President Obama was asked a question about tax inversions (companies moving HQs overseas to duck US tax) at yesterday's press conference. His response, in part:
"These accountants are saying, you know what, we found a great loophole -- if you just flip your citizenship to another country, even though it’s just a paper transaction, we think we can get you out of paying a whole bunch of taxes.That sounds pretty similar to this:
"Well, it’s not fair. It’s not right. The lost revenue to Treasury means it’s got to be made up somewhere, and that typically is going to be a bunch of hardworking Americans....And in the meantime, the company is still using all the services and all the benefits of effectively being a U.S. corporation; they just decided that they’d go through this paper exercise....
"And I think it’s something that would really bother the average American, the idea that somebody renounces their citizenship but continues to entirely benefit from operating in the United States of America just to avoid paying a whole bunch of taxes."
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory... Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
This is a great way to remind people of the benefits they receive from government and paying taxes. I love this framing, and I hope it becomes part of every Democrat's response to the GOP's attempts to cut, slash and burn government and turn the US into a Third World country.
Short version: We don't mind if a business person is a greedy prick, just don't be an ungrateful greedy prick.