Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Poor Bloody Corporations

You can see what the Dems are up to.  Haul Apple CEO Time Scott up on Capitol Hill.  Get shocked, shocked that Apple has avoided billions in taxes.

Then Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) calls for tax increases on corporations.  Says he: "We need additional revenue from corporations whose contributions to the treasury have gone down."  I guess he's looking at this chart.

It shows that corporate income taxes have been going down as a percent of GDP over the long term.  But what of it? Is it because corporate incomes taxes have gone down as a percent of GDP or because corporate profits have gone down as a percent of GDP?

And anyway, corporate income tax rates are higher in the US than almost anywhere else.

So does it matter?

Put it this way.  If you are a government dependent, then of course you want to suck the economy for whatever you need for your next check.

But if you are a young person looking to get a job or pursue a career then the only thing that you care about -- or should care about if you have a clue about the economy -- is robust and increasing corporate profits.

And you certainly don't want corporate profits going to the government where they won't create new jobs.

Hey, maybe the extra tax money will go for a couple dozen new $177,000 a year Lois Lerners at the IRS to help implement Obamacare.  What's not to like!

And anyway, the idea that the corporate income tax is a problem misses the point.  Corporations are the government's main tax collector.  They collect the myriad taxes on labor that the laboring working stiff or stiffette never sees.  There's the 7.6 percent employer share of the FICA tax.  There's unemployment tax.  There's workers comp.  That's all paid by corporations -- out of money that ought to be going to workers.  You see, the ruling class decided decades ago that working stiffs couldn't really handle their own money.  So it would be safer for the government to look after it and put it in a Trust Fund (you know, just like the rich!) until the worker needed it.

Meanwhile the ruling class could use the money to buy votes.

Obviously our liberal friends are focusing on the corporate income tax because its an easy way to gin up outrage.  I recently had an email exchange with a chap that had all the talking points to hand.  The unspoken assumption was that we need the money for programs for people.  So the money has to come from somewhere.

No it doesn't.  In my view we need to break the spell at its source.  Government is force, so it stands to reason that everything the government does is done under the color of compulsion.  Whaddya mean that people can't be trusted to save for their own retirement?  Whaddya mean that seniors are helpless fools that can't pay for their own health care?  Whaddya mean that parents are so dumb that they can't be trusted to educate their own children?

That's what I contest.  Because once you have conceded that people are dumb or something then you have conceded the main point.  You have conceded that average people must be forced to do the right thing; the only question is how much force is necessary.

Government, on my view is the agent for defense against enemies foreign and domestic.  For that you need force.

Are we really saying that corporations are the enemy?  And rich people too?  Of course some people get rich because of government.  There are senators that have become multimillionaires without ever working in the private sector.  There are corporations that get rich from government contracts.  There are corporations that get rich from government subsidies.  Think green energy.

But then there is Apple.  Apple got rich on the vision of Steve Jobs to create the real life Dick Tracy watch, a tiny appliance that you can use as a audio or video link with anyone in the world.

Apple needs to pay more taxes?  So that it has less money to invent cool new appliances?

And let us not forget that cell-phones are perhaps even more beneficial in the Third World than in the good old USA.  Think of sardine fishermen off the west coast of India talking on their cell-phones with the sardine buyers in each nearby port to find the best price for their catch.

Please.  No. More. Taxes.  Because all government is a waste.  All of it.

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