Will on Inversions and Corporations

Some good stuff in this column. Definitely worth a read.

In a stew over inversions – The Washington Post: “The U.S. system, unlike those of most major nations, taxes the profits that domestic corporations earn overseas, even though these profits are also taxed overseas. This double taxation is one reason that approximately $2 trillion in U.S. corporate earnings is being kept abroad rather than brought home for domestic investment. Progressives say corporations using inversions are unpatriotic, which is amusing. When the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision stipulated that Americans do not forfeit their First Amendment right to political advocacy when they act together through corporations (including, and especially, incorporated nonprofit advocacy groups), progressives ridiculed the idea that corporations should be treated as people. Now, progressives charge that corporations resorting to inversion are not behaving like patriotic people.

When the Illinois-based Walgreens retail chain planned an inversion, Durbin sent the company’s chief executive a letter noting that “its stores are a staple in our communities” — as though inversion would have closed the stores. Durbin warned that Walgreens’s “financial success was built on programs and infrastructure provided by the U.S. government,” particularly filling Medicare and Medicaid prescriptions.

This is the progressive premise in action: Because government provides infrastructure (roads, etc.) affecting everyone, and because government-dispensed money flows everywhere, everything is beholden to the government, and more or less belongs to the government, and should be subordinated to its preferences, which always are for more control of the nation’s wealth. Walgreens retreated, costing its shareholders, employees and customers billions.”

  • Harry

    Great post, Speedmaster.

    May I digress for a moment , and get back to Chuck Schumer, your Senator?

    Some country clubs have minimums, whereby members either have to eat, say, $125 of food per month, or, if they do not spend that amount, still have to make up the difference to support the incompent food operation, which is often the result of not just the chef, but often of someone on the executive committee of the club, who has zero of his own money at stake, meddling with the prices, hence the overpriced bad food and the reduced demand from the members, who flee to better restaurants, maybe in different countries.

    The guy on the Executive Committee is Chuck Shumer, who thinks that the Dover sole should be priced at $55 without the vegetables, salad and dessert, and then, after nobody shows up, thinks the next step to solving the problem of insolvency is to increase the minimum. This is the way these people think about business.

    So, when people flee, not from the heavy boot of oppression, but from the softer boot of taxation to, say, Ireland, is the next step to invent whatever-is-necessary laws as punishment for deviating from whatever Chuck thinks is a good idea and will make him Majority Leader?

    Understand, I do not wish to pick on Chuck, but he right now is leading the charge to punish all these companies, which is the same thing as if he were breaking every window he saw.