One thing that drives me crazy is when people get all hot and bothered about corporations getting tax breaks or incentives and whining about how they “don’t pay their fair share.” Let’s make one thing very clear: Corporations don’t pay taxes. Period.
Oh they may write the checks (of course, GE is one of those corporations who has somehow managed to avoid paying any taxes). But taxes are simply factored into the cost of doing business, and therefore they are passed on to… the consumer.
Yes, consumers pay corporate taxes, primarily in the form of higher prices for the products or services they buy. In my present business, this is crystal clear: Government imposes mandates and increases taxes on insurance companies. The predictable result is that premiums go up. If your power company experiences a tax increase, your power bill will go up. If your grocery store of choice gets a tax increase, you’ll pay more for food. You get the idea. (For that matter, if corporations keep getting hit with higher taxes – not to mention ridiculous regulations from the EPA, threats from the NLRB, and demands from countless other governmental agencies – they just decide to pack up and move some operations overseas.)
So I don’t have a problem with corporations getting tax breaks. I don’t have a problem with Amazon getting tax breaks to open a facility in South Carolina that will employ a bunch of people. I think we should all get tax breaks because when people have more money in their pockets, they tend to spend it, and that, friends, is the path to economic recovery.
When corporations have more money, they can hire more people or innovate. When people have more money, they put it into the economy. All of these things generate revenue (a view which stands in contrast to the standard media fare about tax increases = revenue increases).
Corporations are, after all, generally in business to make a profit. In the worldview of the liberal elite and the current administration, “profits” = “how much you screwed the consumer.” But in the real world, the profit is what motivates innovation, improvement, and giving a crap about the customer, among other things.
Consider the difference between a visit to the DMV and a visit to an Apple store. Put another way: Both the DMV and the Apple store exist to get your money — one does it by coercion and one by persuasion; one works by fiat and one by desire. You tell me which is better. Or consider the economies of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern European satellite states it dominated compared with those of the West.
Now, I don’t at all believe that corporations are innocent Pollyannas. There are plenty that are horrible (Monsanto comes to mind, as do various tobacco companies.) But all else being equal, I have more trust in the free markets of capitalism where consumers are ultimately empowered than I do economies dominated by governmental intervention.