Let’s do some fact checking on President Obama’s corporate tax comments in the State of the Union.
Claim: “Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas.”
False: There are no such breaks. Instead, we punish U.S. and foreign businesses for investing and creating jobs here.
Claim: “If you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it.”
False: There is no such tax deduction.
Claim: “No American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas.”
False: America is not a prison camp. Besides, imposing a 40-percent tax rate on corporations that invest here is not a “fair share.”
Claim: “From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.”
False: We’ve already got a corporate “alternative minimum tax,” and it’s an idiotic waste of accounting resources that ought to be repealed.
Claim: “It is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas.”
False: We penalize them for locating jobs here. Besides, the overseas operations of U.S. companies generally complement domestic jobs by boosting U.S. exports.
Claim: “Companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.”
Claim: “If you’re an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making your products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers.”
Chris Edwards is the director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, and editor of www.DownsizingGovernment.org. Before joining Cato, Edwards was a senior economist on the congressional Joint Economic Committee, a manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and an economist with the Tax Foundation.
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