Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You deserve a break today

You may have heard that Burger King is planning to merge with Tim Horton’s, a donut company that is the Canadian equivalent of Dunkin Donuts here in America. The merger would effectively relocate Burger King’s headquarters to Canada. Most of what we hear about Canada is runaway socialism. So, why would any corporation want to move to Canada. Although their income taxes — combined national and provincial — may be high, their corporate tax rate is considerably less than that of the United States. When all corporate taxes are considered it’s about half of the United States.

In fact, the U.S. has the highest corporate rate of any developed economy in the world. If Burger King relocates, just the corporate tax itself, not to mention other taxes related to running a corporation, would drop from 35% in the U.S. to about
That creepy Burger King mascot
 26.5% in Canada. Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5% and for companies doing business in Europe it has become the country of choice.

The Obama administration calls companies like Burger King “corporate deserters.” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is calling for a “new sense of economic patriotism.” They want congress to pass laws preventing American companies from relocating outside the country, a sort of corporate Berlin wall. Their approach demonstrates their gross misunderstanding of, or total disregard for, capitalism as we know it.

In the world of business you try to remain competitive by aligning your prices with the competition. Or, if you’re more expensive you make the case for why. With all of the emerging markets in the world it doesn’t make sense to have the highest corporate tax rate. There are a lot of people who have been arguing for a long time that it needs to be lowered.

I’ll go them one better. The corporate tax in America needs to be eliminated. That may be shocking to some of you who’ve become accustomed to believing that corporations should pay their “fair share,” but corporations don’t pay taxes. You do, as a consumer of their product.

Taxes are just another expense to a corporation. There’s not some rich fat-cat who’s getting hosed by the corporate tax. Some fear that’s the guy the corporation will give a raise to if the corporate tax rate is lowered. Chances are he’s already in the 39.6 tax bracket. That means if all the money the company saves went to him we’d be getting more in taxes than we do when the corporation pays it.

But, as I’ve stated, the corporation doesn’t pay it. They pass it along. Let’s say you own a fast food restaurant. There’s the cost of labor, electricity, advertising, uniforms, food product, etc. Taxes are simply factored in as another expense like those when the owners are deciding what to charge for that burger. Can you imagine how much less that burger would be if there were no corporate tax?

And don’t think they’d keep the prices high and pocket the money. Their competition surely wouldn’t and competition is what drives prices lower. Also imagine how many corporations around the world would be flocking to the United States if we eliminated the corporate tax. Imagine how many jobs that would create. Imagine the new taxes from income tax that would far surpass any money we’re getting from the corporate tax. Imagine how much better off we’d all be if we stopped with this class warfare and hating on corporations and realized that it’s the corporations that create the jobs and the tax revenue for the country.

Remember, corporations don’t pay taxes, consumers do. It’s time to give consumers a break.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

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