The Nov. 10 editorial “A chance for tax reform?” parroted big-business talking points about the “uncompetitive corporate tax system” in the United States and its “highest-in-the-industrial-world 35 percent top rate.” While our corporate tax code does need reforms, any debate should start with the facts, and neither of the claims about our corporate tax code is true.
While the 35 percent rate on the books (the statutory rate) is the highest among developed countries, most U.S. businesses, big businesses especially, pay less (the effective rate) — about 17 percent for large, profitable multinationals, according to a Government Accountability Office report. Overall, according to the Congressional Research Service , the effective rate U.S. businesses pay is nearly identical to the average among their competitors in other developed nations.
And calling our tax code “uncompetitive” at a time of record-breaking after-tax corporate profits is disingenuous.
Big businesses don’t need help in getting an even sweeter tax deal.
Joshua Smith, Washington
The writer is a senior policy analyst for the Economic Policy Institute.