The awe actually should be over Ryan’s selective use of facts. As Danny Westneat of The Seattle Times reported: “Not only is Boeing gushing cash, but its own financial documents show it has actually paid an average federal income tax of just 3.2 percent of profits over the past 15 years. That’s less than one-tenth the figure Ryan cited.” Westneat also quoted Matt Gardner of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy as saying, “The question with Boeing isn’t whether high taxes are hurting them, because that’s ludicrous on the face of it.”
Republicans, led by President Donald Trump, have taken aim upon the United States’ allegedly exorbitant corporate tax rate, turning it into a trope that requires more examination than they are willing to provide. According to NPR fact-checkers, the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent is, indeed, the highest among industrialized nations. But because of a broad swath of loopholes and tax breaks, few American companies pay that percentage. American corporations typically pay taxes at a rate of 18.6 percent — lower than the rate found in Argentina, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
As Gardner told The Seattle Times: “Corporate profits are gangbusters right now. Corporate taxes as a share of the economy are, in the past 10 years, as low as they’ve ever been.” One study of 258 profitable Fortune 500 companies found that 18 of them have paid no corporate taxes over the past eight years, despite profits of $177 billion. Read more