While I understand that it’s absolutely fascinating to watch Joe Biden campaign on the unique message Let’s have a trillion dollar tax hike!
BIDEN: “On top of the trillions of dollars of spending that we have already cut, we’re gonna ask – yes – we’re gonna ask the wealthy to pay more. My heart breaks, come on man. You know the phrase they always use? Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars. Guess what? Yes we do in one regard. We want to let that trillion dollar tax cut expire so the middle class doesn’t have to bear the burden of all that money going to the super wealthy. That’s not a tax raise, that’s called fairness where I come from.”
…there’s another piece of this puzzle that is, well, puzzling. It’s Biden’s comment at the end:
That’s not a tax raise! That’s called fairness, where I come from!
Mister Vice President, where you “come from” is Delaware. Delaware. You know? America’s corporate tax haven?
Delaware’s tax laws are a bonanza for the state. At a time when many states are being squeezed by a difficult economy, Delaware collected roughly $860 million in taxes and fees from its absentee corporate residents in 2011. That money accounted for a quarter of the state’s total budget.
Delaware today regularly tops lists of domestic and foreign tax havens because it allows companies to lower their taxes in another state — for instance, the state in which they actually do business or have their headquarters — by shifting royalties and similar revenues to holding companies in Delaware, where they are not taxed. In tax circles, the arrangement is known as “the Delaware loophole.” Over the last decade, the Delaware loophole has enabled corporations to reduce the taxes paid to other states by an estimated $9.5 billion.
So… is it “fair” for a state to act as a legal tax haven where corporations can effectively pay a fee to lower their tax obligations? I mean, I’m fine with the notion – but apparently Joe Biden has decided to go Full Metal Progressive, here, which clashes horribly with the idea that Biden derives his ethical/moral crossroads from one of the most deregulated and wide-open business climates in the country. Or, is this a sign of a change in policy? Will the White House be going into Delaware with fire, sword, and slide rule to break the backs of its corporate-enabling overlords, once and for all?
Or is Joe Biden just this guy who doesn’t know what he’s saying? Ever?
Moe Lane (crosspost)