WIN America Coalition Seeks to Pad Pockets with “Tax Holiday”

Businesspeople WinAt a moment in U.S. history when the public and members of Congress are searching for new revenue streams that could be invested in ways that help create jobs in this country, a coalition of firms has launched a campaign for a massive tax holiday on overseas corporate profits. The WIN America campaign was formed earlier this year to aggressively lobby for a second tax holiday on repatriated offshore funds.

Last week WIN America succeeded in getting members of the Senate to introduce a bill that would grant a tax holiday on offshore profits.

In 2004, Congress gave them a tax holiday that allowed 843 companies to reduce their tax rate from 35 percent to 5.25 percent on $312 billion in offshore profits.

What did Americans get in return? Last week, our organization, the progressive Institute for Policy Studies, released a report showing that 58 companies that received 70 percent of the tax windfalls didn’t boost employment. In fact, they actually destroyed a total of nearly 600,000 jobs.

WIN America has invested $50 million in lobbying Congress for hundreds of billions of dollars of tax breaks that would flow from a tax holiday. They have hired 42 former congressional staffers who worked for the House Ways and Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee, the two legislative bodies that write the nation’s tax rules. WIN America is made up of 18 publicly traded corporations and 24 trade associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Fifteen of the eighteen corporations leading the charge for a massive tax holiday on offshore funds under the moniker “WIN America” repatriated a total of $55 billion after the 2004 tax holiday. Among WIN America’s supporters, only one, Brocade Communications, has not announced job cuts since then. One additional firm, Devon Energy, had only minimal layoffs related to an office closing.

The supposedly “one-time” tax holiday in 2004 didn’t curb these corporations from continuing to squirrel profits away in overseas tax havens. The offshoring of capital has soared at the 18 WIN America corporations. Collectively they had $54 billion in offshore funds following the 2004 repatriation; today they have $205 billion, a whopping 279 percent increase.

Collectively these 18 corporations stand to save an estimated $61 billion if they pay a tax rate of 5.25 percent, rather than the 35 percent they would otherwise owe.

WIN America Coalition Member Companies

WIN America member, ranked by change in global employment

Amount repatriated, 2004-2005 ($millions)

Offshore funds, 2010 ($millions)

Change in global employment, 2004-2010 (from 10-K)

Change in U.S. workforce, 2004-2010

Announced layoffs, 2004-2011

Pfizer

40,100

48,200

-51,826

n/a

58,071

Eastman Kodak

580

2,398

-36,000

-19,600

19,600

Duke Energy

500

1,200

-10,335

n/a

expected

Brown-Forman

277

390

-2,200

n/a

250

CA Technologies

584

685

-1,900

-800

1,000

Cadence

500

133

-300

n/a

225

Loews

0

598

-200

n/a

449

Devon Energy

545

4,300

925

n/a

50

Brocade

78

338

3,491

n/a

0

Broadcom

0

1,711

5,577

n/a

200

Adobe

500

1,900

5,975

n/a

1,280

Qualcomm

500

10,600

8,200

n/a

some

Google

0

17,500

21,379

n/a

300

Cisco Systems

1,200

36,700

25,760

26,300

6,500

EMC

3,000

5,100

25,800

n/a

2,400

Microsoft

780

44,800

29,000

15,000

5,800

Oracle

5,100

16,100

29,128

-6,544

6,500

Apple

755

12,300

31,800

n/a

1,600

Total

54,999

204,953

84,274

104,225