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Discussion: (6 comments)

  1. Todd Mason

    Once again we are treated to much smearing of ashes and rending of clothes over retail tax rates no self-respecting corporation or techie billionaire would ever pay. Here is Greg Mankiw, no liberal he, taking down Warren Buffett correctly for plumping for higher top rates while dodging capital gains on his own account.
    To the traditional avoidance schemes — buy and hold, donate and bequeath — we can add the financial engineering that allowed Mark Cuban to lock up his Yahoo gains without incurring a tax bill.
    And as long as multinationals have an option of paying Ireland’s corporate rate of 12.5 percent, we shouldn’t be too surprised that a GAO study put the US effective rate in 2011 at 12.6 percent.
    Two givens here. Their tax attorneys will always be smarter than the government’s. American multinationals are American in name only.

  2. Benjamin Cole

    I like tax cuts (that means cutting government spending on DoD, VA and DHS) a double bonus.
    But there is an inconvenient truth: top federal income tax rate in the 1960s was over 90 percent and the USA boomed, boomed, zoom-boomed…

    1. because nobody paid that rate…..

      if you’re going to cite history at least cite it accurately.

      1. Todd Mason

        And nobody pays these rates so how about an honest pitch from big business. Cut our rates and we’ll bring our profits back to the US. Maybe.

        1. mesa econoguy

          Let’s try an experiment Turd.

          Let’s jack up your US “statutory rates” to 100%.

          Since nobody pays them – but they are published and enforceable – let’s see how many corporations talk to your country.

          Meanwhile, I’ll be “a different country,” called, say, Europe.

          We used to have the most restrictive capital controls in the developed world, but now, not so much.

  3. Benjamin Cole


    Fine–but we are talking about top tax rates as defined by law…that’s what the charts are showing…they do not show actual tax rates, or after loophole tax rates….

    As a fraction of the federal revenues, corporate income taxes were much higher in the 1960s than today (in part because of swelling payroll taxes since then).

    The story of the federal budget in the last 40 years is huge payroll taxes….and programs financed by payroll taxes….

    Hey, I would be happy to switch to simple consumption taxes…..

    But the truth is, the USA had 90 percent and higher marginal federal income tax rates in the 1960s, and we boom-boomed, zoom-boomed….

    We also had a growth-oriented Fed…

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