Read a fascinating story overnight, about corporate tax rates. Although the rate is allegedly 35 percent — AND CAN YOU BELIEVE IT’S THAT HIGH? WHAT IS THIS, THE SOVIET UNION? — it should not surprise you to know that many companies pay far less, and some collect fat…well, you can’t exactly call them refunds, as there was nothing paid to be refunded in the first place. “The thanks of a grateful nation,” perhaps.
Here’s a chart. I notice that many of the biggest refunders are utilities, including my own, DTE Energy. I’d imagine that comes from exploiting energy policy that rewards some sources of power over others. Here’s a jaw-dropper, however:
The report said that many other companies took advantage of tax breaks that favor certain industries, including drilling for oil and gas, making video games, building NASCAR racetracks, producing ethanol, and making movies.
Video games, movies and NASCAR. If you wonder why lobbyists are as rich as Midas, wonder no more.
Rick Snyder, the new governor of Michigan, drastically reduced our film tax credits, on the grounds that governments shouldn’t “pick winners and losers” for special treatment. (Then he turned around and top-downed a bunch of other ideas and “best practices,” which goes to show we all have a different idea of what constitutes a winner and a loser.)
What I don’t know about tax policy could fill the Grand Canyon, but I do know I studied the wrong thing in college. A lawyer friend of mine likes to say he wouldn’t trade his B.A. in economics for anything, that no single field of study explains the world as well as econ. I’d say he’s right.
So what’s your major, anyway?
I have an interview to do in 45 minutes, and I intend to ride my bike to it, because what’s the point of doing hyperlocal journalism if you can’t do hyperlocal transportation along the way. I haven’t been doing as much cycling as I usually do in the fall, but that’s to be expected, considering the near-constant rain we’ve been having. I have to remind myself to be alert to autumnal cycling hazards; one year in Fort Wayne I nearly came to ruin after thoughtlessly riding fast under an aesculus glabra tree that had dropped its fruit all over the Rivergreenway. I use the Latin name so I don’t wreck the punchline: It would be ironic indeed for an Ohio native to be felled by a buckeye.
Fortunately, I have some bloggage:
Mitch Albom, infamous crafter of over-the-top obituaries, stays his hand (mostly) and does one I actually enjoyed reading — about his piano teacher. It’s good because he mostly keeps himself out of it, although it has enough head-smacking phrases for a few winces; the man’s cancer battle had “gone to a minor key,” not to mention this entire paragraph:
Sing a song of Matt Michaels. Make it sweet and melodic as the best jazz tune, make it funny and smart and a little whimsical, a trill note here or there. Make it smoky and coffee-stained and gently inspiring to anyone who hears it. The old expression goes, “Those who can’t do, teach,” but that is false. Sometimes, those who can do teach anyhow, and the world is better for it.
Ugh. But the guy left behind a million stories, and Mitch wrangled a few of them. Kate’s wonderful bass teacher gets to tell one, so there’s that.
Mark my words: At some point in the near or distant future, Kim Kardashian is going to claim her whole joke of a marriage was planned for just this reason.
Jim at Sweet Juniper’s other kid — that would be “Juniper” — was a ghost for Halloween. But not a sheet ghost.
My phone just alerted me that it’s time to head out. The weekend is drawing so, so near, I can almost taste it.