As of Sunday, April first, the United States will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. This new record is not something that would make most Americans proud.
We take the title as Japan cuts its tax rate by five percent. America’s business tax rate now tops out at 35 percent. Add state taxes and American job creators face a median rate of 39.2 percent.
The United States was in the middle of the pack when we last changed our rates in 1993. Since 2000, however, 30 of the world’s leading developed countries -- looking to boost their economies -- have cut their rates.
Germany dropped its top rate by 22 points.
Canada cut its by 13 points.
Ours stayed the same.
Today the worldwide average is 25 percent.
Even Russia, at 20 percent, and China, at 25 percent, have lower rates than America does. The difference in tax rates means American companies are trying to compete with one hand tied behind their backs.
Despite this disadvantage, Democrats in Washington have resisted calls to cut America’s exorbitant tax rates. They view corporations as bottomless wells of potential tax money. It doesn’t work that way in the real world.
Workers bear most of the burden of high business taxes through lower wages. Consumers pay for some of the cost in the form of higher prices. Senior citizens pay some through lower dividends from the stocks in their retirement accounts.
High taxes also leave less money for businesses to expand, innovate and create jobs. The prospect of saving millions of dollars in taxes has caused some U.S. businesses to move overseas, taking their jobs with them.
In contrast, researchers at the Heritage Foundation have calculated that if Washington were to cut our corporate rate to 25 percent, the benefits to Americans would be dramatic. After-tax income for a typical family would rise by almost $2,500. The U.S. economy would create 581,000 jobs a year over the next decade.
America needs a simple, fair, broad-based tax system with lower rates and fewer loopholes.
Republicans are eager to work with President Obama and Democrats in Congress to cut our corporate tax rates so American businesses can grow and hire. Unfortunately, the president has not been willing to have a serious conversation on the subject. His tax “reform” proposal would actually hit businesses with $250 billion in new taxes.
The United States is a world leader in countless ways. “World’s Highest Taxes” is a title we should give up as soon as possible.
Republican John Barrasso represents Wyoming in the U.S. Senate. He serves in the Senates as a member of both the Energy and Environment Committees.