"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." How might this apply to corporate profits? Starting with the worst, note the AP's take on why tax proceeds are down (as a percent of GDP):
Corporate taxes will be lower by a third, according to projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The poor economy is largely to blame, with corporate profits down and unemployment up. But so is a tax code that grows each year with new deductions, credits and exemptions.Contrast this with recent record corporate profits from 3rd quarter 2010. The fourth quarter looks even better. The WSJ reported:
With about 50% of companies already reporting, fourth-quarter profits for the biggest U.S. corporations have been exceptionally strong and 2010 is poised to deliver the third-best full-year gain since 1998.
Marketplace gave this report:
Mergers and profits galore took markets higher today.
Why won't record profits galore turn into dollars for the U.S. Treasury? Senator Kent Conrad gave his expert opinion:
"The current state of the tax code is simply indefensible. It is hemorrhaging revenue."
That happens to be 180 degrees from his comments as a member of Obama's Deficit Commission, made up of global corporatists.
A second news story revealed more about America. A record 111 million people watched the Super Bowl. It beat last year's number of 106.5 million, which eclipsed the 105.9 million for the final episode of M.A.S.H. A radio DJ asked why the Super Bowl beat M.A.S.H? One answer, there are more Americans watching iin 2011 than in 1983.