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Pothole President: Obama’s Tax Suggestion

Written by Gary North on February 2, 2015

President Obama, now a visible lame duck, proposes the biggest tax hike in his career, other than ObamaCare, which the Supreme Court says is a tax.

The money will be used to fix potholes. You know: “shovel-ready.”

He has no authority over Congress. He does not submit a budget bill to the Congress. Congress submits a budget bill to him.

He suggests. The Congress sends a bill to his desk. “Take it or leave it.”

US President Barack Obama plans to close a tax loophole that allows US firms to avoid paying taxes on overseas profits, the White House says.

His 2016 budget will impose a one-off 14% tax on US profits stashed overseas, as well as a 19% tax on any future profits as they are earned.

The $238bn raised will be used to fund road projects in the US.

The proposal is one of the main components of Mr Obama’s latest budget, due to be presented on Monday.

The spending plan, including the proposal on overseas profits, would require approval from the Republican-controlled Congress to be made law, something seen as unlikely.

Research firm Audit Analytics calculated last April that US firms in total have $2.1 trillion-worth of profits stashed abroad.

It found US conglomerate General Electric had the most profit stored overseas at $110bn. Tech giants Microsoft and Apple and drugs companies Pfizer and Merck all featured in the top five.

No tax is currently due on foreign profits as long as they are not brought into the United States.

As a result some companies put their earnings in low tax jurisdictions and simply leave them there.

The White House said its plans for an immediate 14% tax would raise $238bn, which would be used to fund a wider $478bn public works program of road, bridge and public transport upgrades.

“This transition tax would mean that companies have to pay US tax right now on the $2 trillion they already have overseas, rather than being able to delay paying any US tax indefinitely,” a White House official said.

The official said that after this one-off tax, the 19% permanent tax firms would have to pay on overseas profits “would level the playing field, and encourage firms to create jobs here at home.”

An unnamed White House official — read “flak” — said this. A no-name, obscure nobody with less than two years of White House employment remaining speaks for the President.

This is a lame duck President.

He is at long last sounding tough on corporate taxes.

He doesn’t have the votes. Now he talks tough.

He is trying to leave a legacy: “I am a hard-core Leftist.” Leftist is as Leftist does.

Obama is now positioning himself as the Little President Who Could. “I Think I can. I think I can.”

He can’t.

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