An American in Ireland by The Yank
Michelle Bachmann was praising, not attacking Ireland
Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 02:30 PM
- Ireland as Britain's wind farm - weighing up the pros and cons of ugly and heavily subsized Irish windfarms
- Justin Bieber's perfectly judged comment on Anne Frank - "Hopefully she would have been a belieber"
- The Irish property tax problem - everyone wants to own some and no one wants to be taxed on it
- American fans right to ignore the World Baseball Classic
- Will Ireland's emigrants catch a break on property tax?
|Bachman wants US to|
The New York Times said Bachmann was looking at Ireland as an example when she said, "There are over 600 American companies that have gone to Ireland because of the tax rate. Over 100,000 jobs. I want those 100,000 jobs back in the United States."
If you believe that 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' then it's more accurate to describe Bachmann's comments as praise. Bachmann believes that if the United States were to copy Ireland fewer American companies would feel the need to set up operations here. She believes that those companies would keep the jobs in America rather than send them overseas.
Michele Bachmann attacks US jobs going overseas to Ireland
Bitter row over Irish corporate tax rate between Irish leader Enda Kenny and France's Sarkozy
Dan Rooney warns Irish government not to cut corporation tax rate
Bachmann is not the first to make this point. John McCain said essentially the same thing in the dying days of the 2008 campaign. Again, McCain, like Bachmann, wasn't – as the French have many times recently – complaining about Ireland's corporate tax rate. He was citing Ireland as a positive example.
So Bachmann was praising, not "attacking," Ireland, but was she right? Would those 100,000 jobs return to America if the United States adopted a similarly low corporate tax rate?
Probably not. Most, if not all, of those American companies would be in Europe regardless of America's corporate tax rate. They want to do business inside the EU with its market of 450m people. Ireland's low corporate tax rate is mostly about giving Ireland a competitive edge inside the European Union, which explains the France's annoyance with it.
If Bachmann were to become President and get this law passed the biggest impact for Ireland would probably be that it would help those Irish companies - such as this one in Kingsport, TN - in America. Yup, there are Irish companies operating in the United States. 80,000 Americans are employed by Irish companies. If the United States lowered its corporate tax rate that might well encourage those Irish companies to expand their operations and employ even more Americans. That would be good for Ireland and America.