Fischer’s Mockery Misses the Mark

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter made a perfectly reasonable statement about corporate taxes, saying that the high marginal rate is “just a suggestion.” Clearly she meant that the actual taxes paid by corporations is far lower than the stated rates, and she’s right. The actual rate is about 1/3 of the marginal rate. Bryan Fischer tried to make fun of her for that and missed the mark completely.

But Fischer played a clip of Shea-Porter making this true statement and then mocked her for it, saying “tell that to Martha Stewart, tell that to Bernie Madoff, tell that to who knows how many people are in prison for treating the tax code as if it were just a suggestion.”

Uh, Bryan…neither Stewart nor Madoff went to prison for anything involving the tax code. Stewart went to prison for insider trading and Madoff for running a ponzi scheme. And he’s missing the point completely. The average corporate tax rate that is actually paid is about 12-13%, far lower than the 35% marginal rate. That’s because corporations have paid off legislators to give them a massive number of tax breaks and subsidies that lower their rates and increase their profits. That’s why corporate taxes have gone from more than 30% of federal revenue to less than 10%.


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  • Chiroptera

    Rightwing English: they don’t understand what other people say, and they can’t form meaningful sentences to express their own thoughts.

  • bumperpuff

    As I understand it, Stewart went to jail for obstruction of justice for lying to investigators about her insider trading. The actual insider trading was dealt with in civil courts and a plea bargain, ultimately resulting in some fines.

  • Trebuchet

    Hey, corporations are people too!

  • Trebuchet

    And in the context sensitive advertising department, I’m getting (probably) scam investment ads in the sidebar now!

  • theguy

    “who knows how many people are in prison for treating the tax code as if it were just a suggestion.”

    So Cap’n Fishsticks doesn’t want people in prison for tax evasion, but wants gay people in prison, indeed wants anybody in prison just for advocating for gay rights. If tax evasion isn’t a crime, then where does the tax money for building those prisons come from?

  • matty1

    If I understand right that 35% rate would only apply to income over $18333,333. The first $18333,333 is taxed at lower rates but even if the whole lot was taxed at 35% that would leave $11916666

    Only just under $12 million, how could they feed their children if this was enforced?

  • Michael Heath

    When I worked in Corporate America in the late-1980s through early-2000s I was frequently a participant in analyses on capital investment or deciding where to manufacture a particular product line. That was in the electronics industry, more specifically printed circuit board assemblies (think a populated motherboard for a computer or network switch).

    Almost every company I worked with on these projects was both profitable where they also used 17% as the effective federal tax rate they needed to consider when evaluating domestic activity.

    What I continually find ironic when considering the always moronic arguments of conservatives/Republicans these days is how they complain about the stated federal corporate rate rather than the effective rate while also ignoring all the other cost factors corporations consider when making the types of decisions I describe above. I never met a corporate manager or executive who separated out taxes from other costs considered when evaluating various alternatives across locations.

    For example, I frequently saw the U.S. costs higher than other developed countries’ costs when considering both labor and taxes. While the U.S. effective tax rate (federal, state, and local) was usually lower than these other countries, our labor and tax rates were higher and it wasn’t due to wages but instead healthcare costs. The foreign competitors had higher tax rates on their companies, but employee benefit costs were less because those country’s employers didn’t pay healthcare insurance for their employers like ours did in the aforementioned industry. Those higher tax rates help fund healthcare costs but those countries were far more productive on delivering more healthcare for a lower price.

    But even that broader consideration of looking at only labor and taxes is naive and stupid given how logistic costs and other business considerations can drive financially optimal decisions, e.g., cost of quality, order lead-time, along with time-to-market and time-to-volume considerations. For example, Dell’s bottom line was continually beat-up when they first got big because they were building products in the far East and putting them on boats for the U.S. By the time their product was available for sale, the prices of Intel’s microprocessors and other key memory chips dropped so much they were selling those assemblies below their cost, where the performance of their competitors offerings were also superior since they used the latest and greatest, at a cheaper price.

  • mikeyb

    Corporations (and rich people) don’t pay their fair share and actively lobby to pay as little taxes as possible. A Rumsfeld unknown unknown. Unknown because the media almost never mentions this and unknown because the public is largely unaware of this. Even though like global warming, this is one of the most toxic and most damaging realities which currently underlies and threatens our society. Like global warming, no one seems to give a goddamn about the problem.

  • laurentweppe

    unknown because the public is largely unaware of this

    I suspect that the public is much more aware of it that most give it credit for and is actually divided between the people who, through a cynical calculus, reach the conclusion that it is in their interest to remain the obedient lackeys of the upper-class and the rest of the population, among whom too many interpret the lackeys faking belief toward their their lords and masters’ self-justifying bullshit not as an expression of submissiveness but as a sign of ignorance or plain stupidity.

  • hunter

    Ed —

    Do you honestly think that Fischer gives a rat’s ass about accuracy? Or reality? He’s just a Limbaugh wannabe. I mean, be serious — he works for the American “Family” Association, a major arm of Liars for Jesus (TM).

  • Bonnie M

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