Inversion of the Money Snatchers

  • Aired:  07/30/14
  •  | Views: 188,486

Several U.S. corporations suffer from an identity crisis and move to Europe, taking advantage of a tax loophole in the process. (8:55)

>> Jon: HEY, WELCOME TO "THEDAILY SHOW."

MY NAME IS JON STEWART.

WE HAVE A GOOD SHOW FOR YOUTONIGHT.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, OH, AN OLDFAVORITE, MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL IS

GOING TO BE HERE DISCUSSING HERNEW MINISERIES, "THE HONOURABLE

WOMAN," ABOUT ONE PERSON'SATTEMPT TO BRIDGE THE GAP

BETWEEN -- OH, FOR GOD'S...

ISRAEL AND PALESTINE?

OH, MAN, CAN A BROTHER GATEBATMAN SEQUEL?

I MEAN, FOR GOD'S SAKE.

[LAUGHTER]I JUST, I JUST NEED A DAY OFF.

THAT'S ALL I NEED.

AND THE AUDIENCE WANTS ME TOSOLVE IT. AND THE [MUMBLING]...

WHAT DO YOU, WOULD YOU DO?

I DON'T KNOW. I JUST [BLEEPED]SAID THAT.

I JUST WANTED SOME PIZZA.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

[LAUGHTER]BUT TONIGHT I'D LIKE THE TALK TO

YOU ABOUT CORPORATIONS.

CORPORATIONS, THEY'RE A LOT LIKEUS -- IMMORTAL.

[LAUGHTER]SHIELDED FROM LIABILITY,

ACCOUNTABLE ONLY TOSHAREHOLDERS.

OH, WAIT, THAT'S OPPOSITE OF US.

SORRY.

BUT THERE IS ONE THINGCORPORATIONS DO HAVE IN COMMON

WITH THE REST OF US.

THEY DON'T LIKE PAYING TAXES.

HATE IT.

FORTUNATELY, THEY RARELY HAVETO.

IT'S THE SUBJECT OF TONIGHT'S --OH, THAT'S NOT, NO.

THAT'S... I DON'T. I DON'T... IDID NOT...

I DID NOT APPROVE THIS, AND IFEEL THAT THIS IS DISRESPECTFUL

IN SOME WAYS.

IT'S ABOUT INVESTIGATING...OKAY.

THAT I DON'T... THAT I DON'T.

LET'S GO WITH THE FIRST ONE, ANDTHEN WE'LL JUST... OKAY.

THAT'S FINE.

[LAUGHTER]ANYWAY, THIS SEASON'S HOT NEW

TAX LOOPHOLE FOR CORPORATIONS, AONCE-OBSCURE TAX DODGE KNOWN AS

THE CORPORATE INVERSION, WHICHSOUNDS LIKE THE BUSINESS

EQUIVALENT OF GENDERREASSIGNMENT, AND IT KIND OF IS.

IT'S A LIBERATING PROCEDURE FORCOMPANIES THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED

AMERICAN BUT KNOW IN THEIRHEARTS THEY'RE REALLY IRISH.

>> TAX INVERSIONS, THAT'S WHERECOMPANIES REINCORPORATE OVERSEAS

SIMPLY TO CUT THEIR U.S. TAXBILLS.

>> ACCOMPANIED BY THE FOREIGNSUBSIDIARY AND THEN

THROUGH THE MAGIC OF PAPERWORKPROCLAIMS ITSELF TO BE A FOREIGN

COMPANY AND OWNED BY THESUBSIDIARY.

>> AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY,YOU'RE AN AMERICAN COMPANY.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU'RE ANIRISH COMPANY.

>> Jon: OH SO IT'S LIKE ST.PATRICK'S DAY FOR CORPORATIONS.

[LAUGHTER]EXCEPT INSTEAD OF BEER, THEY

VOMIT PROFIT.

CORPORATE INVERSION IS A WIN-WINFOR EVERYONE.

AND BY "EVERYONE," I MEAN ONLYTHE CORPORATIONS AND THEIR

SHAREHOLDERS.

CONGRESS ESTIMATES THATINVERSIONS WILL COST THE

TREASURY $19.5 BILLION OVER TENYEARS, BUT FORTUNE MAGAZINE

BELIEVES THAT THAT ESTIMATE ISWAY LOW BECAUSE "FORTUNE"

MAGAZINE IS A COMMUNIST RAG.

[LAUGHTER]HOW DO WE STOP INVERSION?

>> PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL SUPPORTANTI-INVERSION LEGISLATION.

THE LEGISLATION WOULD MANDATETHAT COMPANIES MUST BE MORE THAN

50% OWNED BY A FOREIGN ENTITY TOESCAPE U.S. TAXES.

>> Jon: WELL, THAT SOUNDSREASONABLE, AND IF PRESIDENT

OBAMA IS BACKING THAT LAW, IT'SPROBABLY A DONE DEAL.

[LAUGHTER]JUST OUT OF CURIOSITY, THOUGH,

FOR GIGGLES HERE, WHERE DOES THEREPUBLICAN PARTY STAND?

>> WE HAVE THE HIGHEST CORPORATETAX RATE IN THE WORLD.

>> OUR TAX CODE, WHICH IS WHAT'SCAUSING A LOT OF THESE

INVERSIONS...

>> IN A WAY THESE COMPANIES AREECONOMIC REFUGEES.

[LAUGHTER]>> Jon: OH, WELL IF THEY'RE

REFUGEES, WHY DON'T WE JUSTSTICK TO OUR NORMAL POLICY AND

SEND THEM BACK TO WHERE THEYCAME FROM.

OH, WAIT, THAT'S HERE!

[LAUGHTER]BUT OBVIOUSLY BESTOWING REFUGEE

STATUS ON MULTIBILLION DOLLARCORPORATIONS ATTEMPTING TO

MAXIMIZE PROFIT THROUGHGLOBALIZED TAX EVASION IS

ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE.

LET'S MEET ONE OF THESE POORCORPORATE WAIFS,

PENNSYLVANIA'S MYLANPHARMACEUTICAL.

NO, THAT'S AN ACTUAL REFUGEE.ACTUALLY, THAT'S, WELL YOU KNOW

WHAT, LET'S REFUGEE UP THE LOGOA LITTLE BIT AND THEN WE CAN...

OKAY.

GREAT.

THAT'S NICE.

WHERE IS THIS POOR CORPORATIONSEEKING ASYLUM?

>> THIS MONTH MYLAN ANNOUNCEDTHAT IT WOULD INCORPORATE IN THE

NETHERLANDS AS PART OF A TAXINVERSION DEAL.

>> Jon: POOR, GENERIC DRUGCOMPANY.

LIFE WAS SO BAD FOR MYLAN IN THEU.S. THAT IT DECIDED TO GO FROM

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH TO JUST PLAINDUTCH.

[LAUGHTER]WELL, HERE ARE SOME OF THE

TERRIBLE CONDITIONS THAT MYLANFACED IN THEIR HOME COUNTRY.

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INOPPRESSIVE TAX CREDITS FOR

THINGS LIKE ECONOMICOPPORTUNITY, FOR THINGS LIKE

INDUSTRIAL EXPANSION, FOR THINGSLIKE MANUFACTURING INVESTMENT,

FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT,FOR SOMETHING CALLED "STRATEGIC

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT."

WHICH IS APPARENTLY A WHOLE[BLEEPED] DIFFERENT THING THAN

REGULAR RESEARCH ANDDEVELOPMENT.

WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF ROOM.

SUPER CREDITS AGAINST BUSINESSFRANCHISE TAXES, SUPER CREDITS

AGAINST CORPORATE NET TAXES,EVEN A TAX CREDIT FOR

REHABILITATING AN HISTORICBUILDING.

YES, TAXPAYERS GAVE AMULTIBILLION DOLLAR GENERIC

BONER PILL COMPANY MONEY TOARTIFICIALLY PROP UP AN AGING

STRUCTURE LONG PAST THE POINTTHAT NATURE MEANT FOR IT TO

COLLAPSE TO RUBBLE.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]BY THE WAY, IF THAT BUILDING

STANDS FOR MORE THAN FOUR HOURS,YOU MAY WANT TO, YOU MAY WANT TO

CALL YOUR ARCHITECT.

[LAUGHTER]BUT ALONG WITH TAX CREDITS, THE

OPPRESSIVE AMERICAN REGIME ALSOFORCED MYLAN TO ACCEPT $3

BILLION IN SALES FROM JUST THEV.A. SINCE 2009, ALTHOUGH SINCE

IT'S THE V.A., I ASSUME THOSEWERE FOR AILMENTS FROM THE

'90s.

NOW, WE KNOW HOW CONSERVATIVESFEEL ABOUT INDIVIDUALS WHO TAKE

ADVANTAGE OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAMSTHEY'RE LEGALLY ENTITLED TO.

>> REMEMBER THE SURFER DUDE,LIVES ON FOOD STAMPS, USES YOUR

TAX DOLLARS TO EAT LOBSTER.

>> THIS GUY IS A PARASITE.

>> JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN TAKEADVANTAGE OF A SYSTEM DOESN'T

MEAN YOU SHOULD.

AND I WONDER WHERE HIS PARENTSARE.

[LAUGHTER]>> Jon: I BELIEVE IT'S THE

NETHERLANDS.

[LAUGHTER]WELL, ALL RIGHT, IF THAT'S HOW

YOU FEEL ABOUT PEOPLE WHO TAKETOO MUCH ADVANTAGE OF

ENTITLEMENTS, HOW DO YOU FEELABOUT CORPORATIONS WHO ON A MUCH

LARGER SCALE AND THROUGH MORALLYDUBIOUS YET ENTIRELY LEGAL MEANS

[BLEEPED] OVER THE UNITED STATESGOVERNMENT WHILE STILL ENJOYING

ALL THE INFRASTRUCTURE ANDSECURITY BENEFITS SAID

GOVERNMENT PROVIDES?

>> THE COMPANY IS MORECOMPETITIVE WHEN IT PUTS ITS

LEGAL HEADQUARTERS OVERSEAS. >> IT MAKES NO SENSE

FOR THEM TO PAY A HIGHER TAXBILL IF THEY CAN AVOID IT.

>> THEY HAVE A FIDUCIARYOBLIGATION TO THEIR

SHAREHOLDERS.

>> ABBOTT LAB C.E.O. MILES WHITESAYS ESSENTIALLY THIS IS LEGAL.

KUDOS TO HIM FOR STANDING UP ASA C.E.O. AND TAKING A STAND.

YOU DON'T OFTEN SEE THAT.

>> Jon: OH, KUDOS.

YOU SO RARELY SEE FIDUCH-BAGSLIKE THAT DEFENDING

THE POLICIES THAT MAKETHEIR COMPANIES PROFITABLE.

IT'S LIKE SEEING A UNICORN,STUPID UNICORNS, ALWAYS

EATING YOUR GARBAGE ATNIGHT, SCURRYING ALL

OVER THE SUBWAY, SPREADINGDISEASE AND PESTILENCE.

I MEAN, THAT'S... I'M SORRY.

I'M BEING TOLD I'M BEING TOLDI'M THINKING OF RATS.

THAT'S RATS. I ALWAYSCONFUSE RATS WITH UNICORNS.

THAT'S PROBABLY WHY MYDAUGHTER'S BIRTHDAY PARTY WAS

SUCH A DISASTER.

[LAUGHTER]WOW, WOW, LOOK AT MY LEAN BODY.

DRESSED IN MY TRADEMARK JEANS.

WHEN DOES THIS END?

WHEN, I SAY, GETTING BACK TO THEBIT?

WE ARE CONSTANTLY GIVING IN TOEVERY DEMAND AND WHIM OF

CORPORATIONS.

AND YET THEY'RE STILL NOTSATISFIED.

THEY'LL NEVER BE SATISFIED.

MYLAN WAS PAYING AN EFFECTIVETAX RATE IN THE UNITED STATES OF

16.2% IN 2013.

RATHER THAN THE 35% CORPORATETAX RATE THAT THERE IS.

THEY WERE ENJOYING ENORMOUSGOVERNMENT CONTRACTS, THE

BENEFITS OF OUR NIH RESEARCH ANDDEVELOPMENT AND IT'S STILL NOT

ENOUGH.

THEY JUST WANT AND WANT AND WANTWITH NO CONCERN -- WAIT A

MINUTE.

WHEN WAS THE CITIZENS UNITEDDECISION.

THAT WAS 2010, RIGHT?

THAT EXPLAINS IT.

CORPORATIONS HAVE ONLY BEENPEOPLE FOR LIKE FOUR YEARS.

[LAUGHTER]THEY'RE TODDLERS.

AND BY GIVING IN EVERY TIME THEYTHROW A TANTRUM AND THREATEN TO

RUN AWAY FROM HOME, WE'RESPOILING THESE BASTARDS.

IF WE'RE NOT CAREFUL, THESECORPORATIONS WILL GROW UP FERAL

AND TURN INTOSOMETHING EVEN WORSE.

YEAH. IF WE DON'T START TELLINGCORPORATIONS NO, THEY'RE GOING

TO JUST END UP PEEING IN BUCKETSAND TRYING TO SNEAK MONKEYS INTO

GERMANY.

MAYBE IT'S TIME TO TELLCORPORATIONS, IF YOU WANT TO

LIVE UNDER OUR ROOF, YOU PLAY BYOUR RULES, SO, NO, MYLAN, YOU

CAN'T GO TO HOLLAND.

YOU'RE GROUNDED.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE][CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

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