Closing loopholes would help avoid cliff

2012-12-16T00:00:00Z Closing loopholes would help avoid cliff Casper Star-Tribune Online
December 16, 2012 12:00 am


Pundits and economists both agree that if Congress doesn’t act, the “fiscal cliff” could cripple our economy. Closing offshore corporate tax loopholes is the practical solution to this looming “fiscal cliff” that members of both parties, and their constituencies, should be able to agree on.

Corporate tax dodging places an unfair economic burden on the American public and small businesses, and closing these loopholes would generate greatly needed revenue for the new year.

Each year, 83 out of America’s top 100 corporations avoid paying an estimated $150 billion in taxes by using armies of tax attorneys to hide their American-made profits in bank accounts and shell corporations just off our coasts. American companies like Wal-Mart, Coca Cola, Pfizer – which benefit from our educated workforce, infrastructure, and security – keep more than 70 percent of their cash offshore. Some of America’s largest, most profitable corporations even made money off our tax code between by avoiding taxes altogether and receiving tax rebates from the government!

$150 billion is not chump change. With that money, we could more than make up for the $109 billion of spending cuts set to take affect in January. We could build and staff the first manned outpost on the moon. We could achieve 37.5 percent of the $4 trillion debt reduction goal. Or, we could give a tax cut of $1,068 to every taxpaying American.

Here’s the point: When corporations exploit offshore tax loopholes, the rest of us are left to pick up the tab through cuts to spending, more debt, and higher taxes. Right now, this kind of tax dodging is perfectly legal, but it’s unfair and, quite frankly, wasteful. That lost revenue could be better spent on any number of public priorities.

There are some tough budget decisions ahead, but this should be an easy one: Close the offshore tax loopholes that provide tax-free havens for American corporations.

ERIN LARKIN, Los Gatos, Calif.

Western States Field Organizer, United States Public Interest Research Group

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Panhead
    Report Abuse
    Panhead - December 17, 2012 6:22 pm
    Flat tax, man would the IRS union crap.
  2. Report Abuse
    - December 17, 2012 11:41 am
    A flat tax would be just fine. Probably time for a change. But the opponents will cry what about the people who can't pay. Well, the majority of people should be getting tired of footing the bill for those who can't or won't pay up. Hope everyone likes paying 68 bucks a year in taxes to compensate for those who can't pay at all. Cause that is in Obamacare beginning next year. At least with a flat tax everyone would pay their fair share.
  3. jackel
    Report Abuse
    jackel - December 16, 2012 8:12 am
    Flat tax and no deductions sure would put an awful lot of accountants out of work, ever notice who really don't pay taxes? A wide array of people who influence, yes the mighty political net work. Hook-up and shuffle to the cliff let us go over the dam thing. Then when we land at the bottom two things will happen, civil war, or it was all the fear game of some PHD in a conslutant role.
    Right or wrong, We THE PEOPLE voted the same old rotten bunch of leadership right back into those tax seats.
    Blame it on the dead administrations: yet walk right into your bathrooms and look directly into the mirror, ask the question, what did I truly vote for MYSELF?
  4. rigrat
    Report Abuse
    rigrat - December 16, 2012 7:00 am
    How many loopholes do you people in Cornyfornia get? Do any of the Follywood movie moguls pay taxes? The problem with American's is they want it all,and right now, and do not have the gonads to come up with a flat tax across the board with absolutely no deductions,or hiding money offshore.Congress is worthless anymore,yet they sure have the gonads to try and gut SS and Medicare.
  5. dd ric
    Report Abuse
    dd ric - December 16, 2012 6:29 am
    Oh,but Erin,that's the pure joy of trickle-down economics and capitalism------use your money to legislate and influence policy while moving the country from a manufacturing base (jobs overseas) to a service- based economy (fast-food) and OYE!,remember that Nixon wanted to open China up to crush the Unions,and then Ronald Ray-Guns left the barn door open for the tax lawyers."Do you owe $40,K in back-taxes?? us and we'll save you pennies on the dollar." And Nixon insisted he was NOT a crook. ddric
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