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Wall Street Journal Sees Declining U.S. Competitiveness, Cites New Tax Foundation Study

2 min readBy: Scott Hodge

Today, a WSJ editorial discussed our latest analysis of the OECD report explaining that the U.S. corporate 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. rate is now 50% higher than our economic counterparts in the industrialized world, making us dangerously uncompetitive in a globally integrated economy, especially with another OECD study saying that corporate taxes are the single most harmful tax to growth and progress.

The editorial board even made time to make fun of politicians who chose to misinterpret a GAO study on corporate income tax payments from domestic and foreign businesses in America, a story where the mainstream media erred in its reporting, but we were glad to fix:

"In Washington, meanwhile, the politicians are still living in their own populist alternative universe. Last week Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota waved around a new politically generated study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finding that 28% of large U.S. corporations paid no income tax in 2005. 'It's time for big corporations to pay their fair share,' Mr. Dorgan roared."

"Well, the Tax Foundation looked at those numbers and found that, among the large companies that paid no taxes, 85% of them also made no profits that year. American Airlines and General Motors escaped income tax for 2005 through the clever tax dodge of losing $862 million and $10.5 billion, respectively. How unpatriotic."

But the WSJ sounded the same alarm we did, that doing nothing will be detrimental to future American prosperity:

"Every month that goes by without tax reform, America is a relatively less attractive place to do business. Over the past 18 months, nine of the 30 most developed nations and 20 countries world-wide — from Israel to Germany to Turkey — have cut their corporate tax rates. Nations are slashing rates to attract capital and jobs from the U.S., and the tragedy is that our politicians keep making it easy for them."

The economy is the #1 issue this election. While the focus has been on the impact of a stock market in decline, a housing market crashing, increasing unemployment and sky-high gas prices, very little attention is paid to how America's business climate affects individual Americans.