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Obama Pushes Global Minimum Tax in Milwaukee

2:21 PM, Feb 15, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Earlier this week, White House economic adviser Gene Sperling announced his support for changes in the tax structure. “[W]e need a global minimum tax so that people have the assurance that nobody is escaping doing their fair share as part of a race to the bottom or having our tax code actually subsidized and facilitate people moving their funds to tax havens,” Sperling said at an official White House meeting. He even indicated that President Obama “supports” this change.

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But the White House pushed back the next day, telling Politico through an unnamed “official” that “[Sperling] was referring to our proposal in the Blueprint for an American Built to Last that removes tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas.” The Politico article was titled, “No 'global tax,' W.H. says,” though the article never actually quoted anyone—named or unnamed—denying the substance of Sperling’s proposal (or even that it would in effect be a “global minimum tax”).

Well today, in a speech the president is delivering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Obama announced the thrust of what amounts to a “global minimum tax”—even if he avoided using the controversial phrase.

“[N]o American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas,” Obama said, according to his remarks as prepared for deliver. “From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.  And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay and hire in the United States of America.”

So while President Obama calls it “a basic minimum tax,” his adviser, Sperling, calls it a “global minimum tax.” Either way, it’s the same thing regardless of how the White House wants to message it.

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