When it comes to attacks on corporate America, history tends to repeat itself. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued its report on corporate tax liabilities, as it has for many years. And once again, its data are being twisted and misinterpreted by those seeking to demonize the business community.
Perhaps you saw a screaming headline in your local paper or a news story on TV last week claiming that most businesses pay no taxes. These stories were based on a GAO report that appeared to conclude that 60% to 70% of companies in the United States escape the tax man.
What the GAO report actually said was that for the period between 1998 and 2005, corporations—not necessarily the same corporations–had no tax liability for one of the eight years in question. Let’s face it … if two thirds of all corporations paid no taxes for all eight years, we would be reading about a Department of Justice or IRS investigation, not a GAO report!
When I saw the media report I thought something was fishy.