Shareholders Deserve to Know

Humorist Will Rogers once said, "The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf." That is exactly why I think shareholders deserve to know the income reported to the IRS by companies in which they are invested. There have been some press reports noting that the gap between the levels of income reported to the tax collectors and that which is reported to shareholders is growing. There is a natural tendency to minimize taxable income while reporting to the public that you are reaching record profits.

Today, I introduced the Honest Income Disclosure Act to require all public companies to disclose in their annual reports the level of income reported to the IRS. The information would then be prominently displayed by the SEC. It is possible that the level of income reported to the IRS can be a more predictable indicator of a company's health. With over 100 million Americans currently participating in our capital markets, it remains critical that shareholders are given accurate information about the companies they own.

The Honest Income Disclosure Act is my second bill of the 110th Congress aimed at increased disclosure by public companies for the benefit and protection of shareholders. It will be referred to the House Financial Services Committee where I serve as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.