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Another approach was put forth by Rep. John Delaney, D-Md. His Partnership to Build America Act would grant a tax holiday on up to $300 billion of the $2 trillion of corporate profits held offshore. In exchange for tax amnesty, corporations would agree to purchase low-interest bonds that would capitalize an infrastructure bank — which these corporations would partly control — that would issue loan guarantees on up to $750 billion in infrastructure spending.
Corporations could claim they were supporting their country’s infrastructure while paying an effective tax rate as low as 10 percent on their repatriated profits. Meanwhile, their high-priced accountants could continue moving even more U.S. profits and jobs offshore.
Small business owners know that modernizing America’s infrastructure is essential for our economy. But if we establish the precedent that the only way to pay for our national priorities is by paying ransom to those who already evade their responsibilities, then we will face a grim future. U.S. multinationals will shift more profits, jobs and investments offshore — and shift more of their taxpaying responsibilities onto the rest of us.
The best way to fix our aging infrastructure is by closing the barn door on corporate tax dodging, not making the same mistakes we’ve already made.
Bryan McGannon is the deputy policy director for the American Sustainable Business Council.