Focus Point - Clinton Tax Grab

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. The Clinton administration wants an increase in corporate taxes to crack down on corporate tax shelters that reduce tax revenues.

Let's look at the facts. In fiscal '99, the feds took in $184 billion in corporate income taxes, up 84 percent since 1992, while the economy grew just 47 percent.

Anyhow, corporate tax receipts in a given year don't necessarily correspond to that year's corporate tax liabilities. Payments may be reduced because of overpayments on previous years' taxes, and tax payments are based on estimates that can change radically when the books are closed for the year.

Evidence suggests recent slight declines in corporate tax payments are mainly the result of higher capital investment and y2k business expenses -- both deductible.

Finally, all corporate taxes ultimately are paid by individuals. In 1998, u.s. corporations paid 64 percent of their after-tax profits to shareholders, who were then taxed again on the same profits.

So this clinton tax grab is - a tax grab.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, bad numbers on the sales tax.