Why are America's largest corporations paying no tax?

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136 Responses to “Why are America's largest corporations paying no tax?”

  1. mauzzz says:

    Representation without taxation?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Anon,

    Are you an attorney for Bank of America or GE?

    You spin a web of lies. I can see straight through your BS, puppet-man.

    Corporations are considered “persons”. Then they should be required to pay taxes like all other middle class “persons” of this nation. Can other middle class “persons” claim their income overseas and pay less taxes like corporations?

    And your rhetoric regarding higher corporate taxes being passed on consumers is utter nonsense.

    On damage control monitoring are we?

    No loophole will protect you from death. And you can’t take it with you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    these corporations do the American people a huge service by providing family wage jobs to many as millions of people. They have to write things off such as loses and benefits they provide. Not to mention they give huge somes of money to charities instead of paying taxes. If these corporations were to “tighten their belts” that would result in loss of more family wage jobs and a greater slump in our economy. So in short Boeing, Microsoft, B of A, ect do more for us than a art school drop out.

    • Cowicide says:

      They thank Satan every day that there’s so many corporatist apologist lackeys around like you.

      We don’t NEED these big corporations. Small business provides the overwhelming majority of jobs in the USA. But, you probably didn’t know that.

      The amount of money big corporations give to charity is overblown and they make sure of it by spending more on advertising the fact they give to charity than on the actual charities themselves. But, you probably didn’t know that.

      Many charities in place would not be needed in the first place if we reined in the corporatists who pluck the wealth from the middle and lower classes. But, you probably didn’t know that.

      I bet there’s a lot you don’t know, huh?

  4. DarthVain says:

    So BS.

    Maybe I should subtract all my expenses from my income, and only pay tax on what I as a person “Profit”. That sounds fair to me. If I had to do that, I am pretty sure I would never “Profit” and as such, never ever pay taxes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ok folks, economics 101. corporations do not pay taxes.. ever, they always pass on their taxes to the end consumer, which means you and me. eliminating all business taxes would encourage corporations to stay here instead of going to the caymans. then tax shareholder profits as ordinary income and restructure the progressive income tax so rich folks pay their fair share

    • Hans says:

      ok folks, economics 101. corporations do not pay taxes.. ever, they always pass on their taxes to the end consumer

      This is actually quite incorrect, or the sense in which it makes sense is misleading. One could equally well say the employee passes the cost of his or her taxes on to the employer in the form of higher wage demands. Any taxation of any actor has a ripple effect on the process of commerce, however we can choose to design a taxation system which has the effects we desire. Progressive taxation of business revenue, for example, has a deleterious effect on capital concentration which tends to bolster the middle class. However capital concentration is another way of saying reinvestment in a company, and sometimes larger companies can deliver goods more efficiently, so it sacrifices that.

      It is all about trade-offs and incentives. But no, econ 101 does not say something like “businesses pay no taxes.” If your econ prof said such a thing he or she was misleading you.

    • RedShirt77 says:

      “ok folks, economics 101. corporations do not pay taxes.. ever, they always pass on their taxes to the end consumer, which means you and me”

      You failed that course and I bought a japanese car.

      The market deterines price, subtract cost and you end up with profit.

  6. joeposts says:

    I’m with all the corporation-fans here. If we raise taxes on, say, Wal-Mart, to the level that the Mom-and-Pop General Store on Main Street pays, Wal-Mart would just raise prices on all their products, thus driving their customers away. This could provide a more level playing field for small businesses that don’t pay their CEOs an annual salary that is more than 95% of us will make in a lifetime. There might be more competition, and this could hurt corporations and the people that depend on them for bulk purchases of Chinese-made goods. That would be atrocious.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You know it always kills me how a realistic problem become over shadowed by republicans & democrats static the problem is that some how for how every long its been the haves are riding the have nots like pack mules. The gap between the rich and poor is increasing and the middle class is decreasing. Being rewarded for things that is not going to benefit the American people is crazy, not investing in things that is going to keep us ahead of the game is ignorant, not preparing US for the changes that are coming will push us closer to third world statutes, and frankly the old way things are done need to be revised….wake up and see through the smoke screen you are becoming distracted by it.

  8. mdh says:

    I’m gonna tell you fascists
    You may be surprised
    The people in this world
    Are getting organized
    You’re bound to lose
    You fascists are bound to lose
    –Woody Guthrie

  9. Neon Tooth says:

    Funny the coincidentally large number of “Anon” posters with neoliberal/libertarian views……..hmmmmm……

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wow, love the disingenuousness of this article.

    Why are they paying no tax? That’s certainly a riddle isn’t it.

    It’s not like you include the answer in the 2nd paragraph (losses), but then phrase it as a question to try and make it seem an outrageous breach of tax codes, rather than an extremely normal business practise that has gone on for decades.

    Secondly, government is not “pay[ing] you for your losses”.

    Not paying money to the government is not the same thing as the government paying you money. Its a difficult distinction to make, I know.

    This is what we’re getting outraged about now? Not the actual hundreds of billions of dollars the government gave banks for TARP? But the fact businesses aren’t paying taxes on losses, something that hasn’t happened in the history of the nation?

    If “this art school drop out” didn’t make any money for a whole year, then she’d pay no tax, just like the corporation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Enter the PR agent. Dude, you’re not fooling anyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, it is highly likely the Art School graduate paid more in real taxes than did BofA or CitiGroup or any large corporation. Here’s why:

      1. Assuming she is employed above poverty income levels without dependents she pays all sorts of taxes on her income: FICA, MEDICARE, state and even minimum federal taxes; some or all of which are NOT refundable. Regardless of her income tax she still pays payroll taxes which are NOT deductible on her taxes but are on BofA’s.

      2. Unlike Corporations individuals cannot expense all losses against their tax burden. Yes, there are itemized deductions but the AMT does a fine job of limiting them and exacting a heavy tax burden on middle-class income earners.

      Let me pose the obvious question here about profitability and loss. If a corporation continues to sustain losses year-after-year yet continues to operate, pay stock dividends, offer increasing range of goods or services, AND highly compensate executives why aren’t they subject to AMT just like the rest of us with high gross incomes and expenses?

      Conversely, why not get rid of AMT and allow everyone to expense off ALL taxes. I’m pretty sure I’m losing money every year and have been for decades! Yet, I still pay 100K+ in federal taxes!

      Corporations scam the tax system and the middle class pays twice for the privilege of being screwed by them!

    • mdh says:

      Disingenuous? you’ve got to be joking. got to be. I won’t even engage aside from mentioning the record profits BofA has reported. more like transference.

  11. rebdav says:

    What a surprise, it is cheaper to pay a campaign contribution and own a senator or a dozen or even president than to get taxed.
    Why am I a libertarian not a socialist anymore?
    Because socialism creates a huge bureaucracy which the largest and richest businesses can use to effectively socialize any losses they make while keeping their profits.
    We need only enough regulation to keep business like the railroads and and Standard Oil from becoming supreme over us but not so much that they can turn the tables and make us slaves.
    I wish you had real powerful taxpayer unions and consumer unions rather than these weak political tastes the same but different coloring Republicrats that curse you in the US.

    • Anonymous says:

      learn2libertarian-socialism. We can have socialism without a massive state bureaucracy. Unions, consumer groups, cooperatives, etc could be empowered and corporations and the state could both be reduced or even eliminated.

    • Neon Tooth says:

      Why am I a libertarian not a socialist anymore?

      An attraction to extremes or fantasy? Most people would like something in between the dystopian nightmares of both hard extremes. What we don’t want is the corporate, neo-fuedalism we have now. And this neo-feudalism is certainly more of a reflection of neoliberal ideas than socialist ones.

    • Anonymous says:

      Socialism has nothing to do with it (unless you are twisting the hell out of the definition). This is about crony capitalism. Where do you think all those congressmen get jobs after they leave office?

      The US is building an aristocracy. We are going to end up like 1700s France at this rate. 1% have 99% of the wealth and the rest can go to hell.

    • RedShirt77 says:

      >Why am I a libertarian not a socialist anymore?

      You are pretty much as close to a libretatian utopia as you are going to get, how does it compare to sweeden in your opinion?

      Facts are that in any society, people will organize themselves into beurocracy to do big things. indeed its the only way to run an economy of our current scale. The only question, is “how do you want them governed, Democcracy, Oligarchy
      , or somewhere in between. and if the answer is in between, how do you draw that line and then how do you hold it.

      The line has moved back and forth quite a bit in US history and now moves steadily towards more corporate control seperate from the other societal shifts that might be going on.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the point is that some corporations are paying GIGANTIC salaries and bonuses to their top executives, then reporting losses. Shouldn’t there be a cap to what they can pay in salaries in a year where they report a loss? Otherwise they are cheating shareholders and the tax code alike.

      If the art school dropout made money, but spent more than she made, she would still owe taxes. To your point, she’d also have to pay taxes on any government assistance she received, unlike the corporations with their huge TARP bail-outs. I think we can all agree that there’s a discrepancy here.

    • Snig says:

      The democrats worked towards better health care provisions (cutting the pre-existing condition issues), worked towards more funding for health clinics and expanding health care. There were fought tooth and nail by republicans.

      When the economy was crashing, the Republicans first pretended it wasn’t happening (as it would have been bad for the 2008 elections). Obama made recommendations to prevent financial disaster. There were really no suggestions made from the Republicans, though they then decided to make TARP a bad word when it comes to paying for it, but a good thing to pose in front of for ribbon cutting ceremonies, and for bragging rights in the good they’ve done.

      Obama attemepted to close down Guatanamo and place it’s prisoners in stateside prisons. This was blocked largely by Republicans fearmongering about the superpowered muslims breaking out of max security prisons.

      Attempts to put restrictions on the bank bailouts were fought by republicans (and some bought democrats) who break out in the hives at any limits placed on personal plutocracy.

      Attempts to increase taxes on the top percentile(s) who can well afford it have been tried by democrats (Gore and Obama), but have not been put in place due to republican opposition.

      Being whiny about the democrats while opting out of democracy by being a member of a third party that’s blameless because they’re never in power may feed your moral superiority, but it doesn’t help anyone.

      This is a generalization, there are decent things done by republican officials, and really shitty/self-interested things done by democrats.

      If you don’t see a difference between the republicans and democrats, you need a socialized medical system to help with your myopia. Cheney and Obama are 8th cousins, not 2nd.

      How much would have it have mattered if McCain had won? The economy might have crashed the way it was headed, we could be in depression instead of severe recession. We’d still have pre-existing conditions exempting us from healthcare. The Supreme court would have lurched further right. We might have resurged again in Iraq, spilling “blood and treasure” in an attempt to get something that looked more like victory. GM and Chrysler would have gone under, unless McCain decided to reverse his claim of no bailouts. And if the stress killed him who knows what President Palin would be doing now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, that’s remarkably clueless. The sort of society libertarians advocate would be the easiest of all for corporation to exploit by taking advantage of externalities.

  12. wigg1es says:

    Why? Republicans, that’s why.

    • rebdav says:

      Dick Cheneys second cousin President Obama ran on the Democrat ticket, took bank money, gave banks loans which they bought and actually profited from. A Democratic Congress and Senate was responsible for renewing these tax laws just as a Republican legislature would have. Dont buy the lie that the Democrats are here to help you, they only help the little guy on freebie stuff like gay rights not bread and butter cash issues where a vat grown clone of Dick Cheneys heart beats in their chest.
      I am curious how the US Army and Universities become top contributors to the presidential election campaign funds.
      Republicans often take the heat while the Democrats are just dirty in different areas. US politics truly are the failure Jefferson predicted, now the revolt will sadly be needed to feed the tree of liberty the blood of patriots and tyrants.
      I do not hold most other national systems to such a high standard as they never honestly claimed such lofty liberal republican goals.

      • rebdav says:

        I hope for the peaceful return to sanity but I an not sure how it would work anymore especially when the dems and repubs spent the nation broke bribing citizens for votes and business for contributions and post office consultancy gigs.

      • benher says:

        Sadly, I think this is spot on.
        The blues and reds fight over to abort or not abort, to gay-wed or not to gay-wed, stem-cell milkshakes or no stem-cell milkshakes… all the while the oligarchy tightens the chains around the necks of the citizenry.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well… a company would actually have to make a •profit• in order to pay a federal tax, right? But thank goodness they don’t pay taxes. No corporation should. They’d only pass the cost of taxes to employee compensations, product prices, and stockholders (including your 401k and those union pensions). Even that art gallery shouldn’t pay a dime of fed taxes.

    • lifeboatb says:

      You think no corporation should pay tax even though they make use of such items as

      interstate highways (so employees and trucks full of corporate product can get around);

      public schools, including universities (who train corporate employees, partly at government expense, especially if you factor in student loans. Private universities also get some federal grants and loans.);

      the U.S. patent office and copyright office (to protect corporations’ intellectual property);

      the U.S. court system (to defend those patents and copyrights);

      U.S. air and traffic regulators (shuttling employees);

      the Federal Reserve

      ?

      I’m sure there are quite a few more items that could be added to this list. Since corporations now have the right of “free speech”, and are practically independent citizens, I see no reason they shouldn’t contribute toward what they use.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I think BOA sucks for lots of reasons, but not for avoiding (as opposed to evading) taxes. In 2007, they paid $6 bln in taxes. If you don’t like the tax code (I don’t) blame the legislature not the taxpayer.

  15. Nicky G says:

    The play devil’s advocate for a moment…

    Most of these “rich fat cats” will pay more in taxes, in one year, than you or I will over the course of our ENTIRE LIFETIMES. Which, come on, admit it, is at least a little ironic, given that the rich people have far less use for social welfare programs that really eat up a HUGE portion of our national budget (Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.)

    Let’s just grow up for a moment, shall we, and admit the obvious:

    We can blame rich people all we want for the ills of the world, and goodness knows they have caused their fair share of it. But the reality is, we are ALL responsible for the shit we’re in as a nation, considering most of us, including the middle class, are addicted to social welfare programs AND a military that we CANNOT PAY FOR. It’s not the rich people’s fault that the majority of the populace is a bunch of hypocritical idiots. “Obama is a Socialist! Don’t touch my [socialism]!” Give me a break.

    Maybe we should stop blaming the rich for our problems, and look inward a bit more than tends to be comfortable.

    Oh, and another thing to remember: Part of the thing that has traditionally made the USA one of the most dynamic economies in the world, is that we have a system that is forgiving of people who take chances. The vast, vast majority of corporations are small businesses. If someone has a novel idea that may or may not pan out, we do not punish the corporation via taxation, if it fails to turn a profit. We do, however, still tax the income of the people who OWN that corporation. This is, generally, a GOOD thing. If people felt like they would be “punished” by the tax code for starting companies that might not pan out, well, let’s just say that our economy would not be #1 in the world.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This will come as a shock to most readers here… the reality is corporations do NOT pay taxes. Even when they do.

    What is meant by that? Taxes are counted as a component of cost. In other words, corporations factor taxes in the cost of goods and services.

    So, when the populace screams to raise the corporate tax rate…there will be an equal and corresponding rise in the cost of the resultant good or service.

    Investors demand a certain rate of return on their capital. If it isn’t being met, capital will be withdrawn. Therefore, corporations will make the adjustments to tax hikes almost immediately. Want to see inflation? Raise the tax rate on corporations.

    It might feel good to soak it to “evil corporations”. But, corporations are just human creations in which humans also work.

    Lovingly signed,
    An old-timer-capitalist-pig-that-has-pulled-those-levers-and-turned-those-dials-of-that-corporate-machine

  17. Mister44 says:

    Assuming it’s true, that is bullshit. I can’t imagine the fancy accounting footwork that took.

    I hate BoA. My mortgage is with them. For now.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why are bank officers, board members and presidents paid millions plus bonuses if their banks lost money? How could BoA or Citi possibly lose money when millions more people like me are paying them 30% interest on loans than are falling into default?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Not that this is just – but the employees do pay taxes on the jobs that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

  20. skrap says:

    The corporate tax rate isn’t the problem, folks. The top tax bracket’s tax rate is the problem. The long term capital gains rate is the problem. Those are the government’s gift to the rich which keeps our inequality so severe. Those are the hidden “rich man’s entitlements” which far outweigh medicare and social security in their long term impact.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a modest proposal: set a limit for executive compensation such that any pay above that amount DOES count as profit (cannot be offset by losses). Set that limit as some multiple of median wages, minimum wages, whatever. Better yet, tax some multiple of that amount. AND set the tax rate at a higher level for any company that pays above a limit (same limit or a different one).

    Just step back and watch shareholders pitch holy hell if their dividends are cut by 10% just because the Board paid some CEO excessive wages.

    (FYI I am a CEO, obviously not that well paid)

    • lifeboatb says:

      “Here’s a modest proposal: set a limit for executive compensation such that…”

      I’ve been reading loads of comments on this issue all over the net, and this is the first practical idea I’ve heard yet for dealing with executive overcompensation–love it!

  22. gorski says:

    I love Boing Boing for the slightly obscure world view, both real (present, past, & future),as well as the imaginary. While anyone can believe and post anything they want on their own site, this post about comparing corporate taxes and personal taxation is indicative of many of BB’s posts regarding politics & economics. It is simplistic and void of thought, reason, & even intellectual integrity. So my only request is if you are going to spout political/economical, at least live up to your otherwise brilliant and often insightful site. Love live BB!

  23. Felix Mitchell says:

    Offsetting your past losses does make sense. Imagine you pay for some research and development and so bring out a successful product eight months later. If you couldn’t offset your losses, and a new tax year started between the research and product launch, then you’d have to pay extra tax.

    This same logic isn’t applied to individuals. I’m in debt up to my arse to become an architect but that won’t reduce the tax I pay in the future. This is because taxes for corporations are on profits, whereas individuals are taxed on income. You can’t write off your mortgage as an expense, but businesses can write off their office rent.

    I don’t know what the solution to this is since taxing individuals only on profits seems impossible to me.

    • bkad says:

      …. This is because taxes for corporations are on profits, whereas individuals are taxed on income. You can’t write off your mortgage as an expense, but businesses can write off their office rent.

      If what you say is true, I agree it makes good sense and it is awfully hard for me to get worked up about it. Though, I understand we all have tax jealousy this time of year. I’m personally annoyed that people with kids and mortgages (both 100% voluntary expenses) get huge subsidies, while I’m stuck with the standard deduction.

      But if this bit of news about big companies gets people worked up, just wait until they learn about ‘cost reimbursement contracts.’

    • Anonymous says:

      As an individual you can write off both your mortgage interest and student loan interest.

    • AnthonyC says:

      Yeah, one problem is that businesses have an incentive to minimize costs, whereas if rent were tax-deductable, individuals would have an incentive to spend more on rent, not to save money. The closest you can get for individuals to a profit-based tax system, I think, is the standard deduction/exemption we already have. I.e. the first $x of income are essential for basic needs, and should not be subject to taxes. The rest can be spent as you see fit, and thus may be justly taxed.

      The problem from my point of view is that only the first $9350 is tax-free. Living on that might be possible in some parts of the country, but it certainly isn’t comfortable. I would raise that, and raise the income and capital gains tax rate at the higher brackets. The tax bracket structure was for more progressive during the cold war than it is now, and the economy grew just fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know if the accounting is straight, but if the bailouts are loans, they’ll have to be repaid, and either the grant of the loan should be accounted as revenue, or the money used to repay the loan. So it should balance out.

      I don’t see much of a problem with the way corporate tax works out. In fact, I’m kind of in favour of removing it, inasmuch as it’s double-taxing; if a corporation is taxed when it makes a profit, then the money’s taxed again as personal income when the owner takes it out…

      I’d rather see stricter rules about using corporate resources for personal ends: particularly, including campaign donations, lobbying, etc. explicitly as personal uses. These things aren’t legitimate corporate behaviours because the corporation does not have an agenda of its own, nor a will to survive. It only has its owners’ and managers’ will to succeed.

  24. Anonymous says:

    There is a simple way to get around this. Set up a flat business tax – say 10%. Make sure there are ZERO loopholes. Then the tax rate isn’t so abhorrant (currently 35%) and businesses won’t be so burdened by paying it. No exceptions and no loopholes. No write offs or anything of that kind.

    Do the same thing with income tax but make the rate a flat 5% on everyone. Rich, poor, middle class. No exceptions and no loopholes. No write offs or anything of that kind.

    Doing these two main things would simplify the tax code, make it easier/cheaper to file and quite possibly raise tax revenue.

    Now the other side of this coin is that Congress/Govt needs to reign in spending to Constitutionally sound levels. Meaning they need to stop promising everything to everyone. Get rid of subsidies, bailouts, endless wars (war in middle east, war on drugs etc) and get rid of horribly wasteful federal/state programs – DoE, DoA, DoH, DEA, DHS, TSA and the list goes on.

    If we did all this I guarantee you within 5 years our nation would be the absolute economic power house again.

    Lowering taxes let’s business and individuals spend more on what THEY want. Simplifying taxes and eliminating loopholes/writeoffs makes it easier for the IRS to track taxes and possibly raise greater overall revenue. Reducing federal/state spending means we get out of the deficit spending and again bring sanity to our currency.

    But alas this will never happen because the masses are generally misguided/indoctrinated sheep controlled through government run schools and mass media. Hoo Ray sheep!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Citizens and corporations registered in the state of the Kingdom of God enjoy tax free status. To find out how to register as a citizen or a corporation of the Kingdom of God please visit http://www.grishenkoff.co.uk

  26. Anonymous says:

    Mainly because that’s a bold faced lie, they do pay all kinds of taxes. They just don’t pay *income* tax because they DIDN’T MAKE ANY MONEY. It says it right there in the articles linked to from ThinkProgress (not exactly a good or impartial source of info) that, in the case of B of A, all their earnings went to paying off debts.
    Furthermore, when they pay their employees, those employees pay the tax. So it’s not like taxes aren’t being paid, they’re just paid on employee compensation.
    As a small business owner, I pay almost no corporate income tax, because my company *makes no money*. The money it makes gets paid to employees, and we then we pay personal income tax on the money.
    There are only two issues to resolve here:
    #1, lowering corporate tax rates: America’s corporate income tax rates are way too high. Corporate income taxes are stupid because companies spend their profit on new investment.
    #2, CLOSING LOOPHOLES preventing companies from offshoring profits, and eliminating the ability for corporations to pay for luxuries like golf games or other entertainment for their clients.

    Personally, I’m tired of the “corporations don’t pay their fair share” crap when it comes to corporate income tax. It is just intellectually lazy and ignorant of tax codes to say that a company that has no net income has to pay tax anyway. How much tax will they pay? Based on gross revenue? In that case, every car manufacturer or farmer or oil rig would go out of business because they have slim profit margins.
    There are all kinds of fucked-up things to correct about taxation and loopholes in this country, but taxing on no income is not one of them.

    • Anonymous says:

      How, exactly, does a corporation as large as BoA continue to function if it “DIDN’T MAKE ANY MONEY”? Isn’t the purpose of a company to make profits?

      • Mister44 says:

        re: “How, exactly, does a corporation as large as BoA continue to function if it “DIDN’T MAKE ANY MONEY”? Isn’t the purpose of a company to make profits?”

        Unless you get a sucker gov. to bail you out, you get bought out or go under. BoA recently bought Countrywide, which is why they now have my mortgage.

        re: ” ‘The Socialist model has never worked’ ‘This keeps on getting repeated like its true.’ ”

        Depends on the level of socialism. Communist Socialism doesn’t work. Moderate Socialism like in France or the UK works alright. The problem is you have to manage and distribute funds efficiently to the right people to be the most effective. And you only have so much funds, so you have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to the level of care or how much they are going to spend on one person, vs paying for the rest of group. (Such as amputation vs expensive treatment.) And the gov. isn’t known to be so great in the efficiency and making decisions that are neccessarily in your favor. (The closer you are to a problem, the more good you can do, and vice versa.) You also are going to have higher taxes all around.

        I guess that is fine for some people. But when the gov. is supposed to take care of you and then the economy is shit, or they can’t pay for your college anymore, there is going to be riots and unrest, resulting in the gov. wanting more control.

        People wondered how Clinton could take a shit in the front lawn and get away with out much more than scolding. “It’s the economy, stupid.” People were happy and didn’t really care about his antics.

        Gov. with a stable economy and stable rule will often placate a majority of its population. If your life isn’t total shit, you can tolerate a lot. When it reaches a tipping point, we get what we are seeing in the Middle East right now (go go gadget democracy)

    • Anonymous says:

      “They just don’t pay *income* tax because they DIDN’T MAKE ANY MONEY. ….., all their earnings went to paying off debts.”

      This seems reasonable on the surface. Except can’t we explain away all earnings in a similar fashion. All my income goes into paying debt (credit cards, car loans, bar tabs, my bookie). This claim does not seem fair for either side. What I would pose is, “what services does the art school drop-out take advantage of?” her taxes make sense because she collects unemployment, visits the hospital ER, or searches job listings at the library computers. So what city/state/federal services do corporations take advantage of and how do they compare in scale to the ER/library? I feel the imbalance is that BofA is not paying its fair share. When they collected bailout money, that is a significant federal service they took part in. Isn’t the bailout for BofA like unemployment is for the drop-out?

  27. Patrick Dodds says:

    Little bit of filler from here in the UK: Lloyds Bank profits for 2010: £2.2 billion. Lloyds Bank corporation tax for the same year: £0.00.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Corporations are playing within the confines of the tax system that they devised through their teams of lobbyists. The government clearly works for them. I voted for Obama because he said lobbyist would have no place in his administration. Too bad he doesn’t mean what he says. Many of these overpaid execs now work in his administration (even more than any previous admin)and continue to shape the rules in their own monetary favor. I won’t be fooled again. They’re too big to fail means the rest of us are too small to succeed. They’re banking on the “if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em” mentality.
    We need a simple tax code and lower corporate tax rates so they are not encouraged to play the shell game with their profits. They give bonuses to their top execs just to avoid the corporate tax. The recipients of all this bonus money do have to pay income tax so the government certainly does get their share, albeit at a lower rate. This article is just bad reporting to leave out obvious details.
    The tax code needs to be simplified to make it more transparent. Small business and new business can’t afford a team of accountants to play hide the dough, and a team of lobbyists to tell them and the government how to hide it. We have to pay full price for everything.

  29. William George says:

    Unfortunately, history has shown us that these types never get what’s coming to them. Even in violent revolutions they always come out smiling.

    The only way to “win” is to not use them at all. Good luck on that one.

  30. Nimdae says:

    It’s interesting that corporations like to push their person status when it’s convenient, and their non-person status when it’s not. As a person, a corporation can become part of a political campaign and stuff the pockets of politicians. As a non-person, they are taxed completely differently.

    I’m considering declaring myself a corporation…

  31. dainel says:

    So the problem is corporations that didn’t make profits didn’t pay any tax. Corporations pays tax on their profits, whereas people pay tax on their income.

    Solution? People should prepare profit & loss accounts like corporations and pay corporate taxes? Every single person in the entire country should incorporate?

    • LabRat001 says:

      “Every single person in the entire country should incorporate?”

      Nope, the corporations keep trying to get themselves person-hood under the law so they can gain the benefits so derived. Fine any corporation that attempts to use them in court (even unsuccessfully) gets to pay income tax instead of tax on profits.

  32. pomokey says:

    Assuming those corporations pay their employees, I think it’s safe to say that money was taxed at least once. Also, I don’t like some of the sources that article used . It references wikinvest and deferred income tax, and the rest of the entries have no reference for the tax information.

    Actually, one of the articles even says that
    “For 2009, the bank spent $956,007 on Gifford’s airline use, plus $293,004 to help him pay for the accompanying taxes.” So while they may not be paying income taxes, the money is still being taxed.

  33. RedShirt77 says:

    Wow, the anon’s got up early to say stupid things on this string…

    “Well… a company would actually have to make a •profit• in order to pay a federal tax, right? But thank goodness they don’t pay taxes. No corporation should. They’d only pass the cost of taxes to employee compensations, product prices, and stockholders (including your 401k and those union pensions). Even that art gallery shouldn’t pay a dime of fed taxes”

    Really, they wouldn’t take a dime out of their CEO’s paycheck? ANd what % of stockholders are 401k plans? And if you don’t make a profit because your Execs essentually embezzle hundreds of millions in completely unwarranted pay, then it makes sense not to have to pay any taxes.

    “Personally, I think BOA sucks for lots of reasons, but not for avoiding (as opposed to evading) taxes. In 2007, they paid $6 bln in taxes. If you don’t like the tax code (I don’t) blame the legislature not the taxpayer.”

    You think the congress came up with our coporate tax code on their own?

    “It might feel good to soak it to “evil corporations”. But, corporations are just human creations in which humans also work.”

    They are just enormous, undemocratic beurocratic structures that make decisions based on enriching the very few. Their power needs to be balanced with democratic forces. It’s not a good vs evil, it whether you believe a people has a right to self govern the society in which they live, or if a few have the right to grab power and wield it over the many with impunity.

    Investors should seek the best possible profit within the system.

    Cheating the system should not be a requirement of doing business.

  34. Alfred says:

    You do all realize that corporations are not living beings, they are not fat cats spending their money for pleasure. If you tax one of these corps, all what you do is tax the customers of those corporations, which unfortunately include all that ones that produce food also. The owners of these corps generally don’t even get any of the income until they sell their stock (dividend yield is very low for the average corp). The officers and employees of these corps do receive income, and they all pay tax on that.

    • Neural Kernel says:

      “You do all realize that corporations are not living beings”
      Life has no universally accepted definition but if you accept the definition as including the ability to reproduce, the ability to react to stimuli, a need to consume energy and the production of waste… a Corporation is as much “alive” as you, me, a chicken or a tree. “life is a process which can be abstracted away from any particular medium” John von Neumann

  35. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure why “that money is taxed at least once” keeps getting brought up. I work hard at my job, and my income gets taxed. If I used some of the remaining to buy a widget at Bob’s Widget’s, it then becomes part of his income, and it gets taxed again. So, should I not have to pay income tax on the money I spend on Widgets? It gets taxed once.

    Sure, corporations aren’t people. They’re given a lot of the benefits and none of the responsibilities. One of those needs to change. There might be some argument about how it makes sense to let corporations pay less taxes to write off unprofitable eras, but if they’re paying nothing in taxes on a regular basis, something is wrong. When the individuals who make up the top echelons complain that they’re paying too much in taxes (much less than decades ago), while getting billions in bonuses from a company that is not paying taxes itself, while the average worker is struggling to survive, something is wrong.

    What about when corporations give perks to their execs, instead of money? You know, the old story about an exec who pays himself $1 a year, and that’s what his income tax is based on, but he drives the company car, eats meals paid for by the corporation, and virtually does anything an ultra-rich person does. If this type of story isn’t just an urban legend (and I’ll be honest, I’m not all that sure it isn’t so some confirming or rebutting evidence is welcomed), where is the tax on THAT money?

  36. Snowrunner says:

    @15

    Mainly because that’s a bold faced lie, they do pay all kinds of taxes. They just don’t pay *income* tax because they DIDN’T MAKE ANY MONEY. It says it right there in the articles linked to from ThinkProgress (not exactly a good or impartial source of info) that, in the case of B of A, all their earnings went to paying off debts.

    Okay, I am north of the border, but having started my own business last year I quickly learn on what I can write off and what I can’t. The simple reality is: I don’t pay any HST (that’s sales tax) because I can claim that back straigh of the HST I have collected, so it’s a “zero sum” game as far as the Government is concerned.

    Secondly, I have personal debt. If I pay that back I do not get a break on my personal income tax either. Why do corporations, and more importantly: Why should they?

    Furthermore, when they pay their employees, those employees pay the tax. So it’s not like taxes aren’t being paid, they’re just paid on employee compensation.

    Yeah, that’s called “shifting”. But guess what. The companies revenue doesn’t materialize out of thin air, it derives from (essentially) their employees paycheck. If you want to very simplify it: Employee’s pay for the right to work at a company.

    As a small business owner, I pay almost no corporate income tax, because my company *makes no money*. The money it makes gets paid to employees, and we then we pay personal income tax on the money.

    And yet, your business uses tax funded infrastructure and services, for FREE.

    There are only two issues to resolve here:
    #1, lowering corporate tax rates: America’s corporate income tax rates are way too high. Corporate income taxes are stupid because companies spend their profit on new investment.

    Really? Right up there you mentioned that they used it to repay debt, not to “invest”. And even if they DO invest, they still get a free ride on the public’s tax dollar. Shouldn’t they be paying for the services and resources they use?

    #2, CLOSING LOOPHOLES preventing companies from offshoring profits, and eliminating the ability for corporations to pay for luxuries like golf games or other entertainment for their clients.

    But aren’t those things “investments”? You know, get more business etc. You should be all for that as a write off. (BTW, the CRA, Canadian Revenue Agency, seems to have clued in on this, you can only write off 50% of those “hosting” costs).

    Personally, I’m tired of the “corporations don’t pay their fair share” crap when it comes to corporate income tax. It is just intellectually lazy and ignorant of tax codes to say that a company that has no net income has to pay tax anyway.

    Why? Employee’s pay tax on their revenue, not on their profit. Why should corporations be any different?

    How much tax will they pay? Based on gross revenue? In that case, every car manufacturer or farmer or oil rig would go out of business because they have slim profit margins.

    Lazy argument. If the business isn’t viable without subsidies then maybe the business shouldn’t exist? Why is corporate welfare okay but when it comes to individual welfare we like to hold the individual accountable?

    Corporations want to have their cake and eat it too, and people like you are more than happy to support this.

    There are all kinds of fucked-up things to correct about taxation and loopholes in this country, but taxing on no income is not one of them.

    I agree. They should be taxed on revenue, or barring that, should get an invoice every year for any goods or service they use that has been paid for by tax revenue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Snowrunner, this is anon #15. I appreciate the reasonable responses to my post. I’ll admit that this particular issue gets me agitated because people so often think “business have to pay no tax!” and it’s just such a dishonest argument because it’s so much more complicated.
      Addressing some of your points:
      - My business does pay tax, sales tax, licensing tax and state income tax. And it does pay some small amount of fed. income tax. So it doesn’t get government services for “free”.
      - I will definitely concede that business could afford to pay a corporate *revenue* tax, but it would have to be extremely low because so many business have such slim margins.
      - I totally disagree with your “lazy argument” accusation. You can’t say that “those businesses don’t deserve to exist” if they can’t remain viable, because what if the government chose a 20% tax on gross revenue, thus killing, say, 80% of businesses? Versus a 3% tax, only killing, say, 5% of businesses? Which ones were “legitimately” put out of business? I have NO faith in the government being able to set those taxes at the perfect rate.
      - And here’s the kicker. Lots of people complain that corporations are treated better than individuals, that we can’t deduct expenses or debt payments from our taxes. But the simple answer is that WE CAN TOO. All you have to do is declare yourself a “sole proprietor” and many expenses you have related to your work can be tax deductable. So when you say “why can’t people do that too”? In the US, we can.
      So: The only difference in whether your expenses are taxed or not, is whether you are spending something for consumption or production. I think that it’s a good thing that our tax code encourages production and discourages consumption.

      • Snowrunner says:

        Snowrunner, this is anon #15. I appreciate the reasonable responses to my post. I’ll admit that this particular issue gets me agitated because people so often think “business have to pay no tax!” and it’s just such a dishonest argument because it’s so much more complicated.

        That is pretty much true about any issue out there today. People oversimplify, getting angry / agitated over it though doesn’t really help.

        Addressing some of your points:
        - My business does pay tax, sales tax, licensing tax and state income tax. And it does pay some small amount of fed. income tax. So it doesn’t get government services for “free”.

        No but still at a discount. I am not sure how that works for you, but where I am, any Sales Tax my company spends I claw back when I submit my remittance to the Government. In effect: My company does not pay ANY sales tax on the goods and services that I use. Fees etc. are a joke too. They may be expensive for small companies (it cost me ~$500 in fees to start up the business) but for large Enterprises it’s nothing.

        - I will definitely concede that business could afford to pay a corporate *revenue* tax, but it would have to be extremely low because so many business have such slim margins.

        My personal favourite would be to have a “two class” system as far as businesses go. Small companies, up to a certain revenue level, can continue as before with write-offs etc. Large Enterprises though above the threshold can no longer write off these things. This will encourage small and mid sized businesses but make sure that large Enterprises contribute to society beyond “providing employment”.

        - I totally disagree with your “lazy argument” accusation. You can’t say that “those businesses don’t deserve to exist” if they can’t remain viable, because what if the government chose a 20% tax on gross revenue, thus killing, say, 80% of businesses? Versus a 3% tax, only killing, say, 5% of businesses? Which ones were “legitimately” put out of business? I have NO faith in the government being able to set those taxes at the perfect rate.

        As many people like to look at Government as a business you can apply this logic: Government has responsibilities, these require to be financed. The Government needs to find a balance between income and expenses. As such the tax rates need to be set accordingly.

        As for my remark about “do not deserve to exist”: Yes they do not. A business should have a margin that allows it to not only exist but also to serve it’s obligations to society. A business does not exist in a vacuum, as much as “free market” advocates like to make it out to be. If your margin does not allow you to pay taxes that contribute to a society that has allowed you to start the business in the first place, then sorry. Clearly your business is not worth anything to society.

        Many people oversimplify tax arguments when it comes to businesses along the lines of: “Well, if we raise taxes then all the businesses leave and we have no more jobs.” This is one of the most dishonest arguments ever. It essentially martyrs businesses and tries to paint them as saviour of people. As if people cannot figure out making a living without being told how to by businesses.

        There is a serious tilt towards large companies as far as regulations and taxes go, this is where the gap is and where it needs to be closed. As said above: A two tier approach to businesses would make sense, but you can bet that the lobbyists will do whatever they can to not see that happen.

        - And here’s the kicker. Lots of people complain that corporations are treated better than individuals, that we can’t deduct expenses or debt payments from our taxes. But the simple answer is that WE CAN TOO. All you have to do is declare yourself a “sole proprietor” and many expenses you have related to your work can be tax deductable. So when you say “why can’t people do that too”? In the US, we can.

        Okay, I don’t know the US tax code, I have worked heavily with my accountant up here in BC though and the reality is that even as a sole proprietor I cannot write off anything that isn’t directly related to my economic activity.

        And even THEN I am SOL, I cannot, for example, write off my landline even though I use it almost exclusively for business, yet my cellphone I can write off right away. The reality is that it depends on your tax code, but in general it’s not as easy as you make it out to be.

        So: The only difference in whether your expenses are taxed or not, is whether you are spending something for consumption or production. I think that it’s a good thing that our tax code encourages production and discourages consumption.

        Only that consumption needs production. So it’s a catch-22 really. And btw, companies “consuming” resources is not taxed either, as I can write it off. I like the fact that I can buy a new computer and can write it off straight away as an expense (well I could, now I have to wait three years) but only as a business, as a private person you never could.

        The problem is that the tax burden has been shifted from Corporate entities to individuals in a disproportional amount and stories like BofA etc. make that utterly clear.

        In a time where Governments all over the world are losing tax revenue and increase debt it should be clear that something has gone seriously sideways.

  37. ikoino says:

    According to Kurt Vonnegut, there is only one party in the US: the winners.

    Sometimes I wonder if the distribution of wealth is merely following the power law of connectivity.

    Governments used to organize command and control around wars. When that prospect escalated to self annihilation, the command and control shifted to commerce. So, who’s better prepared to deal with the World’s problems now? Governments or foundations, like Bill & Melinda Gates? At one point I thought that Larry Ellison’s lifestyle was an example of capital wasted on lifestyle. And then it turns out that he is setting aside most of his wealth towards charity, but doing so quietly.

    There are some pretty obvious inefficiencies; bankers and traders seem pretty superfluous. But, what’s the alternative? Should the World’s resources be distributed via power law or P2P. How would P2P distribution of wealth work? If power law is needed then where is it best applied? Though capital, like the US, or through governance, like China?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Everyone should pay something, corporate and personal. A flat tax is the only fair way to go. No deductions. On every dollar of income, you pay a flat percentage. We would have more money than we could spend.

  39. RedShirt77 says:

    Whitehouse says richest 400 taxpayers are taxed at a lower rate than a $29,000-a-year worker

    http://politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2011/feb/25/sheldon-whitehouse/whitehouse-says-richest-400-taxpayers-taxed-lower-/

  40. ablebody says:

    Why are America’s largest corporations paying no tax?

    Why aren’t ALL americans incorporating themselves and using the loopholes to make the same savings/investment in the structure that is working for so many entrepreneurs?

    become a subchapter-S corp and your “company” will never pay federal taxes. the salary you draw from it will, just keep it modest, yo.

    • RedShirt77 says:

      I know, this income tax is for the birds, lets just pay 11% on the amount we save each year, and if your savings goes down or you incur debt, then no taxes. Sounds fair.

  41. chaosaddict says:

    Wow, there’s so many problems with that article, I don’t think it can be attributed to stupidity. Even in the summary, it doesn’t seem right to me to compare how much a corporation is paying in income taxes to how much their compensating executives. Are they really suggesting that employees of a company shouldn’t be compensated in years when a company doesn’t make money? They did seem to pick out companies which are big, but have recently been struggling. A couple years ago, it looked like BoA and Citi might even go bankrupt. This article must be a bunch of sensationalist lies in an attempt to get ad revenue.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Econ 101: the legal incidence of a tax is independent of its burden.

    That is, we can force corporations to write checks to the government. Their customers will always bear the burden. Rallying for squeezing more out of corporations is the same as demanding higher prices and lower wages.

    Corporate taxes obfuscate the true level of taxation on society. Eliminate corporate taxes and make up the rest through sales taxes, income tax, or any other tax that is levied on *individuals*; the total burden and maybe even the individual burden could be made the same as before, but when the incidence and the burden of taxes are aligned, the true level of taxation is revealed.

    Right now the true level of taxation is (intentionally) hidden under a mountain of lost productivity, lost efficiency, lost&unknowable forgone products and services and innovations, higher prices, and lower wages. Thanks in part to corporate taxes.

  43. Rayonic says:

    Corporate taxes are regressive, not progressive. Do you think they just come from executive salaries? Ha. The costs are spread around the company.

    It’d be better to drop corporate taxes altogether and raise taxes elsewhere. Then you can target whoever you want (oh boy!)

  44. freddy nono says:

    It’s not just big corporations. There are millions of people who run their lives as corporations with the whole purpose to show a loss every year so they pay no taxes.As an example, take a look at Arianna Huffington. For the two years she showed us, 02 and 03 she paid 700 dollars in taxes.

    As for the art school drop out I bet she didn’t pay more than the CEO did in taxes. If she did then that would be a real scandal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, that’s because the Huffington Post wasn’t launched until 2005, and before that she wasn’t making a salary on her business loses, even if her assets were extensive (of which some, property for instance, she DID pay taxes on).

  45. Rayonic says:

    Plus, as the article points out, bigger companies can afford to hire more accountants to get out of more taxes. So it’s double-regressive.

  46. AGC says:

    The rich are just as stuck in this rat race as we are. If they stop running someone will quickly pass them. Everyone, rich or poor, feels they have no choice.

  47. Anonymous says:

    If you tax one of these corps, all what you do is tax the customers of those corporations…

    The taxes could either come out of the profits of the corporation or from the customers, in the form of higher prices. For the latter to happen, you have to assume the company has been charging lower prices than it could afford. Is this really your experience?

  48. Anonymous says:

    It could be my brain is on overload from studying but I believe I have found a solution to the problems of tax and the government puppets!

    Make all campaign contributions taxable and just like the Alternative Minimum Tax, there are very few deductions. These taxes would go towards paying something specific for the public good and not just “for general use.”

    Eh, it’s a dream anyway…

  49. Jason Rizos says:

    Americans are slowly waking up to the fact that they now live in a Plutocracy, one in which the wealthy are not subject to the rule of law, and the government is their wholly owned subsidiary. People won’t really start freaking out until they see massively unpopular Republican candidates sweeping elections in 2012.

  50. Anonymous says:

    the more fraud losses the better, with that model. just write-em-off against the profits.. (not at cost, but at full value, with interest and fees of course..)

  51. Anonymous says:

    If, as some here have suggested, corporations don’t actually pay income taxes, only individuals do, then the logical conclusion is that a corporation is not a person before the law and therefore should not be free to spend unlimited money on supporting political candidates.

  52. zyodei says:

    It seems that if corporations are going to claim ‘corporate personhood,’ they ought to pay taxes the same way an individual does, right?

    Just imagine if, as a person, you only had to pay taxes on the ‘operating profits’ of your activities!

    “Well, Mr. IRS Man, I only had to put $500 in the bank this year, especially after that Hawaiian vacation..so here’s my $100 annual tax bill.”

  53. Alfred says:

    “People won’t really start freaking out until they see massively unpopular Republican candidates sweeping elections in 2012.” what? if they are massively unpopular, how are they going to sweep the elections. I guarantee you that Arianna paid more tax that listed. There is thing called self-employment tax, you can not get away from it.

  54. Robert says:

    Unless people start burning their buildings, large corporations will not be paying taxes. There is a revolving door between the SEC and corporate accounting/legal firms. The same person at the SEC charged with investigating, say, B of A will next year be defending B of A against the SEC.

  55. Alfred says:

    I am curious, how would you organize society to produce the products that we depend on so as not live like the Amish, (unless you really like being totally at the mercy of nature, which of course we still are for the most part, but we are at least trying)
    The Socialist model has never worked, the Chinese model is quite authoritative, and benevolent dictators always die.

  56. Anonymous says:

    “Taxes? We don’t pay no stinkin’ taxes!”

  57. Anonymous says:

    To the anon. poster who doesn’t understand managerial accounting. Taxes are not a cost, they are a liability. They are not counted as either cost of sales or cost of goods sold, just liability.

    A common misconception, especially by those in favor of the “Fair Tax.” The goal of most businesses is to maximize equity. This is done by maximizing profits. Liabilities are deducted from profits, so the higher the better, regardless of the tax.

  58. gwailo_joe says:

    Yup. Bigger companies can afford more accountants, more lawyers and. . .more politicians.

    And yes, they prosper at the whim of the consumer. But their bottom line is ‘we will not go out of business.’ They may change the name, or merge with another. . .but the big boys at the top ain’t about to lose their jobs, not at least with out a shimmering golden parachute.

    ‘Don’t you see how important I am to the economy?! I’m 2BIG2Fail chumps!!! Now pay up.’

    The corporations rule. Yes, it is the small and medium sized businesses that are the backbone of the nations economy, but the little guys can’t/won’t/don’t know how to organize like the big guys.

    Who can throw money at a problem better than a multinational corporation? (besides Congress. . .)

    And now, as the ruling classes anticipate a modicum of the financial pain that a huge number of regular citizens already feel: the argument has shifted to the unemployed and working poor vs. the unionized middle classes.

    Like a sign in Wisconsin:’My job doesn’t give me health care. . .why should yours?’

    A Brilliant ploy! Destructive, divisive and. . .sheer genius. Also: totally evil. But if it works. . .oh man. . .the oligarchy will have won such a great victory that will make our posterity look back 20, 50 years from now and say ‘What the F were they THINKING?!’

    My job gives me health care: so should yours.

    • mdh says:

      My job gives me health care: so should yours.

      So, my health care, and that of my dependents, should be grudgingly paid for by my employer? Who may or not be capricious. That surely increases my sense of security and empowerment.

      Or should maybe I pool my resources with the other 300,000,000 Americans and see if maybe that will be more efficient, like it seems to be in the rest of the world?

      • archmagetrexasaurus says:

        “So, my health care, and that of my dependents, should be grudgingly paid for by my employer?”

        Does anyone’s employer actually pay for health care? I’ve only ever seen situations in which premiums are deducted automatically from employee compensation. Employers providing access to health care plans makes sense for precisely the same reasons as your statement:

        “Or should maybe I pool my resources with the other 300,000,000 Americans and see if maybe that will be more efficient, like it seems to be in the rest of the world?”

        Sure, the employees of any single business don’t have the leverage that the entire population might, but individual plans that are worthwhile are hard to come by, (my wife and I are on one that’s okay, as long as we never need non-routine services, in which case we’ll never be able to pay through our deductible)

  59. Anonymous says:

    Trickle down? More like getting pissed on.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Just because no one has mentioned it so far, corporate tax is generally paid in arrears, so a record profit in 2010 will be taxed in 2011. This is why there are quite a few big banks with sizeable profits this year but no tax, the tax is on the huge losses last year, and the tax on these profits will be next year.

  61. Anonymous says:

    I have to pay income taxes on my unemployment.

  62. floraldeoderant says:

    |—–
    | 0
    | /|\
    | /
    |
    ———

    O_IGA_CH_

    w u d e f

    OOOOHHHH, I feel like it’s right on the tip of my tongue.

  63. travtastic says:

    I’m feeling the creep of boredom at my current job, and was wondering if someone could help me out: I keep looking and looking, but I never see any of these sweet corporate shill jobs in the paper.

    How did you other guys get yours? Are there benefits, or do you just get the standard $.50 per comment? I have tons of experience in commenting, and I think I could be turned to the other side if the money was right.

    Here’s an example of my work:

    [Person/group in question] does [evil shit] because of the law! What would you guys rather have, anarchy? It would be nice if things were perfect, but [person/group in question] is/are just doing their job/s, and they’re [regular people/made up of regular people] just like everyone else.

    Times are tough in this economy. Everyone’s making tough choices.”

    Let me know if you guys have any leads, let’s network!

    • jack5225 says:

      Nice dude. +1 internets for you.

      Came to see all the accounting GED’s, corporate shills, and winners (i.e. dupes) of capitalism run amok. Leaving happy.

  64. uxpowered says:

    Corporations don’t pay taxes because any tax leveraged on them is passed to the consumer. It’s a ridiculous notion to say that we keep taxing corporations at a higher rate when all they will do is raise the price of goods. If you hate corporations don’t buy from them, but any tax on them is a burden to the people that use their goods/service.

    Corporations don’t make money from the money tree, they get it from ‘we the people’. The higher they are taxed the higher we are taxed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me repeat: the taxes could either come out of the profits of the corporation or from the customers, in the form of higher prices. For the latter to happen, you have to assume the company has been charging lower prices than people will pay. What makes you think they are usually doing that?

    • Snowrunner says:

      Corporations don’t pay taxes because any tax leveraged on them is passed to the consumer.

      So do their profits. So I guess they should not have a profit at all?

      It’s a ridiculous notion to say that we keep taxing corporations at a higher rate when all they will do is raise the price of goods.

      It’s ridiculous notion to say that we should keep taxing individuals when it just prevents them from spending more on Goods & Services provided by Corporations.

      If you hate corporations don’t buy from them, but any tax on them is a burden to the people that use their goods/service.

      In the past Corporations managed to pay taxes, have a profit AND people were able to afford products and were provided with Government Services. These days, Corporations pay hardly any tax, the individual tax rate has gone up (in the lower levels), buying power has gone down and Government Services have been cut (and will be cut more).

      So, in the real world it seems your argument has been disproven.

      Corporations don’t make money from the money tree, they get it from ‘we the people’. The higher they are taxed the higher we are taxed.

      Nonesense. The Government needs to get the money to operate from someone. If not from the businesses then from the individual. There is no free lunch, unless you’re a corporation, in which case it’s tax deductible and the individual gets to pay for it indirectly.

      • RedShirt77 says:

        Thank you, I think some corporation hired a bunch of temp workers to chase this story around the internet and post dribble on every post.

        Where do they think profit comes from? Corporations and other business owners take some off the top!

        They have paid less and less in taxes, and they don’t pass that savings on, they just take more and more profit, year after year.

        So if they cut costs, consumers see nothing, but if cost go back up they will of course have to raise prices and pass 100% of that cost or go out of business, because if they don’t pay their CEO 50 million a year and still make 8% growth every quarter till the end of time, then it ain’t worth doing business!!

        Bullshit!

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      That bit of commonsense apply to hedge funds and pools of speculative capital too?

      Oh, they’ll h just raise the interest they charge.

      No Regulation of the big money boys of finance is hunky dory, huh? Don’t tax them: they’ll just send the people with no income or assets the ultimate bill.

      Sure they will. Try it and see….

  65. Heisenberg says:

    Zero income = Zero income taxes.

    Was that so hard?

    This is the kind of inquiry I expect from a crazy guy with a blackboard.

  66. Guairdean says:

    No corporation, private business, or even small Mom and Pop store has ever paid a tax. Every penny forwarded to the government has been collected from their customers. When the taxes are high enough that they can’t collect the extra money from their customers, they close. Corporations and private businesses lay off their employees, Mom and Pop stores close. If you think squeezing more money out of business is good for the economy, take a longer look at the long term effects.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Actually, exxon does pay taxes. You can see their tax statements here.

    http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/invsub/results/statemnt.aspx?Symbol=XOM

  68. chroma says:

    I’m curious, Cory. How much tax has Happy Mutants LLC paid over the past couple years?

    • Cowicide says:

      I’m curious, Cory. How much tax has Happy Mutants LLC paid over the past couple years?

      I’m curious, chroma, how much red herring do you emit from your pie-hole over the course of a few years?

      • kjulig says:

        That’s a perfectly legitimate question IMO. Not that I think Cory has a lot of insight into the financials of Boing Boing but if he is curious about the tax situation of a company he shouldn’t be surprised that people ask about Boing Boing’s taxes.

    • travtastic says:

      Who cares?

      • chroma says:

        As I said, I’m curious.

        To elaborate: Cory is (implicitly) criticizing some corporations for paying little or no tax.

        I would expect that due to its nature that Happy Mutants LLC pays out most of its revenue in salary, bonuses, server bandwidth, and outside services, and thus has very little profit at the end of the year, and therefore pays only a small amount of corporate tax.

        If a corporation over which he apparently has some significant control also pays little tax (relative to its size, of course), this is a contradiction. So this really is a call for clarification over the original article.

        If this line of reasoning is wrong, please let me know.

        • Ugly Canuck says:

          Nonsense and bullshit: one need not give up allof one’s secrets before criticizing excessive secrecy on the part of the GOv.

          The average hedge fund director/manager in the USA made a billion dollars each in income last year.

          After monster little taxpayer financed giveaways to their so called “industry”.

          How about opening up their books first?

          • chroma says:

            If we map your analogy to the current situation: one need not pay taxes before criticizing someone else for not paying taxes. Is this correct? An alternative interpretation of your post is that corporations are too secretive and that we don’t know why they aren’t paying taxes.

            Hedge funds and their managers are a separate issue.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            t is none of your business whether or no the commenter pays any taxes at all to the taxing entity; either the criticism has merit or it so doesn’t.

            You seem to wish to place a barrier in front of the free exercise of the expression of opinion: searching for an ad hominem argument, when the topic is tax policy?

            Before somebody may speak, their papers must be in order?

            Why not address the topic under discussion, rather than the merely accidental, purely personal, characteristics of the speaker?

            Why throw up such chaff, if your intentions are honest ?

        • Ugly Canuck says:

          Perhaps you feel that only the opinions of angels can have any merit, when it comes to the affairs of mankind?

          • chroma says:

            Nope. Just trying to figure out the original poster applies his personal experience to the topic of blog post. I mean, I’m not asking about his relationship with his spouse, personal hygiene, or what he had for breakfast. Just taxes.

            Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to infringe on the free exercise of opinion elsewhere. (That’s sarcasm, BTW.)

  69. Ugly Canuck says:

    And in an given year, they make only enough profit to pay their taxes…or not, as the case may be.

  70. Anonymous says:

    A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the teabagger and says, “Look out for that union guy — he wants a piece …of your cookie.”

  71. triskele says:

    The Socialist model has never worked

    This keeps on getting repeated like its true. Saying its so don’t make it so. I know its an article of patriotic/religious faith for USA people but evidence to the contrary is so easy to find over here in Europe!

  72. Ugly Canuck says:

    These big money guys are the same guys who display their patriotism by threatening to take their property and business to leave the country if their tax rates are raised, right?

    But we must do with less, for the “good of the country”.

  73. Anonymous says:

    ‘BOEING: Despite receiving billions of dollars from the federal government every single year in taxpayer subsidies from the U.S. government, Boeing didn’t “pay a dime of U.S. federal corporate income taxes” between 2008 and 2010.’

    This doesn’t make sense — the taxes would just come out of the subsidy dollars. Is the author advocating that the government writes a check for “billions of dollars” and then just takes part of it back via taxes?

    And what does CEO pay have to do with corporate income taxes?

  74. Ugly Canuck says:

    Strictly speaking, “America’s largest corporation” would be the Government of the United States of America, itself, insofar as it has a “personality” recognized by the Law.

  75. jtegnell says:

    It’s because they create jobs, and you tax-paying schmucks don’t!

    Or that’s what your local Tea Bagger will tell you.

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