Wednesday night, Bill O’Reilly attacked Goldman Sachs for apparently standing to gain from the proposed cap-and-trade program. He claims that Goldman Sachs paid zero in federal corporate income taxA corporate income tax (CIT) is levied by federal and state governments on business profits. Many companies are not subject to the CIT because they are taxed as pass-through businesses, with income reportable under the individual income tax. in 2008, which is not technically true but close according to this Bloomberg article. Hey, it’s O’Reilly…it’s a nice talking point.
In his usual populist tone, O’Reilly then goes on to complain that while Goldman paid nothing, Democrats to raise taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. es on individuals like himself. What O’Reilly fails to understand though is that people like him pay the corporate income tax too, it’s just not as transparent.
No company can bear the “burden” of a tax. It may remit the tax (legally paying it), but individuals’ incomes are reduced to pay the tax.
In fact, the corporate income tax would hit more “regular folk” than the the proposed surtaxA surtax is an additional tax levied on top of an already existing business or individual tax and can have a flat or progressive rate structure. Surtaxes are typically enacted to fund a specific program or initiative, whereas revenue from broader-based taxes, like the individual income tax, typically cover a multitude of programs and services. on high-income individuals (under whatever assumption you make about incidence of taxes on both corporate and non-corporate business investment).Share