Microsoft: Obama tax plan will make us take jobs overseas

Posted on June 4, 2009



Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer warned today that should Congress enact President Obama’s tax proposals regarding a company’s foreign profits, his company would move some employees offshore to reduce costs. Ballmer said such a move would make American jobs “more expensive,” which is exactly the wrong kind of attitude we need to be fostering right now. He’s joined in the pushback by other CEOs of tech companies, including Symantec head John Thompson, who said tech companies were tired of being called tax cheats and called the proposal “counter-intuitive,” noting that most other countries were lowering corporate tax rates in an effort to foster innovation. The US Chamber of Commerce and the National Foreign Trade Council have also denounced the tax proposal.

This is the inherent danger when you look at the wealthy and at corporations as a kind of natural renewable resource that government can harvest for its unending budgetary needs. While you might initially and fleetingly enrich the Treasury by a small amount, you end up driving away business and negatively affecting the spending and investing habits of those with the means to drive employment and innovation. When Microsoft, Symantec, and others are decrying the proposed tax hike, it’s too easy to just call them greedy corporations who are finally getting what they deserve, especially when Ballmer supported Obama’s campaign. As employers of thousands and key players in the American tech sector, their opinions must be seriously considered.

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