Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman hit back against the GOP’s claim that American businesses pay the highest corporate taxes in the world during an appearance on ABC’s This Week Sunday morning, lashing out at Mitt Romney’s California campaign co-chair and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
Fiorina — who unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) senate seat in 2010 — insisted that “we now have the single highest business tax rate in the world” and claimed that companies are moving jobs overseas to avoid this burden. Krugman snapped back against her assertion, noting, “nothing you said about business taxes is actually true”:
FIORINA: We now have the single highest business tax rate in the world. Guess what, with the highest tax rate in the world, we see the same thing around the world as we see in states. States with lower tax rates have more jobs, more people. People leave states with higher tax rates. The data is crystal clear.
KRUGMAN: Nothing you said about business taxes is actually true. …. If you look at the actual tax collections in the United States on business, they’re lower than other advanced countries. And if you look at the alleged finding that high business taxes cause job loses in states, it goes away. Kick the tires even slightly and the whole thing falls apart. It’s just not true.
Indeed, a recent study from the Center for Tax Justice (CTJ) found that “the U.S. is already one of the least taxed countries for corporations in the developed world.” As a share of GDP, the U.S. had the second lowest tax rate, behind only Iceland. In 2009, U.S. corporate taxes had fallen to only 1.3 percent of GDP, from 4 percent in 1965.
The Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts concluded that “the worst fears of the policy debates over raising additional revenue from high-income households to sustain spending on public services are unlikely to materialize.” Millionaires will attempt to avoid higher taxes by changing the composition of their incomes, but don’t, in fact, move to avoid the higher fees.