Off White #19 – Tax Havens & Our Tax Dollars

The Washington Post reported on 9/24/02 on massive lobbying efforts on behalf of those companies which have moved their corporate headquarters to Bermuda and other tax havens. They are spending enormous amounts of money to re-write (read: add loopholes) pending legislation so they will not lose their lucrative government contracts, or their ability to bid on new contracts. This has been page 3 news over the past year or so (it’s not lead story material for CBS, NBC or ABC, because there are no histrionics to go along with it). Many companies have relocated their headquarters to off-shore tax havens to avoid paying corporate taxes in the U.S. I thought that was why we had Delaware. Now they have the chutzpah to complain that laws are being considered to exclude them from government contracts. They don’t want to pay taxes, but they want us to give them our tax dollars. One lobbyist strove to separate his client from the others, saying, “Clearly, (my client) is an innocent bystander.” His point had something to do with the thousands of employees who would be unemployed if this contractor lost its contracts. Gee, you don’t think they might go to work for the companies that would get the contracts, do you? Here’s my take: you want to live in Bermuda, sell your services to their government. We have many excellent firms staying here which provide the same services and pay their fair share. Clearly, you, Mr Lobbyist, just don’t get it. Or more likely you do, but have the integrity of an expensive “escort”. I am not trying to be jingoistic here, but I am angry that these rapacious firms are doing nothing more than leaving the country to avoid taxes. Our economic allies, Canada, most of Europe, Japan, and others with whom we have favorable relations should not be impacted. But for those simply avoiding paying their fair share because of greed, I say “Game over.” Enjoy the beach, boys, and stop acting like the petulant jerks you know you are. Copyright 2002, Amtower & Company