Right-wing media have distorted recent comments by Vice President Joe Biden by falsely claiming that he called for a "global tax." In fact, while advocating for a reduction in the corporate tax rate, Biden was referring to an Obama administration proposal to ensure that American companies pay a "minimum tax on their overseas profits" to combat offshoring -- not any kind of a new international tax.
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Right-Wing Media Falsely Claim Biden Called For "Global Tax"
Drudge Report: "Biden Calls For 'Global Tax.' " On March 30, Drudge Report linked to a RealClearPolitics video of Biden's comments at a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa, with the following headline and image:
[Drudge Report Archives, 3/30/12]
Fox Nation: "Biden Calls For 'Global Tax.' " In a March 30 post, Fox Nation posted video of Biden's comments and linked to the RealClearPolitics post with the same headline:
[Fox Nation, 3/30/12]
Hannity: "You Know, All Those Nuts That Thought One-World Government Is Coming, Maybe They Weren't So Wrong. Biden Calling For A Global Tax." On the March 30 edition of his radio show, Sean Hannity said:
HANNITY: You know, I thought I saw everything. I'm looking at the headline on the Drudge Report about Joe Biden. "We want to create what's called a global minimum tax, because American taxpayers shouldn't be providing a larger subsidy for investing abroad than investing at home."
Wow, global minimum tax. You know, all those nuts that thought one-world government is coming, maybe they weren't so wrong. Biden calling for a global tax. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 3/30/12]
But Biden Was Referring To The U.S. Taxing Corporate Profits Abroad -- Not Creating A New International Tax
Biden: "We Want To End ... The Practice Of Getting A Tax Break" For "Dismantling A Factory, Floor To Ceiling, And Shipping It Abroad." In his remarks in Davenport, Biden said:
For years, American manufacturers have faced one of the highest tax rates in the world. We want to reduce that by over 20 percent. We want to drop the rate particularly for high-tech manufacturers like you, Mr. President, even further than the 20 percent.
We want to create what's called a global minimum tax, because American taxpayers shouldn't be providing a larger subsidy for investing abroad than investing at home.
Look, we want to end -- and we want to end it right now -- the practice of getting a tax break, which you saw happen here in Iowa, for dismantling a factory, floor to ceiling, and shipping it abroad and getting a moving expense to go abroad. Instead, we should be giving a tax credit to companies that dismantle factories abroad and bring them back home. [Politico.com, accessed 3/30/12]
The Hill: "Biden Was Likely Just Referring To The International Minimum Tax That The White House Has Suggested Before." The article in The Hill noted:
Biden was likely just referring to the international minimum tax that the White House has suggested before, under which the American government would impose a domestic tax on American companies that were shipping jobs -- or profits -- overseas to avoid paying taxes.
"The President is proposing to eliminate tax incentives to ship jobs offshore by ensuring that all American companies pay a minimum tax on their overseas profits, preventing other countries from attracting American business through unusually low tax rates. The savings would be invested in cutting taxes here at home, especially for manufacturing," the White House said in a January fact sheet on the president's manufacturing proposals. [The Hill, 3/30/12]
White House: Obama Proposed "Making Companies Pay A Minimum Tax For Profits And Jobs Overseas And Investing The Savings In Cutting Taxes Here At Home." A White House fact sheet titled, "President Obama's Blueprint to Support U.S. Manufacturing Jobs, Discourage Outsourcing, and Encourage Insourcing," described a proposal for a "minimum tax for profits and jobs overseas" on corporations that outsource. From the fact sheet:
At the same time as the President is calling for immediate enactment of this plan, he is also pushing forward on a framework for corporate tax reform that would encourage even greater investment in the United States, while eliminating tax advantages for outsourcing. This framework will include:
- Making companies pay a minimum tax for profits and jobs overseas and investing the savings in cutting taxes here at home, especially for manufacturing: The President is proposing to eliminate tax incentives to ship jobs offshore by ensuring that all American companies pay a minimum tax on their overseas profits, preventing other countries from attracting American business through unusually low tax rates. The savings would be invested in cutting taxes here at home, especially for manufacturing. [WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 3/30/12, emphasis original]