U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, Wednesday compared companies that want to move some operations overseas to lessen their tax burdens to soldiers who abandon their units.
"I'm an old soldier at heart and let me tell you, we have a word for people who abandon their nation, who change their allegiance. and there's nothing worse than a deserter," Duckworth said.
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In recent weeks, Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. had considered moving its headquarters to Europe before deciding to stay put.
Duckworth argued U.S. companies benefit from federal services and should therefore pay federal taxes. She made the comments in a keynote address to more than 1,000 Illinois Democrats at their annual breakfast during the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.
Republicans have their day at the fair Thursday.
Duckworth is running for re-election in the 8th Congressional District against fellow veteran Republican Larry Kaifesh of Carpentersville.
The global drugstore chain's stock value dropped sharply after the company announced its decision to stay in the U.S. as some experts thought the move could save billions.
"I have heard estimates of around $4 billion in potential tax savings over five years from pursuing inversion, but it is difficult to estimate considering the potential risks," Tom Rowen of Bartlett, vice president and senior portfolio manager at Fifth Third Bank in Chicago, told the Daily Herald last week.