The Associated Press reports:
Income tax payments this year will be nearly 13 percent lower than they were in 2008, the last full year of the Bush presidency. Corporate taxes will be lower by a third, according to projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The poor economy is largely to blame, with corporate profits down and unemployment up.
High unemployment has certainly affected government revenue. But what's this business about corporate profits being down?
New York Times, November 23, 2010:
Corporate profits have been doing extremely well for a while. Since their cyclical low in the fourth quarter of 2008, profits have grown for seven consecutive quarters, at some of the fastest rates in history. As a share of gross domestic product, corporate profits also have been increasing, and they now represent 11.2 percent of total output. That is the highest share since the fourth quarter of 2006, when they accounted for 11.7 percent of output.
And Justin Fox of the Harvard Business Review noted in November 2010 that in the third quarter of 2010, corporate profits as a share of national income was "quite high by historical standards. … There is annual data to 1929, and the only time besides 2006 and (one can predict with some confidence) this year when the profit share topped 9% was 1929, when it hit 9.9%."
When a leading media institution like the Associated Press can't correctly report basic facts like the direction in which corporate profits are heading, what chance does the public have of reaching informed public policy positions?