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Chris M. sends me this link:

Think Progress » ExxonMobil paid no federal income tax in 2009.
“Last week, Forbes magazine published what the top U.S. corporations paid in taxes last year. “Most egregious,” Forbes notes, is General Electric, which “generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.” Big Oil giant Exxon Mobil, which last year reported a record $45.2 billion profit, paid the most taxes of any corporation, but none of it went to the IRS:”

OK, call me a fascist tool for asking this question, but if the Progressives are outraged that high levels of corporate taxation encourage firms to shelter profits offshore, does that mean that they believe in the Laffer curve? After all, the left has a wonderful time making fun of folks that believe the the optimal (from a revenue generating perspective sense) tax rate is below 100% and above 0% and that it is entirely possibly we are on the southeastern side of the Laffer curve. I tell you what lefty people, I already take measures to shelter my income from taxes, and the more you wish to make me a part of your super-cool, totally awesome cotton-candy and shiny toys progressive world, the more effort I will make to shelter it. Does that make me as evil as Exxon? Gosh, how dare I try to keep that which is mine!

One Response to “Does This Mean You Believe in the Laffer Curve?”

  1. Harry says:

    I went to the link and read some of the comments to that shot at ExxonMobil and the rest of the free world. Wow. I normally do not hang around such profoundly ignorant people.

    I question whether Forbes was quoted accurately, but if it was, I would be surprised if Forbes found it egregious or surprising that ExxonMobil acts in the interests of its stockholders. Being an American oil company, we ought to be glad it has not incorporated offshore. In any event, it is the favorite target of everyone from Bill O’Reilly to Chuck Schumer to the folks on the ironically-named Think Progress — a pinata that has been flogged many times.

    A disclaimer: I own shares of ExxonMobil, and I read its reports and publications. It has been successful for many years in finding oil, and for having the financial resources to produce it, refine it, and sell what they refine, at a profit. They have made trillions of pre-tax dollars, and have paid trillions of dollars to their Class A Preferred Shareholder, the U.S. Government. They have retained trillions of post-tax dollars to reinvest in more exploration, refining, and marketing, and have been able to return a small fraction, still measured in trillions, to their stockholders, who include not just me (I wish it were just a hundred thousand) but also other persons, and pension funds, and IRA’s.

    For years some in our government have thought about taxing multinationals on their overseas subsidiaries’ profits, and this effort has intensified with our present congress, which more than ever needs the money. They do not understand that lowering or eliminating taxation of corporate profits might cause those profits to be repatriated. All that money would have to go somewhere; even if they would sit on every dime it would be put into the bank, which in turn would lend it to someone else as fast as they can, or they could even lend it to the federal government. Or they could pay it all out to stockholders in dividends, in which the government would have several cracks at it, first as “unearned income”, then in the form of sales taxes when after-tax dollars are consumed, as “personal property” in some states, and finally, if there is anything left, in estate taxes. (Pennsylvania levies a 4%-15% tax on the first dollar of a net estate, for example.)

    Of course if you are an individual who has a big enough tax problem, you move to another country, just like Exxon would if it had a big enough tax problem. For most people, this would be a difficult decision, since this country is the greatest country the world has seen. Relatively speaking, we’re a free people.

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