Andrew Ross Sorkin, hardworking New York Times Dealbook boss and Wall Street bootlicker, reports today on how hard it is, emotionally, for a patriotic corporate executive to flee America to avoid taxes. Poor companies! Poor CEOs!
I initially believed that the Times headline "Reluctantly, Patriot Flees Homeland for Greener Tax Pastures" was tongue in cheek. After all, a truly patriotic American would not pull their company out of America for the sole purpose of depriving America of tax revenue, would they? Well. I can report to you that this headline is quite serious indeed.
Sorkin's story concerns Heather Bresch, the daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and the CEO of Mylan, a $19 billion company that makes generic drugs. Heather Bresch is a born patriot, you see. She grew up around the flag. Her company was based in Pittsburgh, a real American city. Well—until now. Because Heather Bresch, a true American patriot, is moving her company's residence (for tax purposes) out of America and into the Netherlands.
A true nitty-gritty business reporter's first reaction to the news of yet another multibillion-dollar corporation proudly waving the American flag even while doing everything in its power to avoid contributing to the public coffers here: Gee, was that hard on the CEO?
Ms. Bresch says she entered the deal reluctantly, and she genuinely seems to mean it.
Andrew Ross Sorkin is an excellent judge of corporate character.
The second thing that springs to the mind of an intrepid business reporter and patriotic American in this situation: The company is not at fault, not at all, nor is the CEO, they are completely not at fault, whatsoever, so let's just turn our attention elsewhere, shall we?
If Ms. Bresch's deal is not a call to Washington to address what is clearly a growing trend that it has remained nearly silent on, the nation will most likely continue to lose large employers and taxpayers in droves to countries with lower tax rates.
How dare America force a true patriot like Heather Bresch to endure the misery of moving her company offshore in order to avoid taxes? It's downright rude of the country that Heather Bresch loves so much, to do such a thing. Why, if this greedy nation would just take the common sense step of lowering its corporate tax rate to.... 0%, then Heather Bresch would be happy to keep her company here. As it is, though, she has no choice, you see. Which just hurts her worse, what with all her patriotism.
"True patriotism stops as soon as it might cost anyone a dollar." -George Washington.
But Ms. Bresch is even more nervous about the larger implications: "You know what makes me want to cry? I think whoever the next Facebook is, why would you ever start that company here in the United States?"
That's tough love from the daughter of a United States senator
That's tough love, from a true patriot, Heather Bresch, who is wiping away tears as she counts her money, in the Netherlands.
For fuck's sake Sorkin, YOU'RE THE PRESS. STOP LICKING THEIR GOD DAMN BOOTS. JESUS CHRIST. I'm sure you're a nice guy and all.