President Obama gave a speech today in Milwaukee wherein he discussed his plans for the U.S. economy, promoted American manufacturing, and suggested implementing what sounds an awful lot like a global minimum tax.
“[N]o American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas,” the president said.
“From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay and hire in the United States of America [emphasis added],” he added.
See the president’s remarks via CSPAN:
And although the president chose to call it a “basic minimum tax,” the concept, as he explained it, is identical to a global minimum tax.
But what is a global minimum tax?
As John Hayward of Human Events explains, one of the consequences of “slapping nervous businessmen with confiscatory tax increases is that more operations will be moved overseas.”
There are plenty of places for a corporation to escape the grasp of a tax-hungry Obama Administration, since America already has among the highest corporate taxes in the developed world, and Obama wants to make them even higher. Some people criticize capital flight as unpatriotic, but there comes a point at which keeping investments within our borders is illogical.
Well, the geniuses who brought you Solyndra and Cash for Clunkers have a solution to that problem: a global minimum tax that would cripple the rest of the industrialized world by raising their tax rates to Obama levels. Then nobody would have a reason to outsource or move their investments overseas.
The president’s comments also come on the heels of eyebrow-raising remarks made earlier this week by Gene Sperling, the director of the White House Economic Council.
During a panel discussion, he said the following [emphases added]:
He [President Obama] supports corporate tax reform that would reduce expenditures and loopholes, lower rates for people investing and creating jobs in the U.S., due so further for manufacturing, and that we need to, as we have the Buffett Rule and the individual tax reform, we need a global minimum tax so that people have the assurance that nobody is escaping doing their fair share as part of a race to the bottom or having our tax code actually subsidized and facilitate people moving their funds to tax havens.
Watch Sperling talk about a global minimum tax via YouTube:
The most important takeaway from this clip is the fact that Sperling claims the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, supports such an initiative.
However, after the video began to circulate and questions were raised, the White House told Politico, via an anonymous official, that “[Sperling] was referring to our proposal in the Blueprint for an American Built to Last that removes tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas.”
But as the Weekly Standard points out, the Politico article ”never actually quoted anyone — named or unnamed — denying the substance of Sperling’s proposal (or even that it would in effect be a ‘global minimum tax’)”.
Indeed, after listening to President Obama’s Milwaukee speech, it would seem that the only difference between his message and Sperling’s “global minimum tax” comment is that the president prefers to call it “basic minimum tax.”
“Either way,” the Weekly Standard’s Daniel Harper writes, “it’s the same thing regardless of how the White House wants to message it.”