San Francisco Chronicle
by: Bruce Mirken

CEOs of wealthy Silicon Valley companies and other hugely profitable businesses that have avoided billions in federal taxes by hiding profits in offshore tax havens now want us to reward this tax evasion by cutting their tax rate by more than 85 percent (“Lower the tax on foreign earnings,” Open Forum, Dec. 22).

Really? Is this some sort of sick joke?

As we showed in our July report, “Corporate America Untaxed,” not only has use of offshore havens like the Cayman Islands increased since the Government Accountability Office looked at the issue in 2008, huge corporations use such dodges to avoid between $60 billion and $100 billion in taxes per year.

While average Americans pay more than 20 percent of their income in federal taxes, we found that IBM pays 3.8 percent and DuPont and General Electric pay virtually nothing, just to pick a few examples. Rather than rewarding tax evasion, Congress should pass legislation introduced earlier this year to shut down these offshore tax havens and make wealthy, U.S.-based companies pay their fair share. To even consider cutting Medicare, Medicaid and other programs that aid the elderly and vulnerable before making corporate America pay its share is simply unconscionable.

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