Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Raising revenue by cutting taxes, if that's the goal

Steyn on Forbes on corporate taxes:

To a certain type of simple-minded populist, the idea of soaking vast faceless corporations is appealing. But in the end a "corporation" cannot pay tax: The Globocorp corporate HQ looming in chrome and steel over the skyline does not have a pocket to dip into. Like all taxes, the actual cash has to be ponied up by flesh-and-blood human beings - the owners, workers and employees of the corporation. The growing gap between US corporate rates and other developed nations is a massive disincentivization for real human beings to start and grow a business here. And for those already here it encourages the kind of short-term thinking that leads to Bailoutistan and American sclerosis.
And see this table. Of course, if the main goal is to "spread the [existing] wealth," in the name of a chimerical idea of fairness, then raising revenue is secondary.

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