Today marks Tax Day, when Americans dutifully go through the annual ritual of filing their income taxes, underscoring the social contract with their fellow Americans and with their country. Unfortunately, the tax code allows many of the most profitable corporations in America to break this social contract every year by using loopholes and tax gimmicks to avoid contributing their fair share.
In 2011, American corporations paid an effective federal tax rate of 12.1% on their profit -- a lower rate than most American families pay -- and from 2008-2010, 30 of the most profitable companies in America paid no federal tax all. When loopholes are used to avoid paying a fair share of taxes, the rest of us are forced to pick up the tab. Congress needs to close these loopholes and restore fairness to our tax code before it even thinks about cutting a dime from our children's education or lowering Social Security benefits for seniors.