Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Foolishness of High Corporate Tax Rates

Carter Wood notes the great editorial yesterday in the Wall Street Journal on the counter-productive nature of high corporate tax rates:

Some good news on the tax cutting front: Last week lawmakers approved an 8.9 percentage point reduction in the corporate income tax rate. Too bad the tax cutters are Germans, not Americans.

There's a trend here. At least 25 developed nations have adopted Reaganite corporate income tax rate cuts since 2001. The U.S. is conspicuously not one of them. Vietnam has recently announced it is cutting its corporate rate to 25% from 28%. Singapore has approved a corporate tax cut to 18% from 20% to compete with low-tax Hong Kong's rate of 17.5%, and Northern Ireland is making a bid to slash its corporate tax rate to 12.5% to keep pace with the same low rate in the prosperous Republic of Ireland. Even in France, of all places, new President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed reducing the corporate tax rate to 25% from 34.4%.

'Robin Hood' politics is preventing the US from promoting economic growth by instituting the same type of reforms. Of course, it doesn't seem right now as if we need to do all that much to encourage economic growth -- so low is unemployment. Perhaps conservatives ought to save this for a presidential election year?

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