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When Barack Obama became president, American conservatives and unattached-to-reality libertarians immediately began trumping the terrible, awful, horrible nature of our nation's "runaway" debt. Oddly, during the George W. Bush years, when our national debt doubled, it was almost impossible to find even one conservative or libertarian whose hair was on fire over the impending doom about to befall our country because of debt. Apparently, debt is partisan that way.
One of the more popular talking points of conservatives during the Obama presidency has been that our national debt, now over $14 trillion, is fast approaching 100% of national GDP...gross domestic product. In other words, the U.S. is carrying debt which comes close to equaling the total amount of our national yearly business activity. To conservatives,...those who self-muted during the doubling of our debt from 2001-2009....the closer our nation comes to a 100% debt-to-GDP ration.....the closer we come to doomsday.
Many, if not most, Americans carry a debt-to-GFP (gross family product) ratio higher than 100%. Mortgages, car loans, school debt, credit cards, etc......added up....will most likely surpass an average family's yearly GFP. Doomsday, apparently, has arrived for virtually all American households.
But that's not the point of my post today. This is....
If you look at the chart on the left you find world rankings for corporate taxes as a percentage of GDP. Norway has the highest corporate taxes-to-GDP ratio with a little over 8%, while the United States has the second lowest corporate taxes-to-GDP ratio at 1.3%. Second lowest.....in the industrialized world.
Conservatives can't simply dismiss these corporate taxes-to-GDP numbers....unless, of course, they want to also dismiss the terrible, awful, horrible national debt-to-GDP numbers that the U.S. is carrying right now.
But conservatives, and some Democrats, have also been telling Americans that one of the reasons why our economy is sluggish...is because corporate tax rates are just so effing high in the U.S.....that corporations simply don't have any incentive anymore to make money. Lower, or eliminate those god-awful corporate taxes, conservatives tell us, and America will prosper again.
As we can see from the chart.....American corporations pay the second lowest corporate taxes, as compared to GDP, in the world. Yet, we're asked to believe that those second lowest taxes are choking off any incentives corporations might have had to expand and add more business.
Naturally, this conservative/libertarian talking point is a crock of dooey.
American Fortune 500 corporations are sitting on $2 trillion of CASH. And that's after two quarters of breaking new profit records. What we have then, in reality not in talking points, is a group of very successful and cash-flush corporations who have just set new records for profit-making....AND...who are paying corporate taxes at the second lowest rate, as compared to GDP, in the world.
Does that all logically add up to American corporations being frustrated or discouraged by oh-so-oppressive corporate tax rates? Does that sound like a recipe where U.S. corporations will simply throw their hands up in total despair.....all because awful, horrible, terrible corporate tax rates have taken ALL incentive out of continuing to do business in the U.S.?
Of course it doesn't. And that is the point. Very rich American business people are taking the opportunity that the economic recession has offered them to deceptively argue that corporate taxes are just too high.....and unless those corporate taxes are lowered.....our country will never be able to come back from the worst recession since the 30's.
Greed knows no limits. Just as we've seen the sockpuppets for the American rich, the GOP, hold the nation hostage for the sake of the top 2%.....so too we are seeing hugely profitable American corporations, sitting on mountains of cash, paying the second lowest corporate taxes in the world as compared to GDP.....whine and moan that our economy can't revitalize itself until those oh-so-stifling corporate tax rates are lowered or eliminated.
Don't believe a word of it. If numbers....if arithmetic means anything.....it should tell us that in America today, the rich few and the Fortune 500 corporations have never had it so good. That's why the battle for the narrative has been waged so fiercely. If Americans fully realize that a few very rich Americans and very flush and profitable corporations are actually basking in historically low taxes, while the rest of us fight for the employment crumbs falling off their tables......Americans just might insist that these very fortunate few, you know, pony up a bit more on the tax side.
So the next time some conservative/libertarian know-nothing spouts off about taxes being so suffocatingly high on the Titans of Commerce....remember THIS talking point.....while sitting on $2 trillion in cash reserves after setting new quarterly profit records....U.S. corporations pay the second lowest corporate taxes (as compared to GDP) in the world.
Call me crazy...but it sure looks like American corporations are competing just fine.