While some critics blast Walgreens for considering a plan to move its headquarters overseas to save billions of dollars in U.S. taxes, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it’s America’s tax system that’s “unpatriotic.”
While the Illinois-based drug store chain reportedly will abandon plans to base itself in Switzerland, Grassley says he doesn’t want corporations to leave this country, but he can’t blame them for doing so. “I don’t like companies doing this,” Grassley says. “I like to have them think of the United States coming first, but we have tax laws that make them uncompetitive with international competition. At 35%, our tax rate is the highest of any industrialized nation in the world.”
The average corporate tax rate of all of the other industrialized countries is 20 to 25-percent, Grassley says, which means U-S-based companies have a very hard time competing in the global marketplace. Grassley says, “It ought to be seen as unpatriotic for us to have a tax system at 35% that’s different than any other tax system in rest of the world where we’re shipping jobs overseas and even encouraging our capital (to) go overseas.” A former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Grassley says U.S. corporations are storing one-and-a-half to 2 trillion dollars in offshore accounts, money that could be used for “economic good” in the U.S.
“We ought to have a tax system that encourages companies to locate here and bring capital in and to be internationally competitive,” according to Grassley. Walgreens, the nation’s largest drug store chain, has 69 stores in 35 Iowa cities and more than 8,200 stores nationwide.