Here's Bruce Bartlett, Reagan's chief economic advisor, once again speaking truth into the wind of teabaggRism:
Historically, the term “tax rate” has meant the average or effective tax rate — that is, taxes as a share of income. The broadest measure of the tax rate is total federal revenues divided by the gross domestic product.
By this measure, federal taxes are at their lowest level in more than 60 years. TheCongressional Budget Office estimated that federal taxes would consume just 14.8 percent of G.D.P. this year. The last year in which revenues were lower was 1950, according to the Office of Management and Budget.
Yet if one listens to Republicans, one would think that taxes have never been higher, that an excessive tax burden is the most important constraint holding back economic growth and that a big tax cut is exactly what the economy needs to get growing again.
Just last week, House Republicans released a new plan to reduce unemployment. Its principal provision would reduce the top statutory income tax rate on businesses and individuals to 25 percent from 35 percent. No evidence was offered for the Republican argument that cutting taxes for the well-to-do and big corporations would reduce unemployment; it was simply asserted as self-evident.
The G.O.P. says global competitiveness requires the United States to reduce its corporate tax rate. But the United States actually has the lowest corporate tax burden of any of the member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The truth of the matter is that federal taxes in the United States are very low. There is no reason to believe that reducing them further will do anything to raise growth or reduce unemployment.
It's actually worse than that: many corporations not only don't pay taxes, they get refunds despite billions in profits. (And that comes from the noted liberal rag, Forbes.)