bill would set NIH budget floor, raise funding over 7 years
August 1, 2014 |
By Emily Mullin
A decade of flat funding
compounded by last year's federal sequester cuts has put U.S. biomedical
research in a pinch in recent years, but under a new bill the National Institutes of
Health would be
spared the budget ax.
The legislation, introduced July
24 in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human
Services and Education by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), would set a minimum budget
for NIH. Under the bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee would be required
to maintain NIH's current funding level of $29.9 billion. Harkin is the
chairman of the subcommittee.
Dubbed the Accelerate Biomedical
Research Act, the bill would boost the agency's budget to $46.2 billion over 7
years from 2015 to 2021. The allowance is meant to restore the purchasing power
the NIH would have had if funding had kept pace with inflation since 2003,
according to a statement by Harkin's office. In 1998, Congress voted to double
NIH's budget over the next 5 years until 2003.
The additional funding provides
for an initial increase of 10% for each of the first two years, followed by 5%
increases for 5 years after that.
Medical advocacy groups like the
Alzheimer's Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network,
American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung
Association and United for Medical Research have thrown their support behind
the bill, as well as a slew of academic research institutions.
The bill is a timely call to
action in light of ongoing financial woes at preeminent research organizations,
notably the Scripps Research Institute, which recently ended merger talks with
the University of California, San Diego. Scripps has an annual operating budget
of $310 million but is reportedly operating this year with a projected $21
Untangling What Companies Pay in Taxes
By DAVID LEONHARDT
25, 2013 1:18 PM New York Times
The tax filings of companies, like those of individuals, are
confidential. When individual companies want to make the case that they pay
large amounts of tax – as many do – they often point to complex calculations
from their financial statements that portray the companies in the best light.
For an outsider, it can be hard to know how many accounting assumptions go into
these calculations and how accurately they reflect the company’s actual tax
But there is one standardized measure of corporate taxes that
allows for meaningful comparisons among companies and industries. It is known
as Cash Taxes Paid and appears in the public reports that companies are
required to file for investors. The category reflects the combined amount of
corporate income tax that a company pays in a given year, to foreign
governments, the United States government and state and local governments.
This number often varies significantly from year to year,
depending on a company’s accounting strategy and on how many tax breaks it
qualifies for that year. As a result, a single year’s Cash Taxes Paid number
can be misleading. But in a 2008 academic paper, three
accounting professors — Scott Dyreng of Duke, Michelle Hanlon of M.I.T. and
Edward Maydew of the University of North Carolina — suggested that looking at
several years, at least, could offer insight into corporate taxes.
For a column for the Sunday Review this
week, I asked S&P Capital IQ, a financial
research group, to collect the last six fiscal years of Cash Taxes Paid for the
companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. Capital IQ then
compared these numbers to the companies’ pretax earnings, including unusual
items, for the same six years. Together, the two statistics create an effective
tax rate for each company, as well for various industries.
The numbers show that oil companies and retailers pay relatively
high tax rates, as you can see in this chart.
Technology companies, pharmaceutical
companies and utilities have lower-than-average tax rates. In all, the
average rate for the S&P 500 was
29.1 percent over last six years.
The number helps make clear that despite a relatively high
official corporate income-tax rate of 35 percent in the United States, most
companies do not pay nearly that much, thanks to loopholes. Remember: the 29.1
percent includes not only federal corporate income taxes but also foreign,
state and local [viz. the corporate rate paid at the federal level is much
lower because the 29.1% includes state and local taxes. Moreover, the liberal use of expenses is used
to write down profits.]
Soft-drink companies are among those paying taxes well below
average, partly because of their ability to locate the manufacturing plants for
soda concentrate in low-tax countries, as I discuss in the column. Coca-Cola
paid a combined tax rate of 15.25 percent between 2007 and 2012, while PepsiCo
paid 21.31 percent.
The companies chose not to discuss their tax strategies in
detail with me, but each did issue a statement in response to my questions.
From Amanda Rosseter, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman:
The Coca-Cola Company is a compliant taxpayer globally, paying
all legally required income taxes in the U.S. and every country in which our s2ubsidiaries
As a global company with products sold in more than 200
countries, more than 80% of our unit case volume is sold outside the United
States. The fact that our effective tax rate is lower than some other companies
in the S.&P. 500 is reflective of the fact that less than 20% of our volume
comes from sales in the U.S., which has one of the highest corporate tax rates
in the world. [That is an on paper rate, many corporations through the liberal
use of deductions such as depreciations, pau little or no taxes. For two
articles that expose the sham http://www.skeptically.org/parwho/id3.html
and at http://www.skeptically.org/cs/id7.html
“For example, General Electric — one of the top 10 most
profitable companies in the world — got
a net tax rebate of
$4.7 billion during this period. Meanwhile, it spent $84 million lobbying the
From Aurora Gonzalez, a
PepsiCo spokeswoman: “We cannot
on the tax rates of other companies or industries. PepsiCo’s tax rate is driven
by the tax laws and regulations of the approximately 200 countries and
territories in which we do business, and we pay all of our tax obligations in