Big corporations work hard to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The effect on the American people is higher taxes for the rest of us, fewer public investments, more debt, or some combination of the three.
Unlike an average worker or independent business, multinational firms can manipulate the reporting of their income in ways that slash or eliminate their tax bill. They can, for instance, funnel their domestic profits through a dummy subsidiary in a foreign country to make it look like money actually made from the hard work of U.S. employees and the hard-earned purchases of U.S. consumers were actually made in a low- or no-tax haven overseas.
The upshot is that American corporations in recent years have paid taxes at just one-third the official rate, and that some well-known giants like General Electric, Verizon and Bank of America some years pay nothing at all. Fairer taxes on our corporations should be the first place we seek revenue to reduce our national debt.
— Jeremy Bernstein