The July 12 editorial “Mr. Biden sets a mostly moderate economic course” concluded: “The point is not to repudiate markets but to rely on the private sector where the evidence shows it can do the most good for society — and government where it cannot.” The implication here is that the two sectors are separate, each individually responsible for specific societal functions.
Following this line of thought, a further implication is the need for an equilibrium of powers between the two. Otherwise, each individually possesses the potential for abuse of the public. This potential for abuse exists also when there is no equilibrium, which means the two will join their separate powers.
I believe these comments express a reality obvious to all. Therefore, I cannot fathom why the common response to a threat — perceived or real — is fear of government and full confidence in the economy. Interference in our lives by the private sector takes a different form from that of governmental interference but is also limiting to our freedoms.
Each sector has strengths and weaknesses. We the public need laws and traditions to recognize this reality. Because, of course, we need the services of each. We don’t repudiate either sector, but we hold each to their responsibilities — as they hold us to ours.
Susan B. Toth, Alexandria
The July 12 editorial “Mr. Biden sets a mostly moderate economic course” suggested, linking to my work online, that former vice president Joe Biden’s proposal for a 28 percent corporate tax rate would only be “a hair” higher than the average statutory corporate income tax rate among developed countries (26.5 percent weighted by gross domestic product).
Unfortunately, the editorial ignored the impact of state corporate taxes. Corporations that earn profits in the United States face federal and state corporate taxes. Under current law, firms face an average statutory tax rate of 25.7 percent on profits reported in the United States after accounting for state taxes — only slightly below the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average of 26.5 percent.
Mr. Biden’s proposal to raise the federal statutory corporate tax rate to 28 percent would push the United States’ combined rate to 32.2 percent. This would be nearly 6 percentage points higher than the OECD average and would tie France for the highest corporate tax rate.
It is true that Mr. Biden’s plan would result in a lower corporate rate than what the United States had before 2018, but he needs to consider the impact of state taxes and the continued worldwide movement toward lower statutory corporate tax rates.
Kyle Pomerleau, Washington
The writer is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.