Thursday, June 06, 2013

U.S. industry lobbyists dominate tax reform; imbalance greatest on tax havens

A report from Public Citizen in Washington, D.C.
"Legislation in Congress that would address tax loopholes, raise revenue, increase the fairness of the tax code and provide stability to the financial system are subject to lobbying efforts that are overwhelmingly lopsided in favor of industry interests."
The report finds that 86 percent of those who have worked on these bills in the past two Congresses represent industry clients. But from our perspective, what's particularly interesting:
"The lopsided nature of the fight is most obvious in the debate over the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which would close or seek to deter the use of corporate tax loopholes, particularly offshore tax havens. On this bill, industry lobbyists outnumber reform lobbyists by a nearly 20-1 ratio."
No particular surprises there: but it does highlight how much effort is being put into protecting tax havens and their abuses, and how limited the fightback still is by representatives of wider society. The fightback against tax havens, already well established in the U.S., clearly has some way to go.
“The figures in this report show the overwhelming advantage corporations enjoy over the interests of ordinary Americans, and how they use their resources to keep from paying their fair share,” said Adam Crowther, researcher for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division and author of the report.
The full report is here.


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