Excerpt from: CREDO
Fresh off of advocating for war with Iran, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is teaming up with Republican Rob Portman to give a massive handout to multinational corporations.1
Multinational corporations owe nearly $770 billion in taxes on nearly $2.2 trillion that they have been hiding offshore. Senators Schumer and Portman have a proposal to let companies bring back that money at a much lower tax rate – and then, going even further by lowering the tax rate on all future income earned overseas.2
As a Democrat joining with Republicans to promote this proposal Senator Schumer is undercutting Democratic Leader Harry Reid on the eve of negotiations to avert a government shutdown. While the current leader of Senate Democrats has gone on the record demanding the super-rich pay their fair share to keep the government running, the leader-in-waiting has sided with multinational corporations at the expense of domestic companies and everyday Americans, even earning praise from the likes of Rep. Paul Ryan.3,4
Even if the proposal does not become part of a highway bill deal, it will be dredged up again in future negotiations unless we raise such an outcry right now that we kill it for good.
Senators Schumer and Portman claim that letting corporations bring money back to the US at a one-time, lower tax rate would result in new revenue to fund a long-term extension of the highway bill, instead of the recent regular short-term extensions. But corporations already owe that money anyway – at the full 35% corporate tax rate. Letting multinationals bring money back at 14% or lower would be rewarding companies for dodging taxes for years.5
Not only would the proposal result in a massive one-time giveaway, it would create a permanent “territorial” tax system that taxes profits earned overseas at a lower rate. Companies that actually do business here in the U.S.A. would be at a permanent disadvantage to multinationals who can dispatch a team of lawyers and financial wizards to pretend that profits from selling to U.S. customers were actually earned elsewhere. Putting local businesses at a disadvantage and creating a new incentive for companies to outsource jobs makes no sense, especially in order to fund funding job-creating infrastructure.6
The bipartisan proposal by Senators Schumer and Portman proposal would reward the most successful tax dodgers and create a permanent incentive for multinational corporations to move jobs overseas. We need to expose this handout in a massive way and make it absolutely clear to Congress that such a plan is unacceptable.
Corporations like to whine that the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate puts them at a competitive disadvantage, but the reality is that the actually, effective tax rate after loopholes and deductions is equivalent to other nations.7 More importantly, while the rest of us have suffered through cuts that cost jobs and hurt our health and our communities, corporations have been failing to pay their fair share.8 And despite tenacious activism from CREDO members, multinationals recently managed to drag fast track trade approvals through Congress.
Another massive giveaway to corporations should be dead on arrival in Congress, and the presumed frontrunner for Senate Democratic leader should not be lending his name to it. Dozens of national organizations have already spoken out against this proposal.9 We need to show Congress where the American public stands right now.
- Petition to Congress:
“Oppose the Schumer-Portman international tax proposal, a massive giveaway to corporate tax dodgers that would permanently disadvantage companies that create jobs in the U.S.A.”
Go to the below site to sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out,
Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Jon Schwarz, “Chuck Schumer and Rob Portman Unite to Screw Domestic Business and Regular Americans,” The Intercept, July 9, 2015
Dave Johnson, “Next Big One: Repatriation Tax Holiday Giveaway to Corporations,” Huffington Post, July 14, 2015.
Harry Reid, “Avoiding the Next Budget Crisis,” New York Times, August 11, 2015.
Committee on Ways and Means, “Ryan Welcomes Portman-Schumer Framework for New International Taxation System,” waysandmeans.house.gov, July 8, 2015.
Americans for Tax Fairness, “Tax Fairness Coalition Expresses Deep Disappointment with Schumer-Portman International Tax Reform Framework,” americansfortaxfairness.org, July 8, 2015.
Jonathan Berr, “Expert debunks claim U.S. corporate taxes are too high,” CBS News, August 19, 2014.
Americans for Tax Fairness, “Fact Sheet: Corporate Tax Rates,” americansfortaxfairness.org, 2014.
Americans for Tax Fairness, “56 National Organizations Tell Senate They Object to the Portman-Schumer International Tax Reform Framework,” americansfortaxfairness.org, Juy 31, 2015.
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