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Former President Clinton backs corporate tax reform

Jan 11, 2012
Carter Wood

Delving into our Christmas books, we're pleased to find former President Bill Clinton a supporter of corporate tax modernization*. The book is "Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy." Among the excerpts:

In 1993, ... I supported an increase in the corporate tax reform on an income above $10 million from 34 to 36 percent to reduce the deficit. It made sense because our rates were still highly competitive with those of other countries. That’s not true anymore…The average European tax rate is 23 percent.

Among wealthy nations, we now have the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world, and because of recent changes in other countries we’re now the only wealthy nation that taxes income earned overseas when it’s brought back home.

Indeed, the pro-growth former Democratic president comes down on the side of a territorial tax system. From page 134:

Let companies repatriate the cash now with no tax liability if it’s reinvested to create new jobs. Even if the two parties agree to work together in good faith, it could take a year or more to reform the corporate tax laws. Meanwhile, I think we should make another effort to bring a lot of the overseas earnings of U.S. companies back home.

We would quibble on policy details, but it's clear that President Clinton recognizes that the current U.S. corporate tax system is antiquated and anti-competitive, discouraging companies from investing and creating jobs in the United States.

P.S. Here's Larry Kudlow commenting on Mitt Romney's embrace of a pro-competitive, pro-jobs tax system.

* Modernization. That's the new term for reform. It's better because it's longer.

Author

Senior Communications Advisor
Business Roundtable

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