“Makes her blood boil”: Democrats criticize billionaire corporations for low tax rates

More than 100 US companies pay an average effective tax rate of 1.1%, according to new data released by a top Democrat.

The data, released Thursday by Senate Treasury Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, showed that in 2019, between 100 and 125 companies with an average net book income of $8.9 billion averaged effective Tax rate of 1.1% paid.

The analysis of Data was conducted by the Joint Committee on Taxation, a bipartisan body within Congress. The JCT’s analysis looked at companies that reported $1 billion in excess income, as publicly reported in financial statements. They also compared this to the cash tax paid, based on the companies’ tax returns.

Wyden requested the JCT study. He and his Democratic Party colleagues are pushing for a minimum tax of 15% on profits made by billion-dollar companies.

“Our minimum corporate tax is a backstop to ensure the most profitable megacorporations pay no taxes at all while reporting record profits to their shareholders,” Wyden said in a statement to MarketWatch.

“The American people are here with us. When you talk to workers, nothing gets their blood boiling like the most profitable mega-corporations that pay little to no taxes,” he added.

Republicans countered that higher corporate taxes would hurt the US economy.

Mike Crapo, a Republican Senator from Idaho who is a senior member of Wyden’s committee, said that any increases in the corporate income tax rate would trickle through to employees, capital and shareholders, including those investing in pension plans and 401(k)s.

He added that manufacturers would account for about half of the taxes paid.

“The National Association of Manufacturers has stated that this would mean a reduction in our gross domestic product of $68.45 billion, a reduction in employment of 218,000 workers and a reduction in employment as half of the impact on this industry will fall in revenue of $17 billion,” Crapo said in a statement. “These figures show very clearly where the burden of this tax lies; contrary to the argument that this is just a tax on tax evaders.”

Write to MarketWatch reporter Aarthi Swaminathan at

Hear from Ray Dalio on the Festival of the best new ideas in the money on September 21st and 22nd in New York. The hedge fund pioneer has strong views on where the economy is going. “Makes her blood boil”: Democrats criticize billionaire corporations for low tax rates

Brian Lowry

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