Corporations are people, my friend, and taxation without representation is the cry of the people. That is why the Supreme Court of the United States finally granted the corporate person the right to spend unlimited funds in time for the 2012 Presidential election. The corporate person will never again go un-represented. Indeed, it’s safe to say that it will never be under-represented either. Prior to the decision, corporate spending was limited in both how much and how soon before election day they could spend. This prevented corporations from making their case through, for example, massive and misleading last minute political ad campaigns.
Of course corporations are people and everything corporations earn eventually goes to the people, the keyword here being eventually. You see, corporate earnings are hard earned. These dollars, pounds and euros often need to take a rest in warm climes, such as in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands before they are asked to re-enter the economy in the pocketbooks of non-corporate people. Let’s face it, would you rather spend the winter in the Cayman Islands or Ohio? I mean, with income, Medicare and Social Security, being money in the pocket of an Ohio factory worker is taxing!
So, how much money is resting in island nations or even doing some skiing in Switzerland? Liberal estimates are $32 trillion. Since liberal estimates are naturally suspect, let’s go with the conservative estimates of only $21 trillion, or the size of the U.S. and Japanese economies combined. But I digress, since those are the private dollars of wealthy individuals, we need not be concerned.
What should concern us is this, regardless of the pleasant climate, one kind of corporate person is nevertheless forced to live, sometimes hundreds of them, at the same address — the lowly business entity. If you were thinking of the invisible creature that sticks it to Barbara Hershey in the movie of the same name, think again. The business entity is virtual corporation that exists in name only and sticks it to the tax man because the tax man can’t seem him!
Does it really matter who or what is behind a business entity? After all, Mitt Romney was the sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president of the “business entity” Bain Capital even though he had retired from it retroactively along with a $40 million dollar retirement fund. Clearly, business entities are able to animate themselves. We have nothing to fear from them. Instead, we should welcome them and offer them our lowest tax rate in the hope they will leave their crowded island homes and lend their voices to the robust electoral debate with all the rights and privileges enjoyed by all citizens.
$21 trillion hidden in secret tax havens:
Investigating Mitt Romney’s Offshore Accounts:
Corporations are People, my friend: