GUEST COLUMN: Clinton and Trump are both wrong on corporate taxes

Hillary Clinton thinks corporate taxes are too low. Donald Trump thinks corporate taxes are way too high. They’re both wrong, and the economic consequences could be huge if either nominee’s tax proposal becomes law.

Trump would slash the rate to 15 percent and allow millions of partnerships and single-owner firms set up by hedge fund managers, lawyers and other well-heeled taxpayers to also pay the 15 percent rate once they pass earnings through to their personal income taxes.

Clinton would hold the existing corporate tax rate steady at 35 percent but would close a variety of loopholes, which amounts to a tax increase.

The problem is that corporations don’t really pay taxes. They just pass them along to employees, shareholders and customers.

Raising corporate taxes takes money out of people’s pockets and encourages companies to send operations overseas, where corporate tax rates are lower. Corporations don’t suffer but the economy does.

That makes Trump’s tax-cutting proposals seem sensible, but there’s just as much danger in cutting too much.

Most economists say that a cut to 25 percent would let companies pay higher wages while reducing the incentive to move abroad. (President Barack Obama for years has proposed 28 percent, with a special 25 percent rate for manufacturers).

The U.S. would see little revenue loss because economic output would grow and companies would pay more tax at lower rates. Workers receiving higher wages would also pay more tax.

The arithmetic doesn’t work, though, when the tax is as low as Trump’s proposed 15 percent. Federal tax revenue would fall too much, and under existing budget rules Trump would have to find offsetting spending cuts.

Trump would also go too far by allowing the pass-through companies to pay the 15 percent rate. While it might seem fair to give them the same rate as traditional corporations, it would make inequality a lot worse by lowering taxes for some of the wealthiest Americans.

He would also invite abuse: Just about anyone could qualify with some simple paperwork. The resulting tax cuts for millions would send tax revenue plummeting.

What about Clinton?

She makes a big deal of calling on corporations to pay their “fair share” of taxes. It pleases the Democratic Party’s left wing, yet it’s illogical.

She dismisses reams of new research showing that workers bear most of the cost of corporate taxes in the form of lower wages. She also waves off the fact that corporate taxes make up about 2 percent of gross domestic product about the average for the last 50 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

And while it’s true that the U.S. in 2015 collected only about 10 percent, or $344 billion, of federal revenue from corporations, that number is deceptive.

Democrats argue that it was a much higher 30 percent in the early 1950s, evidence they say that unsavory lobbying and campaign contributions by special interests are what drove it down.

What they don’t say is that Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes expanded rapidly from the 1950s through the 1970s, making smaller the percentage contribution of other taxes to the national till. They also ignore the fact that by 1980, corporate taxes had already declined to 12.5 percent of total U.S. tax revenue.

Clinton also fails to mention another big shift since the 1980s — the huge jump in the number of pass-through companies, such as partnerships, sole proprietorships and limited-liability corporations, which also lowered corporate tax receipts.

Earnings by these entities, which account for about 95 percent of all U.S. firms and more than half of all business revenue, flow through to the owners’ individual taxes. None pays corporate tax.

Clinton gets it right when she blames the ability of U.S. companies to invert, or relocate their tax headquarters in low-tax countries, for driving down corporate tax receipts.

But at about $4 billion a year in lost revenue, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, it’s not a huge contributor. Keeping the top rate at 35 percent — the highest in the developed world — won’t fix the problem. Nor would it raise much money, once companies search out new loopholes to avoid higher taxes.

Her pledge to make inverters pay exit taxes and other penalties only adds to the incentives companies have to shift tax costs to workers, harming the middle-class voters she says she most wants to help.

To understand why, it helps to think about how corporations and capital behave.

In 1962, University of Chicago economist Arnold Harberger wrote that the providers of capital, not workers, bore the cost of corporate taxes in the form of lower investment returns. But that was when the U.S. operated in a closed economy.

Today, capital can easily move across borders to seek out lower-tax countries and maximize profits.

When that happens, investment leads to more modern plants and equipment and better-trained workers, which improves productivity and pushes up wages.

If taxes are high, the opposite happens: Investment suffers, productivity doesn’t improve and wages stagnate or fall. Even Harberger came around to believing that labor usually bears the cost of corporate taxation.

The debate these days isn’t whether wages are affected, but how much.

Academics provide a variety of estimates, but the consensus seems to be between 50 percent and 75 percent of taxes paid, says Kevin Hassett, the American Enterprise Institute economist who did some ground-breaking work on this issue. His Aug. 14 op-ed says the answer to today’s wage stagnation is lower corporate taxes.

Both candidates have obvious political reasons for their tax positions.

For Clinton, a tough Democratic primary contest against the socialist Bernie Sanders would have made a corporate-tax cut suicidal.

Trump’s motivation seems to be winning over the corporate executives and tax-cutters who dominate the Republican establishment.

They may think they’ve got the politics right, but they’re wrong on the policy.

Paula Dwyer writes editorials on economics, finance and politics for Bloomberg View. She was London bureau chief for Businessweek and Washington economics editor for the New York Times, and is a co-author of “Take on the Street: How to Fight for Your Financial Future.”

 

Cedar Bluff, Cherokee County drop; Piedmont maintains top ranking in latest ASWA football poll

Even though not all high school football teams across the state were in action during Week 0, there was still plenty of movement in the latest Alabama Sports Writers Association football rankings. The latest poll was released late Tuesday evening.

Surprisingly, Class 1A Cedar Bluff – which was last year’s state runner-up – slipped one spot to No. 3 this week without having played a game. Defending state champion Maplesville (0-0) held on to the top spot, followed by this week’s new No. 2 Linden (0-0), which leapfrogged the Tigers from the No. 3 spot in the preseason.

Cedar Bluff opens the 2016 season on Thursday against Chattooga, Ga. (0-0).

One other area Class 1A team held on to its ranking: the Spring Garden Panthers (0-0). Spring Garden continues to be ranked at No. 7 and will host Class 3A Beulah (0-0) on Friday.

Speaking of Class 3A, defending state champion Piedmont (1-0) continues to be the top dog after grabbing 25 out of a possible 27 first-place votes. The Bulldogs are coming off a dramatic come-from-behind 29-22 victory over Cedartown, Ga. in last week’s Border Battle. Piedmont will travel to longtime rival Cherokee County on Friday.

Speaking of the Warriors (0-1), they dropped out of this week’s Class 4A rankings after losing 54-28 to Rockmart, Ga. last Friday. However, they are continuing to receive votes after being ranked eighth in the preseason.

This week’s complete rankings are listed below.

ALABAMA SPORTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL POLL Week 1 – Aug. 23, 2016

(First-place votes and record in parentheses)

Class 7A

1. McGill-Toolen (24) (1-0) 314

2. James Clemens (2) (0-0) 236

3. Hoover (1) (1-0) 229

4. Spain Park (1-0) 182

5. Bob Jones (1-0) 155

6. Hewitt-Trussville (1-0) 130

7. Murphy (0-0) 93

8. Central-Phenix City (0-1) 90

9. Auburn (1-0) 67

10. Lee-Montgomery (1-0) 19

Others receiving votes: Gadsden City (0-1) 14, Vestavia Hills (0-0) 3, Buckhorn (0-0) 2, Foley (1-0) 2, Mary G. Montgomery (1-0) 2, Jeff Davis (0-1) 1.

Class 6A

1. Clay-Chalkville (21) (1-0) 305

2. Blount (2) (1-0) 215

3. Spanish Fort (4) (0-1) 205

4. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (1-0) 193

5. Opelika (1-0) 174

6. Oxford (1-0) 127

7. Park Crossing (1-0) 110

8. Saraland (1-0) 69

9. Bessemer City (1-0) 45

10. Benjamin Russell (0-0) 39

Others receiving votes: Florence (0-1) 27, Hartselle (1-0) 17, Hazel Green (0-0) 4, Southside-Gadsden (1-0) 3, Minor (1-0) 2, Gardendale (1-0) 1, Homewood (1-0) 1, Parker (0-0) 1, Wetumpka (1-0) 1.

Class 5A

1. St. Paul’s (27) (1-0) 324

2. Jackson (0-0) 238

3. Alexandria (0-0) 205

4. Russellville (0-0) 191

5. Mortimer Jordan (0-1) 141

6. Beauregard (0-0) 118

7. Eufaula (1-0) 103

8. Etowah (0-1) 96

9. Guntersville (0-0) 42

10. Brooks (0-1) 19

Others receiving votes: Cleburne Co. (0-0) 17, Greenville (0-0) 11, Central-Clay Co. (1-0) 10, Scottsboro (0-0) 8, Sylacauga (1-0) 6, Calera (1-0) 5, Mae Jemison-Huntsville (0-1) 3, Vigor (0-1) 2.

Class 4A

1. Cordova (11) (1-0) 268

2. Madison Acad. (9) (0-0) 258

3. Andalusia (1-0) 199

4. UMS-Wright (5) (0-1) 197

5. Leeds (2) (1-0) 166

6. Munford (0-1) 101

7. North Jackson (0-0) 94

8. West Limestone (1-0) 80

9. Thomasville (0-0) 57

10. Fayette Co. (0-1) 45

Others receiving votes: Haleyville (1-0) 26, Cherokee Co. (0-1) 20, Handley (0-0) 10, St. James (1-0) 7, Randolph (1-0) 3, Satsuma (1-0) 3, Montgomery Catholic (1-0) 2, Jacksonville (1-0) 1, Tallassee (1-0) 1, Wilson (1-0) 1.

Class 3A

1. Piedmont (25) (1-0) 318

2. Gordo (2) (1-0) 248

3. T.R. Miller (0-0) 198

4. Hillcrest-Evergreen (0-0) 172

5. Opp (0-0) 154

6. Colbert Co. (0-0) 113

7. Montevallo (0-0) 108

8. Daleville (0-0) 76

9. Bayside Acad. (0-1) 68

10. Oakman (0-0) 47

Others receiving votes: Glencoe (1-0) 9, Lauderdale Co. (0-1) 9, Mobile Chr. (0-0) 7 Clarke Co. (0-0) 5, Randolph Co. (0-0) 2, Straughn (0-0) 2, Excel (0-0) 1, N. Sand Mountain (1-0) 1, Pisgah (1-0) 1.

Class 2A

1. Elba (27) (0-0) 324

2. Washington Co. (0-0) 213

3. Fyffe (0-0) 202

4. G.W. Long (0-0) 173

5. Lanett (1-0) 165

6. Tanner (0-1) 144

7. New Brockton (0-0) 104

8. LaFayette (1-0) 93

9. Cleveland (0-0) 65

10. Aliceville (0-0) 46

Others receiving votes: Ranburne (0-0) 3, Red Bay (1-0) 3, Gaston (0-1) 2, J.U. Blacksher (0-1) 1, Sheffield (0-1) 1.

Class 1A

1. Maplesville (24) (0-0) 314

2. Linden (2) (0-0) 234

3. Cedar Bluff (1) (0-0) 228

4. Brantley (0-0) 178

5. Pickens Co. (0-0) 147

6. Notasulga (1-0) 128

7. Spring Garden (0-0) 93

8. Sweet Water (0-0) 82

9. Berry (1-0) 55

10. Decatur Heritage (0-1) 32

Others receiving votes: Addison (1-0) 24, Georgiana (1-0) 12, Loachapoka (0-1) 4, Marengo (0-0) 4, R.A. Hubbard (1-0) 2, Lynn (1-0) 1, Millry (0-0) 1.

AISA

1. Bessemer Acad. (27) (2-0) 324

2. Escambia Acad. (2-0) 241

3. Autauga Acad. (0-0) 215

4. Monroe Acad. (0-1) 136

5. Lowndes Acad. (0-0) 123

6. Abbeville Chr. (0-1) 101

7. Marengo Acad. (0-0) 94

8. Fort Dale Acad. (0-0) 92

9. Jackson Acad. (1-0) 80

10. Morgan Acad. (1-0) 39

Others receiving votes: Clarke Prep (0-0) 27, Edgewood Acad. (0-1) 20, Northside Methodist (1-0) 13, Chambers Acad. (0-0) 11, Lee-Scott (0-0) 11, Springwood (0-0) 4, Pike Liberal (0-0) 2, South Choctaw Acad. (1-0) 2, Sparta Acad. (0-0) 2, Tuscaloosa Acad. (0-0) 2.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are: Paul Beaudry (Chairman), Alabama Media Group; Will Gaines, Anniston Star; Jonathan Deal, Athens News Courier; Gary Estwick, Birmingham News; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Tommy Hicks, Citronelle Call-News; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Rob Ketcham, Cullman Times; Johnathan Bentley, Daily Mountain Eagle; Justin Graves, Decatur Daily; David Mundee, Dothan Eagle; Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant; John McWilliams, Florence TimesDaily; Jeremy Smith, Freelance (Demopolis); Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger; J.J. Hicks, Gadsden Times; Daniel Boyette, Huntsville Times; Ben Thomas, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Eric Bacharach, Opelika-Auburn News; Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter; Jason Bowen, Scottsboro Daily Sentinel; Daniel Evans, Selma Times-Journal; Baker Ellis, Shelby County Reporter; Joey Chandler, Tuscaloosa News; Cory Diaz, Wetumpka Herald.

Not voting: Cathy Higgins, Alexander City Outlook; Josh Dutton, Andalusia Star-News; Andrew Garner, Atmore Advance; Lavonte Young, Talladega Daily Home.

Ensley: identifying common garden problems

Problems may involve direct injury, abnormal growth, or both. There may or may not be a remedy.

Some problems may affect all vegetables, others one crop, one variety, or sometimes one or two plants.

Some Common Problems

Failure of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant to set fruit (blossom-drop): If the plants are growing well this is frequently due to adverse night temperatures below 60 degrees F and above 75 degrees F. Also heavy use of nitrogen fertilizer will cause blossom-drop especially when applied at or closely after flowering.

Blossom-end rot of tomatoes: Caused by insufficient calcium when fruits are forming, rot is characterized by a large dry brown to black and often depressed leathery area at the blossom end of fruit. Calcium deficiency usually results from improper soil pH, excessive nitrogen fertilization, rapid plant growth, and drastic fluctuations in moisture caused by heavy rainfall or drought.

Poor plant growth and/or small fruit size of tomatoes: Often a result of using old, large or overly hardened transplants. Young transplants (5-6 weeks from seeding to planting in the garden) with 5-7 true leaves normally produce the best yields and fruit size.

Cucumber plants suddenly start wilting, leaves may show dead areas and fruit may be mottled: cucumber mosaic virus, a common disease problem in Georgia. Select mosaic-resistant varieties. Sudden rise in temperature or depleted soil moisture can cause wilting too, but plants will recover.

Poor or slow germination of seed: Can be several causes, like soil temperatures too low or too high, poor seeding techniques (too deep – lack of firming), maggots feeding on the seeds, birds, lack of moisture, too much moisture, soil surface becomes crusty, etc.

Generally slow or poor growth of all crops: low pH, low fertility, cool weather, lack of sunlight, poor drainage, too little/too much moisture, poor soil structure.

Lettuce and spinach going to seed: This is normal for these crops under warm temperatures and long days. Spring and fall planting and proper variety selections are remedies.

Onion bulbs fail to reach desirable size: Wrong planting date, non-adapted variety, crowding of plants or lack of moisture, especially early in growing season.

Irregular kernel development of sweet corn ears: May be due to inadequate pollination.

Planting sweet corn in blocks of several short rows rather than in long single rows may help.

Garden peas cease flowering: A natural occurrence when summer temperatures arrive. Peas perform best when planted in the spring or fall.

Off-shaped cucumbers (crooked, nubbins, etc.): Often due to a shortage of soil moisture. Cool temperatures at time flowers are developing can be a cause. Poor pollination due to lack of bees or low number of male flowers is another possibility.

ROME BRAVES RECAP: Braves extend winning streak with 6-3 win over Kannapolis

TUESDAY’S GAME RECAP

Final: Rome 6, Kannapolis 3

How it happened: Kannapolis grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first, but Rome made it a 1-1 game in the second on a double steal, with Justin Ellison crossing the plate. The sixth inning saw the Braves make it 4-1 on an RBI groundout by Jonathan Morales, an RBI double by Ellison, and a run-scoring single by Carlos Castro. The Intimidators made it a 4-3 game in the eighth on Danny Mendick’s single to plate a run and Cody Daily’s run-scoring single. The Braves added two insurance runs in the bottom of the inning for the 6-3 score.

Who did what for Rome: Castro went 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs, while Ellison finished 2-for-2 with two doubles and three runs. Jared James had a triple.

On the mound: Ricardo Sanchez (7-9) picked up the win, going seven innings allowing four hits and one run while striking out nine. Corbin Clouse closed the game, shutting down Kannapolis for the final 1 1-3 innings for the save.

Next Game: Rome and Kannapolis are back at it tonight at 7 p.m. at State Mutual Stadium.

Radio: 99.5-FM

 

Cherokee County Arrest Report Wednesday, Aug. 24

Local law enforcement agents have made the following arrests in recent days:

-Tonya Marie Wells for failure to appear on speeding charge.

-Justin Blake Patterson for underage consumption.

-David Orlando Rodriguez for obstructing justice.

-Walter Louis Tucker on revoked bond, unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree.

-Illya Stephond Henderson for domestic violence in the third degree and non child support.

-Micheal Roy Holcomb for failure to appear on charge of domestic violence in the third degree.

New books at the Rockmart library

New books and movies are now available at the Rockmart Library, located at 316 N. Piedmont Ave. For more information, call 770-684-3022.

Fiction

All Summer Long – Dorothea Benton Frank

Charcoal Joe – Walter Mosley

The Defender of Shannara: The Sorcerer’s Daughter – Terry Brooks

Foreign Agent – Brad Thor

The Games (A Private novel) – James Patterson

The Highwayman – Craig Johnson

Vengeance – Zane

The House of Secrets – Brad Meltzer

Troublemaker – Linda Howard

Marrying Winterborn – Lisa Kleypas

The Emperor’s Revenge – Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison

Non-Fiction

Tipping Point for Planet Earth – Anthony D. Barnosky

The Hunting Ground – Kirby Dick and Any Ziering

Balanced and Barefoot – Hancort

You Don’t Have to Be a Shark – Robert Herjavec

Make: Getting Started with 3D Printing – Wallach Kloski

New Movies:

Zootopia

The Good Dinosaur

Gods of Egypt

Race

Rise of the Legend

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Bubble Guppies- Fun on the Farm

Wild Bill Hickok: Swift Justice

Grace and Frankie (Season One)

Risen

Deadpool

Hail, Caesar

The Confirmation

I Am Potential

Sofia the First – The Secret Library

Ride Along 2

Cedar Cove (Final Season)

Local law enforcement, Rome Braves gathering supplies to assist Louisiana flood victims

Local leaders in law enforcement are saddened by daily reports of flooding in Louisiana and are calling on the public to help deliver assistance to families displaced by flood waters.

The Rome Braves will be assisting in the effort and will open the parking lot across from State Mutual Stadium. Police and deputies will be on hand to help with unloading of supplies and make the event more convenient for contributors.

The event is scheduled to begin Thursday August 25, 2016 and continue through Saturday August 27, 2016 with hours of 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day.

The Rome Braves will additionally be giving away two free tickets to every car for Sunday’s game as a special thank you to the public. Tickets will be available while supplies last.

The law enforcement event is being called “BLUE” – Benefiting Louisiana with Uniformed Encouragement

“The people of Louisiana are reeling from the loss to their state so it’s important for us to bring a unified front of kindness,” said Floyd County Chief Bill Shiflett. “Those folks really need our help and I believe this is a great demonstration of love.”

According to statistics provided by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, more than 40,000 homes have been damaged and approximately 30,000 were rescued from their homes. All of those people are in need of fundamental supplies we take for granted, Shiflett said.

“The flooding in Louisiana brings back painful memories of Katrina for many,” said Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter. “Though we cannot take the hurt and pain of the past away, we can do something to help soften the blow for the more than 100,000 people who have registered for assistance.

Chief Denise Downer-McKinney, of the Rome City Police Department, says events like this are uplifting for all: “With all the support we have received from our community, we want to pay it forward to the community and our brothers and sisters in Louisiana.”

AutoMax Rent-a-Car is donating a truck to use during the drop off this week and Scott Logistics will be shipping the supplies at no cost from Rome to Louisiana. Scott Logistics has been directly impacted by the floods; the Rome-based company is already helping employees who have been impacted at their Louisiana office.

Officials are asking for donations of toiletries, cleaning supplies, baby formula, diapers, paper products, new underwear in the pack, bath towels, wash cloths, laundry detergent, bleach, lotion, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, body wash, and feminine hygiene products.

 

All 13 injured people treated, released from Cartersville Medical Center after I-75 wreck

Emerson police officers were trying to determine Monday which vehicle started a 29-car pile-up on Interstate 75.

The chain-reaction crash happened at the Etowah River bridge north of Emerson around 5 p.m. Sunday, Chief Stan Bradley said

Thirteen people, ages 11 to 61, were treated at Cartersville Medical Center for minor abrasions, bruises or general soreness, said Assistant Chief Nursing Officer Jan Tidwell.

By 1 a.m. Monday the last of the patients — from Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama — were released, Tidwell added.

Bradley said officers were interviewing witnesses but it was taking some time to reach everyone who was driving or riding in one of the 29 vehicles involved. What they knew Monday, he said, is that a car traveling north on I-75 had driven into a microburst rainstorm. The car hydroplaned and the driver lost control, slamming into the bridge.

The vehicles behind the crashed car were all following each other too closely, so they couldn’t stop before hitting the vehicle ahead of them, Bradley said.

“It highlights the fact that people need to keep an adequate distance between the cars in front of them,” he said.

For over two hours police and tow trucks were cleaning up after the pile-up. And during that time, Cartersville Medical Center was dealing with an influx of patients.

Tidwell was the administrator on call Sunday. After hearing about the pile-up, she established an incident command center to direct incoming patients to the proper area in the hospital, depending on their injuries.

“The emergency department is extremely busy on a daily basis. However, when we are notified of an anticipated influx of patients, the emergency department goes into a planning and preparation phase,” she said.

Additional staff was initially brought in for support, in case of any life-threatening injuries, Tidwell added, but minimal support was required as the patients were determined to have only minor injuries.

Deputies make arrests and recover stolen 4-Wheeler

Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies made two arrests in connection to a stolen ATV Monday morning, Aug. 22.

Arrested, according to a press release from Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver, were Darrell Scott Firestone, 33, of Ragland, and Coley Reaves, 34, of Gadsden, who were both charged with receiving stolen property in the second degree and attempting to elude.

According to Sheriff Shaver, deputies responded to a call of suspicious man and woman on an all-terrain vehicle on the edge of County Road 20, just west of Garrett’s bridge. When the officers attempted to speak to the couple, they started the ATV and attempted to flee but were stopped. The ATV was discovered to be stolen from Hokes Bluff, and the female also has outstanding warrants.

Both were taken into custody and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center, according to the press release.