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12-03-13 If Corporations Don’t Pay Taxes, Why Should You

12-03-13 If Corporations Don’t Pay Taxes, Why Should You

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Published by William J Greenberg
Go offshore young man and avoid paying taxes. Plunder at will in those foreign lands, and if you get in trouble, Uncle Sam will come rushing to your assistance, diplomatically, financially and militarily, even if you have managed to avoid paying for those government services. Just pretend you’re a multinational corporation.
Go offshore young man and avoid paying taxes. Plunder at will in those foreign lands, and if you get in trouble, Uncle Sam will come rushing to your assistance, diplomatically, financially and militarily, even if you have managed to avoid paying for those government services. Just pretend you’re a multinational corporation.

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Published by: William J Greenberg on Mar 14, 2013
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If Corporations Don’t Pay Taxes, WhyShould You?
Posted on Mar 12, 2013
By Robert ScheerGo offshore young man and avoid paying taxes. Plunder at will in thoseforeign lands, and if you get in trouble, Uncle Sam will come rushing to yourassistance, diplomatically, financially and militarily, even if you have managedto avoid paying for those government services. Just pretend you’re amultinational corporation. (Seehttp://www.scribd.com/doc/130600717/11-03-13-More-U-S-Profits-Parked-Abroad)That’s the honest instruction for business success provided by 60 of the largestU.S. corporations that, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, “parked atotal of $166 billion offshore last year” shielding more than 40 percent of theirprofits from U.S. taxes. They all do it, including Microsoft, GE andpharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories. Many, like GE, are so good at itthat they have avoided taxes altogether in some recent years.But they all still expect Uncle Sam to come to their aid with military firepowerin case the natives abroad get restless and nationalize their company’s assets. We still have a blockade against Cuba because Fidel Castro more than a half century ago dared seize an American-owned telephone company. During thatsame period, we have consistently intervened to maintain the lock of U.S.corporations on the world’s resources, continuing to the present task of making Iraq and Libya safe for our oil companies. America’s multinational corporations still need the Navy to protect shippinglanes and the Commerce Department to safeguard U.S. copyrights. They alsoexpect the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department to intervene to provide bailouts and cheap money when the corporate financial swindlers get intotrouble, like GE, which almost went aground when its GE Capital financial wing got caught in the great banking meltdown.They want a huge U.S. government to finance scientific breakthroughs,educate the future workforce, sustain the infrastructure and provide for law and order on the home front, but they just don’t feel they should have to pay 
 
for a system of governance, even though it primarily serves their corporateinterests. The U.S. government exists primarily to make the world safe formultinational corporations, but those firms feel no obligation to pay for thatprotection in return.Think of that perfectly legal and widespread racket when you go to pay yourtaxes in the next weeks, and consider that you have to make up the gap left by the big boys’ antics. Also, when you contemplate the painful cuts coming because of the sequester that undoubtedly will further destabilize theeconomy, remember that, as the Wall Street Journal estimated, the tax savingsof just 19 of those companies would more than cover the $85 billion inspending reductions triggered by the congressional budget impasse.The most skilled at this con game are the health care and technology companies, which, as a Senate investigation last year revealed, have becomequite expert at shifting marketing rights and patents offshore to low-taxcountries. Microsoft boosted its foreign holdings by $16 billion last year, and by the end of the company’s fiscal year on June 30, 2012, had $60.8 billionstashed internationally. Through creative accounting, Microsoft was able toclaim that only 7 percent of its pretax profit last year was domestically generated.Oracle increased its foreign holdings by one-third, including new subsidiariesin low-tax Ireland, and thereby was able to add a cool $272 million to thecompany’s bottom line by avoiding U.S. taxes. Abbott estimates that it saved$1.6 billion in U.S. taxes through its operations in more than a dozencountries. By moving $8.1 billion of its profits overseas, Abbott was able toclaim a pretax loss on its U.S. operations. Johnson & Johnson, another healthindustry giant, has almost all of its cash—$14.8 billion out of $14.9 billion—abroad, yet still claims to be a U.S. company.One of the longtime leaders in offshore tax avoidance has been that once- American-as-apple-pie company GE, which in a more innocent time hiredRonald Reagan to advertise its wares. Now GE has nearly two-thirds of its jobsabroad, avoided U.S. taxes in the previous two years and has $108 billionstashed overseas.Two years ago, President Obama appointed GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt to chairhis Jobs Council, despite the fact that Immelt had cut his company’s U.S. workforce by a fifth. GE’s expertise is no longer in appliance manufacturing, adivision Immelt has tried to shed, but rather in financial manipulation.

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