The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Report: Republican Tax Bill Hands 15 Corporations $236 Billion Tax Break


The Republican tax bill, which will be voted upon this week, will provide 15 of the largest and most profitable American corporations a $236 billion tax cut, according to a report prepared for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by the Senate Budget Committee Democratic staff.

In the final legislation released Friday night, Republicans are offering corporations a nearly 20 percent tax cut to repatriate trillions of dollars stashed in offshore tax havens. The proposed 15.5 percent rate would be a boondoggle for profitable, multinational corporations.

After making $59 billion in profits last year, Apple would be the biggest winner with a tax break as large as $47.97 billion on the $246 billion it has stashed in offshore tax havens.

Pfizer, with $775 million in 2016 profits, would receive up to a $38.8 billion tax cut; Microsoft up to a $27.7 billion cut after last year's profits topped $20 billion; and, with $10.2 billion profits last year, General Electric would receive a tax break of up to $15.99 billion.

A repatriation tax holiday has not worked in the past and will not work now, according to the report. As part of the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act, corporations were allowed to repatriate funds at a 5.25 percent tax rate with the assumption that the money would be used to boost the economy and create jobs. Instead, corporations brought $312 billion to the US and spent it on executive pay raises and stock buy backs.

- In 2004, Pfizer repatriated $35.5 billion, fired 11,748 workers and gave its executives a raise of $12.8 million.

- In 2004, Johnson & Johnson repatriated $10.6 billion, fired 4,062 workers, and gave its executives a raise of more than $32.8 million. The companystands to gain a tax cut of up to $12.9 billion tax break as a result of the Republican tax bill.

During the debate over tax reform, corporate leaders have acknowledged that they will use repatriated funds to pay down debt or turn the gains over to their shareholders. They have made it clear that they have no intention of using the influx of cash to create jobs or invest in the American economy.

"This report is further proof that the Republican tax bill is a massive giveaway to the largest corporations in the country and the wealthiest individuals. Meanwhile, while the very rich get much richer more than half of middle class families will pay more in taxes at the end of ten years. Further, by running up a $1.4 trillion deficit, the Republicans are paving the way for massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This is a tax bill written for wealthy Republican campaign contributors, not for the average American. It must be defeated," Sanders said.

To read the report, click here.

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