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posted: 7/27/2014 12:01 AM

Businesses' merger threats are ludicrous

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Businesses' merger threats are ludicrous

This is in response to the article, "Taxes fueling exodus?"

American corporations, which as a result of decisions by activist, right-wing Supreme Court justices, have been granted rights that the Founding Fathers intended to protect individuals not companies, are now emboldened to blackmail the taxpayer by threatening to engage in a scheme to merge with overseas companies in order to evade U.S. taxes.

This action is outrageous. U.S. corporations have been willing to enjoy taxpayer-provided benefits such as the use of infrastructure, education, patent protection, research and development funding, military protection, and so forth, yet are unwilling to assume their fair share of the cost.

Corporations will whine that they cannot be competitive under the current tax structure. This is balderdash. Take Walgreens as an example. CEO Gregory Wasson was awarded $13.7 million in compensation in 2013. Walgreens' profits in 2013 were $695 million. The company's revenue that year increased by 6 percent to $18.3 billion. Thus, Walgreens does not seem to be in any danger of failing as a company, and Mr. Wasson is earning an obscene amount of money. Even more galling is that 65 percent of Walgreens' earnings come from prescriptions, again, many paid for by the taxpayer via Medicare or Medicaid.

So, if Mr. Wassen wants to engage in machinations such as "inversion" to avoid federal taxes, he and Walgreens are ungrateful and un-American and should be penalized.

Taxes are the price of citizenship. We all need to contribute our fair share. It's time to "man up," Mr. Wasson, lose the entitlement mentality, and be a contributor, not just a taker. You as a very wealthy person and Walgreens as rich corporation, can afford to do the right thing and pay for all the generous benefits you and Walgreens have received courtesy of the taxpayers.

Kim Freitag


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