In two separate speeches, President Felipe Calderón vehemently attacked the private sector for its opposition to the fiscal program, alleging that the largest groups “rarely” paid taxes: “What seems to me unacceptable is that the giant corporations demand that the government cut spending, and the government cuts it; that they demand that the government tax food and medicine for the poorest, but … on average they pay only 1.7% in taxes. This cannot be! I am not asking for sacrifices. … I am asking that the companies also pay, even if just a part, of the taxes that the Mexican people need,” he said. Columnist Sergio Sarmiento said that Calderón’s ‘economic mentors’ seemed to be former Presidents Luís Echeverria and José López Portillo. Sarmiento also claimed that Calderón’s math was bad and that tax payments by large corporates were 26% of pre-tax income, “more than in other countries.” (Milenio 10/30, Reforma 11/2)
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