Following news of the Burger King/Tim Hortons $11 billion merger, which got $3 billion in financing help by billionaire Warren Buffet, Durbin issued a statement criticizing the inversions for letting corporations dodge taxes and shifting the burden onto regular taxpayers.
“With every new corporate inversion, the tax burden increases on the rest of us to pay what these corporations don’t. That burden is made worse when these corporations profit off of all the public benefits that help American companies succeed and then run from their U.S. tax responsibility,” he stated.
Also stressing the widespread problem of corporate inversions is James S. Henry, senior fellow at the Columbia University Center for Sustainable International Investment and senior adviser with the Tax Justice Network, who stated Wednesday, “It’s been tech companies and pharmaceutical companies that have lead the charge on these schemes. Apple last year off shore revenue paid 1 percent in taxes — they funnel their profits through their Irish subsidiary and then through the Bahamas. GE’s effective tax was zero.”
“So these companies do business in the U.S., they benefit from the airports, hospitals, police, fire, education. The rest of us pay for the military. Some of them are even federal contractors — they don’t pay taxes but they make money directly from our national coffers.”
The blame for this growing issue, Henry added, is linked to the tremendous corporate influence on politics.
“This is being driven by the fact that the corporate lobby doesn’t discriminate,” he stated. “Both establishment parties have been on the take and that’s why you have so little leadership on this issue.”
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