Corporate America’s Pile Of Cash

Paul Krugman on the idea of a "Tax Holiday" during which corporations can repatriate the cash piling up inside their overseas tax-dodging havens.

So, what’s wrong with this, aside from the fact that any short-term gain in revenue will be much more than offset by future losses? (Think about the encouragement you’re giving to tax avoiders, who can figure that they too will get a free pass one of these days).

The answer is, it would do absolutely nothing — zip, zero — for job creation.

But, say the advocates, it would put cash in the hands of businesses, which would then invest that cash, right?

Um, aren’t people reading the financial news?

Major corporations — and this is what we’re talking about — are awash in cash, which they aren’t investing in new plant and equipment because they don’t see enough consumer demand to justify expanding capacity. Instead, they’re paying down debt, buying back their own stock, and in general using cash for just about everything except job creation.

So why would you suppose that letting these major corporations slip hundreds of billions of cash past the tax collectors would change anything? The pile of cash they aren’t using would just get bigger.

The Republicans would like you to believe that we're living under the "most anti-business president ever," but the truth is we're actually living under the "most anti-american regime of business ever."

Corporate America is sitting on massive amounts of cash, and they aren't hiring because, as far as they are concerned, there's no reason to. And it's true that consumer demand is currently depressed because of high unemployment and record-low tax revenue which is leading to budget-cuts at the state and federal level, but Corporate America is still raking in record profits by squeezing more productivity out of a desperate workforce who is simply happy to have a job.

The government is the only force with the power to create enough demand to break Corporate America's stranglehold on the economy, but as long as the Republicans have the power to block any and all legislation which may do so, we will be stuck in the nonsensical and self-serving cycle of austerity.

Removing the Republicans from the House of Representatives in 2012 has to be a priority.

  • OsborneInk

    “Removing the Republicans from the House of Representatives in 2012 has to be a priority.”

    It should’ve been a priority following the inauguration, but everyone sort of took a three-year lunch break to complain that Obama wasn’t doing it for them.

  • Robert Scalzi

    Great piece JM,
    the amount of malfeasance by the (R’s) and their corporate masters (and the idiot bad dog dems like Heath “Misogynist dino” Schuler and his allies) is mind boggling, and even more mind boggling is that anyone w/ half a brain can be taken in by their rhetoric !! Their record of failed economic hogwash is over a generation long and somehow even when presented w/ this info some idjits still won’t believe it, continue to vote against their own personal and economic well being due to their hatred of gays, and their belief that their misogynistic dogma is saving babies …..

    these businesses and the Teafucking Republican’ts (and Bad Dog dems) need to be Called out at every turn , thanks for all the good work BC and JMA !!!

    • JackDaniel07

      agreed – those last 4 paragraphs are gold and are now cut and pasted into my textdoc ammobelt for the upcoming war

  • Grant Beaudette

    I’ve actually been thinking about this issue all day. All that money needs to get flowing one way or another. Even the serious threat of a windfall tax could help get things moving. Sadly even that is out of Congress’ reach.

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