Dozens of big U.S. corporations are considering leaving the United States in order to reduce their tax bills.
But they’ll be leaving the country only on paper. They’ll still do as much business in the U.S. as they were doing before.
The only difference is they’ll no longer be “American,” and won’t have to pay nearly as much taxes to the U.S. government.
Okay. But if they’re no longer American citizens, they should no longer be able to spend a penny influencing American politics.
Some background: We’ve been hearing for years from CEOs that American corporations are suffering under a larger tax burden than their foreign competitors. This is mostly rubbish.
It’s true that the official corporate tax rate of 39.1 percent, including state and local taxes, is the highest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
But the effective rate – what corporations actually pay after all deductions, tax credits, and other maneuvers – is far lower.
Last year, the Government Accountability Office, examined corporate tax returns in detail and found that in 2010, profitable corporations headquartered in the United States paid an effective federal tax rate of 13 percent on their worldwide income, 17 percent including state and local taxes. Some pay no taxes at all.
One tax dodge often used by multi-national companies is to squirrel away their earnings abroad in foreign subsidiaries located in countries where taxes are lower. The subsidiary merely charges the U.S. parent inflated costs, and gets repaid in extra-fat profits.
But apparently that’s not enough of a dodge for some companies. They want to reduce their U.S. taxes to the bone by becoming a foreign company. It’s an even bigger accounting gimmick. The American company merges with a foreign competitor headquartered in another nation where taxes are lower, and reincorporates there.
This “expatriate” tax dodge (its official name is a “tax inversion”) is now at the early stages but is likely to spread rapidly because it pushes every American competitor to make the same move or suffer a competitive disadvantage.
For example, Walgreen, the largest drugstore chain in the United States with more than 8,700 drugstores spread across the nation, is on the verge of moving its corporate headquarters to Switzerland as part of a merger with Alliance Boots, the European drugstore chain.
Founded in Chicago in 1901, with current headquarters in the nearby suburb of Deerfield, Walgreen is about as American as apple pie — or your Main Street druggist.
Even if it becomes a Swiss corporation, Walgreen will remain your Main Street druggist. It just won’t pay nearly as much in U.S. taxes.
Which means the rest of us will have to make up the difference. Walgreen’s morph into a Swiss corporation will cost you and me and every other American taxpayer about $4 billion over five years, according to an analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness.
The tax dodge likewise means more money for Walgreen’s investors and top executives. Which is why its large investors – including Goldman Sachs — have been pushing for it.
Some Walgreen customers have complained. A few activists have rallied outside the firm’s Chicago headquarters.
But hey, this is the way the global capitalist game played. Anything to boost the bottom line.
Yet it doesn’t have to be the way American democracy is played.
Even if there’s no way to stop U.S. corporations from shedding their U.S. identities and becoming foreign corporations, there’s no reason they should retain the privileges of U.S. citizenship.
By treaty, the U.S. government can’t (and shouldn’t) discriminate against foreign corporations offering as good if not better deals than American companies offer. So if Walgreen as a Swiss company continues to fill Medicaid and Medicare payments as well as, say, CVS, it’s likely that Walgreen will continue to earn almost a quarter of its $72 billion annual revenues directly from the U.S. government.
But as a foreign corporation, Walgreen should no longer have any say over the size of those payments, what drugs they cover, or how they’re administered.
In fact, Walgreen should no longer have any say over how the U.S. government does anything.
In 2010 it lobbied for and got a special provision in the Dodd-Frank Act, limiting the fees banks are allowed to charge merchants for credit-card transactions — resulting in a huge saving for Walgreen. If it becomes a Swiss citizen, its days of lobbying and obtaining special provisions should be over.
The Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision may have opened the floodgates to American corporate money in U.S. politics, but not to foreign corporate money in U.S. politics.
The Court didn’t turn foreign corporations into American citizens, entitled to seek to influence U.S. law and regulations.
Since the 2010 election cycle, Walgreen’s Political Action Committee has spent $991,030 on federal elections. If it becomes a Swiss corporation, it shouldn’t be able to spend one penny more.
Walgreen is free to become Swiss but it should no longer be free to influence U.S. politics.
It may still be the Main Street druggist, but if it’s no longer American it shouldn’t be considered a Main Street citizen.
Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians
Æthelflæd was the daughter of Alfred, King of Wessex, and the wife of Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians. Mercia was an independently ruled subkingdom of Wessex and the two stood together in opposition to the Viking invasions of England.
Æthelflæd wielded political power during her marriage and after the death of her husband In 911, she became the leader of the Mercians. Æthelflæd worked with her brother Edward of Wessex to reconquer parts of England controlled by the Danes. She personally led Merican troops in successful conquests of Derby and Leicester. Æthelflæd also built a series of thirteen fortresses across Merica from Warwick to Runcorn to Chirbury.
Æthelflæd died in 918 and she was briefly succeeded by her daughter Ælfwynn until Edward deposed her and took control of Mercia.
A subject near and dear to my and my (extended) family’s heart. #pie #allpieisgoodpie #giveittome
Death is only the beginning.
i am all about mcu pepper willingly keeping her extremis powers/willingly getting her extremis powers AND THEN DOING LIKE really mundane shit with it (in addition to taking down Every Villain Ever and HA take THAT baddie #4859058950584 fuck YOU) like heating up lukewarm cocoa with her powers or warming up tony’s hands when they get cold, aww.
allofthefeelings replied to your post “allofthefeelings replied to your post:Before Bahrain and before…”BUT YEAH Natasha, Clint and Melinda being an ABSOLUTELY LETHAL TEAM IN THE FIELD. Melinda mentoring but also Melinda CARING, Melinda being a force for stability for two people who never had any before.
Clint’s actually terrified the first time he crashes a SHIELD jet, because he’s convinced that that’s it, he’s blown the chance at this one good thing, but before his SO can chew him out for it Melinda May sort of just shows up and sits him down in an interrogation room and he’s terrified. Then she shoves a plate of cookies at him and tells him to have a cookie. Tells him that the standard SHIELD course doesn’t teach them how to do a barrel roll and that she would, for next time. She tells him 5 am and he wonders why anyone would ever get up that early but he does for her, and she teaches him, and she doesn’t give up. She even keeps baking him cookies, and after he brings Nat in, after all of SHIELD looks at him and judges, she bakes him three times more.
May’s not scared of Natasha, but she doesn’t pity her, either, and that’s something very few people at SHIELD could do. Nat suspects that May knows something of her background - and she does, her mother worked a case involving the Red Room and May’s never really forgotten the haunted look her mom had on for the duration of the case - but like everything else for May, Natasha’s past just is. It’s not something May fears or holds against her, but she does acknowledge it, and Natasha remembers May fighting for her right to whatever little was left of her childhood - she’s just a kid, May said, and that’s not a side of Natasha anyone else saw or bothered fighting for.
And May just shows up for them, you know? They may not need extraction plans now but there probably was a time where they did need them, and May just keeps showing up to get them even when SHIELD preferred to pretend they didn’t exist for the sake of the mission, when SHIELD was willing to leave them. I just keep imagining that even when the system failed Clint and Natasha, Melinda May showed up. Nick Fury showed up.
They’re among the first people to tell Natasha and Clint that they’re worth showing up for. Worth saving, just as much as the people they themselves save.
May doesn’t take herself out of the field right away after Bahrain, I think. Rather she sends herself on several successive suicide missions - to convince herself that she can still do this job, that she’s still alive, that she can still survive - but on every single one of them Natasha and Clint just keep showing up. Keep having her back, even when she won’t talk about it, even when she pushes them away.
She wakes up in the hospital after one mission goes particularly badly and Clint and Natasha are there and they just look so scared, like the teenagers they were when she first met them, and they’ve called her mom, and Melinda just loses it. She files her paperwork for a transfer to admin the next day and Fury yells but she can tell it’s because he’s scared too, and so she goes.
She watches over them even in administration, though. Denies the budget requests for the operations that are going to get them killed and approves the tech she knows they need, no matter how expensive. Makes sure insurance covers all of the accidents actual walking human disaster Clint gets into, approves reimbursements for all the drinks Natasha has when undercover for Stark. She tries to be there for them, as best as she can.
And then New York happens, and TAHITI happens, and May doesn’t just grieve over what’s happened to Coulson, she also grieves the loss of two of the handful of friendships in her life that were honest and true and genuine, or as honest and true and genuine as all parties knew how to be. She keeps track of them and she’s proud of the heroes they grew to be, both in everyday acts and in the big, world-shattering ones.
Natasha leaves her own files up on the internet, blows all of her own covers, lives with the world seeing her as she really is. Yet of all the files that go up that day, she goes back and erases every trace of just one: Bahrain.
She knows it’s Melinda’s story to tell.
Pocket Princesses 117: Book Learnin’
Please reblog, do not repost
PEPPER PUTTING THAT ABOMINATION ON
ROBOTS MAKING SWEATERS IM DEAD
what if Thor fixes the sweater for her because he knows how to knit…for reasons
then he and Jan team up to make stylish sweaters for all the avengers
Help I’m lost in fluffy weird sweater headcanons
(Don’t help I want to stay here, just for a while. Its so beautiful)
I’m allergic to wool and I still want to get lost in this magical land of wonder.
WHAT IF SOMEONE MAKES TWO SWEATERS WITH THE SAME PATTERN, ONE FOR WHEN BRUCE AND ONE FOR THE HULK, AND HULK REFUSES TO FIGHT WITHOUT COMFY.
AND THEN A VILLAIN SHOOTS AT HIM, WHICH DOESN’T INJURE HIM BUT DOES RIP THE SWEATER, AND THAT WAS JUST… NOT A GOOD PLAN. NOT A GOOD PLAN AT ALL.
When you’ve been away from a fictional land for a long time and then you come back.
Hi again, Tortall. You haven’t changed at all.
I am eleven years old again and I want to be a knight. Or a mage. Or both.
Girl meets world addresses Cultural appropriation
Honestly this franchise has been on-point since the ’90s.
Seriously, I called vixyish after this episode aired to be like GIRL MEETS WORLD JUST EXPLAINED CULTURAL APPROPRIATION IN A WAY THAT WAS NOT ALL ABOUT HOW RILEY WAS A BAD PERSON FOR MAKING A MISTAKE, BUT HOW SHE SHOULD STILL CUT THAT SHIT OUT.
I am so happy with this show. Like, seriously, I cannot recommend it highly enough.