Corporate Cash Con
By PAUL KRUGMAN
And now trickle-down economics — specifically, the idea that anything that increases corporate profits is good for the economy — is making a comeback.
On the face of it, this seems bizarre. Over the last two years profits have soared while employment has remained disastrously high. Why should anyone believe that handing even more money to corporations, no strings attached, would lead to faster job creation?
Nonetheless, trickle-down is clearly on the ascendant — and even some Democrats are buying into it. What am I talking about? Consider first the arguments Republicans are using to defend outrageous tax loopholes. How can people simultaneously demand savage cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and defend special tax breaks favoring hedge fund managers and owners of corporate jets?
Well, here’s what a spokesman for Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, told Greg Sargent of The
And then there’s the repatriation issue.
As opponents of this plan point out, we’ve already seen this movie
What the tax holiday did do, however, was give big corporations a chance to avoid paying taxes, because they would eventually have repatriated, and paid taxes on, much of the money they brought in under the amnesty. And it also gave these companies an incentive to move even more jobs overseas, since they now know that there’s a good chance that they’ll be able to bring overseas profits home nearly tax-free under future amnesties.
Yet as I said, there’s a push for a repeat of this disastrous performance. And this time around the circumstances are even worse. Think about it
In fact, that idle cash has become a major conservative talking point, with right-wingers claiming that businesses are failing to invest because of political uncertainty. That’s almost surely false
It wouldn’t, of course; claims that a corporate tax holiday would create jobs, or that ending the tax break for corporate jets would destroy jobs, are nonsense.
So here’s what you should answer to anyone defending big giveaways to corporations
What our economy needs is direct job creation by the government and mortgage-debt relief for stressed consumers. What it very much does not need is a transfer of billions of dollars to corporations that have no intention of hiring anyone except more lobbyists.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs