America Has Two Sets of Rules
Offshore Corporate Tax Havens: Why Are They Still Allowed?
The bracing reality that America has two sets of rules -- one for the corporate class and another for the middle class -- has never been more indisputable.
The middle class, by and large, plays by the rules, then watches as its jobs disappear -- and the
One of the most glaring examples of this continues to be the ability of corporations to cheat the public out of tens of billions of dollars a year by using offshore tax havens. Indeed, it's estimated that companies and wealthy individuals funneling money through offshore tax havens are evading around
You want Exhibit A of two sets of rules? According to the
Even more egregiously, of those 83 companies, 74 received government contracts in 2007. GM, for instance, got more than
And while it's as easy as opening up an island P.O. Box, not every big company uses the dodge. For instance,
The battle is once again afoot. On Friday, the House passed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. The bill, in addition to extending unemployment benefits, clamps down on some of they ways corporations hide their income offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Even though practically every House Republican voted against it, the bill passed 215 to 204.
The bill's passage in the
The bill is far from perfect -- it leaves open a number of loopholes and would only recoup a very small fraction of the
But the bill would end one of the more egregious examples of the double standard between the corporate class and the middle class, finally forcing hedge fund managers to pay taxes at the same rate as everybody else. As the law stands now, their income is considered "carried interest," and is accordingly taxed at the capital gains rate of 15 percent.
The issue was famously brought up in 2007 by
Up until now, the story has been a familiar narrative of Two Americas, with one set of rules for those who can afford to hire a fleet of
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America Has Two Sets of Rules
(c) 2010 Arianna Huffington