The Tax Cut Bill Was Horrible

In a very good story about all of the problems in Il Trumpe’s and the Republicans’ (band name!) horrible tax bill, which is little more than a massive looting by companies, this section was noteworthy for a couple of reasons (boldface mine):

In the coming days, the Treasury is likely to complete its last round of rules carrying out the tax cuts. Big companies have spent this fall trying to win more.

In September, Chris D. Trunck, the vice president for tax at Owens Corning, the maker of insulation and roofing materials, wrote to the I.R.S. He pushed the Treasury to tinker with the GILTI rules in a way that would preserve hundreds of millions of dollars of tax benefits that Owens Corning had accumulated from settling claims that it poisoned employees and others with asbestos.

The same month, the underwear manufacturer Hanes sent its own letter to Mr. Mnuchin. The letter, from Bryant Purvis, Hanes’s vice president of global tax, urged Mr. Mnuchin to broaden the high-tax exception so that more companies could take advantage of it.

Otherwise, Mr. Purvis warned, “the GILTI regime will become an impediment to U.S. companies and their ability to not only compete globally as a general matter, but also their ability to remain U.S.-headquartered if they are to maintain the overall fiscal health of their business.”

The implied threat was clear: If the Treasury didn’t further chip away at the new tax, companies like Hanes, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., might have no choice but to move their headquarters overseas.

The second part is nothing more than an extortion racket that should be very familiar to anyone who follows how local and state governments too often knuckle under to corporate demands for tax cuts, that almost* inevitably don’t create jobs or ‘pay for themselves.’

But the first part slays me: why is settling claims for poisoning people subsidized in the tax code? They fucking poisoned people. There is no public interest in subsidizing those payments. Unbelievable.

But how will we pay for it something something…

*There night be a handful that do, but those would be very exceptional.

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2 Responses to The Tax Cut Bill Was Horrible

  1. jmagoun says:

    I liked this article when it came out. The NY TImes seems to be doing more long-form, deep investigative journalism than it used to. This line, which you also quoted, struck me:

    “The implied threat was clear: If the Treasury didn’t further chip away at the new tax, companies like Hanes, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., might have no choice but to move their headquarters overseas.”

    I thought, wait – how serious a threat is that? Hanes is going to move overseas to avoid a domestic tax. Would that mean all those comfortable executives and their families in North Carolina expect to become expatriates, in order to keep their jobs? Is this even remotely a credible threat? Is there anything in the laws of incorporation or the federal tax laws saying that a company doing business in the US, but “headquartered” in another country, must show that all of its principal officers and headquarters staff are permanent residents of the country the headquarters is in?

  2. Scottie says:

    Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    Hello Mike. Great point. They are not even trying to hide the redistribution of wealth from the lower tiers to the upper levels. They are going to bleed dry all the blood they can get until the animal dies. Capitalism with out restraint kills it self. They are making it so the lower incomes have no buying power to sustain the economy. They might think that stocks alone can save their profits, but if no one can buy, that means no one can sell. Hugs

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