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Forum Post: Corporations Gear Up For Major Tax Battle - what about the 99%?

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 27, 2011, 11:53 a.m. EST by jeremy2002 (0)
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Corporations gear up for major U.S. tax battle Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011

By David Ingram and Patrick Temple-West | Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Huge U.S. corporations are forming lobbying groups to try to influence what could become the hottest congressional debate over comprehensive tax reform in a generation. The newest organization calls itself the Tax Reform Coalition. Backed by companies including American Express Co and Xerox Corp, it filed paperwork with Congress this week to register as a lobbying group. The coalition's registration suggests it will have a broad portfolio, lobbying on "issues related to corporate tax reform," but no one involved would answer questions on Friday. It joins an increasingly crowded playing field of lobbying groups and politicians strategizing for what Washington will look like in 2013 following national elections in November 2012. Another lobbying group, the RATE Coalition, was formed in October and pushes for a cut in the 35 percent tax rate on corporate profits. WIN America Campaign, a third group, has been advocating since March for a tax holiday for profits that U.S. companies made overseas. Its supporters include multinationals and Washington's largest business lobbying group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. John Buckley, a tax professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said that during the most recent major U.S. tax overhaul in 1986, businesses formed a large coalition to support it. "They were able to shape it," Buckley said, and "that's what people want to do now." The uptick in lobbying activity follows a proposal two months ago by U.S. Representative Dave Camp, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. Camp, a Republican, said he wants a lower corporate rate, an exemption for overseas profits and other changes. CAMPAIGN ISSUE Republican hopefuls in the race for the November 2012 presidential election have put forward tax proposals with similar ideas, launching speculation that 2013 may be a defining year in Congress for U.S. tax policy. Companies are choosing to organize now. "There's a lot of risk in waiting to weigh in on something like tax reform," said Clint Stretch, managing principal of tax policy at Deloitte Tax. "You're going to see more and more companies trying to figure out how to have a voice" in the tax debate, he said. Four large U.S. companies are listed as the backers of the Tax Reform Coalition: American Express Co, Intel Corp Tupperware Brands Corp and Xerox Corp. They have hired a former lawyer on the Ways and Means Committee as one of their lobbyists. It was not immediately clear how much the organizations will work together. The RATE Coalition is larger than the newer Tax Reform Coalition. It claims 25 member companies, with Intel a member of both groups. While it urges a cut in the corporate rate, it is agnostic on other changes. WIN America is even more narrowly focused on the issue known as repatriation. U.S. companies must pay tax on earnings abroad when they bring the money home, minus a credit for foreign tax paid, and many have chosen to leave their profits elsewhere even if the money sits nearly idle. Spokeswomen for the RATE Coalition and WIN America said they were not aware of the newest group. COORDINATION OR COMPETITION? By forming broad alliances, companies are able to pull together research, consulting staffs and other resources, said Jim McCrery, a former Republican congressman who now lobbies for WIN America and others. "They're able to marshal their resources in a coordinated fashion," said McCrery, a partner at Capitol Counsel. Corporate groups face an especially skeptical audience in congressional Democrats. Representative Sander Levin of the Ways and Means Committee has said that some of the ideas under discussion would cause a further shift in the tax burden from the wealthy to the middle class. President Barack Obama has criticized the idea of cutting taxes on U.S. companies' operations abroad. But the prospect of a historic change means companies are preparing to have their say. "There's lots of people that have their hand in this, as one would expect. When you're talking about rewriting the Internal Revenue Code, that tends to get people's attention," said Kenneth Kies, managing director of the Federal Policy Group.



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[-] 1 points by LSN45 (535) 12 years ago

WAKE UP AMERICA - the corporations and special interest have our politicians bought and paid for and they have spent millions, even billions, to twist our laws in their favor. Unless you like the idea of your children becoming the serfs of the corporations, please raise your voices in protest. Here's my 2 cents:

There are a lot of improvements that need to be made. The list reforms Americans want to see is long and varied depending on who you talk to. That said, I believe there is one reform that would provide the American people the best chances of seeing other meaningful reforms actually happen - that is REAL, loop-hope free CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM! I have seen others on this site calling this the "fulcrum" or pivotal issue. Right now the current legalized bribery, pay-to-play system of campaign donations and paid lobbyists has disenfranchised the American voter. Until this is fixed, any other reform the politicians may try to placate us with (be it a change to healthcare, clamping down predatory school loans, new financial regulations, etc.) will be about as effective as a farmer putting a new roof on his CHICKEN COOP, but still letting the FOX guard it.

We need to go back to the original political currency. Instead of the current system of who can collect the most money from corporations and special interests it should be who has the BEST IDEAS to EFFECTIVELY RUN THE COUNTRY (we don't need "Wealth Redistribution," what we need is "Political Influence Redistribution")!

For the sake of our children and future generations of Americans, we need to take back our democracy from the rich and powerful who are using their vast sums of money to "speak" as if they represent millions of Americans. This "Corporate Personhood" that has crept into our laws is allowing them to manipulating our policies in their favor at the expense of the average American (the recent "Citizens United" Supreme Court ruling is a miscarriage of justice and must be reversed. The $50 or $100 a normal American may give to a political campaign becomes meaningless when corporations or other special interests are handing our millions to buy political access to the decision making process.

For decades now the corporations and special interests have had our "representatives" bought and paid for (both on the right and the left). Concentrating our efforts on getting the money out of our politics is the best way we can create an environment in which further reforms can be realized. Until we end the current system of legalized bribery (campaign donations) and paid lobbying our politicians will continue to be the LAP DOGS of the corporations and special interests. What we need first and foremost is real, loop-hole free CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM!!!! If the corruption is not dealt with first, the chance of any other meaningful reforms becoming a reality is almost zero - the special interests will just use their money to buy votes and put forward bills that create loop-holes or otherwise twist the law in their favor. If we want our children to live in a country where there vote matters, we need to get the money out of our politics, otherwise they will increasingly become the 21st century version of the "landless peasant." Spread the word - End the LEGALIZED BRIBERY!!! CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM needs to be THE main goal of the protests!!!