Death and taxes. The global tax race to the bottom is about to begin
by James S. Henry, The American Interest, Dec 21, 2017
t may be a long time before we fully understand all the implications of the complex Trump/Goldman tax law, as I like to call the recently passed tax “reform.” This 1,079-page monstrosity contains at least 121 tax code changes that will affect more than $8 trillion of gross Federal tax revenues over the next decade. The bill was drafted by the Trump Administration and the Republican majority entirely in secret and crammed through Congress in less than a week with no hearings or debate and no independent evaluations. We now know what all this opacity was really all about: 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.
Most criticisms of the bill to date have focused on its domestic implications. These are indeed formidable. They include increased inequality, soaring budget deficits, poorer health coverage for many Americans, and a fire sale of the country’s strategic oil reserves, mineral rights in national parks, and drilling rights in the Arctic wilderness. 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.1 A very Merry Christmas indeed!
States are fighting back!