Liberals call for corporate ‘Buffett Rule’

With that in mind, liberals have called for broadening that idea to include businesses — an idea Rebecca Wilkins of CTJ dubbed the “G.E. rule” on Thursday.

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“Warren Buffett spotlighted the madness of a tax code that lets him pay a lower rate than his secretary,” Scott Klinger, director of tax policy for Business for Shared Prosperity, said in a news release. “Likewise, Big Business shouldn’t be paying lower taxes than small businesses.”

The corporations themselves and more business-friendly analysts have questioned the report and previous ones from the groups, and say they pay a much higher effective tax rate than the study found.

For instance, Boeing, one of the 30 companies the groups said had a subzero tax rate, said its effective rate ranged from 23 percent to almost 34 percent between 2008 and 2010. G.E. has also called the report “inaccurate and distorted.”

CTJ and ITEP only considered federal taxes, while companies often count taxes paid to state, local and foreign governments as well as deferred taxes.