President Obama is planning to stop companies from avoiding US taxes by shipping jobs overseas to take advantage of offshore havens. It has become a common complaint of US workers: too few jobs in the US and too many outsourced to other countries to save money. The workers complaining range from factory workers to attorneys. These days it seems possible to outsource just about any job.
I’ve read arguments written by financial professionals that say outsourcing isn’t responsible for high unemployment rates and that outsourcing is actually good for the US economy, making the US more competitive in the global market. However, when talking to someone laid off after a decision to outsource labor or seeing industries become difficult to enter because of outsourcing, it is difficult to remember why the practice is so good for the US. Especially, when there doesn’t seem to be a line of countries wanting to outsource their jobs to the US.
The President’s campaign promise to close tax loopholes was popular among voters, but wasn’t well received on Capitol Hill Monday. Even the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee wants to study the plan—as if it were a new idea. Many Democrats have tried to create a tax incentive for keeping jobs in the US since 1961, without success.
Considering the federal budget deficit, you’d think Capitol Hill would be glad to approve a tax hike for the big companies that can afford it. Companies like Google, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Johnson & Johnson.
And, certainly, you would think Capitol Hill would want to prove to constituents that they were diligently attempting to change the current tax scheme that provides companies with a tax incentive to outsource work.
Somehow, I’m not really surprised that our lawmakers are more concerned with currying favor with big companies than individual voters. But, I am disappointed.