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Friday Feedback: Taxes and PACs

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Good Morning.

It’s Friday so some feedback. Former IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti weighed in afterwards my Wednesday post President Biden’s spending plans must be funded through debt or new taxes. There is another way, he says – to collect taxes already owed:

“Our plan is at the core of the tax gap– –Higher income individuals who do not pay what they legally owe. At $ 574 billion in 2019 alone, the tax gap is equal to what the bottom 90% of all individuals pay in federal income taxes annually. This is obviously unfair. “

More information on Rossotti’s proposal can be found here Here.

And a lot of people commented my proposition that company Not Withdraw from the political contribution game – because you can be a force for a pragmatic compromise on important issues. A selection of the comments:

“I believe that buying access, or the need to buy access (even if money is flowing on both sides of the aisle) is the root of the problem. We need to … regain some sanity on the representative government and handle myriad kinds of special interests and control the narrative. “
—J.S.

“How much have the parties just spent on this campaign? Was it 11 billion? (AM: Actually $ 14 billion.) How many people can we feed, clothe, house and offer vocational training with part of this ridiculous sum?
—B.T.

“At the heart of it… the main goal (of corporate campaign contributions) is stability… companies want to know what to expect. With this knowledge, they can plan their strategies and tactics for the future. “
—P.A.

A. H. wrote to remind me that companies do not make direct contributions. They do this through political action committees to which their staff contribute. I’m not a fan of the current campaign funding system. I’m just saying that big corporations are among the more responsible and pragmatic players in this system, and if they pull out on their own, things get worse.

Finally, my friend Shiva Rajgopal, who teaches at Columbia Business School, sent a paper saying that corporate lobbying pays ten times better than R&D spending in terms of the bottom line impact. With that in mind, “the bigger question is why we observe so little versus too much lobbying.” His paper is Here.

More news below. And look at Susie Gharibs new interview with Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta, who expects the introduction of the vaccine in the second half of the year on a “strong increase in demand” from business travelers. “People are fed up with it Zoom To meet. “

Alan Murray
@ Alansmurray

alan.murray@fortune.com

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