by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Fortune 500 issue of Fortune magazine includes an extended interview with Fred Smith, whose Fed Ex ranks No. 70 on the list.
Among the topics of conversation is the federal corporate income tax rate:
If you could wave your magic wand, what would you do to make the U.S> more competitive? The single biggest thing that the U.S. can do is to change the corporate tax system, because as it exists today, the system favors leveraged finance and financial services over industrial activities.
Such as interest payments being deductible? Absolutely. And in a capital-intensive business, you add leverage at your peril because when the inevitable downturn comes, we’ve seen what happens. So how do we get more competitive? First the corporate tax rate should be lowered to make it globally competitive. Just set the maximum rate at 20% or 25% across the board and eliminate all the other foolishness. Next, we should go to a territorial tax system so you don’t get penalized for bringing money back into the United States. Put a different way, money that is made in China making baby food for Chinese babies should not be taxed if it’s brought back into the United States. We want that money to come back in the United States so we can create jobs here.