James Pethokoukis

What goes down, must come up: GE’s latest tax bill

April 21, 2011

Tell me what happened, Reuters:

The company, which has come under fire over the past month for reports of an unusually low 2010 U.S. tax bill, pointed out that its consolidated first-quarter tax rate was 53 percent as a result of the NBC Universal sale.

No April Fools’ joke, U.S. now world’s highest corporate taxer

April 1, 2011

If only it were an April Fools’ Day prank. With Japan officially cutting its corporate tax rate as of today, America now has the highest rate among advanced economies. Even its effective tax rate is way above average despite the likes of General Electric spending billions to game the labyrinthine code. A smarter approach would be to substitute a business consumption tax.

Obama tells business to share the wealth

February 8, 2011

A few thoughts on President Obama’s speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

1. Would it be too much trouble for him to be more specific about how deeply he wants to cut corporate tax rates? I hope he doesn’t see the OECD average of 25 percent as a floor. Canada’s rate will be dropped to just 15 percent next year. And if he really wants more of company profits to be “shared” with workers, then he ought to propose abolishing corporate taxes altogether since 70 percent of the tax burden is passed along to workers.

Any way you slice it, U.S. corporate tax rates are too high

February 2, 2011

David Leonhardt (NYT) makes the point that U.S. companies often pay far less than the top statutory corporate tax rate of 35 percent:

The tough job of cutting corporate taxes

January 28, 2011

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech delivered on an idea he’s been telegraphing for weeks: corporate tax reform. And there are hints the changes he will seek could be major. But some companies will lobby hard against losing tax breaks to pay for a rate cut. Turning even sensible proposals into law is no sure thing.

Deferral Drama: Why Obama corporate tax reversal hints at a VAT

October 13, 2009

Many ideas that may have momentarily seemed like smart policy earlier this year — when rage at Wall Street and Corporate America hit a fevered pitch — didn’t survive a bit of calm reflection ((and intense business lobbying.). Like that 90 percent tax on executive bonuses. Or nationalizing the banks.