Earlier today, the White House put out a “fact sheet” in support of the President’s plan to seek out corporations the President doesn’t feel are paying a sufficient amount of taxes. The sheet said, “The nearly one-third of all foreign profits reported by U.S. corporations in 2003 came from just three small, low-tax countries: Bermuda, the Netherlands, and Ireland.”
That was news to the Dutch, whose government responded.
“[The] Dutch corporate tax rate is 25.5 percent and fully transparent, which puts us in the medium-tax rate category (and not in the low-tax category),” embassy spokeswoman Floris van Hövell said in a statement Tuesday. “The Dutch ambassador to the U.S.A., Mrs Renée Jones-Bos, has conveyed this message to the White House, the Treasury Department and the Department of State.”
Perhaps the President believe the Dutch are “low-tax” because their corporate tax rates are a full ten percent under the US corporate tax rate (not counting state corporate tax rates). In fact, the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world and when you do count state corporate taxes (as an average) we only slip to second.
To get a really good idea about how ridiculous our tax situation is, take a look at this chart. Can you imagine the amount of money those tax rates represent? More importantly, given what anyone with two working brain cells knows about about government, can you imagine how much of that money is simply gone — given to enrich campaign contributors, wasted on stupid but unavoidable inefficiency, or lining the pockets of corrupt bureaucrats. That’s lost money, folks, money that should be moving through this economy, that should be employing hundreds of thousands of Americans, that should be buying healthcare and prescriptions and automobiles and earning interest in retirement funds.
But it won’t because this President, right now, thinks all that money rightfully belongs not to you and me but to the government, doled out only as they deem appropriate to those they deem deserving.