Believe it or not, all four of the statements below are currently being made in Congress and in the hallowed halls of elite opinion:
- “We’re broke” and we have to cut the budget. – House Speaker John Boehner.
- America just can’t afford more government spending like hiring teachers or repairing bridges.
- We have to cut entitlements like Social Security and Medicare or the country will go bankrupt.
- Corporations and multinational giants don’t have to pay up to $700 billion in overdue taxes.
We’re broke. We have to cut back on all the things government does to make our lives better. Yet let’s let the giant corporations off the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars of taxes they already owe.
Giant multinational corporations have been taking advantage of a tax dodge called “deferral” that lets them hold off from paying their taxes on profits made “outside of the country” until they “bring the money home” – also called “repatriation.” Over the years many companies have been moving jobs, factories and profit centers out of the country solely so they can claim their profits are made outside of the U.S. The amounts involved are astronomical, up to $2 trillion in profits kept out of the country – which means up to $700 billion in taxes owed. (The taxes owed are the 35% top corporate tax rate minus any taxes already paid to other countries.)