David Harsanyi on Economic Patriotism Pledges



Jonathan Alter at The Daily Beast has an idea that will infuse the president's "economic patriotism" rhetoric with some bite: Compel companies to take "loyalty oaths" to prove their patriotism. Alter says that "it's time for red-blooded Americans to take matters into our own hands." And by taking the matter into "our" hands, Alter means that President Barack Obama would unilaterally bar any company that practices "inversion"—corporate merging with foreign firms to save on U.S. tax bills—from doing business with the federal government. 

Clearly not the rock-ribbed patriot Alter is, however, David Harsanyi hopes corporations continue to use inversion to avoid taxation until D.C. is forced to pass reform that completely eliminates corporate taxes that unnecessarily burden consumers. Multinational corporations do not exist to be tax collectors, writes Harsanyi, and rent-seeking companies that subsist on government subsidies and use their political connections in Washington as a cudgel against competition are the ones actually engaged in something un-American.