The Corner

Economy & Business

What Race to the Bottom?

Janet Yellen, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, holds a news conference in Washington on December 13, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Charlie, I second your point about the nightmare of inescapable progressivism, but I also have a question for Janet Yellen on taxes: What race to the bottom?

When I look at the list of countries that have lower corporate tax rates than the United States, I see a lot of pretty nice places: Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc. Some of those are generally low-tax countries (Singapore), and some rely more heavily on the broad application of relatively high personal income taxes (Sweden) of the sort that Democrats consistently foreswear. If you want a Scandinavian welfare state, then you basically have to pay for it with Scandinavian taxes — which get pretty heavy long before you hit Joe Biden’s $400,000 a year threshold.

On the other hand . . .

When I look at the list of places that have higher corporate tax rates than ours, there are some pretty nice countries (France) and some that you might not want to emulate (Chad, Sri Lanka, Mexico). It’s almost as though the corporate tax rate is not the most important variable!

If a “race to the bottom” means a world that looks more like Switzerland, Singapore, or Denmark — then go ahead and sign me up.

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