Yes, folks, just like we have legal bribery in this country–special interest groups piling thousands, millions, even billions into candidates’ and lobbyists’ coffers–we also have legal tax evasion. When you and I do it, it leads to fines and jail time. When corporations do it, it’s called inversion. Though tax dodging is unethical, it’s perfectly legal in the United States if all the right loopholes are leapt through.
I’ve pasted an email below from the Bernie Sanders’ campaign. If you’re so moved, please sign the petition.
I want to tell you about something that encapsulates so much of what is wrong with our economy, our government, and our corrupt political system. Then I’m going to ask for your help to stop it.
Pfizer is a giant pharmaceutical company based in New York City that has a history of overcharging Americans for prescription drugs. It’s in the process of trying to merge with another company located in Ireland.
If the merger is successful, Pfizer would technically become a foreign company, meaning it could dodge around $35 BILLION in corporate taxes here in America.
Enough is enough. Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies cannot be allowed to evade taxes and rip off American patients who already pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.
I sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew asking him to prevent Pfizer from taking many of the steps it wants in order to avoid paying taxes in America. Can you add your name to say you want Pfizer to pay the taxes it owes?
What Pfizer is trying to do is known as a “corporate inversion.” In this case, Pfizer, an American company, is merging with a company based abroad. The result of the merger is a company with an address in another country – even though the majority of shareholders are still based in America.
Pfizer apparently doesn’t want to pay the $35 billion in taxes it would owe in America. I don’t think that’s right.
No matter what, you can bet that Pfizer would continue to overcharge Americans for prescription drugs, too. Since 2014, the pharmaceutical company has hiked the prices of seven of its top selling drugs by an average of 39 percent.
Pfizer also charges 12 times as much in the U.S. under Medicare for these drugs as it charges in Ireland, where it’s claiming a new address for tax purposes.
All of this is the result of years of weakened tax laws, an abdication of responsibility by American companies to their country, and a corrupt political system that allows it to happen.
And I believe we can stop it.
Thank you for your support.