Politifact Virginia: Senator Warner on corporate taxes

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Tax the rich. It is a common tag line used by some to solve all of our debt and deficit problems.

But others believe taxing the rich would just lead to jobs being slashed. But just how much money does the federal government take in from corporate taxes?

According to Senator Mark Warner it is a dwindling number.

During an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Warner said, "If you look at our tax mix, the share of corporate revenues as a percentage of our overall revenue mix has declined by about half over the last 30 years."

Are corporation paying that much less to fund the federal government? According to the reporters of Politifact Virginia, that claim is half true.

According the Congressional Budget Office, in 1979 corporate tax receipts made up 14.2 percent of the federal revenue. In 2009 the figure was only 6.6 percent.

Warner is right, more than half. But that is only half the story.

If he used 1980 to 2010, the figure goes from 12.5 percent to 8.9 percent not quite a 50 percent drop.

If you look even closer at thirty year spreads in 2006, 2007 and 2008 there is a negligible difference.

According to Politifact reporter Jacob Geiger, if you cherry pick the years it is easy to find ones that draw dramatic conclusions.

"That was right at the bottom of the recession and corporation pay taxes on their profits, the bottom of the recession was the smaller profit, with lower taxes paid, so really it's just kind of picking a year  that's not necessarily representative of the other years," he said.

And you can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com and you can see all our past reports on my political blog, www.decisionvirginia.com.

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