Treasury battles the EU for tax money

Both the NY Times and the WSJ are telling us how upset the Treasury Department and Congress are that the EU has the gall to go after Apple’s money before the U.S. can get it.  They say Ireland didn’t collect enough.  The most humorous quote is by Senator Charles Schumer on the front of the WSJ.  He actually said the EU’s action are a “cheap money-grab” that targets U.S. business.

Just a few months ago, the Treasury Department unilaterally (without going through Congress) rewrote tax law to prevent Pfizer from merging with Allergan to move its tax headquarters to lower-tax Ireland.  I did not see Schumer call that a cheap money-grab that targets U.S. companies, even though that is exactly what it was.

Something you won’t see in any of these discussions among the EU, the Treasury Department, and Congress is to allow Apple, Pfizer, and their shareholders to keep more of the money they earned when they, not the government, took all the risk and marketed the products. 

There seems to be no end to the greed of politicians around the world as they make cheap money-grabs from individuals and corporations.  They never seem to get enough.  When they talk about individuals and corporations paying their “fair share,” there seems to be no discussion of what the fair share should be.

Here is a novel thought for Democrats in the U.S. Congress: lower corporate tax rates to more competitive levels, and reduce oppressive regulations to encourage corporations to keep and earn their money in the U.S.  Maybe they should stop double-taxing earnings from overseas and stop the double-taxation of dividends.  This will work much better than punishing companies if they decide to leave.  The carrot works better than the stick.