Overseas Cash Hordes

The [Financial Times] reports that just “five US companies are hoarding nearly half a trillion dollars as the country’s tax code and a tepid global economy deter businesses from spending their overseas cash piles. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Pfizer, and Cisco are sitting on $439bn of cash—accounting for more than a quarter of the total $1.73tn being held by US groups, according to Moody’s Investor Services.”

How to get this money back into the United States? Let’s see: lower the tax rate on foreign money being repatriated? Currently, we tax those funds at existing domestic tax rates; moving to a more territorial system where we tax only domestically earned income would lower the total rate some, giving some encouragement to repatriation of those overseas caches.

But wait. Who is best qualified to put that money to use? How about getting rid of the corporate tax structure altogether? Corporate customers pay the bulk of those taxes anyway in the form of higher prices. Then, with the vast bulk of those half-trillion dollars coming back and staying in the private economy because government isn’t taking a chunk as taxes leaves the money in the hands of the best decision makers: the companies earning the money, and the employees earning their cut with their labor.

Now there’s a half-trillion dollar shot in the economic arm for the US.

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