What does this mean, exactly? Well, when an American company changes its “nationality” in order to dodge paying American corporate taxes, effectively increasing its profit margin, that’s called inversion. And American companies have been doing it for decades, as well as hiding their money overseas. Walgreens just announced that its nationality will remain American.
The announcement came as a huge win for tax fairness advocacy groups as a collective of advocates under the name American for Tax Fairness. The collective pleaded for Walgreens not to invert itself to become a Swiss company, which would lower the amount of corporate taxes it would be required to pay.
Campaign for America’s Future, who also joined the movement, reported that 300,000 people signed a strongly-worded letter written to Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson. The gist of the letter was quite simple: leave the US, lose our business. Wasson is reportedly one greedy and stupid CEO.
Despite Walgreens deciding against inversion, there are still scores of American companies that increase their profit margin by using tax loopholes to get out of paying billions of their fair share to the American government. This greed effectively shifts the tax burden downward onto the lower-class and shrinking middle-class.
In 2012, 80 corporations moved billions in money and assets overseas, totaling the amount of money that American companies store overseas to about $1.5 trillion. Engaging in this mode of legal theft has proven to be a detriment to American taxpayers and the economy.
According to the CAF, Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are urging the president to pass the Stop Corporate Inversions Act. They also sent Obama a letter encouraging executive authority to stifle corporate privilege.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.