[FoRK] Most companies paid no taxes during the boom

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at endeavors.com
Mon Apr 12 08:26:25 PDT 2004


I think I agree with that.  What I was disagreeing with was that
the statistic that 60-something-% of corporations don't pay taxes
implies that corporations don't pay enough taxes.   There's a 
lot of legitimate reasons why corporations pay (or don't pay)
the taxes they do. 
 
What I'm most interested in is whether the arguments for
or against progressive income taxes can be applied to corporate
taxes. 
 
Greg

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: fork-bounces at xent.com on behalf of Russell Turpin 
	Sent: Mon 4/12/2004 7:57 AM 
	To: fork at xent.com 
	Cc: 
	Subject: RE: [FoRK] Most companies paid no taxes during the boom
	
	

	Gregory Alan Bolcer:
	>It's all about the volume and velocity of money in the economy.  Large
	>corporations, while people may complain
	>that they didn't pay any taxes, can be a loss-making-entity but still spend
	>hundreds of millions of dollars into the
	>economy.  Why would you want to restrict the machinery
	>even more with some artificial governors? ..
	
	Wherever you tax, it ultimately burdens *people*. If
	you tax individuals, they have less money to spend
	as consumers, which hurts corporations. If you tax
	corporations, that hurts employees and shareholders.
	
	My own political views are largely libertarian. So I
	think it is more important to protect people's
	personal lives than a business's inner workings.
	Corporations already practice accounting, not just
	for tax purposes. Income tax is perverse, because
	it causes everyone to work around defining what is
	income or not. But simpler taxes, on sales or revenue
	or more general transactions, falls straight out of
	books that corporations keep anyway. Any such
	tax applied to individuals requires them to do a form
	of accounting that most people don't anyway do,
	and requires them to expose to the government
	personal information that they shouldn't have to
	expose. In my view, there is a large civil liberties
	difference between an IRS agent wanting to
	look over a corporation's books, which after all
	is a business working under US law in a variety
	of ways, and an IRS agent wanting to look over
	an individual's books, which then necessarily becomes
	a matter of intruding into that individual's life.
	
	Or to put it simply, an income tax applied to
	individuals is a civil liberties issue.
	
	I'm under no illusion that taxing businesses rather
	than individuals will make us richer as individuals.
	We're all employees, shareholders, or owners of
	businesses. Tax is grit, whether it's under the
	left gear or the right gear. But taxing businesses
	rather than individuals (a) might make us somewhat
	freer in our personal lives, and less subject to
	government inspection, and (b) will certainly
	free us from forms of accounting that we
	otherwise wouldn't practice.
	
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