Here are a couple of good questions for today:
1. Do consumers know how the commodities they buy, such as iPhones and iPads, are produced?
For instance, did you know that it takes five days and 325 sets of hands to make a single iPad? Did you know that those hands belong to workers who get paid about $1.78 an hour and work 12-hour days?
Many of those employees live in dorms on the Foxconn campus, where small rooms can sleep six to eight people. Even more surprising is that workers actually pay to live in these dorm rooms — $17.50 a month, according to ABC.
2. Why is Obama proposing a tax cut for corporations?
Why isn’t the White House just proposing to close the loopholes without reducing overall corporate tax rates? That would generate more tax revenue that could be used for, say, public schools.
It’s not as if corporations are hurting. Quite the contrary. American companies are booking higher profits than ever. They’re sitting on $2 trillion of cash they don’t know what to do with.
And it’s not as if corporate taxes are high. In fact, corporate tax receipts as a share of profits is now at its lowest level in at least 40 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office, corporate federal taxes paid last year dropped to 12.1 percent of profits earned from activities within the United States. That’s a gigantic drop from the 25.6 percent, on average, that corporations paid from 1987 to 2008.
And it’s not that corporations are paying an inordinate share of federal tax revenues. Here again, the reality is just the opposite. Corporate taxes have plummeted as a share of total federal revenues. In 1953, under President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, corporate taxes accounted for 32 percent of total federal tax revenues. Now they’re only 10 percent.
Clearly, a question (or two) a day keeps ignorance at bay. . .