Presentation on theme: "David Schultz Hamline University"— Presentation transcript:
David Schultz Hamline University
GOP contenders think so Public officials think so Folk wisdom says yes Popular press says yes
The Sun does not revolve around the Earth. The Earth is not flat. Big Foot does not exist. Elvis and Marilyn are not alive… And taxes have a limited impact on economic growth and job creation.
Hundreds of academic studies and analysis demonstrate that taxes have a limited impact on business investment decisions. Two examples: Wasylenko, Michael, “Taxation and Economic Development: The State of the Economic Literature,” State Tax Notes, June 23, 1997, pp Kieschnick, Michael, Taxes and Growth: Business Incentives and Economic Development.
Need to consider the relative weight of taxes compared to other costs of doing business.
Factors affecting business relocation decisions ◦ Workforce quality and costs ◦ Access to markets ◦ Access to suppliers ◦ Transportation costs ◦ Energy costs ◦ Taxes
Nearly 62 percent of those interviewed in a California study on hiring tax credits indicated that they had never or rarely affected their decision to employ individuals. National Federation of Small Businesses (NFIB) recently completed a survey asking small businesses what is the single biggest problem they face. Taxes came in third, with poor sales listed as the biggest issue.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles data on reasons for mass layoffs. In their most recently survey that covers 2010 and 2011 factors such as cancellation of a contract or order for goods, insufficient demand for products, and increased automation account for the vast majority of layoffs. High taxes do not even appear on the list as a reason.
Enterprise Zones such as JOBZ Taxes incentives to encourage business relocation Tax incentives produce costly jobs Everyone is doing it so the effects are negated Jobs gained in one place mean jobs lost elsewhere
If taxes are so important, then why is Minnesota doing so well and Mississippi so badly? Tax cuts will not necessarily lead to higher employment ◦ Chamber of Commerce quote: “I will not hire anyone until more consumers buy my products.”
“Correlation” examines a statistical connection between two items such as tax rates and economic growth r= 1 perfect relation r = -1 inverse relation r= 0 no relation
Top corporate tax rate and GDP r =0.32 Top individual tax rate and GDP r =0.29 Top corporate and individual tax rates and GDP r =0.1
R = -0.02
Taxes are a marginal costs compared to other expenses. Taxes need to be considered along side of what they buy or purchase for a business. ◦ Education ◦ Infrastructure
Adam Smith’s 1776 Wealth of Nations ◦ “The third and last duty of the sovereign or commonwealth is that of erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which, though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society, are, however, of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, and which it therefore cannot be expected that any individual or small number of individuals should erect or maintain.”