Last month, O+F invited readers’ comments on a proposal by Sen. John Kerry to remove tax incentives for U.S. companies sending jobs overseas. Here are some of the responses we received. Names and other identifying information have been withheld where requested.
I do support Kerry’s proposal. It is ridiculous that the U.S. government offers incentives to U.S. companies, via lax tax laws, to send U.S. jobs overseas. I would prefer to support a Republican, but the interest of U.S. workers and the U.S. economy should be a bipartisan issue, not a political one.
Lux & Associates
Sen. Kerry’s proposals should be viewed for what they are — politically motivated. Such action would serve to undermine the expansion of global free trade, of which the U.S. is a primary beneficiary.
Sen. Kerry’s tax plan, like most of his other plans, will not work. We live in a global economy. If outsourcing jobs to another country works, then do it. We would be putting dollars in the hands of others, which in turn they will [use to] buy products from American companies. To think that changing the tax structure will save American jobs is shortsighted and short-term.
Kerry doesn’t have a plan; like most politicians running against an incumbent, he will only say that the present administration is doing it all wrong, and he will say what the crowd in front of him wants to hear. He was speaking to a labor union, and God forbid he say the real reason U.S. companies are taking the jobs overseas — which is that the labor unions have made it all but impossible for businesses to compete and pay the high salary and benefits packages that union employees demand. I personally don’t want to pay $50 for a pair of Levi’s just because they are made in the U.S.A. Don’t blame it on the Bush administration — lay the blame where it belongs.
Anyone who thinks this will work doesn’t have a clue how business works. It’s called the bottom line. The reason companies are shifting their jobs offshore is for cheaper costs, not necessarily because of the tax advantage. They still have to pay taxes to the country in which they operate. We don’t currently tax the income of residents or businesses in foreign countries. Why should we assume that we have that right with American-owned companies or American citizens living and operating offshore?
We need to realize that we are part of a global economy and start acting like it exists. The market forces of the world economy will dictate where the jobs will go, not politicians in Washington. I was once chastised by a colleague for buying a “foreign” car made in America, because the profits went to Japan. I had to remind him that the publicly held American company we worked for sent its dividends to Japan also.
Name withheld by request
Any “reform” plan that substantially reduces offshore outsourcing will ultimately harm our economy. Creating a bubble around [the information technology] industry to prevent domestic job loss will only ensure that our ability to compete internationally in this, or any other field, will be hindered and that we will eventually lose all of these jobs in the “protected” industry to foreign markets.
If a U.S. company wants to trade internationally, it must utilize the “best of breed” practices in the industry where it competes. Unfortunately, in a free-market economy, transitions aren’t well planned — they are more knee-jerk reactions to the latest crisis. But it doesn’t appear to be a problem that one political party or the other can remedy!
Name withheld by request
Our tax system is broken! We need a two-tier, flat-tax system — one for individuals and one for companies. No deductions, no special interests, no loopholes. You can have a minimum level before taxes are levied and at certain times use tax credit or incentives to spur the economy. These incentives must have specific time periods. At year end they must be evaluated and increased to the percentages used, but must be voted on by 75% of Congress before any increases can occur.
Punitive taxation of business discourages job creation and economic expansion. If Kerry wants to try something radical but fair, how about a flat tax? That would really stimulate business and create jobs and simplify accounting procedures. How about moving toward a flat tax by annual increments so that the effect can be measured without catastrophic effects and adjusted accordingly?
Sen. Kerry voted for every one of the tax incentives to reward companies for moving jobs offshore and continues to take contributions from those companies. Does anyone really believe that after all the huff, puff, and smoke clears he will bite the hand that has supported his candidacy from day one? The guy’s a Ted Kennedy clone — a tax-and-spend Democrat who believes in his heart that the people are idiots so Uncle Sam will have to control every aspect of their lives. Kerry was born to wealth and privilege, and with the exception of his military service has never worked a day in his life. Like Bill Clinton before him, he doesn’t even own a car, let alone buy gas at $2 a gallon.
Name withheld by request
I strongly support every aspect of the Kerry Tax Reform Plan. It is urgently needed and will ultimately benefit all parties, individual employees, employers (higher quality, less exposure to unpredictable operating factors), and the federal and state governments (by reducing deficits, stronger funding of FICA, etc.).
Congress has simply acted in this matter as it has consistently done under Republican administrations — anything to ultimately benefit the wealthy at the cost of undermining fundamental requirements of the U.S. economy.
Errol M. McGuire, Ph.D.
EM Consulting Inc.
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