Opinion: Jeff Bezos is right about raising taxes
April 08, 2021 at 00:21
(CNN) Jeff Bezos has garnered headlines again for his comments on Amazon's taxes.
Bezos is not defending Amazon against charges leveled by the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren over Amazon's less-than-zero federal taxes in 2018.
(In 2019, the company paid slightly more than 1% of its profits in taxes.)
Although the increased revenue from higher individual and corporate taxes helped spur a recovery, Democrats got hammered in the subsequent midterm election that swept Newt Gingrich into power and gave the House to Republicans until 2006.
This time, out of the chute and needing funds for a host of long-deferred infrastructure projects, the Biden administration has put a laser focus on corporate tax revenues.
Former President Donald Trump's one major legislative accomplishment, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, was overwhelmingly a corporate tax cutIf we go back to 1964, we see America's "Big Three" of taxes -- the individual income, corporate income and Social Security/payroll taxes -- combining to amount to 14.3% of America's GDP .
But if we focus on the composition of the Big Three taxes, we see a more dramatic story.
Individual income taxes have gone up, from 7.4 to 8.1% of GDP.
These big time winners from economic growth have seen their taxes as a percent of GDP plummet, from 3.6 to 1.1%.
Corporate income taxes, which provided just about 40% of federal revenue in 1943, now account for only about 7% of total federal dollars; the individual income and payroll taxes, combined, come in at 86%.
The Biden plan seeks a global minimum corporate tax rate, backed up by denying US tax deductions to companies operating in low-tax jurisdictions.
These are highly technical matters that would have a beneficial effect: it would make companies like Bezos' Amazon pay something.