Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Robert Reich: Corporations Don’t Need a Tax Cut, So Why Is Obama Proposing One?

The Obama administration is proposing to lower corporate taxes from the current 35 percent to 28 percent for most companies and to 25 percent for manufacturers.

The move is supposed to be “revenue neutral” – meaning the Administration is also proposing to close assorted corporate tax loopholes to offset the lost revenues. One such loophole allows corporations to park their earnings overseas where taxes are lower.

Why isn’t the White House just proposing to close the loopholes without reducing overall corporate tax rates? That would generate more tax revenue that could be used for, say, public schools.

It’s not as if corporations are hurting. Quite the contrary. American companies are booking higher profits than ever. They’re sitting on $2 trillion of cash they don’t know what to do with.

New York Times Editorial: Reform and Corporate Taxes

The corporate tax system is a mess. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, but too many businesses still don’t contribute their fair share of revenue, in large part because of numerous loopholes, subsidies and other opportunities for tax avoidance. While some industries and companies pay little or no tax because they qualify for generous breaks or have really good lawyers, others are taxed heavily.

There is no doubt that a system that is more competitive, more efficient – the current mind-numbing complexity makes planning far too difficult – and more fair would be a plus for the economy. President Obama’s framework for business tax reform, released on Wednesday, is a welcome start for a much-needed debate on comprehensive tax reform. But we already have two big concerns.

Juan Cole: How the FCC Can Take the Money Out of Politics

The Federal Communications Commission should forbid television broadcasters from charging for campaign ads, and we, the public, should peacefully demonstrate outside the FCC offices at 445 12th Street SW, in Washington, D.C., until it does so.

Like the water or the air, the spectrum over which broadcasters transmit their wares is a finite resource that everyone depends on, and which needs to be regulated by government to prevent chaos and hoarding. But in licensing some corporations to dominate the airwaves, Congress inevitably excluded others. I can’t start a radio broadcast from my home because it would interfere with licensed stations. Because choosing some voices over others is inherently unfair, Congress in the Radio Act of 1927 and the Communications Act of 1934 established a general requirement that broadcasters act in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” This conception of broadcasters as public trustees has been repeatedly upheld by the Supreme Court. The FCC could easily invoke this requirement to demand that campaign commercials be aired gratis.

Amy Goodman: New Obama Campaign Co-Chair: ‘The President Is Wrong’

“The president is wrong.” So says one of the newly appointed co-chairs of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Those four words headline the website of the organization Progressives United, founded by former U.S. Sen., and now Obama campaign adviser, Russ Feingold. He is referring to Obama’s recent announcement that he will accept super PAC funds for his re-election campaign. Feingold writes: “The President is wrong to embrace the corrupt corporate politics of Citizens United through the use of Super PACs-organizations that raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations and the richest individuals, sometimes in total secrecy. It’s not just bad policy; it’s also dumb strategy.” And, he says, it’s “dancing with the devil.”

Gail Collins: Four Dudes and a Table

The 20th Republican debate! I have now spent more time watching the Republican presidential candidates on television than two seasons of “Downton Abbey.” Perhaps it would be easier if Newt Gingrich wore a tuxedo.

Also, I am pretty sure the folks at Downton Abbey never spent an episode arguing about earmarks. Republicans, why are we still discussing earmarks? If the American people cared passionately about earmarks, wouldn’t they have elected John McCain?

My personal favorite debate moment on Wednesday night was when the candidates were asked to describe themselves in one word and Newt Gingrich said “cheerful.” Not an adjective you frequently hear when Newt is the topic, but you do appreciate the aspiration, particularly when Mitt Romney went for “resolute.”

Robert Sheer: The Gang That Couldn’t Bomb Straight

Here we go again. With the economy showing faint signs of life and their positions on the social issues alienating most moderates, the leading Republican candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul, have returned to the elixir of warmongering to once again sway the gullible masses. The race to the bottom has been set by Newt Gingrich, the most desperate of the lot, who on Tuesday charged that “The President wants to unilaterally weaken the United States,” because his administration has dared question the wisdom of Israel attacking Iran and proposes a slight reduction in the bloated defense budget.

Let the good times roll with a beefed-up military budget justified by plans to invade yet another Muslim country. As Paul warned during the South Carolina primary debate as his presidential rivals threatened war with Iran: “I’m afraid what’s going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq.” Indeed, the shouting match over which of the other GOP candidates most wants a war with Iran is in sync with the last Republican president’s 2003 invasion.