Portman: Fix tax code to keep jobs in the U.S.


U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) went to the Senate floor Tuesday to highlight the urgent need to reform our tax code so that we can keep jobs in the United States. Portman discussed how our broken tax code is forcing businesses overseas and taking jobs with them.

Portman, who serves as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), recently held a PSI hearing exploring the impact of the U.S. corporate tax code on foreign acquisitions of U.S. businesses and the ability of U.S. businesses to expand by acquisition.

Excerpts are below and full remarks can be found here.

“I rise this evening to talk about an issue that’s critical to keeping jobs here in America, keeping investment here in this country and not driving it overseas. We had another reminder just last week of just how broken our tax code is when a huge company, Pfizer pharmaceutical company, decided it could no longer compete in the global market as a U.S. corporation. Instead, it’s seeking a merger with an Irish drug maker called Allergan. They want to move their corporate headquarters to Ireland. It’s just another in a long line of companies that have made this decision because our tax code is broken.

“Unfortunately, these kinds of transactions – inversions – are only the tip of the iceberg…These kinds of transactions are causing our jobs and investments to go overseas.

“This is happening just about every week we hear about another company leaving our shores because of our tax code.

“This town is not doing its work. We aren’t doing what the people elected us to do which is fix problems like this. We are just letting it fester.

“At a combined 39% rate, the United States of America now has the highest business tax rate of any of the industrialized countries. It’s the number one you don’t want to be

“Really importantly, the burden of this falls on American workers. Think about it. One, because these companies in America aren’t as competitive as they should be because of our tax code. According to the studies, wages are lower, benefits are lower, U.S. workers are caught. This is one reason — among others, but one reason — that we’ve got wage stagnation in this country because our tax code is so out of date. Just by fixing the tax code, we could give the economy a shot in the arm and help lift these wages up. Instead, so many workers in my home state of Ohio and around this country are working hard, playing by the rules, doing everything right, and yet their wages are flat.

“There’s something happening. My concern is if we don’t do something about this, we’re going to look back four or five years from now and say, ‘What happened? All these great U.S. companies have gone overseas.’

“If there is any villain in this story…it’s our tax code and it’s Washington.”


Staff report

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