Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Fix the Debt Limit: A Tax Break for Corporations!

Yes... that's the latest cutting edge thinking coming out of Washington. You have people running around with their hair on fire screaming that the end of the world is coming because of the big deficits and debt of the US. So... how to fix that?

Why you declare a tax holiday for big businesses!

Here's a bit from a post by Matt Taibbi on his Rolling Stone blog:
We’re seriously talking about defaulting on our debt, and cutting Medicare and Social Security, so that Google can keep paying its current 2.4 percent effective tax rate and GE, a company that received a $140 billion bailout en route to worldwide 2010 profits of $14 billion, can not only keep paying no taxes at all , but receive a $3.2 billion tax credit from the federal government. And nobody appears to give a shit. What the hell is wrong with people? Have we all lost our minds?
Yep... those Washington politicians are convinced they need to but Social Security, cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, cut education funding, cut this and cut that. But then they came up with the real "winning idea" to deal with the deficit. Why just cut expenditures when you can cut revenue? So they are now talking about a tax holiday for the "job creating" big corporations!
Here’s how it works: the tax laws say that companies can avoid paying taxes as long as they keep their profits overseas. Whenever that money comes back to the U.S., the companies have to pay taxes on it.

Think of it as a gigantic global IRA. Companies that put their profits in the offshore IRA can leave them there indefinitely with no tax consequence. Then, when they cash out, they pay the tax.

Only there’s a catch. In 2004, the corporate lobby got together and major employers like Cisco and Apple and GE begged congress to give them a “one-time” tax holiday, arguing that they would use the savings to create jobs. Congress, shamefully, relented, and a tax holiday was declared. Now companies paid about 5 percent in taxes, instead of 35-40 percent.

Money streamed back into America. But the companies did not use the savings to create jobs. Instead, they mostly just turned it into executive bonuses and ate the extra cash. Some of those companies promising waves of new hires have already committed to massive layoffs..

It was bad enough when lobbyists managed to pull this trick off once, in 2004. But in one of the worst-kept secrets in Washington, companies immediately started to systematically “offshore” their profits right after the 2004 holiday with the expectation that somewhere down the road, and probably sooner rather than later, they would get another holiday.

Companies used dozens of fiendish methods to keep profits overseas, including such scams as “transfer pricing,” a technique in which profits are shifted to overseas subsidiaries. A typical example might involve a pharmaceutical company that licenses the rights or the patent to one of its more successful drugs to a foreign affiliate, which in turn manufactures the product and sells it back to the U.S. branch, thereby shifting the profits overseas.

Companies have been doing this for years, to incredible effect.
When will the American people learn to stop electing lackeys for big business and vote in politicians who are responsive to the needs of the bottom 99% of the population?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We thought we did elect someone who would work for 99% of us - and look what happened. No change you can believe in.