George F. Will’s Aug. 17 op-ed column, “In a stew over inversions,” demonstrated economic ignorance and gross hypocrisy. He turned economic principles on their head by declaring corporate inversions to be good for the U.S. economy. When a U.S. corporation assumes the guise of a foreign company to reduce its U.S. taxes, it is using a loophole that should be closed by Congress.
Inversions reduce the ability of the federal government to provide needed services, including the infrastructure on which companies depend. Inversions provide no measurable benefits to the U.S. economy. Mr. Will’s three-part argument that inversions “strengthen the U.S. economy” was absurd. Corporations base their investment decisions on estimates of incremental demand for their products, not on anticipated profit increases. His assertion that inversions will increase American workers’ wages, thanks to an increased “pool of profits,” was based on fantasy, not fact, history or logic. And whether corporate shareholders get “wealthier” depends on whether companies decide to pass on most or all of their higher after-tax profits as higher dividends (at the cost of increased investment).
Making the very rich even richer is not the path to greater U.S. prosperity, at least not until trickle-down economics somehow produces some real trickle-down.
Stephen D. Cohen, Bethesda