Obama: Would Consider Corporate Tax Cut

Democrat Barack Obama said he would consider trimming corporate tax rates as part of a simplification of the U.S. tax code if he is elected to the White House, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Obama said the tax code had too many loopholes and other special breaks for some companies.

"How much you pay in taxes as a corporation a lot of times is going to depend on how good your lobbyist is," the Illinois senator told the newspaper in an interview.

"If we could eliminate loopholes in taxes, create a level playing field, then I think there's the possibility to reducing corporate rates."

Obama did not offer specifics and said his economic team was taking a look at the issue.

He has criticized a proposal for broader corporate tax cuts favored by Republican John McCain, saying they would widen the budget deficit without boosting overall economic growth.

"I've seen no evidence that ... would actually boost the economic growth and productivity," Obama said.

McCain, an Arizona senator who will face Obama in November's presidential election, has pledged to cut corporate tax rates to 25 percent from 35 percent.

He would also keep in place all of President Bush's tax cuts for the country's wealthier individuals.

Obama also suggested the possibility of giving start-up companies a break from capital gains taxes.

He would allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest Americans and has said he would consider boosting the rate on capital gains and dividend taxes.

Obama's Republican critics contend that allowing rates on individuals in the highest income brackets to rise would harm small business owners.

Obama said in the Wall Street Journal interview that any tax breaks for start-ups would need to come with clear guidelines to prevent abuse.

"There are always folks who are interested in gaming the system, and obviously one of the things you have to do with tax policy generally is to pin down definitions so they're not twisted beyond recognition," he said.

"Companies that are starting off ... should be allowed to accumulate capital, reinvest profits, if there are any, to the point that they stabilize."