The IMF would like us all to know that, contrary to current popular opinion, corporations should not be paying their "fair share" of taxes. In fact, contrary to current declared public policy, corporations should not be doing so. The argument is really very simple.

Investment today is what makes our futures richer. The building and inventing of things that we will use in the future is the very definition of investment. It's also true that we get less of whatever it is that we tax. So, if we tax the profits that corporations make from investments, then we'll have less of such investing. The future will be poorer than it would have been without the tax.

As the International Monetary Fund itself says: "Relying largely on corporate taxes negatively affects growth by discouraging investment."

Sure, it's just great to think of all that childcare and free college and the rest that can be had by really sticking it to successful capitalist organizations. But doing so ultimately makes those children and students poorer in their future lives.

The basic truth of taxation is that all taxes lead to someone's wallet getting lighter. There is no exception to this rule. We can change whose wallet, we can change how much it is lessened in weight, but we can't change the basic fact that it is always some human, somewhere, who pays the tax.

We should also realize that there's no magic section of the economy where money goes to die. The billionaires don't keep their cash under their beds. Dividends paid out by corporations don't disappear; they do one of the only two things money can do — get spent or be invested.

The exact and precise details of taxation can, of course, become extremely complicated. But the basic driving principles are terribly simple. All taxes produce less of whatever is being taxed. So, we should tax things we don't want to happen — pollution, for example — and not tax the things we actively desire. Like that investment that makes our common future so much richer.