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Big U.S. corporations only pay one-third of tax rate: report

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By Patrick Temple-West

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For U.S. corporations the top federal income tax rate is 35 percent, but large, profitable companies on average paid only about a third of that in 2010, a report by the investigative arm of Congress said on Monday.

As corporate lobbyists seek to preserve business tax breaks and cut the corporate tax rate, the Government Accountability Office said big companies with earnings paid just 12.6 percent of their worldwide income in taxes in 2010.

The GAO report came at a time of tight government budgets and increased attention among lawmakers to corporate tax avoidance in Europe and the United States.

While U.S. companies often complain about the 35 percent top tax rate being among the world’s highest, “what they don’t like to admit is that hardly any of them pay anything close to it,” said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, in a statement.

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The GAO report – which did not name specific companies – said that earlier studies had found U.S. companies paid 20 percent to 30 percent of their income in taxes.

But the GAO said public financial statements and new IRS data showed the tax rate for profitable corporations was even lower.

Levin released a report in May detailing corporate tax avoidance by Apple Inc. Last year, he scrutinized Microsoft Corp’slow tax bills.

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Democratic President Barack Obama and some lawmakers have called for lowering the top 35 percent corporate tax rate.

In April, GAO published a report saying the annual cost of corporate tax breaks to the U.S. Treasury has more than doubled to $180 billion since 1987.

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Steve Orlofsky)


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Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer

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Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.

Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.

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Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump

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Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.

"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."

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Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush

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The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.

That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.

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