Brian Howey’s recent column on tax reform correctly diagnosed the problem but recommended the wrong cure (“A bipartisan push toward federal tax reform”).
He noted the high levels of national and state unemployment, the outrageous rates of infant mortality and suicide in Indiana, and the “Thousands of Hoosier kids [who] flirt with chronic hunger.”
But Howey’s answer — to further reduce the public revenue coming from big corporations — would only exacerbate these social ills. Instead, he should be advocating for corporations and their wealthy executives and shareholders to pay their fair share of taxes.
Big, profitable corporations pay on average only one-third of the official tax rate — or a mere 12.6 percent — according to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office. Corporate tax receipts as a percentage of total federal revenue are at a 60-year low, according to the Office of Management and Budget.
If we closed the huge tax loophole that encourages corporations to hide profits and ship jobs overseas we could raise $600 billion over the next decade, a Senate study found. If we limited the tax deductions of multimillionaires to the same level as middle-class families, we could raise another $500 billion, according to the Joint Tax Committee of Congress.
Then we could invest again in our communities, putting Hoosiers back to work, rebuilding healthy families and making sure all our kids have enough to eat.