Next great Obama administration idea: A ‘global minimum tax’
posted at 10:25 am on February 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
Old and busted: Global cap-and-trade. New hotness: A “global minimum tax.” The Weekly Standard catches the director of the White House National Economic Council insisting that the path to prosperity and American competitiveness is to establish a coordinated tax rate between all nations. Gene Sperling then promises more details later, although not the “gory detail”:
“He 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,” Sperling said.
The White House adviser then said that more details would be forthcoming, though “not in gory detail.”
“But we will say more, perhaps not in gory detail, but in more detail, before the end of the month. And in terms of the revenues, the president is looking for shared sacrifice. This budget is a Democratic budget that has savings in Medicaid, it has savings from new beneficiaries, Medicare in 2017, it has agriculture civilian retirement savings. It has a lot of very tough choices.”
Actually, it already sounds a little Gore-y … as in Al Gore and his push for a UN-run cap-and-trade system. Who, pray tell, would enforce this “global minimum tax”? If not the UN, then who? And what happens when emerging economies like China and India either don’t agree to the GMT or refuse to enforce it — as will be the case? These nations understand that it’s their job to make their economies competitive, not to render them neutral to investment. That’s a lesson that this administration and its Utopian globalists seem to have missed in three-plus years at the helm.
Instead of worrying about what the rest of the world is doing and proposing new taxes to handicap American firms, how about just fixing our own system to allow American firms to compete better? That’s only “a race to the bottom” for those who see government confiscation as the measure of success.
Update: Allahpundit e-mails me to suggest that the administration wants to impose a “global minimum tax” on US companies unilaterally to increase tax revenues on offshore operations, rather than enter into a multinational cooperative on tax policy. That’s possible, but we already have that kind of tax structure in place, which is why US companies are hesitant to repatriate their overseas profit for investment in the US, and that kind of tax change would make the situation worse by pushing those corporations overseas entirely. The Obama administration has floated that proposal on occasion, though it has always been rejected on a bipartisan basis because of the disaster it would mean to the US economy.
I guess we’ll have to wait for the “gory details” to see which disastrous policy the White House wants to pursue.