…But the one [Center for American Progress] chart that jumped out at me was the one showing that the United States collects less corporate tax revenue than other developed nations. The CAP document states, with obvious disapproval, that “Corporate income tax revenue in the United States is about 25 percent below the OECD average.”…
But here’s some information that CAP didn’t bother to include in the study. The U.S. corporate tax rate is more than 39 percent and the average corporate tax rate in Europe is less than 25 percent.
Could this possibly be an example of that “crazy” concept of (gasp!) a Laffer Curve? To be sure, it is only in rare cases, when tax rates get very high, that researchers find that high tax rates lose revenue. In most cases, the Laffer Curve simply implies that higher tax rates won’t raise as much money as politicians want.
But have our friends at CAP inadvertently identified one of those cases where a tax cut (i.e., a lower corporate tax rate) would “pay for itself”?
There certainly is strong evidence for this proposition. In a 2007 study, Alex Brill and Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute found that the revenue-maximizing corporate tax rate is about 25 percent (click chart to enlarge).