News Release

Business Leaders Want Big Corps to Pay More, Not Less


SCOTT KLINGER, scottklinger at
Klinger is director of tax policy for Business for Shared Prosperity. He said today: “President Obama’s tax framework spotlights some very important themes, including closing corporate tax loopholes and curtailing the abuse of offshore tax havens, but the devil is in the details. Until the President proposes a rate for his global minimum tax, we remain concerned that this positive idea could be turned into a permanent tax break for tax-dodging U.S. multinational corporations. Moreover, the tax framework places too much emphasis on lowering the corporate tax rate and not enough on raising corporate tax collections from their historically low levels. U.S. corporations pay far less toward the cost of public services and infrastructure than they did in decades past and less than their foreign competitors pay in their countries today. The reality is that large U.S. businesses, as a whole, are undertaxed, not overtaxed. In 2011, total corporate federal taxes fell to just 12.1 percent of domestic profits and corporate taxes accounted for just 7.9 percent of all federal revenue. Moreover, as a percentage of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, the corporate tax share was just 1.2 percent. All these levels are historically, irresponsibly low.”

FRANK KNAPP, sbchamber at,
President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and vice chair of the American Sustainable Business Council, Knapp said: “Small businesses are tired of big businesses not paying their fair share. The President’s proposal puts the cart before the horse. Rather than starting with a lower corporate tax rate of 28 percent — and an even lower rate for manufacturers — we should start by establishing a fair and responsible share of corporate taxes as a percent of our economy that is competitive with our major trading partners, and achieve that through a combination of closing loopholes and adjusting tax rates where warranted. Then we can meet three important objectives: ending loopholes and breaks that reward large U.S. corporations for disguising their domestic profits as ‘foreign’ earnings and shifting investment and jobs overseas; leveling the playing field among big and small businesses; and raising the revenues we need for the modern infrastructure, education, research and other public investments that underpin an innovative, healthy, job-creating economy. Austerity plans, like those that are causing riots in Europe, are wrong for America. Big businesses and the wealthy have to pay their fair share.”

See “Post Calls Obama a Corporate Hack” by Dean Baker.