Last year was good for General Electric. They had profits of $14.2 billion. Guess how much they paid in U.S. corporate income taxes? Zero, not a dime. (New York Times, 3/24/11)
That was because GE is adept at using many different corporate tax loopholes. To enable their "exploit-the-loopholes" strategy the company has spent over $200 million on lobbying over the last 10 years and they have on staff what many consider to be the finest tax law department in the country.
GE's CEO, Jeff Immelt, was not unappreciated for his good work. He got a 100 percent pay raise from $9.9 million a year to $24.4 million.
GE is not alone. Many corporations use loopholes to avoid billions of dollars in taxes.
In a time when we are facing a record budget deficit one would think that closing the corporate tax loopholes and recovering billions of dollars of lost revenue would make some sense. But that is not how the Republicans and the tea partiers see it.
The House Republicans are proposing to cut Medicare, Medicaid and other social services in order to reduce spending by $4 trillion over the next 10 years (Wall Street Journal, 4/3/11)
To them it is all about cutting spending. They won't consider raising taxes. In fact, the Republican chairman of the House budget committee said he plans to cut tax rates, broaden the tax base (tax more people) and he does not plan to raise overall tax revenue. He calls this a progrowth tax policy.
Pro-growth is just the new Republican name for trickle-down. They want to put more money in the hands of the rich and let the presumed benefits trickle down to everyone else.
Don't hold your breath for the trickling to start. The rich put most of their money in treasury bonds, hedge funds, overseas investment and banks, commodities, derivatives and gold. This money does not trickle down.
Anyone who buys into the Republican/Tea Party fiscal policies must be either rich or gullible.