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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Post Calls Obama a Corporate Hack

Post Calls Obama a Corporate Hack

Thursday, 23 February 2012 05:47

A front page article on President Obama's plan to cut the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent, with offsetting eliminations of loopholes told readers in the second paragraph:

"Obama released a long-awaited plan to overhaul the nation’s corporate tax code that plays directly to his base." [This line only appeared in the article that appears on-line as the print edition.] The bulk of Democrats have not been clamoring for a cut in the corporate tax rate, although many people in corporations have.

Later in the piece the article tells readers that the plan should increase corporate tax revenue by $250 billion over the course of the decade. Since most readers do not know how much the baseline shows for tax revenue over this period, this number does not provide any real information.

The current projections from the Congressional Budget Office show the government collecting $4,360 billion in corporate taxes over the decade. This means that the proposed increase would raise projected revenue by less than 6 percent. 

Comments (8)Add Comment
Obama's base?
written by Buddy Boy, February 23, 2012 7:37
I think Obama is doing very very well by his base. You do know it's the Chamber of Commerce don't you?
written by Ron Alley, February 23, 2012 7:43
Once again it's an election year. President Obama confirms that he is a willow and not an oak. He has floated a faux plan for corporate tax reform. There is no real effort to implement change in corporate taxation. The real effort is to put forth a plan that serves both as a shield and as a sword. It will deflect GOP charges that Obama is anti-business and it will enable the President to skewer the GOP leadership in Congress as hypocritical, hyper partisan and totally ineffective.
written by wkj, February 23, 2012 7:57
Dean–Do you have a view on the 2007 proposal by University of Texas law professor Calvin Johnson to change the basis of the corporate tax from income to market capitalization?


While this proposal would be a dramatic structural change from the current law, it seemed to me to have major advantages in terms of simplicity and efficiency.

written by Moopheus, February 23, 2012 8:34
Dean, the Post is correct. Obama is playing to his base--his donor base. Liberals are not the president's base. Sometimes he pretends that they are, because a few folks such as yourself still believe that he desires more liberal outcomes than he actually achieves, but must make terrible compromises. Whereas it is becoming clear that he gets the results he does because that is what he really wants.
post is correct for once
written by Tom Allen, February 23, 2012 10:01
Obama gets his Super-PAC money from Wall Street and other corporate donors, not from individual liberals, let alone Democrats. The Post is entirely correct. Or is that your point?
Yes, that is the point
written by KeithOK, February 23, 2012 11:30
Yes, that the Post is correct is his point. It's one of those "man bites dog" stories.
written by two beers, February 23, 2012 11:38
Ron- Are you really trying to promote the eleventy-dimensional chess theory here?

Obama has indeed been playing eleventy-dimensional chess, except that he has been playing AGAINST progressives. Most people believe Obama is a progressive (still!), therefore everything he is doing must be consonant with a progressive agenda. So, yeah, let's go along with Wall St bailouts, eviscerating the Bill of Rights, mandating lousy private health insurance, and bombing Arab nations, because those were all just, like, "faux plans" designed to skewer the GOP leadership, and not screw the 99%. How'd that all work out? So, yeah, let's all support lower corporate taxes, 'cause that'll totally show the GOP!

Easy prediction: The GOP will say that 28% is not low enough, and Obama will "compromise" somewhere around .
written by two beers, February 23, 2012 11:46
er, Easy prediction: The GOP will say that 28% is not low enough, and Obama will "compromise" somewhere around 18%.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.