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Bachmann on Corporate Taxes

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Uploaded on Jul 21, 2011

This footage was captured by an American Bridge tracker in South Carolina on July 19, 2011.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: What can you do to change the tax system that we have in place now? We have companies such as BP that, as the media reports or fails to report, pay very few dollars in federal income tax, if any, when they're huge billion dollar profit corporation. My understanding is individual taxes are only a little bit, if any, corporate companies are supposed to pay the majority of our income taxes, and I think it's been the reverse because studies show that only about 63 to 67% of corporations are actually paying the federal income tax. What can we do to change that?

BACHMANN: Well, the tax code is something I'd consider a job-killing tax code. It's not creating jobs. It's killing jobs, and it's -- there are so many perverse incentives in the tax code for companies that they are incentivized to look for every way to get around what they should be doing, and that's focusing on the business and growing their businesses. That's what they should be doing. The tax code is approximately 3.8 million words. It is almost incomprehensible and impossible to deal with. It's very difficult. I know when I worked as a federal tax litigation attorney, there was one day when I had one tax case, and I called Washington, DC, to ask someone at the IRS about 14 words in the tax code, one little tiny section, 14 words, and we had our conversation, and after we had our conversation, I hung up the phone, I turned around in my chair, and I thought to myself, "If Washington, DC, can afford to hire one bureaucrat just to interpret 14 words out of 3.8 million words, we don't stand a chance out here in America, whether you're a business or whether you're an individual. Government and the bureaucracy has gotten so big and so complicated in the tax code that it requires a veritable phalanx of lawyers to figure it out. What we need to do in my opinion is abolish the current tax code completely and we have to adopt something that is very simple, very flat and very fair, because I believe every American benefits by being safe and secure by our military. We all benefit by our road system. We all benefit by the park system, we all benefit by the national parks service. Part of the problem is today only 53% of Americans pay any federal income tax at all. 47% pay nothing. We need to broaden the base so that everybody pays something, even if it's a dollar. Everyone should pay something because we all benefit. But it needs to be simple to understand. It needs to be very fair, and it needs to be flat, and it doesn't meet any of those tests today. We have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world today. If you combine it with state corporate taxes, America easily can have the highest corporate tax rate when you combine those two, so if you want to know why we aren't seeing job creation in the United States, look no further than the tax code, because depending upon your company and depending upon the threshold breaks you get in the tax code, some companies pay a lot of money in taxes where others don't. It just depends where the breaks are. I don't think the federal government's businesses is to choose winners and losers in the private sector. They shouldn't favor one industry over another. Industry should be able to stand on its own. Pay your fair share (incomprehensible) so that's what I would do. This a bold step, but we are in need of bold times. We need to have bold action where we dramatically reform the tax code so it is no longer punishing people and punishing job creation. We want pro-growth policies. Thanks for that question.

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