It's been widely publicized that GOP vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney left his job as CEO of Halliburton with a pretty sweet severance package. Nobody's yet pointed out, however, that American taxpayers may have helped finance Cheney's good fortune. Last year the oil supply company reported $257 million in U.S. pretax profits to its shareholders. But rather than paying 35 percent of that in federal income taxes, Halliburton says it got an $85-million tax rebate from Uncle Sam! At least in 1999, this was one company that certainly didn't want to eliminate the IRS.
Lots of career employees at the IRS were annoyed at the partisan tone of
the tax-rebate letters the agency mailed out in July. The IRS has a long
apolitical tradition, and its workers felt uncomfortable with a letter that made
them appear to be shilling for Republican policies.
We are pleased to inform you that the United States Congress passed and
President George W. Bush signed into law the Economic Growth and Tax Relief
Reconciliation Act of 2001, which provides long-term tax relief for all Americans
who pay income taxes.
Earlier this year, soaring gasoline and electricity prices had
much of the public outraged at villainous energy profiteers. So, after careful
study, the Johnny-one-notes in Washington, D.C., who run the Republican Party
concluded that there are only two sensible responses to that particular (albeit
since-subsided) "crisis": drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
and cut taxes on oil companies and utilities.
Many of the country's biggest corporations are once again paying little or nothing in federal income taxes, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
Corporations are supposed to pay 35 percent of their profits in taxes. But the 250 companies in ITEP's survey paid only 20.1 percent in 1998. That figure was down from 22.9 percent in 1996 and way below the 26.5 percent big companies paid back in 1988, when they had yet to figure out ways around the loophole-closing 1986 Tax Reform Act.