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A number we've been looking for: 2.3%

Corporations and their propagandists are always complaining, with great shrillness, that the United States has one of the highest tax rates in the developed world (35%). To which advocates for tax fairness always reply: Nominal tax rates are one thing, but actual taxes paid, because of loopholes and shelters, is something else again. To figure out just how much in taxes big corporations (and rich people) pay is very, very difficult. It’s one of the things that they very, very much don’t want working people to know.

Here’s a number in the Washington Post story on Obama’s plan to put an end to offshore tax havens:

“The tax havens allow major U.S. corporations to pay taxes on only a fraction of their profits. According to 2004 numbers, the most recent the administration has on hand, U.S. multinational corporations paid an effective tax rate of 2.3 percent on $700 billion in profits.”

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