Last Wednesday, at lunch time, I stopped in a Kansas City establishment housing a variety of restaurants. I found myself standing before a Burger King. I looked up at their sign, and all I could see was unpatriotic greed and disgust. I opted to go elsewhere.
The thought of this mammoth American corporation deciding to buy out Canada’s Tim Hortons restaurants and defect to Canada under the guise of expansion when I know it is another “tax inversion” ploy, joining with some 41 other American companies to merge with foreign companies to circumvent or lower U.S. taxes.
Burger King is serving Whoppers all over the world. It has some 3,630 stores in Canada, 866 in the U.S., including 30 in the Kansas City area..
On the way home I tuned in to Rush Limbaugh to learn how “Mr. Protect The Rich” would spin the growing tax-inversion controversy. Predictably, he extolled that America has the highest corporate tax rate in the free world at 35 percent.
At no time did he acknowledge that the actual interest rate paid by most corporations is 12.6 percent, nor did he mention that one in four corporations pay no taxes, nor did he divulge the scores of business and corporate loopholes and tax credits that benefit bottom line, nor the billions of American dollars in banks in off-shore countries.
I took action and threw away my Burger King coupons and joined economist Robert Reich, and other patriotic Americans, by signing petitions boycotting Burger King.
“The pending deal is welcome news to investors, who sent its stock up nearly 20 percent the day it was announced,” Reich writes. “But it’s a lousy deal for you and me and other Americans because we’ll have to make up for the taxes Burger King stops paying. If Burger King deserts America to cut its tax bill, we’ll be paying twice. That’s a whopper of a slap at America – and another blow to the fight against income inequality.”
Burger King CEO Daniel Schwartz denied it was about taxes, adding that they pay in the mid-20 percent range. Still, some economists predict even a small percentage cut could mean several billion dollars in savings.
Congress could alleviate this legal but unpopular tax dodge by confronting that whopper – tax reform. Stop your laughing!. One can always hope.
I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.
Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz.msn.com.