President Barack Obama’s (D) State of the Union message included a call to overhaul the nation’s tax code. With established companies often paying more than 30 percent of their income in taxes, others, such as those in the biotech industry, paid less than 5 percent in 2009. Taxation has long been used to advance public policy by supporting certain business sectors and industries over others, making the system unwieldy, complex and, in some respects, unfair. Still, some of those who would like to see loopholes closed would prefer lowering or eliminating all taxes for business, and not just equalizing the rates paid. According to most studies, the average corporate tax paid is 25 percent of income, even though the top corporate rate is 35 percent.

Corporate leaders have reportedly indicated to some members of Congress that they would prefer the imposition of a single lower tax rate for all while foregoing the application of various deductions that change from year to year. See The New York Times, January 27, 2011.