My old blogging friend, Joe Kristan, of Roth & Company has published his “Fight the Power” edition of Tax Roundup. In this case, the power to be fought isn’t the federal government, but private corporations.
Fight the Power! Tax Analysts’ Joseph Thorndike defends the corporation income tax as a bulwark against corporate power ($link):
“Popular fondness for taxing corporations may reflect an imperfect understanding of the corporate levy’s incidence. But it also reflects a clear-headed view of where the power lies in American society.”
Joe deftly and correctly points out that the real power lies with the entity that has the taxing power i.e. the federal government:
That’s interesting. Lets see where some major institutions stack up in terms of “power,” measured by revenue (an imperfect measure, but one that is at least available for all of them, unlike net worth).
Google: $55 billion.
Apple: $171 billion.
Microsoft: $23 billion.
BP: $379 billion
State of California: $112 billion
United States Government revenue: $2,770 billion.
United States Government spending: $3,450 billion.
Reduction of power is not a proper goal of taxation.¹ We should tax corporations because the government needs the money and corporations use government services. No other reason is acceptable.
¹ Allowing government elites to decide who has too much power and who has too little is a slippery slope to totalitarianism.