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2015-09-15    来源:新东方    【      托福雅思口语高分过

Corporate tax in America
How to stop the inversion perversion

Restricting companies from moving abroad is nosubstitute for corporate-tax reform
ECONOMIC refugees have traditionally lined up to getinto America. Lately, they have been lining up to leave. In the past few months, half a dozenbiggish companies have announced plans to merge with foreign partners and in the processmove their corporate homes abroad. The motive is simple: corporate taxes are lower inIreland, Britain and, for that matter, almost everywhere else than they are in America.

经济难民历来都是排着队进美国的。然而 最近他们却开始排队离开。在过去的几个月里,许多较大的公司已经宣布计划与外国合作伙伴合并,并在这个过程中把他们的企业转移到国外。它们的动机很简单:从企业税的角度考虑,不管是爱尔兰、英国还是机会其他的任何国家都比美国的要低。

In Washington, DC, policymakers have reacted with indignation. Jack Lew, the treasurysecretary, has questioned the companies'patriotism and called on Congress to outlaw suchtransactions. His fellow Democrats are eager to oblige, and some Republicans are willing tolisten.

The proposals are misguided. Tightening the rules on corporate “inversions”, as these movesare called, does nothing to deal with the reason why so many firms want to leave: America hasthe rich world's most dysfunctional corporate-tax system. It needs fundamental reform,not new complications.

America's corporate tax has two horrible flaws. The first is the tax rate, which at 35% is thehighest among the 34 mostly rich-country members of the OECD. Yet it raises less revenuethan the OECD average thanks to myriad loopholes and tax breaks aimed at everything frommachinery investment to NASCAR race tracks. Last year these breaks cost $150 billion inforgone revenue, more than half of what America collected in total corporate taxes.
美国的企业税有两个可怕的漏洞。首先是税率,35%的税率是经合组织34个最富裕成员国中最高的。然而,它的收益却比经合组织的平均水平要低,这是由无数准备投入到 NASCAR赛道机械投资带来的漏洞和税收减免造成的。在去年损失的收入中,减免的税收就占了1500亿美元,超过美国征得的公司税总额的一半。

The second flaw is that America levies tax on a company's income no matter where in the worldit is earned. In contrast, every other large rich country taxes only income earned within itsborders. Here, too, America's system is absurdly ineffective at collecting money. Firms do nothave to pay tax on foreign profits until they bring them back home. Not surprisingly, many donot: American multinationals have some $2 trillion sitting on their foreign units'balance-sheets,and growing.

All this imposes big costs on the economy. The high rate discourages investment and loopholesdistort it, because decisions are driven by tax considerations rather than a project's economicmerits. The tax rate companies actually pay varies wildly, depending on their type of businessand the creativity of their lawyers: some pay close to zero, others the full 35%.

Twenty years ago inversions were rare. But as other countries chopped their rates andAmerica's stayed the same, the incentive to flee grew. Until a decade ago Bermuda and othertax havens were the destination of choice, until Congress banned inversions where less than20% of the company changed hands. Democrats have proposed expanding that prohibitionto any transaction where less than 50% of the company changes hands—so an Americancompany that bought a smaller foreign firm could not reincorporate abroad if its originalshareholders remained in charge. Such a ban would be at best a temporary palliative. AnAmerican company paying higher taxes than its foreign competitors has a powerful incentive tofind a way around the rules. Consultants are already coming up with dodges in case thisproposal becomes law.

Home, sweeter home

The real solution is to lower the corporate rate, eliminate tax breaks and move America froma worldwide system to a territorial one. Barack Obama has proposed a reform that cuts therate to 28% but keeps the worldwide reach. Dave Camp, a Republican congressman, hasplumped for 25%, the OECD average, and a shift to a territorial system, instead.

It should be possible to bridge the differences. But both sides have tied the subject to otherissues. Mr Obama insists that corporate-tax reform must also raise more money to spend onthings like public infrastructure, which the Republicans oppose; they, in turn, want to packageit with cuts in personal tax rates, which Mr Obama is loth to accept. Thus, nothing happens.
它应该可以弥补差异。但是双方都将这一主题牵涉到其它问题上。奥巴马坚持认为,企业税改革也必须筹集更多的钱用在类的东西的公共基础设施,其中共和党人反对; 反过来,他们,想把它用在个人所得税税率削减包,奥巴马却很不情愿接受。因此,没有取得进展。

The two sides should drop their conditions and hammer out a stand-alone corporate-taxreform that reduces the rate and broadens the base. Until then, expect the line-up ofcorporate migrants to grow.

1.get into 进入;卷入
例句:I want you to get into a whole new state ofmind.
2.plan to 打算;计划
例句:Both chambers plan to vote on that policybefore January 15th.
3.call on 拜访;号召;访问;呼吁
例句:Why should they get first call on the best property?
4.deal with 处理;对付;应付
例句:Overcrowding has taxed the city's ability to deal with waste.

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