Corporate profits

Two-thirds of corporate profits are now held in tax havens – Mother Jones

The Republican tax bill has many, many weird provisions that I am only just discovering now. For example, did you know that it prohibits tax-free obligations for the construction of sports stadiums? I like this one, actually, although I’m not quite sure it’s rationale.

But whatever the reason, they’re little potatoes. How much money is Uncle Sam losing to tax-free stadium bonds? Or tax-free “employee awards”? Or do teachers write off the cost of supplies? Virtually nothing. But I can name one thing that costs the treasury a ton of money: corporate profits held in offshore tax havens. This is from Gabriel Zucman, our headline expert on such things:

I took the liberty of making Zucman’s chart more colorful in the hope that it will eventually attract a mate. The mid-1980s amount. That would be a great loophole to fill in addition to a drop in the corporate tax rate. You know, broadening the base and all that.

But of course, the Republican tax bill does nothing of the sort. In fact, the GOP would like to offer a nice tax holiday that allows businesses to repatriate all that money at a 10% tax rate. Normally they hate amnesties, but for some reason they love this one. I wonder why?

Sorry. This joke will become clearer later today. Or maybe tomorrow.