Reading the news lately, I think corporations get much better treatment from America than the citizens themselves receive. I may have to contact a lawyer to see if I can actually incorporate and become a corporate person myself.
I could be like Walgreens, for instance.
A little less than two years ago, Gregory D. Wasson, the chief executive of Walgreen, sought a series of tax breaks from Illinois, where his company is based.
“We are proud of our Illinois heritage,” he said at the time. “Just as our stores and pharmacies are health and daily living anchors for the communities we serve, we as a company are now recommitted to serving as an economic anchor for northeastern Illinois.”
The state gave Walgreen $46 million in corporate income tax credits over 10 years in exchange for a pledge to create 500 jobs and invest in upgrading its offices. The state also provided $625,000 in training money and $875,000 in other tax incentives.
Mr. Wasson’s actions, however, could soon run counter to his words. The same chief executive who said he was so “proud of our Illinois heritage” is now considering moving the company’s headquarters to Switzerland as part of a merger with Alliance Boots, a European drugstore chain.
Why? To lower Walgreen’s tax bill even further.
If a corporation can be a “person” and use gimmicks to switch nationalities to lower their tax bill without ever leaving the US, why can’t a real, live person do the same? After all, corporate personhood is supposedly used to extend our rights to corporations. If a corporation can do it, then it stands to reason that a person should be able to execute the same plan. I should be legally able to change my name to Brosephus Inc., merge my blog with someone in Ireland, and reap the tax savings due to the lower tax rate there.
As stupid as that sounds for a person to do, it’s quite common in the business world, and it’s beginning to happen even more frequently. When a company does such a thing, it’s basically claiming that it’s no longer an American company and is taxed as though it is a foreign company. If that’s the case, then any contributions by said company to any political campaign should be grounds for prison time for violating campaign rules.
Companies have been continuously lowering their US tax burdens while reaping the benefits of being an “American” person. Why we allow that, I’ll never understand. There should be some kind of deterrent for companies skipping out on paying for the upkeep and running of America all the while using this country to their advantage. These companies all use the same infrastructure we use that’s paid for by taxes. They use the same real estate that we all have to pay taxes on as well. A real and honest person would pay for what they’re benefiting from. Then again, a real and honest person can’t be a corporation.