Politics

GOP Rep. Woodall’s Response To Exxon Paying Nothing In Taxes: We Need ‘Lowest Corporate Tax Rate We Can Get’

Last week, Rep. Rob Woodall held a tele-town hall meeting with his constituents, allowing them to call in and ask questions. At one point, a constituent called in and challenged Woodall’s belief that all we need is spending cuts to move towards a more balanced budget. The caller pointed out that closing corporate tax loopholes on big companies like Exxon Mobil — which paid zero federal corporate income taxes in 2009 — and Google, which only paid a 4.2 percent rate in taxes, would do a lot to help balance the budget as well.

Woodall replied by saying he’s “not a fan of class warfare” and that the only people who’ve ever employed him are rich people. He then went on to say that corporate taxes are really taxes on the customers of these companies and that we need to get “corporate taxes as low as we can in this country”:

CALLER: I have a quick comment and then a question. I certainly agree with moving towards a balanced budget, and containing costs, and cutting where we can, including the Defense Department, which I think is terribly bloated, but I just don’t think it’s feasible to balance the budget with cuts alone. I think you’ve got to also include income and place a fair tax on the wealthiest two percent and closing corporate loopholes that allow huge corporations like Exxon to pay no taxes. For example, Google earned eleven billion dollars last year overseas and paid 4.2 percent in taxes. So I think a fair tax on the wealthy and those who can chip in a little more has to be part of the bigger picture.

WOODALL: Bill, I absolutely agree with you that we can’t do it on spending cuts alone. […] Now you talk about raising taxes. Now I’m not a fan of class warfare. Now the only people who’ve given me a job in my life is rich people. I’ve never had a poor man offer me a job. […] At the end of the day, it’s going to be one of us, individuals, that pays every nickel in corporate taxes. I want use to get corporate taxes as low as we can in this country. Which means businesses don’t want to be here, they don’t want to provide jobs here. […] We have to attract new businesses to our shores, the way to do that is with the lowest corporate tax rate we can get, to make sure folks want to come here.

Listen to it:

One has to wonder how we can possibly get taxes any lower when massive corporations like Exxon Mobil and Bank of America are paying nothing in federal corporate income taxes. Perhaps Woodall would prefer that these companies were like General Electric, which not only paid zero in income taxes in 2009 and 2010, but also received a $3.2 billion tax benefit. When Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) was asked about GE’s tax dodging, his response was also that we need to cut corporate taxes.

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