Many observers have commented on the strange constellation of facts pitting the record breaking stock market (S&P 500 at its highest today, DJIA closing in on 15000) against the gnawingly high unemployment rate (8% but closer to 13% if you count those that just gave up looking for a job), and the record use of food stamps in the U.S. What's going on?
U.S. transnational companies are sitting on over $1 Trillion in cash, much of it in off-shore operations. They can't move it back into this country because they will be hit with a 35% tax bill (to feed the great sucking sound that is Washington). Paying such a bill when they don't have to would violate the companies' fiduciary to their (mostly, U.S.) shareholders.
If it were possible to repatriate this money, it would have gone into building factories, supporting infrastructure, training and educating workers, philanthropy, and the pockets of investors and pensioners. Instead, the money is kept prisoner overseas because this Administration and the Congress is more concerned about the optics of fairness than they are about what really creates economic wealth and social welfare - free choice and free markets.
If the corporate tax rate was zero, the acceleration in wealth creation accompanied by the advancement of the middle class would be unprecedented.