And They Don’t Pay Their Share Of Taxes Either

I wrote in the previous post about how the fifty companies that laid off the most workers paid their CEO’s a total of 598 million dollars. But if you read the study itself, you discover that they also shirk their duties as good corporate citizens.

This is from the study –

Under current law, U.S. corporations face a 35
percent statutory tax rate on corporate profits. Of the 50
layoff leaders, only two reported paying this statutory
rate in 2009 and most paid substantially less, according
to an IPS analysis of domestic earnings and federal tax
payments in company 10-K reports.20 Hewlett-Packard,
under Hurd, remitted $47 million in federal corporate
income tax, a mere 2 percent of the company’s reported
$2.6 billion in pretax domestic net income.

Citizens for Tax Justice has used forensic accounting
methods to demonstrate that corporations
often pay an even lower tax rate than they report to
the SEC. Overall, as a result of various tax avoidance
schemes, U.S. corporate income taxes have plummeted
from almost a third of all non-Social Security federal
tax revenues in the 1960s to only a sixth of total taxes

In some extreme cases, major U.S. corporations
are actually paying less in taxes to Uncle Sam than
they pay, in compensation, to their CEOs
. At Occidental
Petroleum, for instance, CEO Ray Irani made $31.4
million last year. That represented almost twice as much
as the $16 million the international oil firm paid in federal
corporate income tax for all the services the federal
government provides.

It is almost too obvious to mention that when corporations avoid their taxes, the burden falls on the middle class.

What is meant by CSR, corporate social responsibility? Are they just code words, that mean, “Get off my back and stop complaining,” or “Can’t you crazed citizens and nosy government officials recognize our good works and let the magnificent engine of capitalism grind on?”

I wonder if it is just a public relations thing. I bet you do too.

James Pilant