America's 2-class tax system | Philadelphia Inquirer | 04/17/2011 "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." A rare moment of honesty for rightwing Republitards. One of the more egregious falsehoods being peddled by the corporate tax cutters is that companies doing business in the United States are taxed at an exorbitant rate. Not so. Though the United States has one of the highest statutory rates on the books at 35 percent, the only fair way to measure what companies actually pay is their effective rate - what they ultimately pay after deductions, credits, and assorted write-offs. By that yardstick, companies in the United States consistently pay taxes at rates lower than corporations in Japan and many nations in Europe. During the 1950s, the decade in which more people joined the middle class than at any time in history - before or since - corporations paid 49 percent of their profits in taxes. Last year, it was about half that rate, a decidedly more modest 26 percent. In 2010, corporate tax collections totaled $191 billion - down 8 percent from $207 billion as recently as 2000. Perhaps a more telling yardstick, corporate tax revenue in 2009 came to just 1 percent of gross domestic product - the lowest collection level since 1936, or three-quarters of a century ago. In 2010, it edged up to a puny 1.3 percent - the second-lowest since 1940. Even worse, the shriveled tax collections came at a time when corporations were registering an all-time high in profits. At the end of 2010, corporations posted an annualized profit of $1.65 trillion in the fourth quarter. In other words, the more they made, the less they paid. As for the corporate share of total income taxes paid by businesses and individuals, it has plummeted from 40 percent in 1950, the dawn of Middle America's golden age, to 18 percent last year. The numbers tell us that a lot of politicians, including would-be presidential candidates, are mathematically challenged. The corporate numbers also explain why hardworking Americans are on a greased downward slope from which they are unlikely to recover, as long as the lawmakers and deal-makers in Washington not only refuse to ease their plight, but also continue to pile on, compelling them alone to pay for the country's massive deficit while simultaneously chipping away at their safety nets. You rightwing, deluded morons have made it painfully hard to defend tax cuts and what simply amounts to corporate welfare, for big business, I seriously believe that the only reason you jackasses continue to defend and promote lies is just to save face from telling the American people they've been bamboozled and hoodwinked.