Of the 500 large cap companies (a market capitalization value of more than $10 billion) in the Standard & Poor (S&P) stock index, 115 paid a total corporate tax rate – federal and state combined – of less than 20% from 2006-2011, and 39 of those companies paid a rate of less than 10%. [ 1 ] An analysis comparing the tax rates of 258 profitable Fortune 500 companies between 2008 and 2015 found that almost 40% paid zero taxes for at least one year over the eight-year period. Of those 258, 18 companies paid less-than-zero over the entire period. [ 51 ] A study comparing the effective tax rates of the 100 largest US multinationals to the 100 largest European Union [EU] multinationals, during the period of 2001-2010, found that US multinationals have a lower average effective tax rate despite having a higher statutory rate. [ 20 ]
Isocyanates, low-molecular weight chemicals essential to polyurethane production, are one of the most common causes of occupational asthma, yet the mechanisms by which exposure leads to disease remain unclear. While isocyanate asthma closely mirrors other Type I Immune Hypersensitivity (Allergic) disorders, one important characteristic of hypersensitivity ('allergen'-specific IgE) is reportedly absent in a large portion of affected individuals. This variation from common environmental asthma (which typically is induced by high-molecular weight allergens) is important for two reasons. (1) Allergen-specific IgE is an important mediator of many of the symptoms of bronchial hyper-reactivity in 'allergic asthma'. Lack of allergen-specific IgE in isocyanate hypersensitive individuals suggests differences in pathogenic mechanisms, with potentially unique targets for prevention and therapy. (2) Allergen-specific IgE forms the basis of the most commonly used diagnostic tests for hypersensitivity (skin prick and RAST). Without allergen-specific IgE, isocyanates may go unrecognized as the cause of asthma. In hypersensitive individuals, chronic exposure can lead to bronchial hyperreactivity that persists years after exposure ceases. Thus, the question of whether or not isocyanate asthma is an IgE-mediated disease, has important implications for disease screening/surveillance, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The present Pro/Con Debate, addresses contemporary, controversial issues regarding IgE in isocyanate asthma.
Religious institutions can decline to marry gay and lesbian couples if they wish, but they should not dictate marriage laws for society at large. As explained by People for the American Way, "As a legal matter, marriage is a civil institution... Marriage is also a religious institution, defined differently by different faiths and congregations. In America, the distinction can get blurry because states permit clergy to carry out both religious and civil marriage in a single ceremony. Religious Right leaders have exploited that confusion by claiming that granting same-sex couples equal access to civil marriage would somehow also redefine the religious institution of marriage... this is grounded in falsehood and deception." [ 132 ] Nancy Cott, PhD, testified in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that "[c]ivil law has always been supreme in defining and regulating marriage." [ 41 ]