Death and Taxes
Ladies and Gentlemen, Take Your Places

The global tax race to the bottom is about to begin.

Published on: December 21, 2017
James S. Henry, a contributing editor, is an investigative economist and lawyer who has written widely about corporate crime, tax havens, kleptocracy, and pirate banking. He is a senior fellow at the Columbia University’s Center on Sustainable Investment, a Global Justice Fellow at Yale, a senior advisor at the Tax Justice Network, and a member of the New York Bar.
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  • Paul Lies

    Seems like the biggest losers are US citizens involved in low to mid skill tradable goods manufacturing. Maybe even some at the higher end too. It will certainly have a positive value on the dollar and that’s bad for exports, as someone else pointed out on the other trump tax piece.

    • Psalms13626

      While I agree with you on this bill having a positive value on the dollar, I don’t think manufacturing jobs will suffer that much. There’s a lot going on in energy development and other relatively high paying blue collar jobs. This bill makes it easier for companies to do business in the US. Due to our incredibly cheap and abundant natural gas, quiet a few multinational chemical and manufacturing companies have been hankering to set up in the US. It is time to abandon Hussein Era fatalism that we are destined to below 2% growth. No we are not.

      • Paul Lies

        I don’t know where you’ve been the last 20 years but manufacturing has been hit with a sledgehammer. I was hit with that sledgehammer personally. Pretty much ruined my life for a decade. Yeah the US growth slowed because it has just been fuel for the engine of growth elsewhere. “American multinationals”, whatever that even means in nonsense land, were setting up shop elsewhere and groveling at the feet of all kinds of dictators like communists, theocrats, you name it. They still are. Corporate profits have been record high for years and years. We already know corporate profits being higher does not relate to wages and job creation. That’s just not true.

        Been a lot of good articles written about that oil stuff. We have to be very careful. The growth of petroleum production and some petroleum products should not be juxtaposed with manufacturing/tradable goods loss. You shouldn’t let one mask the other. By far and away the cause of wage depression and in fact the source of lost wages, more than $30 billion of lost wages last year, has been the US trade deficit with a handful of countries.

        • Larry J

          There are several reasons why American manufacturing has been hard hit since the mid 1970s. These include but are not limited to:
          1. Increasing cost of complying with an ever expanding set of government regulations.
          2. High corporate tax rates.
          3. Increasing energy costs.
          4. Relatively expensive American labor.

          It’s worth noting that the self-proclaimed “friends of working people” Democrats have made all of those things worse. Trump is working to reduce the regulatory burden, so that addresses point #1. The new tax bill lowers the corporate rates, addressing point #2. Removing restrictions on domestic energy production helps with point #3. Point #4 is addressed by automation and right-to-work laws.

          The biggest reason why the stock markets have soared this year is the belief by investors that Trump will lower the costs of doing business in the US. Lower the costs of doing business and you get more of it, which means more jobs. So far, so good.

          • Paul Lies

            Nonsense. You fall for that propaganda. US stopped doing smart trade to allow anyone wanting to join to make a killing during the Cold War. By 70s japans, Germany and others were rebuilt. Corporations don’t pay that rate and you know it. Record profits, not paying the rate, and outsourcing.

          • Larry J

            So, you seem to believe that government actions that drove up the cost of doing business here in the US had nothing to do with corporations moving production out of the country, is that right? Economics and cause and effect aren’t your strong suits.

        • ThomasD

          That’s a rather unfair slam of someone who was speaking about potential future growth.

    • Mike M

      Right! I love you Leftoes. WHo knew that when I get to keep $2500. of my own money I’ll be “losing”. Orwellian.

      • Paul Lies

        Wrong. Not lefty. And you’re so mixed up you don’t even know it. Worried about $2500 bucks lol. Should be more concerned with wage depression and overall billions in lost wages. Even if you have a non-tradable sector job, when your neighbor working in a factory loses his tradable sector job his unemployment makes your labor worth less. Thus the source of wage depression even and non-tradable sector jobs

    • kgelner

      Meanwhile here in reality more manufacturing is being moved back to the U.S., especially as companies now have more revenue to devote to manufacturing.

      • Paul Lies
        • kgelner

          Dude, your own graph shows it HAS reversed, manufacturing employment is up and continues to climb just as I said!! LOL. You apparently don’t realize that in a rising economy both local manufacturing and foreign manufacturing can be up. As for “talking” I can’t imagine why I would wan tot talk with anyone who can’t read a graph. I’m sure with another six years or so of Trump the bottom line will get closer to the top. I’ll let you have the last word so you can babel on about things long in the past.

          • CheckYourself

            Lost millions of jobs and billions of wages. If it’s reversing then great. LOT of work to do before you pop the champagne. Been losing bigly for 30 years. Hopefully trump can pull it off.

  • Tom

    Well, I wasn’t sure about whether this bill was a good idea. Then I read the first paragraph of this article, and the author’s resume.
    I wholeheartedly support the thing now.

    • John C. Stephens

      I understand very little of what passes for government these days, and what I do understand usually horrifies me. Anything that might produce less of it is fine by me.

  • Fat_Man

    Sadly TAI has become a fountain of unhinged partisanship. I got one graf into this screed before I quit in disgust.

    Let’s start with sentence number 2: “The bill was drafted … entirely in secret and crammed …”

    Does the author read the newspaper? The bill proceeded from drafts that were published. I downloaded some of them. Provisions were debated all over the place and many were altered or abandoned between the first drafts and the last. BTW the bill has been being drafted and discussed for most of the past few months. Having lived through the 1986 rewrite of the tax code, I can tell you that the process behind this one was much more open.

    Let’s go to the 3rd sentence: “Trump/Goldman bill amounts to a massive “tax heist,” one of the largest transfers of public wealth to private elites and corporations”

    The only way this word salad makes any sense is if we start with the premise that the state owns every thing and any tax rate under 100% amounts to a taking of public property. That premise was the basis of the Soviet Union, but the premise on which the United States is based is that all rights belong to the people, who have created governments to protect their rights, including the right to enjoy the fruits of their labors. The phrase “Tax heist” is just plain self contradictory nonsense.

    At that point, I quit reading. Clearly the author needs to calm down and spend more time in study and quiet reflection. I think he should take the holiday off, drink lots of eggnog with lots of rum, watch a lot of sports on TV, and avoid the talking heads entirely.

    • Danimal5005

      Well said. Agreed.

    • FollowTheCaptain

      The author means well but his premises are so skewed toward collectivism that it seriously calls into question his ability to reason well on this topic.

      • Pakvi Roti

        You misspelled Communism.

      • Fred_Z

        No, he does not mean well, he’s a would be thief.

        He wants to steal you money, and mine, to spend the way he wants to spend it.


      • I’m willing to agree with you in theory that he might mean well but after decades of evidence free granting of the premise that leftists “mean well” to no good result for the poor and the vulnerable, I would like some evidence.

        Where is that evidence here? I see none.

    • Jacksonian_Libertarian

      I originally came here because of Walter Russell Mead. I know he’s a Democrat, but his insights about the “Blue Model”, the four schools of American foreign policy thought “Hamiltonian, Wilsonian, Jeffersonian, and Jacksonian” and others, were compelling. But he’s gone now, and may never come back. Maybe time for me to go as well if The American Interest’s quality is going to be this dismal. I seek the “Truth”, not blatantly biased, unresearched, unscholarly, poorly reasoned rants. I can get those from the Main Stream Media.

      • Fat_Man

        I agree. Although, my understanding was that Mead’s absence is temporary due to writing a book. He has published some article in the WSJ.

      • Kathy Hix

        He has published recently in Foreign Policy

        • Also a left wing rag. FSOs tend not to be too conservative but Foreign Affairs is much more rational than FP.

  • QET

    Excellent. I assume the writer calls the Affordable Care Act the Obama/Aetna health care law?

    The writer’s reasoning is impeccable, arguing as he does from the premise of “public wealth.” Attempting to refute him would be like trying to refute Harry Potter. If you start from the premise that there are wizards out there using magic, then it all makes perfect sense.

    • CheckYourself

      What I want to know are two things: 1. Where’s the author? You think he’d (they’d on other pieces) engage at least a little. 2. Id like to ask him a simple question, and it is simple…was TPP a good idea for workers and wages, or not?

      Citing credentials, especially in liberal arts, has become next to meaningless. Need to see a demonstrable, correct track record. Remember the entire network of “experts” on CNBC got the financial crisis 100 percent incorrect. Didn’t they even get sued over that? Perhaps they’re just not very smart, in that case, or perhaps they’re just bought by corporations or some other interest. Either way, something was amiss. So we need to see a real track record of accuracy.

      • Stable Max

        If I did dope, I’d want to know where the alleged author got his. He’s out there in fantasyland.

      • Rick Caird

        Hmmm, “Tax Justice Institute”. No way that could be a SJW, liberal outfit, could it? /sarc

        • Leslie

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        • Phyllis

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  • Everett Brunson

    As QET, Fat_Man, and Tom have already pointed out, each in their own way, TAI is continuing its abrupt left turn to oblivion. One line that screamed out to me was this gem: ” Those rich countries that care about tax justice (italics mine) are already moving on to other approaches. . .” Tax justice, really? And here I thought that Salon, HuffPo, and Slate were the only bastion of SJWs.

    Too, each one of Henry’s bullet points only served to show that for capitalist countries to remain competitive, they must be competitive. Who’d a thunk it?

    • Otis

      I agree with all the above. I read two paragraphs of this tendentious screed and decided not to waste any more time.

      I don’t know if TAI is taking an abrupt left turn, but the quality of its articles has certainly become much more uneven of late. I would be happy to read a thoughtful, balanced piece that enumerates actual or potential shortcomings of the Trump tax bill. This essay, however, is just partisan pablum.

      • ThomasD

        Screed is an overwrought word.

        Most of the time, that is.


    Who cares about the federal deficit? Nobody’s doing anything about your trade deficit, and the US government always seems to have money for more bombs and more welfare. Do you know why? The US is monetarily sovereign, like most governments outside the horrendous EU. The US federal deficit is not a non-issue, but it’s also not a major issue.

    You are the single largest economy, for now anyway, and you are the world’s largest trade deficit country. In other words, everyone wants access to your market and everyone seems to be holding onto dollars because you’re in deficit with them, or rather it’s their surplus. You can deficit spend a lot more if want to.

    • Psalms13626

      I agree with your thesis about how awesome it is to have the world’s reserve currency. But in my opinion, what makes dollar the reserve currency of the world is the hard power of the US military.

      • TPAJAX

        Well it comes at a high cost. Need that huge military and bases all over the world and commitments pretty much everywhere. And then having an expensive currency hurts people in the middle-class and lower classes, and it certainly acts against manufacturing potential. But as a consequence of paying such a high cost, the United States can definitely deficit spend a whole lot more than it is and not encounter any catastrophic problems. Certainly not going to turn into Venezuela the way things stand. The US probably couldn’t see hyperinflation if it was legit trying to make it happen, at least not for some time.

        • Psalms13626

          I agree with you 10000000000000% about the high cost of the military. Winning wars is an extremely expensive proposition. The only thing more expensive is losing wars. Trillions for defense; not a penny for tribute. Same for the problem of expensive currency. It’s a good problem to have. When you an excessively cheap currency is when the problems start.
          US has some legit advantages for manufacturing such as cheap and abundant natural gas. If you are large manufacturer where are you going to build your modern factory?

          • TPAJAX

            Yeah that’s all true enough. I mean, I’m excited to see if it will work out that way. I know this tax law will have some positive and some negative effects. Making an already very expensive currency, which the dollar is, even more expensive is not good for export competitiveness. But then there’s the energy revolution that has happened in the US as you say. We will see. One thing is for sure, at this moment 1 USD = like 6.50 Chinese yuan and that’s simply not right. I’m not even American and I can tell you that’s cheating, or the Chinese are just lying about their real economy size. One or the other.

    • kgelner

      Well it sure will take a while to undo the monster deficits Obama racked up, but the tax cuts will be a good start for bringing in way more revenue (just imagine the spike from companies repatriating taxes back to the U.S. at last). A good first pass at cutting spending was just announced as the U.S. is reducing the U.N. funding by over 300 million, after all these day’s why spend so much money supporting modern nazis? Hopefully the start of a trend where support for other anti-Jewish peoples and countries is reduced.

    • Rich Knudsen

      And best of all we always pay the Interest on that Debt, unlike a few other countries we could name over the last 40 years.

  • Gary Hemminger

    I am going to pay more taxes as a result of this bill, since I make a lot of money and live in CA. that said this article is a joke. We are at a race to the bottom because we lowered our corporate rate to something that isn’t the highest in the developed world? this article is a complete joke. something one would expect of a lawyer and economist in NYC and a fellow at Columbia and who focuses on the joke of sustainable investment. Absolutely terrible. Lefty trash article and I am democrat. If you can determine the political affiliation of a writer of an article within the first sentence, then the article is trash.

    • Everett Brunson

      Gary, you aptly identified where he is a Fellow but the titles of his Fellowships tell more of the tale–“ a Global Justice Fellow at Yale, a senior advisor at the Tax Justice Network.”

      Though there is much those on both the left and the right can find in the tax bill to take exception to, there is much about it that is good and will help, IMO, create jobs and help those who fund their pensions through instruments like a 401K. While home starts are up (currently) I am not sure how this will affect home purchases with the cap on home interest deductions. I am aware that Canada does not allow for interest deductions on home loans and it doesn’t seem to have affected home building there–but that has been the case for them for the last 40 years. l do not know how much affect there will be in the short term versus long term affects.

      • longrange1

        “Canada does not allow for interest deductions on home loans and it
        doesn’t seem to have affected home building there–but that has been the
        case for them for the last 40 years. l do not know how much affect
        there will be in the short term versus long term affects.”

        I would venture to predict that the main effect will be that people that have houses built will be more likely to build something they can actually afford rather that build something that’s marginally affordable and high property tax states will be forced to lower their tax rates.

    • Muhammad Peace be Upon Me

      Lot of money? CA? Hmm, so Gary clearly operates at least a half dozen taco trucks and uses that already lucrative business to shield a major drug operation.

    • Rich Knudsen

      Krugman and Henry most likely share a booth at lunch every day deluding themselves as to how America should have gone full Marxist back in the days of FDR when lefty econ majors dominated our government..

  • Anthony

    The global tax race hmmmmm. Well from the American perspective, this we know:

    “Politicians have never been renowned for their honesty and have always liked to spin their policies in the most positive light possible. But not only does Trump lie a lot more than his predecessors but the Trump-era GOP has grown terrifying comfortable with a kind of large- scale misrepresentation of what their legislation says that’s totally unprecedented…And it’s paid off enormously. While Americans are fascinated by Major legislative dramas, endless sexual abuse scandals, endless Trump-Russia scandals, and countless inappropriate presidential Twitter outbursts, key regulators – almost uniformly drawn from the ranks of corporate America – are doling out favors at a pace that boggles the mind.” And some call it Tax Reform or in this case an opening salvo to a global tax race.

    • Psalms13626

      I like winning races. In general, I’ve found winning to be a lot better than losing. Like for example, make somebody say something totally predictable and then run away. And to think that a 1st generation immigrant is doing this…… God, that must be infuriating.

      • Anthony

        What’s infuriating is Helen4Palestine, Marathon Youth, and Tecumsehface giving you an opportunity to troll and instead you bother me! Disappear.

        • Psalms13626

          How dare people try to engage with St. Anthony? And immigrants at that. How disrespectful! Who do they think they are?

          • Fred

            That’s Lord Anthony to you “my man.”

    • hyphenatedamerican

      If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance.

      • Anthony

        Enjoy Christmas and detach from the on-line…

        • hyphenatedamerican

          Are you trying to silence me?

          • Anthony

            If you keep commenting, you silence yourself! Merry Christmas.

          • hyphenatedamerican

            Are you silencing yourself by commenting?

            Happy Kwanzaa.

          • Anthony

            What is Kwanzaa?

          • hyphenatedamerican

            You are so emotional.

    • hyphenatedamerican

      “Endless Trump-Russia scandals”….

      And yet, not a smidgeon of corruption….

      • Anthony

        There’s corruption all around you just choose to ignore at country’s long-term expense.

        • hyphenatedamerican

          Are you talking about Obama’s IRS which illegally targeted hundreds of conservative groups?

          • Anthony

            Barack Obama left office January 2017; but the Chamber of Commerce/Crossroads network and the Koch brothers network maintain their formidable quasi conservative influence whether you buy IRS partiality or recognize the echo chamber motive. Again, enjoy Christmas Day, 2017.

          • hyphenatedamerican

            Did Obama’s irs help obama win the 2012 elections by illegally silencing hundreds of conservative groups?

            This is a question you don’t want to answer.

            Happy Kwanzaa to you.

          • Anthony

            I answer relevant American questions not counterfactuals. By the way, what is Kwanzaa?

          • hyphenatedamerican

            Are you denying that Obama’s IRS illegally targeted hundreds of conservative groups?

  • Kenneth Currie

    How dare the United States try to bolster its economic position.

    • Mike M

      Really. That’s outrageous!

      • Stable Max

        We know, right!

    • A Smith

      Why, that’s racist Tea Party talk, that is.

  • Joe Eagar

    Tax heist? If that was all it was, it would be much cheaper. The most expensive parts of tax cuts are always the middle class stuff to make it politically viable.

  • Psalms13626

    TAI makes it easier and easier to decide whether or not I should renew my subscription. Paying to read Leftwing nonsense should be free. Lord knows there’s plenty of it out there.
    Like others here, I was only able to stomach the first few paragraphs before I stopped punishing myself. Who does the author think is the intended audience for this, other than Comrade FG? Making our taxes competitive is a bad thing? Companies giving out raises and bonuses is bad? Companies promising increased investment into CAPEX is bad? WTF is going on here?
    Bear in mind, I live in blue hellhole of NJ so this bill in terms of pure taxes is at best a wash for me. But arguments presented here are something I would think is below the level of high school debate (full disclosure: I was a high school debater myself many many moons ago).

    • You don’t need to pay for this shyte. Is everybody tech illiterate here? Delete your browser history and tracking cookies, close browser. Reopen browser. and you can read as much as you want for free. They don’t even track IP’s. If they do start tracking IPs then you can just start changing that as well. It’s all super easy. They can’t do anything. Only thing they could do is put up a complete paywall which is counterproductive for their purpose of trying to give someone a taste.

      • rosignol

        While I am willing to pay for quality content, I do not visit TAI often enough to exceed the ‘free sample’ limit. This sort of article is not going to change that.

        It seems to me that Mr Henry could stand to gain some experience in the private sector, learning how his nostrums of ‘how things ought to be’ affect conditions that the people who directly produce tangible things have to deal with.

    • kgelner

      I don’t know, I thought it was a pretty good humor column although the author comes across a bit dry, I can see accidentally thinking he might be serious but by the end you know the whole article is a joke.

  • Joseph DeMarzo

    Two questions:

    1. Who is the maniac who wrote this drivel, and

    2. Why bother come to this site any more? Under WRM, it was awesome, now, total garbage. Buh-bye…

    • Psalms13626

      Honestly, the comments. By far the smartest group of people I’ve encountered in the Internet. But I do force myself to read more of it to better understand the enemy.

  • Jonathan Dembo

    “Tax Justice”? What is that? If it is anything like “Social Justice” it is a crime against humanity. There is only one kind of Justice: individual justice; justice for each citizen, one at a time, under the law. To the extent that Trump’s tax cut is forcing other countries to abandon Tax/Social Justice, then it is spreading real justice and should be applauded. Apparently, too, our high corporate tax rates have been encouraging other countries to raise their taxes in the name of “social justice” and our new rates will be discouraging it and spreading social freedom around the world. And about time, too.

  • Kathy Hix

    American workers have been losing at a “global race to the bottom” for decades as whole industries leave and set up shop in countries with lower labor costs. Forgive me if I don’t share Mr. Henry’s tender concern for the bureaucrats and party functionaries who might now be affected by lower tax revenues pouring into their treasuries.

  • Robert Clark

    It’s just sad that the writer and so many others think corporations pay taxes. Only their customers and stockholders pay taxes, more so their customers, the corporation just servers as a collection agency. Leveling the playing field internationally and increasing transparency to the consumer can only be good.

  • Button Gwinnett

    So, exactly what flavor Socialist are you, Mr. Henry? And why does this site charge for a subscription? You have a website, I need access. From you to me.

  • rwnutjob

    Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman on November 9, 2016:

    It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover?

    Frankly, I find it hard to care much, even though this is my specialty. The disaster for America and the world has so many aspects that the economic ramifications are way down my list of things to fear.

    Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.

    Under any circumstances, putting an irresponsible, ignorant man who takes his advice from all the wrong people in charge of the nation with the world’s most important economy would be very bad news. What makes it especially bad right now, however, is the fundamentally fragile state much of the world is still in, eight years after the great financial crisis.

  • moron

    “Global Justice Fellow at Yale, Columbia Center on Sustainable investment.” That’s all we need to know about this article!

    • moron

      That’s the ticket to pinch Barbara Streisand on the ass anything any where!

  • Mike M

    Author talks about taxes as if they belong to him. Hey! Workers of the World Unite! It’s OUR money for OUR work Bozo!

  • John In Chicago

    This article is based on the premise that government overhead and expenses are fixed and can never be cut or diminished

    • Mike M

      Exactly. The Government needs to shrink shrink shrink. And clowns like this author need to get out of our own personal business.

  • moron

    Hey, Mark Cuban said the stock market would crash if Trump were elected! NYTs Nobel prize economist Paul Krugman said the market would stagnate after Trump elected! But this guy is different, he’s a Global Justice Fellow at Yale! WOW! And a senior adviser at the “tax justice network!!” WOW! And this long winded article in the American Interest rag! WOW!

  • John In Chicago

    Note to the author of this article James S. Henry, the money people earn doesn’t belong to the government. Taxpayers should have the final word on how large and what role their government should have in their lives.

  • Los Deplorables

    Trump is pissing off all the right people!

  • John In Chicago

    Our energy department was formed after the Arab oil embargo in the 1970’s with the mission of making America energy independent. We are now once again literally exporting crude oil, so why does that entire department even exist anymore?

  • Banjo

    Pretty typical left-wing defense of letting government decide what to do with your money.

  • Harlan

    I read the first paragraph and then stopped. I did not expect whatever came next to be any more truthful than that paragraph.

    Why, oh WHY did we not elect Saint Hillary when we had the chance??????? We are doomed! We’re all gonna DIE!

  • tps

    Public wealth? There is no such thing unless you first steal it from the private sector.

    Money to corporations? Corporations are pools of people in the private sector who gather together via stock purchases and / or employment to produce a product or service other purchase.

    A global cut in taxes? Faster, please.

  • Man_in_PA

    If by “heist,” you mean people get to keep more of their money, then I’m all for it.

    • Stable Max

      Yes, we’re getting some cents back from the original dollars heisted.

  • 415woman

    “…Apple and Google to actually invest any of the $2.6 trillions of never-taxed U.S. royalties and profits that they managed to cook up and stash offshore to create any jobs back home, before they get to repatriate it all at less than half the original tax rates and stuff it in their back pockets.1” Wow. The profits were “cook(ed) up?” You mean they just imagined them? Or was it something they made by providing a service or product people wanted to buy? And, horrors, actually allowing them to keep money they made!

  • SGT Ted

    This is yet another propaganda piece written by and for the Democrat party. Only collectivists and neo-Communists think that people and corporations keeping more of their own money is a “heist”. That money isn’t “public money”; it’s tax revenue, subject to reduction by the peoples representatives. Also, note the entirely self serving lies. This bill’s provisions were debated quite openly and changes were made based on that open debate. If you cannot tell easily checked truth, you have no credibility and no integrity.

  • Danny

    US corporate tax rates were not competitive internationally for decades. How is this a mistake in light of global tax incentives? If it’s a race to the bottom, it means it’s working.

  • Warren Bonesteel

    I’m not worried about ‘developing countries’.

    American, first.

  • Sooke

    Corporations don’t pay taxes – they collect them on behalf of the government.

    Any tax (or royalty) a corporation pays is passed on directly to you, dear consumer.

    Look at it this way – The government is taxing you – by pretending to tax them.

  • hyphenatedamerican

    “Overall, Trump/Goldman bill amounts to a massive “tax heist,” one of the largest transfers of public wealth to private elites and corporations in U.S. history—at least since the massive taxpayer-funded bailouts of Goldman Sachs and other giant Wall Street banks in 2008–09.”

    Note that author equates two actions:
    1. Allowing corporations who pay taxes in USA to keep more of what they earned
    2. Giving taxpayer dollars to failing corporations.

    This is all you need to know about the author’s views.

  • CapitalistRoader

    Meanwhile, in the thirty years since global tax competition really took off, at least 26 of 33 other OECD countries have also adopted various forms of territorial corporate taxation. So it now appears to be quite natural for the United States to join the club.

    Snark aside, from the Guardian:

    Territorial system
    Exempts US corporations from US taxes on most future foreign profits, ending the present worldwide system of taxing profits of all US-based corporations, no matter where they are earned. This would align the US tax code with most other industrialized nations, undercut many offshore tax-dodging strategies and deliver to multinationals a goal they have pursued for years.

    I.e., profits made in Germany are taxed in Germany, not the US. Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom have this kind of territorial tax system and now the US joins those developed countries.

    Using the author’s logic, did Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom infect the United States with their territorial tax systems? And is that a bad or a good thing? Should the US have just continued to undercut its US headquartered corporations to the advantage of corporations based in other developed countries? If so, why?

  • hyphenatedamerican

    “Those rich countries that care about tax justice are already moving on to other approaches, like progressive individual wealth taxes. ”

    The term “tax justice” has not been defined anywhere in the article, and yet it’s used as an argument. In fact, if you push the author to define this term, I am pretty confident that it would become apparent that the term is meaningless.

    This article is not written by a scientist for scientists. It’s written by an activist to reinforce the flock in its prejudice.

    • CapitalistRoader

      In fact, if you push the author to define this term [tax justice], I am pretty confident that it would become apparent that the term is meaningless.

      Or it would sound something like this:

      All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.
      Benito Mussolini

      • hyphenatedamerican

        “Public good over private profit”

        The Nazi program:

        10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to productively work mentally or physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
        Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
        In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
        We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
        We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
        We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
        We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
        We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
        We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
        We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
        The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the state must be striven for by the school [Staatsbürgerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the state of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
        The state is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

  • WalterHorsting
  • buddygonzo

    “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never”

  • kgelner

    If all the media is going to frame this tax bill as a “Heist”, the real question is why was the real heist not other countries lowering the corporate tax rat as you describe? Why is the U.S. lowering rates the first we are hearing about a “heist”, none of you seemed to mind when it was Europe and other countries benefitting. Now that the U.S. is simply equalizing tax rates with the rest of the world (our new rate the middle of the pack), it seems like we are just balancing out the rest of the world.

    As for companies keeping repatriated taxes – you talk about this as if it were one guy selfishly “pocketing the money”. But why on earth do you think that money will not get used back in the U.S.? If a company has more money to spend, why would the first expectation not be that the either hire more workers, give people raises, or decide to manufacture more product to sell or do extra R&D? All of those activities spread money around the U.S. (and indeed often other countries). To give Apple as just one example, even though they keep a large pile of cash around they also give a lot of it back to shareholders each quarter.

  • ChristopherChantrill

    Tax Justice!

    My line is that there is no such thing as justice, only injustice.

    And Schopenhauer agrees with me, writing that “wrong” is original and “right” is derivative.

  • hyphenatedamerican

    “total lack of any requirements for multinational corporations like Apple and Google to actually invest any of the $2.6 trillions of never-taxed U.S. royalties and profits that they managed to cook up and stash offshore to create any jobs back home, before they get to repatriate it all at less than half the original tax rates and stuff it in their back pockets.“

    Wait, this quite a mathematical marvel.

    The author conceded that the profits from google and apple were never taxed, and yet he says that the new tax system will cut the tax rate by half and would create a windfall to google and apple.

    So google and apple will now be paying not 0% on their profits, but 0%/2. In my math, it’s still 0%.

    Weird. It’s like the author failed math in the 3rd grade.

  • Mark Ditta

    I could not get past all the falsehoods in the opening. Whining about process in an exaggerated and misleading way tells me all I need to know about the bias of this author.


    Enlightened LIEberal/DemocRAT/MSM talking heads who received “prestigious” (Poison) Ivy League degrees must demand refunds. In Trump’s first year in office, especially against fierce MSM/DemocRAT/GOPe opposition (something the willowy wimpy whiner, Barry Zer0bama, didn’t experience in his two terms), he’s done four out of five things Bush should’ve done in 2002 or so, according to Hugh Hewitt:

    1.) Win the war (check)
    2.) Confirm the judges (check)
    3.) Cut the taxes (check)
    4.) Control the spending (not yet; will take thru 2018 to 2025 to get this done)
    5.) Secure the border (check)


  • ChristopherChantrill

    And why the animus against corporations? They are government’s tax collectors, either paying workers’ taxes in withholding before they even see the money or paying stuff like unemployment taxes and workers’ comp. that the workers never see.

    And Goldman? Doesn’t the author know that financiers are the best pals of government, helping government sell its paper to widows and orphans ever since the Dutch invented central banking some 400 years ago?

    What planet do these lefties live on?

  • The author notes:

    “Meanwhile, it was not as if all that offshore loot was going idle; resourceful tax lawyers found clever ways to borrow against the “offshore” funds and invest the proceeds wherever the multinational corporations desired.”

    But also seems to insist that if they can just bring the offshore funds back to U.S. they’ll just stuff them into the mattress.

    “All these domestic harms are further aggravated by the total lack of any requirements for multinational corporations like Apple and Google to actually invest any of the $2.6 trillions of never-taxed U.S. royalties and profits that they managed to cook up and stash offshore to create any jobs back home, before they get to repatriate it all at less than half the original tax rates and stuff it in their back pockets.”

    I guess it never occurred to him that they might consider making those investments without having to borrow the money and pay interest to the big banks – such as Goldman Sachs for instance?

  • Fuzzy Curmudgeon

    “Drafted . . . entirely in secret . . . No hearings or debate . . .”

    Just like Obamacare? Liberals must love living under their own rules, for a change.

    FWIW, you left one thing out: It’s not the government’s money to begin with. So fuck you. Hope Santa left coal in your stocking.

  • A Smith

    “Global Justice Fellow” is all I needed to know about this author.

  • hyphenatedamerican

    “The global tax race to the bottom is about to begin.”

    If you read the article carefully, you will realize that the main thesis is being debunked by the author himself. Apparently, the global tax race has been going on for quite a while, it’s just that USA was not participating in it.

    What really happened is that our new president decided that in order to make America great again, USA needs to cease the unilateral disarmament and join the tax race. The article confirms that this decision is correct.

  • You know the pig is well struck when it squeals and squeals, then grows quiet.

  • Dusty Thompson

    The Rino right morphed into the ctrl-left so gradually none of us noticed, till Trump! That some of the dimwits call themselves “right wing” is comical…

    Socialism is the message, Marxism is the strategy and Fascism is the goal…

  • Bob Parkman

    The author is an idiot.

    • Dusty Thompson

      Stop being so mean to “idiots”.

  • WhitewaterMkII

    What a load of socialist nonsense. I think I’ll get out a thesaurus and write idiotic conjectures. Surely that will get me a 100k sinecure at Yale or Columbia like this mouth breathing word processor seems to have received.

  • RustyGate

    Twice you called profits earned from International operations “loot”. Are only domestic profits honest gain?

  • Pakvi Roti


  • wesmouch

    The above is boilerplate left wing gibberish packaged by a fake news organization. MAGA

  • wesmouch

    It is fitting that we had to pass the tax bill to find out what was in in. Time to give demented Nancy her due.

  • Terenc Blakely

    ” Overall, Trump/Goldman bill amounts to a massive “tax heist,” one of the largest transfers of public wealth to private elites and corporations in U.S. history”

    WTF? That sentence only makes sense if you assume all wealth is the government’s to begin with.

  • Brett_McS

    This wasn’t satire?

    • Terenc Blakely

      I checked to see if it wasn’t April 1st.


    JH: “Overall, Trump/Goldman bill amounts to a massive “tax heist,” one of the
    largest transfers of public wealth to private elites and corporations
    in U.S. history…”

    This “investigative economist” needs to crawl up his own butt and do some DEEP investigation into why Trump won!

    `Taking America back’ means to REVERSE the “largest transfer of” us citizens’ power to the bureaucrats and the Liberal Fascists who want the Government to take over more and more of our lives, with THEY in control of the ever-growing Government and what we are allowed to speak and even think!!!

  • Steve_o

    Great article. The more I hear about this bill the better I like it.

  • GlobalTrvlr

    Joins the ranks of THE most distorted, 180 degree wrong pieces i have read. Rather than refute item by item, just read each sentence, flip it around 180 degrees and that is the actual fact.

  • Rich Knudsen

    Gee,what a Surprise, A Columbia scion spewing his usual Marxist attitude about all things Capitalist. Do you always vacation in Cuba too Henry? Guess we should rename this website The American Marxist just so no one is confused about how these folks really feel about America.

  • RobertArvanitis

    There is no race to bottom EXCEPT for losers.
    People prefer to keep their own money and spend it as they see fit. Hence the appeal of low tax, low benefit states.
    Then there are high-tax high benefit states which have NOTHING TO FEAR! if they spend the money wisely.
    The only folks at risk are the high tax, low benefits states. These do not deserve to exist. They take money but spend it foolishly and are net destroyers of value. The high tax low benefit places are (i) blue states in America, (ii) all of the EU ex. UK, and (iii) every socialist nation which refuses to learn from the sweep of human history.

  • Kevin

    Yet another recent article rememinding me why I have no desire to renew my subscription.

  • aelfheld

    So, if there is a ‘race to the bottom’ for corporate tax rates what, exactly, is the problem?

    Corporations don’t pay taxes, they simply pass them through to their customers.

  • Hilarious article. The left hates tax reform if it gives tax payers back some of their money.

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