(Seton Motley, RedState) – Walmart and the founding Walton family have long been seen as conservative stalwarts. The Waltons have indeed contributed much money to conservative causes – much to the Left’s chagrin.
Walmart has long been a Leftist bogeyman – in large part because they remain rightly, reasonably opposed to the unionization of their stores. Which drove the Left nuts. And led to years of union-funded Leftist campaigns against the company.
To aid in their defense against this onslaught, the Waltons elicited conservative assistance. Because conservatives bizarrely think people should be free to choose whether or not to join unions – and unions do not.
And it worked – Walmart remains a right-to-work entity. God bless America.
But as time has marched on, it’s looking more and more like the Waltons cut these checks not in the interest of ideology – but in the interest of Walmart protectionism. On a whole host of other issues, Walmart has been anything but conservative.
Which tells all of us what many of us have all along known – Walmart is just another massive, massively self-interested Washington, D.C. special interest.
Walmart has long been a lead outside champion of a ridiculous tax increase scheme ridiculously misnamed the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). Their brick-and-mortar stores have to collect sales and use taxes for the states and localities in which they are located. Internet companies that sell in those states and localities but are not located there – do not.
The MFA would allow state and local governments to impose sales and use taxes – on companies not in their jurisdictions. Taxation without representation – beyond any and all comprehension.
Imagine perpetually un-sated gaping government maws like California – green lit to tax every business in all fifty states.
The MFA is full-on, economy-crippling nonsense. It is heinous, horrendous policy. What it absolutely isn’t – is conservative. And Walmart is a huge fan of it. Rather than looking to lower taxes on themselves – they have long lobbied for additional, higher taxes on others.
Then there is the huge, sweeping absolutely necessary tax reform the Republican Congress is working to pass. Our code is absurdly dense and complex. Our rates are absurdly high. The number of taxes we are forced to pay – are far too numerous.
Our absurd tax code isn’t the only reason millions of jobs have left the country – but it’s a big one. Republican reform is crafted with, amongst other things, job restoration in mind.
It gets rid entirely of the death tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). It cuts the capital gains tax rate. It allows full expensing for companies’ investments in their businesses – a huge help for everyone, but especially cash-strapped startups.
All told – per the non-partisan Tax Foundation – the Republican plan en toto cuts taxes $4,600-per-family-per-year. That’s serious cheddar.
And it rectifies another decades-long, built-in tax code stupidity. Currently, companies that establish their plants anywhere on the planet but in the United States – get a huge tax advantage over companies that set up shop here:
“(A)ssume that of the $4M X Co. spent to produce the inventory it sold during the year, $2M of that inventory was imported from overseas before ultimately being sold to U.S. consumers. That $2M would be deducted from taxable income as part of cost of goods sold in the above example, giving the corporation a $700,000 benefit ($2M * 35%).”
Get that? You set up shop anywhere else besides here – you save 35% on your taxes. Gee, I wonder why millions of jobs have been moved everywhere else.
To address this, the Republican plan includes a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). Which cuts the corporate tax rate just about in half – to 20%. And is imposed not on companies that produce here in the U.S. – but on companies that set up shop elsewhere and bring their stuff back to the U.S. Rectifying our decades-long, job-killing stupidity.
Again, with the BAT included – the Republican tax plan saves We the Consumers $4,600-per-family-per-year. So let’s put – and keep – the BAT in perspective.
Which Walmart steadfastly refuses to do. Because they have spent the last several decades exporting jobs overseas – and bringing their stuff back to the U.S. So they are spending tons of lobby coin – opposing the BAT.
I certainly understand why they outsourced – the incredibly stupid tax code told them to do so. I certainly understand why they would oppose the Republican Congress ending their massive overseas-manufacturing tax break. But that doesn’t make it right.
And opposing massive tax reform and reduction – that additionally re-incentivizes domestic job creation – certainly ain’t conservative.
What it is – is massively self-interested. Walmart wants the foreign-production protectionism of the current, incredibly stupid tax code. Again, understandable.
Oh – and how does Walmart save additional coin overseas?
I’m not looking to police the workplaces of the world. But if we can simplify our tax code, lower the rates – and return manufacturing to America from places like this – so much the better.
Our government policy needs to be geared toward doing the most good for the most people.
Massive tax simplification, massive tax cuts and massive job re-domestication for 300+ million Americans – trumps special interest Walmart looking to keep its cushy tax code protectionism.
We should do what’s best for the entire nation – not just for Walmart and their special interest retailer ilk.
It’s the conservative thing to do.
Seton Motley is the founder and president of Less Government.