01 junho 2008

Corporate tax cut

Interessante artigo do Greg Mankiw falando sobre uma das propostas do candidato John McCain e explicando por que ela é melhor que a do virtual oponente Barack Obama, que propõe o corte de impostos para "famílias trabalhadoras" (foi o melhor que pude imaginar para working families). Um esquerdista, ao ler isso, sentirá náuseas, mas se ele fizer um esforcinho para entender a explicação, verá que ela faz muito sentido:

The answer is that while most taxes distort incentives and shrink the economic pie, they do not do so equally. Compared with other ways of funding the government, the corporate tax is particularly hard on economic growth. A C.B.O. report in 2005 concluded that the “distortions that the corporate income tax induces are large compared with the revenues that the tax generates.” Reducing these distortions would lead to better-paying jobs.

Of course, a corporate tax cut would affect the federal budget. And any change in tax policy has to be made against a background of a looming fiscal crisis, which threatens to unfold as baby boomers retire and start collecting Social Security and Medicare. In 2007, corporate taxes brought in $370 billion, representing 14 percent of federal revenue. Cutting the rate to 25 percent would seem to cost the Treasury about $100 billion a year.

Part of that revenue loss, however, would be recouped through other taxes. To the extent that shareholders would benefit, they would pay higher taxes on dividends, capital gains and withdrawals from their retirement accounts. To the extent that workers would benefit, they would pay higher payroll and income taxes. Increased economic growth would tend to raise tax revenue from all sources.