Yesterday, former half-term governor Sarah Palin continued her will-she, won’t-she flirtation with running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. During a speech in Iowa, Palin called for the complete elimination of the federal corporate income tax. “This is how we break the back of crony capitalism because it feeds off corporate welfare, which is just socialism for the very rich,” she said.
On CBS’ Face the Nation today, host Bob Scheiffer asked 2012 contender Michele Bachmann if she was open to such a radical move. Bachmann replied that she is “open to having that debate,” suggesting that move to some other tax system could allow for the elimination of the corporate income tax:
SCHEIFFER: Congresswoman, what I asked you was would you go as far as Sarah Palin and eliminate all corporate income taxes?
BACHMANN: Well, of course to do that we’d have to have a fundamental restructuring of the tax code. What we would have to do then is rejigger other elements to define revenue and what revenues would be needed to the economy. We could go that route. If we went that route, we’d have to have a fundamental restructuring of the tax code. I am open to having that debate, and as a former federal tax lawyer, I’ve dealt with whether it’s a national consumption tax, a flat tax, or some variation of the current system. This is what I do know. It needs to be simplified, it needs to be fairer, it needs to be reduced. What we do know is that the current corporate tax rate is killing job creation.
SCHEIFFER: So you could see a way to do that? You’re not ready to just say ‘yes, I’ll do that’ but you could see by making other adjustments, a way to eliminate corporate taxes?
BACHMANN: It would be possible if we have a fundamental restructuring of the tax code.
Bachmann has previously called for cutting the 35 percent corporate tax rate down to nine percent, a move that would cost more than $2 trillion over ten years. This call for reducing or even eliminating corporate taxes comes at a time when corporate after tax profits are the highest they’ve been since 1947.
During the interview, Bachmann also repeatedly called for the elimination of taxes on money that corporations bring to the U.S. from overseas, even though such a move has not worked in the past to spur job creation and would cost about $80 billion over ten years.