To the OP, it seems to me that it is in the best interest of the collective of U.S. citizens that the federal gov't is hiring highly qualified and competitive people-- e.g. i want intelligent people in the FDA so i dont get food poisoning or have a complication from some prescription drug and likewise I would like someone highly qualified working in intelligence so my plane doesn't get bombed. In order to attract these qualified people the gov't has to offer competitive wages and benefits. As long as the people in these jobs are contributing to the welfare of society i see the inequity in federal pay as a necessity in order to contribute to the general well being of society.
With regards to the question of how high the corporate tax rate is, and whether or not that rate is justifiable... after briefly checking some sources it does appear, both from the world bank data and form the OECD
that corporate taxes in the US are the highest in the world. According to basic economic theory, our high corporate tax rates coupled with an investment tax most likely deter Corporate investments in expanding infrastructure and developing and researching new technologies, as well as make goods more expensive to the american consumer as a whole (depending largely on the price elasticity of the demand for the good). It is interesting, however, that the high corporate tax rates have not hindered american businesses from being the most successful in the world, and that even our recent economic depression was not caused by the failure of american corporations but rather by risky behaviours on part of lenders and a collapse of trust in our financial markets. It seems that although theoretically high corporate tax rates would distort economic outcomes and slow economic progress that our economic growth has not been significantly hampered, relative to other countries, due to our higher tax rates. My only guess as to why this is is that perhaps the money is cycled back into the hands of corporations by govt spending... and then back to the govt, and back to the firms, and so on....
I think I would agree that the U.S. has some pretty ridiculous and unprecedented taxes-- e.g. fica, investment tax and death tax... FICA is just plain stupid, i think most people would agree with that fact. it basically serves as a tax on employers buying labor from workers... increasing the cost of each labor hour and therefore lowering the employers willingness to hire workers. This obviously causes unemployment. Bad news all around. I mean the goals may have been admirable, but the way it was set up was poorly thought out.
But to the republicans who want to cut corporate the corporate tax rate... Wouldn't the easiest way to pay off our current debt be to tax the shit out of everyone and everything? Considering that 75% (Medicare, Medicaid, social security) of our anual budget is non-discretionary it doesn't seem our debt crisis is going to be resolved any time soon by simply cutting costs. and if we cut taxes in the way some republicans have argued for it is entirely likely that our deficits would grow, regardless of how effective the govt is in reducing discretionary spending. And btw the best way to reduce discretionary spending is to pull out of Iraq/Afghanistan asap... This is not to say im in favor of the corporate tax rate as a way to pay for our debt, i am just trying to point out some of the inconsistencies in republican thinking.
I will, however, grant that liberals have similar problems... but i really doubt anyone is on the economic high ground here. Talking of cutting deficits while at the same time talking about tax cuts seems somewhat contradictory. but then again so is talking of increasing govt spending and lowering the deficit... Neither really make sense.
I suppose on the other hand that it may be argued that lowering corporate taxes may actually increase gov't tax revenue, that is if we are on the higher end of he laffer curve. I dont know the economic data well enough to say whether or not such an effect would take place--it is entirely possible that quite the opposite would happen.