Patriotic Microsoft threatens to move U.S. jobs overseas rather than pay taxes


Good for Microsoft, kicking the American worker when he’s down. President Obama means to close a loophole in the taxcode that allows corporations to “deduct… cost at a high tax rate and report… profits at a low tax rate.” In other words, win-win for the corporation at the expense of the United State Treasury. You know how Microsoft’s Steve Balmer said he’s deal with the closing of this loophole? “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.” Neat.

It’s to difficult to decipher what Balmer meant here. Is he threatening to move jobs overseas altogether, putting more American workers out of work, or is he saying that Microsoft would rather move employees to some low-tax country? That is, paying for John Doe to leave the U.S. so he can work for Microsoft somewhere else. I’d have to see that to believe it.

Now, I’m not saying that a foreign worker doesn’t have any less of a right to a decent life than an American one (“Americans are the only people who deserve jobs!”), obviously, but it’s so disappointing to see Microsoft, one of this country’s greatest companies, balk at mere idea of having to pay more taxes, taxes that it ought to be paying in the first place. (Closing the loophole in question could net the government an additional $86.5 billion by 2019.) Of course, Microsoft will hide behind the notion of protecting the “shareholders,” while conventionally omitting that the U.S. government has to protect those shareholders as well, with a functioning military, making roads, ensuring that stop lights work, educating children, etc… all things that taxes pay for.

(And now I sincerely expect to be called all sorts of nasty names, which is fine.)