The US Government Loses As Much As $111 Billion Annually Due to Corporate Tax Dodging –

The report estimates that the US loses $111 billion a year and that developing countries lose $100 billion annually due to corporate tax dodging. From 2008-2014, according to the report, the top 50 American corporations reported $4 trillion in profits and paid $1 trillion in taxes globally, with only $412 billion of that going to the federal US government. At the same time, they received $11.2 trillion from the government “in the form of loans, loan guarantees, and bailout assistance,” in addition to $337 billion in tax breaks.

The use of tax havens allowed the surveyed firms to reduce their overall effective tax rate to 26.5 percent on average, 8.5 percent lower than the statutory rate of 35 percent. For each dollar they paid in federal taxes, according to the report, the top 50 US firms received $27 in federal support.

Britain should deal with tax havens the way De Gaulle took on Monaco | Polly Toynbee | Opinion | The Guardian

real transparency would make everyone’s tax return a public document.

The social shock would be seismic. At first people would feel as naked as if their clothes were stripped off in front of neighbours and work colleagues. Why else was Cameron so shy about revealing the scale of his wealth? He had done nothing unusual for families of his kind: it was the graphic exposure of his hundreds of thousands that made him blush. Why? Because people with inherited money know it’s not fair, they didn’t earn it and they are just lucky winners in life’s lottery.
-Polly Toynbee

LuxLeaks, Panama Papers: European hypocrisy | The blog of Thomas Piketty

We can rejoice in the fact that journalists do their job. The problem is that governments do not do them. The truth is that almost nothing has been done since the crisis of 2008. In some ways, things have gotten worse.
-Thomas Piketty

I’m starting to get the impression that it’s tax sheters all the way down.

The Corporate Tax Dodge Continues – NYT Editorial

Johnson Controls, an industrial and auto parts supplier headquartered in Milwaukee, announced this week that is was selling itself to Tyco International, a maker of fire safety products based in Ireland. The deal will let Johnson Controls pass itself off as Irish and, in the process, cut its taxes in the United States by at least $150 million a year.

Johnson Controls is not the first American company to avoid taxes by merging with a smaller company in a low-tax nation, and it won’t be the last. Nor is it the biggest. That distinction goes to Pfizer, which is in the process of becoming Irish, having merged last year with a smaller company based in Dublin.

Johnson Controls is, however, the latest and quite possibly the most brazen tax dodger. The company would not exist as it is today but for American taxpayers, who paid $80 billion in 2008 to bail out the auto industry. Johnson Controls’s president personally begged Congress for the bailout, which came on top of huge tax breaks that the company has received over the years, including at least $149 million from Michigan alone from 1992 to 2009, according to The Times.

Source: The Corporate Tax Dodge Continues – The New York Times

This is not good business. It’s anti-society and anti-humanity, and it will continue to accelerate until we demand that it’s stopped.

$250,000 a Year Is Not Middle Class – NYT

Flickr/401(K) 2012

Flickr/401(K) 2012

HILLARY CLINTON has vowed not to raise taxes on the middle class.

It’s a pledge that has worked well for others on the campaign trail before her, a resonant assurance to voters who saw themselves as middle class or aspired to be. But it’s a bad promise.

Mrs. Clinton is using a definition of middle class that has long been popular among Democratic policy makers, from her husband to Barack Obama when he was a candidate: any household that makes $250,000 or less a year. Yet this definition is completely out of touch with reality. It also boxes her in.

The most recent Census Bureau data showed that median household income — what people in the exact middle of the American spectrum earn — is $53,657.
-Bryce Covert

Source: $250,000 a Year Is Not Middle Class – The New York Times

This is a promise not to fix the holes in the social safety net.

Marco Rubio’s tax plan gives a huge gift to the top 0.0003 percent – Jared Bernstein for WaPo


If you were thinking: “what tax change could I implement that would be most helpful to the wealthiest households?” you’d quickly come to the same conclusion as Rubio: zero out taxes on capital gains and dividends. That’s because taxation on these forms of income, currently taxed at a top rate of 23.8 percent, is highly concentrated: according to the Tax Policy Center, 79 percent of the tax take from this asset-based income comes from the top 1 percent, 5 percent from the bottom 90 percent.
-Jared Bernstein

This is madness. Capital gains are not directly earned. It’s making money off of money. Therefore, they should be taxed at the highest prevailing rate at minimum, but the argument could be made that they should be taxed at a higher rate than all other forms of income. If investors want preferential tax treatment, then they should have to leave their money in one place long enough for it to do some good. The tax code could be updated to incent that, but there’s no argument to be made in favor of taxing unearned income at a rate that’s less than the highest rate which labor pays.