al an gibson A review of Reconstructing the Commercial Republic: Constitutional Design after Madison by Stephen L. Elkin1 On July 3rd and 4th 2010, the New York Times reported stories that provide a glimpse of fundamental injustices and deep structural faults in the American commercial republic. The first concerned the efforts of oil companies to combat a tax on petroleum production to pay for the cleanup of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although they have piled up hundreds of billions of dollars in profits over the last decade, oil companies, this story reports, have nevertheless dramatically reduced their effective tax rate. This has been achieved by exploiting outdated tax breaks originally designed to encourage technological development for oil exploration, registering their oil rigs in foreign countries, and relocating their operations (in legal name at least) to small offices abroad. Oil companies have also employed a variety of accounting practices such as reclassifying the royalties charged by foreign governments to American oil drillers as taxes so that they can be deducted. Abolishing these billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks or imposing new taxes, spokesmen for the oil industry predictably argue, would hinder corporations
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Sep 28, 2011
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