Some of the world’s largest corporations were founded in the US. They were capitalized by selling shares to Americans on American stock markets. They relied on our infrastructure, our labor force, and the stability of our currency in order to prosper and grow. That growth was accelerated by tax incentives and government giveaways. They lobbied our Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to turn a blind eye as they swallowed up smaller competitors to create virtual monopolies. At the same time, these corporate giants took advantage of tax loopholes in order to reduce their tax rates to single digits.
So how have these companies repaid American taxpayers for their investment and their patronage?
Many corporations shipped their manufacturing jobs overseas in search of cheaper labor. They then dumped low cost products on our markets in order to force smaller competitors into submission. More recently, they stashed billions of dollars of their ill-gotten profits in foreign banks demanding that our government create a tax holiday to encourage them to “repatriate” the funds at greatly reduced tax rates. Now they are purchasing or merging with foreign competitors so that they might move their books overseas and avoid paying US taxes altogether.
The name for this latest off-shoring scheme is “inversion.”
Inversions are already costing our nation billions in lost revenue…revenue needed to maintain the infrastructure and economic stability these corporations rely upon. Medtronic recently resorted to the inversion scheme. Other companies to take advantage of the accounting trick include Aon, Applied Materials, Eaton Corporation, Fruit of the Loom, Halliburton, Ingersoll-Rand, Omnicom, and Tyco. The latest corporation to consider the scheme is Walgreens, which would presumably move its books from “the corner of happy and healthy” to Switzerland.
To add salt to this festering (and costly) wound, most of these inversions are being aided by our “too big to fail” banks; The very banks that were bailed out of certain bankruptcy in 2008 with our taxpayer funds.
So call it what you want, this latest corporate accounting trick is just another name for tax evasion. And I’d suggest another name for any corporation that resorts to such tactics…Traitor.