WHY CORPORATE TAX DESERTERS SHOULDN’T GET THE BENEFITS OF BEING AMERICAN CORPORATIONS
Apple is only the latest big global American corporation to
use foreign tax shelters to avoiding paying its fair share of U.S. taxes. It’s
just another form of corporate desertion.
Corporations are deserting America
by hiding their profits abroad or even shifting their corporate headquarters to another nation because they want lower taxes abroad. And some politicians say the only way to
stop these desertions is to reduce corporate tax rates in
the U.S. so they won’t leave.
Wrong. If we start
trying to match lower corporate tax rates around the world, there’s no end to it.
Instead, the President should use his executive
power to end the financial incentives that encourage this type
of corporate desertion. President Obama has already begun, but there
is much left that could be done.
In addition, corporation that desert America by sheltering a large portion of their profits abroad or moving their headquarters to another country should no longer be entitled to
the advantages of being American.
1. They shouldn’t be allowed to influence the
U.S. government. They shouldn’t be allowed to contribute to U.S. political
campaigns, or lobby Congress, or participate in U.S. government agency
rule-making proceedings. And they no longer have the right to sue foreign
companies in U.S. courts for acts committed outside the United States.
2. They shouldn’t be entitled to generous
government contracts. “Buy American” provisions of the law should be
applied to them.
3. Their assets around the world shouldn’t any
longer be protected by the U.S. government. If their factories and
equipment are expropriated somewhere around the world, they shouldn’t expect
the United States to negotiate or threaten sanctions, or use our armed forces
to protect their investments. And if their intellectual property – patents,
trademarks, trade names, copyrights – are disregarded, that’s their problem
too. Don’t expect any help from us.
In fact, their
interests should be of no concern to the U.S. government – in trade
negotiations, climate negotiations, international treaties reconciling
American law with the laws of other countries, or international disputes over
access to resources.
They don’t get to be represented by the U.S. government
because they’re no longer American.
It’s simple logic.
If corporations want to desert America in order to pay less in taxes,
that’s their business. But they should no longer have the benefits that come
with being American.