By Elizabeth Warren, Reprinted from Reader Supported News
Huge corporations hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists to create, expand, and protect every last corporate loophole.
That’s how we end up with a tax code that makes teachers and bus drivers and small business owners pay, but that allows some huge American corporations to make billions of dollars and not pay a single dime in taxes.
Simply put, the tax code is rigged.
Apparently, even this rigged game doesn’t go far enough for some corporations. Those companies are taking advantage of a new move: a loophole that allows them to maintain all their operations in America, but claim foreign citizenship so they can cut their US taxes even further.
That means American companies can hire a bunch of lawyers and Wall Street bankers, fill out some paperwork, and dodge their US taxes.
Tax lawyers call this process a “corporate inversion.” But don’t let that bland name fool you – these companies are renouncing their American citizenship, turning their backs on this country, simply to boost their profits.
If a person did that, we’d call them a freeloader and insist that they pay their fair share. And that’s exactly what our tax laws do for people who renounce their American citizenship. But when corporations do it, they don’t suffer any consequences at all.
Forget whether corporations are people – in this corner of the tax code, we’re treating corporations better than people.
That’s not right. That’s why I’ve teamed up with Senator Levin and more than a dozen of our Democratic colleagues to introduce the Stop Corporate Inversions Act. The bill is simple: it allows American corporations to renounce their citizenship only if they truly give up control of their company to a foreign corporation and truly move their operations overseas.
In Massachusetts and across the country, we invest in public education to produce millions of skilled workers. We invest in infrastructure, in our roads and bridges and ports, making it easier for our companies to move products to market. We invest in scientific and medical research, giving our companies access to the most innovative and cutting-edge technologies.
America is a great place to do business because of the investments we have made together. We invest together to make America a place where any kid will have a chance to come up with an idea and turn it into the next great American company.
The companies that are pursuing these corporate inversions know all of this. That’s why they are not actually leaving America behind. They just don’t want to pay for it.
Our achievements aren’t magic. They didn’t simply happen on their own or through dumb luck. America works – our government works – our democracy works – because we all pitch in and do our part to build the things that none of us can build alone. The things that give everyone a chance to succeed.
We’ve had enough of rich corporations taking whatever they want and expecting everyone else to pick up the pieces. The time for freeloading is over.
“These companies are renouncing their American citizenship, turning their backs on this country,
simply to boost their profits.”