to think corporations were all "evil" until my dad married a business-owner. Now I'm always hearing complaints about how hard it is on their end to make profits and keep up w/ all the taxes. And they only own two stores in a couple small towns. Growing up, I remember hearing tons of rhetoric about how the US government LOVES small business, and wants to encourage them and give them all these tax breaks. It doesn't work out that way in real life. I can't imagine big businesses being in a better situation.

The two of them are in what I think is fair to call "upper" middle class - which constitutes a fairly large share of the Americna population (I can't remember exact numbers now, but something like 20% of Americans [1 in 5] makes over $75k a year - with the median income at $45k). These people seem to take the brunt of the tax burden -- they're not rich enough to afford a team of accountants, and not poor enough to get refunds. Granted, they still live better than I do at under $50k a year, and would have even more money if they could afford to sell their big house and big SUVs :p. That's one of the biggest problems of Middle Class, and I believe the main reason we're in a recession -- we've bit off far more than we can chew.

jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity

I totally agree with you, there's nothing that says corporations have to pay a ton of taxes just because they're big, profitable, or good at what they do.

At the end of the day, personal income tax will get you before the dollar makes it into your pocket anyway. Then sales taxes gets you when you spend it.

Mark Nelson
Mark Nelson

Tax deductions are set up so businesses can take advantage of the deductions. The government does this on purpose. The feel by giving businesses tax deductions it will help business and encourage people to start a business.

More and more people need to be encouraged to start any business so they can take advantage of tax deductions.

Jeremy
Jeremy

I can't disagree with you, ,JD. It's true that there is some favorable tax treatment for different types of income for the more affluent. But at the same time, I also don't see the middle class getting screwed because many tax breaks aren't available to them.

Last year we fell right about in the middle of the "middle-class" income range. Our effective tax rate was 12%. We don't have any kids or other major sources of deductions, and even our mortgage interest and property taxes barely meet the standard deduction amount.

So, we didn't take advantage of any special tax breaks or rely on investment income to pay only 12% in taxes. We didn't even max out retirement contributions in pre-tax accounts. As much as I hate taxes and the tax code, I'm certainly not going to complain about only paying about 12% in federal taxes on a salaried income and no major deductions.

I just don't think the so-called middle class have it as bad as people make it out to be when it comes to taxes. Just looking at our situation, we could be a married couple, renting and not owning a home, with no kids, earning between $75,000-$125,000 and end up only paying an effective 15% or so of federal tax all without any fancy accounting or deductions. I don't see a 15% tax on the middle class as excessive.

Sure, the higher your income climbs, the more likely you can find ways to reduce your tax bill, there is no question about that. But at the same time, I'm not sure what could be done to allow working families to pay even less without hurting our budget and deficit even further.

JD
JD

You make some very valid points that I think few would disagree with. But the more important point to think about is not that 2/3rds of businesses don't pay taxes but that the tax code is so arcane and so lopsided that virtually any "benefits" stemming from taking advantage of the tax code are not available to the average tax payer. Last year my income exceeded $500,000 and my effective tax rate was under 15%. In total I paid a lower rate than the average person who makes $50k-$100k even though technically speaking a lot of my income was in the highest tax bracket. It was largely due to tons of deductions and credits I could take and to the fact that much of my income was in the form of carry from an investment partnership I work for. It is no different than normal salary, but technically gets taxed at only 15%. People who benefit from this all make lots of money, in fact I am at the lowest end of the spectrum. Than something like payroll taxes, while 90% of people pay it on all their income I only pay it on a tiny fraction of mine. Again a benefit I get that most people don't. Its gotten to a point where I laugh at the absurdity of colleagues of mine who make millions but complain about taxes. The fact is if you're well into the 35% tax bracket you probably have very good tax attorneys doing your taxes and there are a plethora of things in the tax code you can take advantage of. The loser in the game, as usual, is the the middle class person who has absolutely zero power when it comes down to it.

RC@Thinkyourwaytowealth
RC@Thinkyourwaytowealth

Very well-written and informative article. I get tired of people railing on corporate profits, big oil, etc. Most of the numbers they quote are revenue. Many large companies also pay dividends to shareholders as well.

Another Personal Finance Blog
Another Personal Finance Blog

Well put! Businesses create jobs and pay salaries. Would people prefer they pay more in taxes, but reduce the workforce to cover them?

Amy
Amy

Thank you for speaking out about this and setting things straight. Many people who are so mad about big business and the wealthy getting "breaks" rarely put in the time and research to really understand the big picture. I wish more people would take the time to educate themselves as you obviously have. Our country would be in better shape.

Curt
Curt

Great article. Thanks for sharing this. I agree.

mike
mike

Amazing how many so-called Americans have absolutely no clue how or why a corporation exists. Maybe it is due to how the government run education system is '...being ran...' nice. Your reference to Founding Fathers makes even less sense.

If you don't like how you are being taxed, go start a C corporation yourself -- you can do it for less than $200 -- even in California -- I did it twice in San Francisco!!!! -- you can be CEO, pay no corporate taxes, and pay yourself everything you make -- any difference? didn't think so.

The truth: the tax code for corporations is set up BY THE GOVERNMENT to ENCOURAGE PAYING EMPLOYEES and HIRING NEW PEOPLE and REINVESTING PROFITS -- it make A LOT OF SENSE IN A FREE MARKET. There are VERY STRICT RULES about what is classified as an INVESTMENT --- your government watches this very closely. Taxing a corporation is a PENALTY and results in LESS JOBS and LESS INVESTMENT -- it is set up BY OUR GOVERMENT this way!!!!!!!!

That CEO your are complaining about is taxed on what he earns PERSONALLY --- the government is WELL AWARE of this and will hit him up on his PERSONAL taxes.

Also the truth: CORPORATIONS are watched and monitored by the government using a very mature and sophisticated tax code to promote economic growth. POLITICIANS are NOT governed by these rules --- this breeds CORRUPTION and wasteful, illogical government spending.

I have NO PROBLEM following the governments RULES regarding how I am investing my profits and paying my people (including myself). I DO HAVE A BIG PROBLEM with allowing politicians to FREELY TAX AND SPEND with no oversight -- the media should be focusing on HOW CAN WE ENFORCE CONTROLS ON OUR GOVERNMENT?

Answer is WE CAN't if the government gains too much control over the free market --- the system for controlling our GOVERNMENT has been altered from what our Founding Fathers intended --- God Bless America -- we are going to need it.

Jane
Jane

Profit does not equal loss.

sensistar
sensistar

Ryuko: Let me repeat this.

Most small businesses pay their taxes. When the big boys don’t pay the local city, county and state raises taxes on real small business owners.

You know how conservatives like to say small business owners create most of the jobs.

Well their taxes are through the roof because they pay taxes on the 300,000 they might generate.

While companies that profit 14 billion pay nothing.

It’s simple math

Jane
Jane

It is particularly rough for small business. But when a multi-billion dollar corporation makes billions in profit and pays no federal income tax, that's immoral in my opinion. Oh yes they pay OTHER taxes. But so does the average Joe Blow. Corporations send their jobs overseas, thereby avoiding US taxes. So the weight has shifted more onto the average American.

Jane
Jane

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Our 2 adult household earned just under $75k last year. We had still had to pay IN additional federal income taxes (no refund for us), even after taking what little deductions we could. We live within our means, have no unsecured debt. One car is paid off, the other will be paid off in 2 years, bought used. The house will also be paid off in two years. I contribute a significant chunk of my pay into a 401k, yet with the standard deduction (because our itemizations didn't surpass it) we had to pay in roughly $200. It's not a lot, I know, but it's the PRINCIPLE of the matter. Sheesh.

robin
robin

What about CEOs that raise their own salaries while laying off workers? Surely you couldn't support that.

sensistar
sensistar

Really. The Bush years would prove you wrong. Since Republicans have no knowledge of history they have no idea their policies are all a myth.

Can you name the last GOP president to balance the budget or lower the debt.

Hint: You would have to go back to the time when the rich paid 91% in taxes.

You don't get to complain about the debt you created when you give away and wasted trillions with no jobs created.

You do know Bush left office without creating one single job.

Most small businesses pay their taxes. When the big boys don't pay the local city, county and state raises taxes on real small business owners.

You know how conservatives like to say small business owners create most of the jobs.

Well their taxes are through the roof because they pay taxes on the 500,000 they might generate.

While companies that profit 14 billion pay nothing.

It's simple math but republicans don't believe in that either. See Paul Ryan's budget.

denissr
denissr

If the truth is not your strong suite, it was a great article. I read the whole thing, down to the part where the author said it was "Business job not to pay taxes" and “Corporations are just like you”. If you read the whole story he admits, Business doesn’t pay taxes. Corporations. are not like me, I willingly pay my taxes, I love America and my neighbors, and I love my Country. I pay my taxes to support the Government that was elected, even if it is not the one I wanted. It is a shame with a lot of Corporations and individuals, greed and profit comes before America. With all its faults, America is still a wonderful Country, but it won’t be for much longer.

DR.G
DR.G

Is that what you want...full deregulation as was happening since Reagan hit office so the Corporations can own us. Did you learn nothing in Sep2008? Are you a Yankee or a feudal redcoat?

mike
mike

Start your own business and stop complaining --- THATS WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS ENCOURAGING.

Tomorrow -- go to the small business office in your local city (i.e. San Francisco) -- pay them $150 and START A C Corporation --- it's easy, and a good first step (even if you only have an 'idea' for a company). You will learn a good bit, and maybe even start something successful --- I guarantee you won't PAY LESS overall if you follow the rules, and you will work MUCH HARDER and will have a lot less time to complain.

Tax 'write-offs' are designed to encourage small company growth --- if misused, then people call them tax-'breaks' by the cheaters. The whole system has checks/balances based on personal ethics --- ANYONE CAN CHEAT ON THEIR TAXES -- just like in school --- the government does not have control over your pen or computer keyboard !!!!!

It's up to the individual to ethically follow the free-market guidelines outlined by our government, run a decent company and employ people -- this is the key to spreading wealth -- not through government re-distribution and communist-style oversight.

shin0bi272
shin0bi272

what he meant by saying corporations dont pay taxes is that they pass the cost on to you the consumer. dont be so reactionary.

sensistar
sensistar

That's not what he meant.

Don't be so stupid.