House Speaker Paul Ryan’s visit to the Boeing plant in Everett last week contained plenty of ideology, politicking, and lobbying for Republican efforts to reconfigure the U.S. tax code. But it was woefully short on facts — a situation that should play a role in the upcoming congressional discussion about how much American corporations pay to the government.
“For Boeing, we are taxing this business, these planes, your jobs in this country at a much higher rate than our foreign competitors tax theirs,” said Ryan, R-Wis. “You know what the tax rate here is? Thirty-five percent. I’m just in awe that in spite of all that, you’re still doing so well.”
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.” Read more