The power to tax is the power to annoy by mattsteinglass
May 18, 2009, 8:25 am
Filed under: Environment, United States

Joe Romm (via Kevin Drum) ridicules a list of 448 obstructionist GOP amendments to the Waxman-Markey climate bill that, among other things, impose taxes on corporations that support action on limiting greenhouse emissions:

Two dozens amendments removing the tax benefits for each and every corporate member of the US Climate Action Partnership (which served as the basis of Waxman-Markey)?  How proud the founding fathers would be to see you try to use the tools of governance for meaningless attempts at retribution.

Question: is this constitutional? Can the government impose targeted taxes on individual corporations in retribution for their political activity? Or, for that matter, for any reason? I can’t imagine something like this is possible in the US.


2 Comments so far
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Based (solely) on the description, this would not be “imposing” taxes, this would be removing targeted tax breaks. The difference being that the targeted business would be now paying the same rate as every other non-politically connected business. When you apply for special treatment based on who you know, the price you pay is that you may not always be their best friend. If anything here is illegal, it’s that they received the tax breaks in the first place, but I doubt that’s an argument they would want to offer.

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