Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Competitiveness isn’t what it seems

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There recently was a meeting in Washington, D.C., that included a coalition of business leaders who talked to politicians about their list of 200 concerns.

This coalition, the Council on Competitiveness, wants lower tax rates, streamlined regulations, a more highly trained workforce, a permanent tax credit for research and development, and improved infrastructure. Well, who would not want all those things?

Let me give you a definition of competitiveness: “It is an ability to compete while supporting high living standards for average Americans.” I’ll bet that coalition declined to mention that definition as one of its goals.

The coalition complains about a 35 percent tax rate, which in reality no one pays. The average U.S. corporate tax rate for 2011 was 12.9 percent. Many corporations, including General Electric, paid no income tax.

Many corporations pay their CEOs more than they pay in taxes. The corporation’s workers pay a higher tax rate than the corporation while the CEO’s pay is 325 times the workers’ rate of pay. Many corporations spend more on marketing than research and development.

The coalition is against those annoying regulations that attempt to keep the corporations from committing fraud on their customers. Corporations want an improved infrastructure but do not want to contribute to the cost of infrastructure through fair taxes. This does nothing for the working class.

Some of the attendees were the same corporations that are hoarding $3 trillion in cash in the U.S. and another $2 trillion in offshore tax-dodging accounts.

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