All around the country, conservative lawmakers continue to cut services and investments in Main Street America, claiming that these steps are necessary to close budget deficits. At the same time, major corporations and wealthy individuals continue to benefit from special tax breaks and loopholes that allow them to get away with paying little to nothing in taxes.
Today, Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) released a new report chronicling the tax rates of some of the nation’s major corporations. CTJ looked at a sample of a dozen major corporations and analyzed both their profits and their effective federal corporate income tax rates between 2008 and 2010.
CTJ found that from 2008 to 2010, these major corporations earned $173 billion in profits put together. Yet these major corporations paid an average federal corporate income tax rate during this period of -1.5 percent, meaning they actually got money back from the Treasury in the form of tax benefits. ThinkProgress has assembled the average tax rates of these corporations over this period in the following graph:
Americans would certainly find it unfair that companies raking in billions in profits are getting away with paying so little in taxes or in some cases actually getting a net tax benefit. As ThinkProgress economy editor Pat Garofalo writes, as of yet, both major parties have not been able to put together a vision of corporate tax reform that would actually raise net revenues to really tackle deficits without unduly harming Main Street. He concludes that “failing to raise additional corporate tax revenue will simply shift more of the deficit reduction burden onto a middle-class already battered by the Great Recession.”