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updated: 7/7/2011 4:50 PM

U.S. companies hardly at a disadvantage

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Republicans are fond of saying that the United States has a high corporate tax rate, and because of this our corporations operate at a competitive disadvantage in the world marketplace. If you have read this and believed it, you have been made a fool.

The United States collected tax revenues from corporations in 2008 (latest data) at the rate of 1.8 percent of GDP. We and Turkey had the distinction in 2008 of having the lowest corporate tax revenues as a percentage of GDP of all the countries in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, which includes 34 of the developed countries in the world. Denmark was high at 12.5 percent of GDP and the average of all members was 3.5 percent of GDP.

The Republicans' "competitive disadvantage" fib is based on the highest marginal corporate statutory tax rate in the U.S. Tax Code, which is virtually meaningless, as the tax code is festooned with deductions, exemptions, deferrals, set asides and accounting gimmicks accepted by the IRS which together can and do result in corporations as large as General Electric earning $14 billion in profits and paying no corporate taxes at all for tax year 2010.

That would be a rate of 0 percent, but according to the Republicans, G.E. is unfairly burdened by our tax code, because the top corporate rate, which nobody pays, is 35 percent.

If you are a Republican and were taken in by this flimflam you should be offended. Your party is doing you and your country a disservice.

Alfred Y. Kirkland Jr.


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