Arguing that the current corporate tax system hinders economic growth and job creation, President Obama today called for slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 28 percent by eliminating loopholes and subsidies.
"Our current corporate tax system is outdated, unfair, and inefficient. It provides tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas and hits companies that choose to stay in America with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It is unnecessarily complicated and forces America's small businesses to spend countless hours and dollars filing their taxes. It's not right, and it needs to change," the president said in a written statement.
Obama's proposed overhaul, announced by the Treasury Department, instead aims to simplify the corporate tax code and broaden the base. To pay for the cuts, the administration would do away with subsidies and loopholes that save companies billions of dollars each year, including those for oil and gas companies.
To encourage domestic investment, the White House plan would reduce the tax rate for manufacturers that create new products and produce goods in the U.S. to 25 percent and establish a minimum tax on foreign earnings.
"We want to restore a system in which American businesses succeed or fail based on the products they make and the services they provide, not on the creativity of their tax engineers or the lobbyists they hire," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told reporters today.
The administration's framework is "fully paid for, and it won't add a dime to the deficit," Obama said.
While the election-year proposal puts the president at odds with Republicans vying for his position, who would like to see lower corporate tax rates, both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill have shown previous support for reducing corporate tax rates while eliminating special-interest loopholes.
Geithner said today that he has already been in contact with Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. "We plan to meet, hopefully next week, to begin the process of building consensus, deciding how to move forward," Geithner said.