A major business group reiterated Friday that Congress, not just the president, should tackle corporate tax laws.
A significant majority of likely voters, both nationally and in key Senate battleground states, believe that Congress and the president should work together when making changes to tax laws, according to survey results released on Thursday by Fair Reform for Growth, a campaign run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The surveys were conducted nationwide in August, and in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, and North Carolina during September. Respondents were asked whether they would prefer to see unilateral action by the president, legislation passed by Congress, or cooperation between the two branches “if the federal government were to take action to change the tax laws.”
Responses to the state-level surveys were largely consistent with the national survey, in which 15 percent of voters expressed a preference for Congressional legislation, 5 percent supported unilateral action by the president, and 69 percent said the two should cooperate. “Only Congress can change tax rates but there are a slew of other loopholes and issues that should be tackled, and they should be addressed together,” a Fair Reform spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
In a press release, Fair Reform interpreted the results as a rejection of the regulations recently issued by the Treasury Department to curb corporate inversions, in which U.S. companies use mergers to relocate their headquarters to lower-tax countries. (RELATED: Treasury Department Seeks to Discourage Corporate Inversions with New Regulations)
Bruce Josten, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs at the U.S. Chamber, said the results show that voters “want their elected representatives to enact real, comprehensive tax reform,” and “do not want the president working in a vacuum on piecemeal policies.”
In addition to being unpopular, many experts predict that the new anti-inversion regulations will also prove ineffective. (RELATED: Punitive Action and Public Shaming Will Not Stop Corporate Inversions)
In an op-ed for CNBC, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitchell Epner said the regulations are likely to “kill off the deals that were designed to comply with old rules, but new deals will quickly sprout up that are even more resistant to regulation.”
“So long as U.S. corporate tax rates are so much higher than those in competing nations,” Epner elaborated, “there will always be a strong financial incentive for U.S.-based multinationals to figure out a way to move their corporate citizenship overseas.”
Josten seemed to agree with that outlook, saying, “In today’s increasingly competitive global marketplace, political rhetoric and half-measures aren’t enough to make the U.S. tax code internationally competitive.” (RELATED: US Tax Code Causes Businesses to Flee Overseas)
He argued that, “it’s time to reform our uncompetitive tax code… by lowering tax rates and shifting to an internationally competitive system,” because without such reforms, “American companies become sitting ducks for foreign takeovers.”
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