Let’s free big business to soarPublished 9:45am Friday, February 22, 2013
While many Americans are concerned Congress may reduce their health care in retirement or on disability, and may reduce their modest Social Security payments, earned while working, our largest international businesses are also demanding help from the government.
Our mega-internationals have needs and apparently these businesses cannot fully thrive until big government gets its boot off their throat and allows them to be fully capitalistic as God intended.
Maybe the internationals are correct; they just need freedom from taxation and regulation to survive in this difficult global economy. Let’s consider their expressed needs.
Big business wants a “tax holiday,” a repatriation of the profits that they have hidden off shore to avoid taxes due. By last estimate they have no less than $1.7 trillion tucked away in places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
In Bermuda, for example, U.S. corporations report earnings that equal 1,000 percent of Bermuda’s annual GDP … quite an accomplishment for little Bermuda.
In one small five story building in the Cayman Islands 18,000 U.S. businesses have located their corporate offices in post office boxes, a location where there is no corporate income tax.
Overall 290 of the Fortune 500 companies admit parking profits in this fashion to avoid taxes due in the U.S.
It is worth noting that the tax holiday would come at a time when U.S. big business is sitting on more cash than the total GDP of Germany and more cash than ever in their IRS history.
And, while in the 1950s the portion of federal tax revenue from business was 30 percent, in 2009 it had fallen to 6.6 percent
That is the setting for the demand that, while the U.S. struggles with fiscal balance, our mega internationals just want to not pay tax.
There are other demands by the internationals. They demand a lower tax rate, complaining that the U.S. tax rate is among the highest in the world. They have a valid claim, unless you consider the effects of lobbying Congressmen and women, and then, not so much.
The conservative Cato Institute estimates that corporate welfare costs the federal budget an amazing $100 billion per year thanks to the influence of lobbyists for corporate America.
And of course mega business wants freed from all those terrible regulations like not polluting the water or air.
The EPA is an enemy to them not unlike a natural disaster. And big business frequently reminds us that there are many nations who don’t care so much if they pollute.
Given the onerous problems big government poses to the success of capitalism this writer thinks business should, once and for all be freed from their government chains. Here are a few suggestions:
End all corporate welfare, saving an annual $100 billion and freeing business from government interference.
End all state and local “gifts” like publicly financed for-profit stadiums and all tax abatements, freeing business from more government paperwork.
Adopt the simpler tax basis big business demands by lowering tax rates, ending every loophole and taxing worldwide profits wherever they exist.
End all lobbying since it is an expense businesses should be spared and one no longer needed once tax loopholes are gone.
By doing each of these things our mega businesses will be freed to really practice capitalism, not the weak, wimpy kind supported by government interference and help.
And maybe, just maybe, our families can spend a little less supporting GE, Boeing, Pepco, Verizon, and Wells Fargo, highly profitable business who have the distinction of avoiding virtually all taxation.
Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.