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Response to TampaAnimusVortex (Reply #57)

Sat Dec 19, 2015, 09:44 PM

58. Yes, your argument has about zero economists behind it.

Here are a few more examples of what economists say on the issue. As you'll see, some disagree slightly with each other, but nobody takes the "corporations just pass on all their taxes" fantasy position.

Who Pays the Corporate Income Tax?

One way or another, though, actual people have to ultimately pay the tax. Consumers pay it if companies respond to corporate taxes by raising the price of their products. Workers pay the tax if corporations respond by lowering wages. Shareholders pay the tax if it simply eats into profits and lowers share prices.

But which is it? Bruce Bartlett reports today that the March issue of the National Tax Journal has four articles that address this question. Here are the answers:

Article #1: Shareholders pay 100 percent.
Article #2: Shareholders pay 100 percent.
Article #3: Shareholders pay 40 percent, workers pay 60 percent.
Article #4: Shareholders pay 82 percent, workers pay 18 percent.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/02/who-pays-corporate-income-ta


You make a larger point though, which is this idea that if people say some cockamamie thing on the Internet enough times, it carries as much weight as actual facts or study. Or as you put it, "If all I need to do is find a single economist that disagrees, this should be over pretty quick."

But that's not really the standard of what is true or what isn't. You made an unqualified statement about how corporate taxes work based on flawed political ideology as though it were a substantiated fact. Apparently you didn't look at all as to what economists think or what studies show before asserting it with an air of perfect certainty, as though this was something everyone should know. But it's not. The idea that corporations pass all their taxes along to consumers (and so taxing them is pointless) is political rhetoric created by ideologues and corporate lobbyists who would simply like corporate taxes to stay low.

It's not the same thing as an argument or a point of view. It's propaganda; a pretext. An excuse.

This is the problem we have. People have been persuaded that you can just "believe" any version of reality you want, because bad information is just as readily available as good information, and rhetoric and fantasy can be as loudly and widely dispersed as actual knowledge.

But that doesn't make malarkey and reality equal. There are actual qualitative differences in things that we can identify. The conservative / libertarian fantasy that corporate tax is magically irrelevant is not a real thing. People say it because they want a pretext to argue corporate taxes should remain absurdly low. That's it. It's not a po-TAY-to po-TAH-to situation. Corporate taxes work just fine, are actually paid by the corporations upon which they are levied, and may well need to be raised. It's nice that people who don't want them raised have come up with a piece of pseudo-logic in which to wrap their selfish objectives, but it really isn't a matter of opinion or debate.

It simply isn't so.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply Yes, your argument has about zero economists behind it.
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