Thursday, December 12, 2002

Of All People: Here's Paul O'Neill making half of the argument to the Financial Times:
"The corporations and businesses are just an intermediary between the citizens and the government. And the cost of that intermediate process is enormous because the corporate and business part of the tax code is unbelievably complicated and requires them to [...] employ hundreds of thousands of highly trained [...] people to thread their way through the tax code. And the cost of doing that also has to be recovered through the price of the goods that people pay."

"So you would eliminate the corporate income tax?" asks FT.

"Absolutely," says O'Neill.

(No doubt O'Neill would not be as fond of the flip side, the subsidy elimination.) I think a lot of people in the business world feel this way, and not all of them are pirates in neckties. As the numbers below indicate, this isn't just a bad bargain for taxpayers (we pay to create higher prices); it's a bad bargain for businesses, too.

Even better, here's Tom Nugent on the same subject:

Opponents of such a bold move argue that such a tax reduction is a gift to the corporation and unnecessary. On the contrary, eliminating corporate taxes provides a potential benefit to the consumer through lower prices, to the corporation through lower expenses and higher profits, and to shareholders — the economy — through higher stock prices. (Don’t forget the cost savings to the government as the people who monitor tax compliance are eliminated. Perhaps they could become sky marshals.)

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