Liberal activist Sally Kohn -- who is delightful in person, but wrong about almost everything -- tweeted an attack on the GOP tax plan yesterday, urging her followers to "call bulls*t" on Republican defenses of their proposal. Basically everything in her tweet was wrong. Here's her initial effort, followed by my rebuttal:
Here’s some more tax facts for ya. When Trump and Republicans insist that we *have to* cut corporate taxes because ours are the highest in the world, CALL BULLSH*T. But I guess they’re not low enough for the billionaires who want to soak the working class and poor even more. pic.twitter.com/qW3wU2NkMM— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) November 17, 2017
1) This chart does not reflect corporate tax rates. 2) America's corporate tax rate *is* highest in the advanced world. That's fact checked. 3) Obama favored cutting corporate rate. 4) GOP plan reduces taxes for every income group, including working class & poor. #CallingBullshit https://t.co/s6ZyOmzs19— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) November 17, 2017
A number of liberals responded by pursuing two primary lines of criticism: First, that the statutory US corporate tax rate may be the highest in the developed world, but the effective rate is much lower and more competitive -- so the justification to cut corporate taxes is weak. This has the potential makings of a good point, but it's not one. That's because the effective rate is also among the very highest, and least competitive, in the world; third highest among all OECD nations, in fact, according to CBO data. The average effective corporate US tax rate clocks in at 29 percent, compared to 20 percent in Mexico and France, 19 percent in China, 17 percent in Australia, 14.5 percent in Germany, and 10 percent in the UK. Others falsely claimed that the GOP plan slashed rates for corporations without eliminating or reducing loopholes and deductions. This is wrong. Click through to the House Ways and Means Committee's extensive summary of the bill, then scroll to page 36, and keep reading.
Second, they flat-out accused me of being a 'Fox News liar,' or whatever. I was not lying on any of the points I made. Proof: (1) The chart Kohn shared was about tax rates in general, not corporate taxes, which served as the crux of her critique. This was -- perhaps unintentionally -- misleading. (2) As I say, the statement that America's corporate tax rate is the highest in the advanced world is verified to be true. Here's NPR confirming it, or you can just refer to the hyperlink above about effective tax rates. (3) President Obama called for a reduction in our uncompetitive corporate tax rate. His proposed cut was smaller than the Republicans' (no surprise), and he wanted to structure his differently (ditto), but that doesn't change the fact that Obama agreed the existing rate is too high. (4) This assertion is backed up by the nonpartisan findings of both the Tax Foundation and the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, which I cited in my Friday post. Both analyses found that on average, taxpayers across every income group will see lower tax burdens and higher after-tax incomes under the GOP plan -- starting in 2018, and at the end of the budget window in 2027. The doubling of the standard deduction alone would create net 'winners' out of 70 to 90 percent of all taxpayers.
Lastly, Kohn repeats a variation of the tiresome "millionaires and billionaires" talking point that Democrats endlessly regurgitate during these debates. While it's true that the very rich will receive a number of benefits from the GOP plan (they pay, by far, the most in taxes, and disproportionately so), the GOP bill does not cut the top tax federal income tax rate for millionaires. That top rate stays right where it us, as established under President Obama.