Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Yes, You Can (Help President Obama)

Like many people in Britain I was delighted that Obama won the election. I won't rehearse the reasons. But I have been at a loss to know how to express my support for the new President.

But now at last British admirers of Obama have a way of taking a stand and being the change we are waiting for. According to the New York Times, President Obama has announced a crackdown on tax havens. Some economists have argued that the lax attitude towards offshore centres of America's competitors means that his moves will jeopardise US jobs and businesses:

Tax experts, including some with Democratic leanings, caution that the proposals could put American corporations at a competitive disadvantage. The United States is part of a dwindling minority of industrialized countries that tries to tax corporate profits on a global basis. Most European governments tax corporations on the basis of their profits within their borders. “If other countries are adopting systems that are friendlier to multinational corporations, then companies will have an incentive to locate their corporate headquarters outside the United States,” said Alan Auerbach, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley ...

There is only one thing to do. We must express our support for President Obama by demanding that Britain and other EU countries tax corporate profits on a global basis, with country by country accounting. That way we can finally feel part of the Obama campaign with its soaring rhetoric, Blackberry-punching, surreptitious smoking, and effortless cool.

Oh, and we can raise billions of pounds for the UK exchequer at a time when, God knows, we need every penny we can get.

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