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Walgreens leaving Illinois for Switzerland?
Watchdog.org ^ | July 25, 2014 | SCOTT REEDER

Posted on 07/25/2014 7:31:56 PM PDT by Coleus

Walgreens leaving Illinois for Switzerland?

SPRINGFIELD – I picked up my vacation photos at Walgreens the other day.  And I didn’t hear any French, German or Italian spoken.

How surprising.

I’ve read that the Deerfield, Ill.,-based drugstore chain is considering becoming a Swiss corporation. I’ll admit the thought of a company that is essentially an American icon becoming a foreign corporation gives me pause.  After all, Walgreens is one of Illinois’ premier companies. It was founded here in 1901 and is headquartered in Deerfield, Ill. And now they are talking about moving their headquarters to Switzerland.

But what exactly does it mean when a corporation becomes Swiss?  Will they start having complimentary fondue in the checkout lanes?  Will the pharmacist yodel instructions to customers in the drive through?  Or is it a matter of some incorporation paperwork being filed in an office in the Alps rather than Springfield?

I would hate to see Walgreens – or any other corporation – renounce its U.S. citizenship.  Every time that happens, it reminds us that the business climate in this country is not what it should be.  One has to ask, why would a corporation founded in Illinois 113 years ago want to become Swiss? The answer is as obvious as the Matterhorn.

Corporate taxes in Illinois and the United States are too high. Way too high. The United States has the highest corporate tax rates on the planet. And, you guessed it, Illinois has one of the highest state corporate tax rates in the U.S.

Business corporations exist to make money by serving people. And when government makes it harder to earn in one place, they will look elsewhere. We can spend a lot of time bemoaning that fact, or simply acknowledge that is the case and work to create a climate that attracts business and doesn’t repel jobs.   Still the idea of Walgreens leaving is a bitter pill to swallow.

But here is the deal, when a company switches in what country it will be incorporated, as Walgreens is considering, it still pays taxes to the U.S. government on its U.S. earnings. And it would be paying them at the same rate that it always has.  On money it makes overseas it would pay that country’s rate.

Seems fair, right?

Unfortunately, the U.S. expects companies headquartered here to pay the equivalent of the full U.S. rate on money earned elsewhere.   So U.S. companies that do business overseas choose to move their headquarters elsewhere.

So what’s the solution?

The answer would seem to be to lower the corporate income tax rate so that it is competitive with other western nations. In fact, if the U.S. had the same tax policies as Switzerland — or most Western nations — Walgreens would pay billions less in taxes and wouldn’t be considering moving.  The billions saved could go to shareholders in the form of dividends, to employees through higher pay and customers through lower prices.  And what could be more American than that?

 Scott Reeder is a veteran statehouse reporter and a journalist with Illinois News Network, a project of the Illinois Policy Institute. He can be reached at sreeder@illinoispolicy.org. Readers can subscribe to his free political newsletter by going to ILNEWS.ORG or follow his work on Twitter @scottreeder


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Health/Medicine; Local News; Politics
KEYWORDS: businesstaxes; corporatetaxes; offshoring; pharmacy; taxes; walgreens
Walgreens urged to leave US to gain tax benefit
1 posted on 07/25/2014 7:31:56 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: Coleus

Switzerland is a very pretty country, but to live in what would be the equivalent of a US suburb, it would cost about $4,000/month.


2 posted on 07/25/2014 7:34:49 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Coleus
But what exactly does it mean when a corporation becomes Swiss? Will they start having complimentary fondue in the checkout lanes?

No, but you'll be required to be armed at all times on the premises.

3 posted on 07/25/2014 7:38:08 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Coleus
The United States has the highest corporate tax rates on the planet. And, you guessed it, Illinois has one of the highest state corporate tax rates in the U.S.

Yet liberals will complain that the only reason corporations leave is because they are too greedy. As if corporations exist to pay the taxes that support the liberal welfare state.

4 posted on 07/25/2014 7:38:49 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (The cure has become worse than the disease. Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

The political left believes that workers are sheep to be sheared, first for their cut and second to buy votes from their permanant underclass supporters. And they get angry when their sheep jump over the fence to get away.


5 posted on 07/25/2014 7:41:58 PM PDT by MtnClimber (Just doing laps around the sun and shaking my head that progressives can believe what they do!)
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To: Coleus

Doin’ the Tina Turner..!

And I APPROVE!

They’re TEACHING Illinois.

Illinois will pay some tuition and get smarter.

Wellllll…maybe a teeny, tiny bit smarter.


6 posted on 07/25/2014 7:51:58 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: Coleus

In before ‘bring jobs back now.’


7 posted on 07/25/2014 7:53:12 PM PDT by deadrock (I am someone else.)
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To: Jonty30
Switzerland is a very pretty country

If you ever go to Lucerne and have a chance to go up Mount Pilatus, I highly recommend it.

8 posted on 07/25/2014 7:53:20 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Coleus

Can you say, “fiduciary responsibility”?

Companies are legally required to do what’s best for their shareholders. U.S. tax laws force companies to thumb their nose at America.


9 posted on 07/25/2014 7:58:05 PM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: Coleus
Walgreens is one of Illinois’ premier companies.

Politicians in Illinois took the possessive case too seriously. Walgreens belongs not to Illinois, but to its stock holders.

Capital goes where it's welcome and stays where it's well treated. --Walter B. Wriston

It's that simple.

10 posted on 07/25/2014 8:01:46 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

Coming soon “Barack Obama: how I destroyed an entire using a fake ID and Cloward - Piven”


11 posted on 07/25/2014 8:09:50 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: AZLiberty
Can you say, “fiduciary responsibility”? Companies are legally required to do what’s best for their shareholders. U.S. tax laws force companies to thumb their nose at America.

Game, Set, Match. Winner. Well done.

First rule of business for ANY publicly held company is to maximize value FOR THE SHAREHOLDERS --- not the stupid over-taxing US Federal and Illinois State governments.

Pat Quinn (Gov. IL) is a complete MORON. He's single-handedly chased more jobs out of Illinois than our previous 4 governors COMBINED.

12 posted on 07/25/2014 8:13:36 PM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Coleus
We complain about elites but sometimes it is worthwhile step back and consider how they see the world.

If you are George Soros you do not see the world defined by national boundaries, you see it defined by market areas, transportation grids, and consumer densities. In other words, your American passport is an item of convenience not of conviction. Your preoccupation is worldwide and the nation state is often regarded as an impediment to your ambitions and sometimes regarded as a bulwark against the ambitions of others, or other nation states.

For these people patriotism is a quaint concept.

As a matter of governing intelligently, we must begin to consider how and why we should erect or demolish national barriers to trade and labor. Today, the president of the United States was blathering on about economic patriotism when the concept of sound economics is foreign to him and patriotism is anathema to him. Why, should we believe the Barack Obama can intelligently decide to send $47 billion to Gaza but Walgreen cannot make an rational decision about where it is better advantaged economically?

Obama's role is not to criticize people who are behaving rationally according to their responsibilities to maximize profits, but to make America the most attractive place to maximize profits.

If we let the left define "economic patriotism" we will get neither.


13 posted on 07/25/2014 8:19:04 PM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Jonty30

With all the money they’ll be saving, they will be able to pay their employees well, instead of forking it over to be spent by corrupt government agencies.


14 posted on 07/25/2014 8:24:23 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: deadrock

Lol!


15 posted on 07/25/2014 8:26:21 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: usconservative

I’m not sure the Rats didn’t call their pals at Walgreen and stir up a crisis so the mighty Quinn can now throw some incentives at them and take credit for saving the day.


16 posted on 07/25/2014 8:30:40 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: nathanbedford
"If you are George Soros you do not see the world defined by national boundaries, you see it defined by market areas, transportation grids, and consumer densities."

Thank you for that perspective. I've never thought about it like that.

17 posted on 07/25/2014 10:44:38 PM PDT by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it?)
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To: All

Screw them. I have chronic pain issues and when I bring my prescription for my pain medication in, they treat my like a junkie and 20 minutes means 1 hour.

CVS is nice as can be, offers me a seat and has my meds ready in 15 minutes without practically running a “warrant check” on me. They will even text me when to get in line.

FU Walgreen’s.


18 posted on 07/25/2014 10:54:56 PM PDT by Rodney Dangerfield (Has any President in history sunk to such a level of self-flattery & validation-seeking?)
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To: Rodney Dangerfield

My insurance company no longer allows me to fill at Walgreens, which I have used for the last 15 years. I really liked my pharmacist he was always nice and willing to take the time and answer questions fully with helpful advice thrown in. Nice Asian guy whom I will miss dealing with.


19 posted on 07/26/2014 1:12:27 AM PDT by kelly4c (http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/post?id=2900389%2C41#help)
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To: Coleus

Why not just raise taxes? /s


20 posted on 07/26/2014 1:24:48 AM PDT by stocksthatgoup (Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldnÂ’t make any sense at all." -- Pres. Reagan)
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To: Coleus

Isn’t it interesting that certain people — elites — say that corporations — even closely held corporaions — can’t espouse a moral code yet they refer to corporations as having ‘citizenship’? Weird disconnect going on here.


21 posted on 07/26/2014 6:03:33 AM PDT by Tallguy
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To: Coleus
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

Oh, yeah, for me and Bobby McGee.

Let me see here, the young immigrants are pouring over our porous border to the South and large corporations are pulling out in droves.

Good night, America.

22 posted on 07/26/2014 7:19:20 AM PDT by urbanpovertylawcenter (the law and poverty collide in an urban setting and sparks fly)
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To: kelly4c

ExpressScripts and Obama have been all over Walgreens and I don’t blame them for leaving. Since I’ve been cut off there by my insurance company, I make a point to buy everything else I can at Walgreens.


23 posted on 08/02/2014 9:57:32 AM PDT by jean michael
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