Cornering Their Queen

Obama Should Cut the Corporate Tax

A power move by Obama would be to propose cutting the corporate tax rate.

El Prez is meeting with business leaders today, and I think he ought to throw them a bone while throwing the Republicans a tricky little curve ball: He should propose lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 30 percent.

That 35 figure is higher than most countries. The problem, of course, is all the loopholes, which enable many corporations to pay no income tax at all. The closing of loopholes would have to be figured out over time.

But he could state the principle now, which I think would be the smart thing to do. He sends a signal thereby that he's not just about increasing taxes. Takes that weapon out of the GOP's hands. And it's one of their last weapons. If this were chess, this would be like cornering their queen, rendering her unable to play offense.

It's the right policy, too. This is actually a tax cut on which many liberal agree in my experience, provided some loopholes are closed, which is always a big if, given the power of the lobbies who'll circle like hyenas around the whole project, but it's sound policy. It would win him a lot of good will in the biz world and would likely spur some corporate leaders to say to Republicans, okay, children, now grow up and be reasonable about taxes and the debt limit. And all that would really put Obama on the high political ground. No downside that I can see.