TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

WSJ: Companies Promote Corporate-Tax Overhaul

WSJ, Companies Promote Corporate-Tax Overhaul:

Large companies, looking for every angle to prod Congress into making the corporate-tax changes they have been seeking for years, are turning to some in-house muscle: employees and customers.

Beyond efforts by corporations’ lobbyists and a television-ad campaign run by the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs, companies are now seeking to rally broader public support for business-tax cuts. They are inviting senior lawmakers to their facilities this summer and encouraging workers to contact their representatives in Congress.

“We believe this issue’s so important that you’ve got to get engaged. We can’t ensure success. We can ensure that our point of view and our customers’ point of view is heard,” David Abney, the chief executive officer of United Parcel Service Inc., said in a brief interview Tuesday.

Business executives, though wary of direct connections with the White House after President Donald Trump’s comments about white-nationalist protesters last week, remain deeply involved in promoting one of his major policy objectives.

Mr. Abney hosted Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, at the company’s global air hub in Louisville and bolstered the chairman’s tax-code pitch. The lower rates and permanent changes Mr. Brady envisions, he said, would encourage UPS to accelerate already-planned domestic investments....

“You leave tax reform just to Washington, it won’t get done,” said Mr. Brady, who was joined by Rep. Andy Barr (R., Ky.) and Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R., Ind.)....

Businesses can have a tough case to make in connecting the corporate-tax cuts they seek with benefits for the broader public.

Companies and Republicans argue that corporate tax cuts would help workers because they would encourage productivity-boosting investments and lead to wage growth in the long run. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that most economists think labor pays 80% of the corporate tax.

Official estimates by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation and the Treasury Department point in the opposite direction, showing that owners of capital pay 75% to 82% of corporate taxes....

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