May 08, 2009

Statement on Efforts to End Offshore Corporate Tax Loopholes

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement on efforst to end offshore corporate tax loopholes:

"I am delighted that we now have a President who is sympathetic to those of us in Congress who have been fighting for years to end tax breaks for those U.S. corporations that exploit our tax laws for the sole purpose of paying less than their fair share. I have a significant record of acting to end tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas and stop the foreign shell games.

"In tackling these important issues, I want to be sure we don't miss an opportunity to take simple, bold, clear steps to make the whole system simpler as well as fairer. When you take small, piecemeal steps, you run the risk of adding complexity to the tax code, with the possibility of unintended consequences. By simply layering another band-aid onto our complicated mess of a tax code, we could add to the current morass and produce new loopholes that corporate lobbyists and lawyers will exploit with their usual efficiency.

"Instead, I have proposed a fairly simple, bold reform of the tax system - the Fair Flat Tax Act -- that ends a large variety of corporate tax breaks, including the one that allows U.S. multinationals to defer paying U.S. taxes on their foreign subsidiaries' income. Eliminating deferral is a straightforward, bold step that would be a more complete and simpler response to some of the same issues the President is addressing.

"Further, in the 108th Congress, I voted for the Dorgan amendment to repeal deferral for a U.S. company that moves a plant overseas or sets up a new plant and ships foreign-made products to the U.S. [Amendment 3110 to the JOBS Act (S. 1637)] And in the 109th Congress, I voted for the Dorgan "runaway plant" amendment to repeal tax subsidies for U.S. companies that move manufacturing operations and American jobs overseas. [Amendment 210 to the Budget Resolution for FY2006 (S. Con. Res. 18)]

"I do not intend to change these principles one bit in the days ahead, and look forward to working with the President to address these issues through comprehensive tax reform.

"Given the high unemployment in Oregon and across the nation, of course I have a responsibility to measure every federal proposal's impact and assess whether it is likely to cost more jobs than it saves. Obviously, we need to ensure that the Tax Code is used to promote investment in creating jobs here at home, instead of simply punishing U.S. companies with overseas operations. Done right, ending tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, combined with encouraging job creation here at home, will be a win-win for American workers and the U.S. economy."