Rush Limbaugh comes to Ireland’s rescue
Conservative political pundit leads charge against Obama's tax plan
Ireland’s latest ally in the Obama overseas tax plan controversy is an unlikely candidate: Rush Limbaugh.
The ultra-conservative American political commentator is the latest public figure leading the charge against President Obama’s plan to close corporate tax loopholes on U.S. multinational corporations and crack down on overseas tax havens. The move would have serious, detrimental implications for the Irish economy, which is heavily dependent on the multinationals.
Ireland’s newest, albeit unusual, ally said on his radio show Wednesday: “You need to understand how Obama looks at businesses and individuals in this country. They exist to fund the government and any opportunity that anybody takes, even within the law, to limit their tax liability, he's going to find 'em and he's gonna change it. He refers to offshore tax havens and loopholes.”
There’s no question that Ireland is considered to be one of these tax havens; the country was one of three specifically mentioned upfront in the U.S. Treasury Department’s press announcement that accompanied Obama’s statement of his crackdown on tax loopholes. However, by Tuesday evening, the White House dropped any reference to Ireland from the announcement.
“These are not havens and loopholes,” said Limbaugh. “They are laws. There's a reason that some companies do business overseas. Labor is cheaper, their market is over there, or what have you.
"Here's what you have to understand…and it's delivered, by the way, in the kind of language that's designed to please the little guy. These people, these companies are cheating America. They're avoiding their taxes.
"The United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the civilized, westernized, industrialized world. It is standard operating procedure that when there are tax laws that you can take advantage of that you take advantage of them.”
U.S companies have taken advantage of Ireland’s low corporation tax – at 12.5 percent – and invested heavily in Ireland, making the country one of the top locations for U.S investment in Europe.
At present, U.S companies can avoid paying taxes on profits earned abroad if they put those profits back into their overseas subsidiaries.
Obama's new tax plan is expected to raise $100 billion in revenue over 10 years.
Limbaugh defends the “little guy,” claiming the everyday, hard working Americans are the ones who will be hurt by Obama’s plan.
The controversial political pundit said: “All this is a massive tax increase and the supposed beneficiaries of all this, employees, the little guy employees, they are the ones that are going to get hurt. Liberalism's prescriptions always hurt the people intended to be helped.”
Major U.S. companies, such as Pfizer in Ireland, lobbied Congress in March to voice their concerns at the changes to the tax code, arguing that it would make U.S. firms less competitive.