by Bob Ward
Sept. 14, 2011 – U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) has introduced legislation, his version of an "American Jobs Act of 2011," preempting the title that dithering President Obama wanted used for the tax-and-spend-to-create measure he had in mind. Alternately, Gohmert's version of the Act would abolish the corporate income tax. The very conservative East Texas Congressman asserts that the measure will create jobs in the U.S. as well as increasing revenue to the government. “America,” Gohmert said, “would instantly become a safe haven for businesses resulting in an explosion in revenue increases.” Currently, he noted, American manufacturing jobs are moving overseas where the business climate is more favorable.
Gohmert correctly pointed out that corporate taxes are “paid for by people in the form of lower wages to American workers and less money paid out in dividends in everything from 401K retirement accounts and to those who would risk their capital in business ventures. This type of capital investment is where jobs come from.”
The corporate income tax is also unfair because it double-taxes money earned by the business. An income tax is levied on money earned by the corporation and that same money is taxed again when it is distributed to the corporation's owners -- the shareholders -- in the form of dividends which are regarded as personal income. It is comparable to a worker's wages being taxed when he earns them, at the end of each working day, and again when he collects them on payday.
Some politicians want the public to believe that the corporate income tax reduces the tax burden of individual taxpayers. But savvy taxpayers know that corporate taxes make tax collectors, not taxpayers, out of corporations. The corporation's tax bill is converted into higher prices for its customers, lower pay for its employees, fewer jobs for the community and lower dividends for its stockholders.
The impracticality of the corporate income tax is especially salient at the present time when government is supposedly doing all it can to reduce unemployment. Billions have been appropriated to create makework jobs which merely shift work from the private to the public sector. It would be preferable to remove the obstacles to expansion and investment so that Americans can return to real jobs that produce goods and services. A drastic reduction in the corporate income tax would help achieve this. Gohmert's bill abolishing the tax is even better.