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Bill Clinton blathers:

“President Bill Clinton says the nation’s corporate tax rate is “uncompetitive,” and called for a lower rate as part of a “mega-deal” to raise the debt ceiling.

“When I was president, we raised the corporate income-tax rates on corporations that made over $10 million [a year],” the former president told the Aspen Ideas Festival on Saturday evening.

“It made sense when I did it. It doesn’t make sense anymore – we’ve got an uncompetitive rate. We tax at 35 percent of income, although we only take about 23 percent. So, we SHOULD cut the rate to 25 percent, or whatever’s competitive, and eliminate a lot of the deductions so that we still get a FAIR amount, and there’s not so much variance in what the corporations pay.”

Paul Krugman responds:

“Over the last two years profits have soared while employment has remained disastrously high. Why should anyone believe that handing even more money to corporations, no strings attached, would lead to faster job creation?

[…]

[T]he evidence strongly says that the real reason businesses are sitting on cash is lack of consumer demand. In any case, if corporations already have plenty of cash they’re not using, why would giving them a tax break that adds to this pile of cash do anything to accelerate recovery?

[…]

Lack of corporate cash is not the problem facing America. Big business already has the money it needs to expand; what it lacks is a reason to expand with consumers still on the ropes and the government slashing spending.

What our economy needs is direct job creation by the government and mortgage-debt relief for stressed consumers. What it very much does not need is a transfer of billions of dollars to corporations that have no intention of hiring anyone except more lobbyists.”

BTW Bill, I don’t think we need economic advice from the president who set “too big to fail” in motion with the repeal of Glass–Steagall, or the president who lit the fuse on the derivatives time-bomb with the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, or the president who fired Brooksley Born when she tried to warn us about what would happen if derivatives weren’t regulated. Keep it to yourself. Please.

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