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Territorial Taxation: An Idea that Should be Part of Tax Reform

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President Donald Trump and Republican leaders from both houses of Congress are about to undertake the challenge of designing tax reform legislation that can be passed and signed by the president. The concept of territorial taxation is a key idea that should certainly be included in the reform package to create new jobs and boost wages for U.S. workers. This is a key opportunity for President Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to improve the economy for the forgotten middle class Americans who propelled him into the Oval Office.

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The U.S. imposes not only the highest top marginal tax rate in the developed world, but also heavily burdensome taxes on international business income. Our tax system deters companies from being headquartered in our country, trapping large amounts of corporate profits overseas. The compliance costs of our tax code are excessive and create huge distortions of economic activity. Key reforms to these aspects of our tax system would lead to economic growth and the creation of many, many new jobs for the American people.

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Taxing corporate income on a territorial basis would levy the taxes on income earned within the borders of the country where that income is earned. This avoids the double taxation of the worldwide approach, where corporate income is taxed both on where the income is earned and where the corporation is headquartered.

As the U.S. still largely uses the worldwide taxation system, many countries around the world are changing to taxation on a territorial basis. If the U.S. also does this, it would free up about $1.7 trillion currently trapped overseas. This income could be invested in the U.S. economy, creating many new jobs. Just that change alone in our tax policy would have great benefits to the American people.

While some claim that territorial taxation will increase overseas investment, most economists confirm that the combination of foreign and domestic investment has a synergistic relationship that helps create strong domestic economic growth. Economics studies of countries that have adopted territorial taxation confirms this is true.

It is easy to make a populist argument about worldwide economics based on a zero-sum view, but it is quite myopic to do so. Increased investment, both foreign and domestic, is very much that “rising tide” that “lifts all boats” as referenced by President John Kennedy. That rising tide will help create millions of jobs for Americans. The increased activity that will result from territorial taxation will also increase the revenues obtained from corporate taxes.

Under territorial taxation, corporate income would be taxed in the country where it is earned, and under the version proposed by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, 95 percent of foreign income would be exempt from double taxation. Tax policy should be neutral in its effect on how business make investment decisions, a key concept that would be true of a system of territorial taxation. In truth, worldwide taxation decreases investment.

A territorial tax system would increase investment by U.S. companies, allowing them to be more competitive around the world. Eliminating U.S. taxes on foreign earnings would free up that income to be brought back to the U.S., which would also increase investment in our economy.
The benefits of implementing a territorial taxation system should make it a no-brainer for Congress and President Trump. This system should undoubtedly be used because the American people will be far better off as a result.

Edward Woodson is a lawyer and now host of the nationally syndicated Edward Woodson Show, which airs daily from 3 to 6 pm EST on gcnlive.com.

Congress

FLASHBACK: Three Recent Supreme Court Justices Were Confirmed Within 45 Days

There’s ample precedent for a quick confirmation.

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There are 45 days until the November 3rd presidential election, and there’s ample precedent for an expedited confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice in such a timeframe following a vacancy.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg died on Friday, setting up a possible contentious confirmation process to fill her seat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pledging that a tentative Trump administration nominee for the position will receive a vote on the Senate floor, despite outrage and indignation on the part of progressives falsely maintaining that McConnell is breaking precedent he set by refusing to confirm Merrick Garland. President Obama tried to get Garland confirmed when the opposing party controlled the Senate, a divided government that does not exist in 2020.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg herself was formally nominated by President Clinton on June 22nd, 1993. Her confirmation process began on July 20th, and she was confirmed on August 3rd, with a total of 42 days elapsing between her nomination and confirmation.

John Paul Stevens’ nomination was advanced and confirmed in a speedy 19 days, and Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed in 1981 in a total of 33 days.

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In fact, every single Supreme Court nomination of the past 45 years was nominated and voted upon within a shorter duration of the time remaining in Donald Trump’s first presidential term.

There’s actually wide precedent for nominating and confirming a Supreme Court justice within the confines of President Trump’s first term, and Democrats are being untruthful or erroneous to suggest otherwise.

McConnell is beginning initial work to advance confirmation hearings, with potential liberal Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski presenting themselves as possible holdouts. It is possible to approve a judge with 50 votes in the Senate and a Vice Presidential tiebreaker.

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