It doesn’t take a PhD in economics to come up with practical solutions to jumpstart our economy and create jobs. But it does take guts – and real-world vision – to implement change that makes a difference.
One simple solution would be a tax break on overseas profits. As we have reported in BioWorld Today, the Freedom to Invest Act, H.R. 1834, would do just that. The bill, introduced in May, allows the repatriation of more than $1 trillion in overseas earnings at a 5.25 percent tax rate.
But the Joint Committee on Taxation pooh-poohed the idea, saying it could cost the government $79 billion in lost tax revenue over 10 years.
News flash: Most of those earnings aren’t coming home under the current 35 percent tax structure. Instead of looking at what it could theoretically lose – and leaving that money to be invested in other countries – the U.S. should consider what it stands to gain.
What if we attached a string to that 5.25 percent tax break and made it long-term? Let’s give companies the break for investing overseas earnings in U.S.-based R&D, jobs, facility expansion and capital improvements. Even if the offer repatriated only half of the earnings, we would have a $500 billion injection into the economy along with $26.25 billion in new, upfront tax revenue. Then there’s the increased taxes from the jobs created and the technology benefits that could result from the R&D.
This would be a stimulus package we could thrive on.