Sunday, February 20, 2011

Yves Smith: Wisconsin Union Battle -- A Convenient Distraction From the Real Culprit in State Budget Woes

Wisconsin Union Battle: A Convenient Distraction From the Real Culprit in State Budget Woes
by Yves Smith
Naked Capitalism

The first is that the collapse in tax receipts was the result of the global financial crisis. That’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room that everyone seems to ignore. But second, as a very good article by Richard Wolff in the Guardian stresses, is that corporations no longer pay their fair share of total taxes:

During the Great Depression, federal income tax receipts from individuals and corporations were roughly equal. During the second world war, income tax receipts from corporations were 50% greater than from individuals. The national crises of depression and war produced successful popular demands for corporations to contribute significant portions of federal tax revenues.

US corporations resented that arrangement, and after the war, they changed it. Corporate profits financed politicians’ campaigns and lobbies to make sure that income tax receipts from individuals rose faster than those from corporations and that tax cuts were larger for corporations than for individuals. By the 1980s, individual income taxes regularly yielded four times more than taxes on corporations’ profits…

Corporations repeated at the state and local levels what they accomplished federally. According to the US Census Bureau, corporations paid taxes on their profits to states and localities totalling $24.7bn in 1988, while individuals then paid income taxes of $90bn. However, by 2009, while corporate tax payments had roughly doubled (to $49.1bn), individual income taxes had more than tripled (to $290bn).

To Read the Rest of the Report

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