Pfizer to shelter its massive profits from U.S. taxes by “merging” with an Irish company on Irish soil
In November 2015, Pfizer, Inc. announced a $160 billion dollar deal with Ireland’s Allergan, the maker of Botox. That’s a lot of money on its way out of the U.S. economy. Along with it go billions of dollars in tax revenues. While a furor has been growing in America about the deal, the injection of capital and tax revenues is sure making the Irish economy look good!
You may have seen the informational-style commercial purchased by a conservative group of billionaire CEOs calling itself the “Job Creators Network,” “explaining” how tax inversions work. It’s cynical, corporate propaganda of the worst kind – purposely misleading and drawing false comparisons.
The main schism with reality in the ad (on heavy rotation on YouTube) is its comparison of corporate foreign tax havens to a person who lives in one town but commutes to another. It asks you to pretend both locales were taxing you (“You’d probably move to the city with the lower tax rate…”). What they glaringly leave out is that the commuter has no choice in where the company he works for is located. Pfizer isn’t obligated to “commute” to Ireland in order to run its business!
In fact, these “mergers” don’t bring about any significant manufacturing or research advantages. They merely exploit a tax loophole in the U.S. code and increase their investments in the foreign country, while reducing their presence here. The president of the United States and many members of congress have called tax inversions “unpatriotic.”
Pfizer and the other companies are indeed abandoning America, because they have reaped – and continue to reap – the benefits of having operations in the U.S. – infrastructure, relative political stability, human resources, and on and on. Now, they take the profits elsewhere to avoid paying their fair share domestically. No cheap, sneaky YouTube cartoon can change the disloyal and anti-American elements of the tax inversion practice.
So, if it’s not a CEO getting arrested on the streets of Manhattan, or widespread price-gouging on lifesaving medications, it’s yet another pharma company taking the low road straight out of the nation which helped build it. More and more, Big Pharma is presenting as a dirty, greedy business. It is rife with profit-only-motivated people. As I explore in my upcoming novel, DEADLY PRESCRIPTION, put these people in the proximity of $3 trillion in annual profits, and it’s a formula for shady deals, crime, and even murder.
After the dismal 2015 in the PR department, one can understand why Big Pharma wants to flim-flam the public about its all-out initiatives on keeping their profits in overseas tax shelters. More effective than the shady advertising campaigns, though, would be to show some real loyalty and keep their headquarters in the land that helped get them to the positions of profitability which they enjoy today.
My novel, DEADLY PRESCRIPTION, a harrowing tale of Big Pharma greed, deceit, and crime arrives mid-2016.