Who gets the credit?

Nancy Lindsay

Representative Paul Ryan believes the federal government should have a budget just like families have budgets. In a functional family budget, all members contribute to staying within spending limits. If Paul Ryan was serious about mutual contribution, then he should focus on eliminating tax credits for the rich corporate people. Raising income taxes on the wealthy isn’t the only answer; eliminating tax credits is another solution. From the Nation magazine:

“Oil companies with billions in quarterly profits can deduct costs for drilling wells and receive “manufacturing” tax deductions for simply refining crude oil. Norquist’s pledge (and his foundation’s advocacy) transforms billions in tax payer handouts into “tax cuts” that cannot be removed.

Further explaining Grover‘s non tax pledge“ …-the promise not to cut tax credits–is important for understanding how Norquist has become a proxy for K Street. From a budget stand point, a targeted tax credit is basically equivalent to a subsidy: the main difference between a $1 million tax credit to an ethanol refinery and a $1 million subsidy to the same ethanol refinery, for example, is that one is distributed by the IRS, the other by another federal agency. There are enough of these subsidies in the tax code that many profitable companies, like Duke Energy, can pay an effective negative tax rate.”

“GE made a contribution of $50,000 to Norquist’s foundation in 2011. Consider that for a moment: GE gave more to Norquist in 2011 than it reportedly paid the IRS for income taxes in 2010, a year the corporation made $14.2 billion in profits.”

Along with personhood comes civic responsibilities, that‘s the understanding in America. But because these obscenely wealthy corporate people know where to donate, they pay nothing in taxes, while the ordinary citizen is scrutinized.

Eliminating tax credits for the corporate people should be in the political debt debate, rather than the megaphone over the country’s “spending problem” on social causes. It isn’t just a spending problem, it’s a collection problem. A true budget includes contributions from all, not all from many and nothing from a few.