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Rich CEOs Trying to Pay Even LESS in Taxes

That offshore haven isn't enough?
 
 
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A lobby group for more than 200 CEOs is launching a campaign to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent and loosen restrictions on offshore tax havens, reports The Hill.

“It’s time we reclaim America’s home court advantage by modernizing tax policy in a fiscally responsible way so all U.S. businesses can create jobs, innovate, grow, compete – and win,” Business Roundtable resident John Engler said in a press release.

The Business Roundtable’s announcement comes right off the heels of a Wall Street Journal analysis revealing that  60 corporations shielded 40 percent of annual profits by collectively stashing $166 billion offshore in 2012. Also, a study by PayUpNow.org shows 64 corporations paid just over 8 percent in taxes from 2008 to 2012. Some of these companies are the same ones pushing for a 10 percent corporate tax cut.

Meanwhile, the CEOs pushing for lower taxes continue to pay themselves exorbitantly, further widening the gap between corporate heads and regular Americans. The New York Times reports that CEO pay rose five percent last year, during a time of “stubbornly high unemployment and declining wealth for many ordinary Americans.” And in 2011, AFL-CIO notes that S&P 500 executives “made, on average, 380 times the average wages of U.S. workers.”

Last week, President Obama convened closed-door meetings with Republican lawmakers to discuss stand-alone corporate tax reform. Reuters reports that Obama told Republicans he’d support a revenue-neutral corporate tax reform plan.

"If he's agreed, and he has, that the lowering of rates with the corporate tax will be revenue neutral, there's no reason we can't do that now," Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told Reuters.

But other Republicans and pass-through organizations that pay the 40 percent individual tax rate want a complete overhaul, rather than just stand-alone corporate tax reform.

“To us, tax reform means comprehensive. That means corporate, individual and pass-through,” Brian Reardon, executive director of the S Corporation Association told The Hill. “In our experience, the vast majority of the business community is united around that idea.” 

While businesses and lawmakers continue debating reduced taxes for corporations and the wealthy, low-income Americans brace for oncoming sequester cuts to food and housing programs.

 

Steven Hsieh is an editorial assistant at AlterNet and writer based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @stevenjhsieh.