J sub D wrote:2) Businesses don't pay taxes, they collect them.
Actually, whether a tax is collected from the customer or paid by the business depends on whether the tax eats into the profit per unit sold or increases the price per unit sold. If it eats into profits, it is most definitely paid by the business. If it goes into a price increase, it is most definitely being collected by the business. And, in all likelihood, it's actually a mixture of each. Moreover, even if it is being passed along to consumers, if consumers respond by buying less then it still reduces total profits, even if the marginal profit per unit sold does not change.
Norbert, will you back me up on this?
(A trivial response is that even if the taxes eat into profits, those profits came from sales to customers. That would be like saying that you don't pay taxes, your employer does, because you can't pay them without first getting a check from your employer. It's true on some trivial level, but completely misses the point of which ox actually got gored.)
None of this should be construed as an argument for or against any particular level of business taxation. I'm just observing that the issue is a bit more complicated than it's sometimes made out to be. Sometimes libertarians will say that businesses don't pay taxes, customers do, to either appeal to those whose sympathy is with customers or to mock the alleged economic ignorance of those who argue for a business tax. Other times, though, libertarians will say that business taxes hurt business and hence kill jobs. The truth is that it depends on market conditions.
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