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Opinion

Dick Durbin to Walgreens: You didn't build that

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Taxes,Dick Durbin,Walgreens

Walgreens purchased a European-based drugstore chain. The U.S. has really high corporate taxes. As this new joint company decides where to base itself, the U.S.'s high corporate tax rates may play a role. This has Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin very upset, Lynn Sweet reports.

Durbin's argument is interesting:

On the other hand, much of Walgreens financial success was built on programs and infrastructure provided by the U.S. government and paid for by U.S. taxpayers. The future success of Walgreens will continue to depend on U.S. taxpayers and government-funded programs, yet Walgreens will be using a clever tax dodge to avoid paying $4 billion in US taxes. ...

Nearly 25 percent of Walgreens profits were from U.S.-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs. Walgreens uses taxpayer-supported transportation infrastructure to stock its stores and deliver its products. Your company benefits from our country’s investment climate and educated workforce, and you and your fellow executives have benefited from tax breaks on compensation packages. If you and Walgreens’ board of directors decide to invert to avoid U.S taxes, you will be turning your backs on the very people that have allowed Walgreen’s to thrive and prosper....

Remember this, CEOs tempted to lobby government for subsidies and special favors: Politicians will use these favors as an argument for restricting your freedom.

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