Saturday, March 5, 2011

Let's lower corporate tax rates

For the past two decades... no make that forever, conservatives have been concerned about how high our corporate tax rates are. One reason this concern hasn't gotten very much traction is that corporations can easily avoid taxes and therefore corporate taxes make up only a small sliver of our overall tax revenues (another reason for this is that corporations can write off so many of their expenses).

The main complaint of Republicans is that our corporate tax rate is higher than any other developed country. This is true and given that fact, one would wonder how our corporations compete in the international marketplace... until you realize that the countries with lower corporate tax rates also expect more from their companies in terms of employee benefits (minimum of 6 weeks paid vacation every year, phenomenal maternity and paternity leave, shorter work weeks, generous pensions, etc.).

I've been toying with an idea about U.S. corporate tax rates the past several weeks. It's pretty simple. Let's lower our corporate tax rates substantially. Right now, our top rate is around 40%, while the rest of the developed world is around 26%. I say let's undercut them. Lower our top rate to 25% or 20% or 15%. Then, let's require companies (and we can negotiate about what companies this applies to–for instance, we may want to restrict these requirements to larger companies) to treat workers with more respect. I'm talking a minimum of 6 weeks paid vacation every year, substantial maternity and paternity leave, 32-35 hour work weeks, pensions, quality health care, etc.

Let's face it. We can go on taxing corporations at the same rate (they can compete just fine) and allowing them to treat workers poorly (in comparison to the rest of the developed world) or we can lower taxes and simply set standards for how workers must be treated.

Right now, the government acts as a middle man. It taxes companies and then passes this money on to workers in the form of social programs. These social programs are important, but mostly they're treating the symptoms of an abused working class. Why not take the government out of the equation and simply guarantee that companies treat their workers with respect?

Ultimately, the idea is to reward workers in the most efficient way possible. The working class is the foundation of our national prosperity. A prosperous working class produces a prosperous nation.


  1. Sounds like an excellent train of thought!

  2. This would seem like a win win - lower corporate taxes and give the employees more benefits. It would be affordable as the companies would actually be saving money in comparison to how it currently is, and the employees wouldn't have to rely on a very inefficient system to reap their benefits.

    That being said I doubt this will ever happen - our government really doesn't like getting pushed out of the picture. And as massive as it currently is I can't see any way it will be downsizing anytime soon.

    I just found your blog - keep up the good work and good luck with law school =]

  3. Aletha,



    I think there will come a time when solutions like this will be politically viable. It's simply going to take leadership. I have so much faith in our generation and I know many people our age that could conceivably provide the sort of leadership we need.

    Well see, but I'm pretty optimistic.