Archived Story

Let’s free big business to soar

Published 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.


The Tribune believes it is possible for people with a variety of points of view to discuss issues in a civil manner and will remove comments that, in our opinion, foster incivility. We want to encourage an open exchange of information and ideas. Responsibility for what is posted or contributed to this site is the sole responsibility of each user. By contributing to this website, you agree not to post any defamatory, abusive, harassing, obscene, sexual, threatening or illegal material, or any other material that infringes on the ability of others to enjoy this site, or that infringes on the rights of others. Any user who feels that a contribution to this website is a violation of these terms of use is encouraged to email, or click the "report comment" link that is on all comments. We reserve the right to remove messages that violate these terms of use and we will make every effort to do so — within a reasonable time frame — if we determine that removal is necessary.

  • mickakers

    Geronimo; My compliments on an insightful post.

    (Report comment)

  • Geronimo

    Everyone,including businesses , that call themselves AMERICANS , and wants this Country to Stay the wealthiest ,strongest, and most respected in the world not to mention the voice and example of democracy , should want to pay taxes , and take care of its elderly and less fortunate. Yes I know there are always that few greedy and lazy in every society , just as many at the bottom as the top. We will always have those and the poor , but if we keep putting in place laws that export our jobs and other resourses.such as wealth kept from America in over seas accounts and continue to deplete the middle class , we’re lost. We are so divided over minor things and politics that if we don’t find some way to compromise the battle and possibly the war is lost.

    (Report comment)

  • 79Tiger

    Businesses do not pay taxes, the consumer does. Businesses should not pay taxes therefore they would not need loopholes,lobbyists or subsidies. Products would also cost less for the consumer. Cutting the corporate tax may make it profitable for businesses to do business in America again. Otherwise, they will stay overseas and park their money overseas.

    (Report comment)

    • mikehaney

      I may agree. Employees pay taxes, CEO’s pay taxes, dividends are taxable, interest is taxable. If corporate profits are spent on jumbo jets, the jet mfr must pay employees to build them, etc.
      Didn’t someone also suggest at a prayer breakfast a flat tax for everyone to a point(low incomes lower rate). It would be so much simpler.
      Don’t know of any corporation that puts their profits in a can and buries it.
      Am I missing something here?

      (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    Jim Crawford; An informative article. Thanks for taking the time. I found it interesting that, General Electric, Boeing, Pepco, Verizon and Wells Fargo avoid virtually all taxation. You would think, they would consider it an honor to pay they’re fair share. Does not speak very highly of leadership and respectability. The lack of care and concern for the environment (as you so aptly pointed out), especially demonstrated by the Coal industry is another minus when it comes to leadership and responsibility. The primary and often times only concern of “mega-internationals” is profit, without due regard to the peoples or environment.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Special interests are on both sides of the aisle. Agree, kick them all out.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Obama’s buddies at General Electric don’t pay taxes. How about reporting on that.

    (Report comment)

  • Geronimo

    Aw! Jim don’t pick on big business , and wealthy execatives! They need all they can steal(OOPS I MEAN EARN) to keep this economy going , and who it going to put up the monies to support these modern elections? The poor and used to be middle class sure can’t afford that , what with the cost of health insurance , state and local tax increases and I didn’t even mention the cost of gas so our oil companies can barely stay afloat , with the little they get from the federal government now days.

    (Report comment)

Editor's Picks

Local veteran will be in HOF

Pedro native, Sgt. Charles “Cotton” Carmen, 47th Infantry, will be inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame as a Silver Star recipient for his ... Read more