Republicans Don’t Care About Keeping Jobs in America

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Should we penalize businesses that send jobs offshore? I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d forgotten about President Obama’s persistent efforts to do just that. Jim Tankersley reminds us:

He called to end tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs, to cut taxes for domestic manufacturers and to levy a minimum tax on multinational corporations….Obama has included changes to the tax code, meant to penalize companies that move jobs overseas and boost those that invest in America, in every budget he submitted to Congress since 2009. Since 2012, he has repeatedly proposed an “insourcing” tax credit and eliminating deductions for moving expenses incurred in shipping jobs abroad.

Congress ignored nearly all those proposals….Since 2010, Obama has also proposed several steps meant to discourage so-called corporate inversions, which is the practice of companies moving their headquarters out of the United States in order to avoid corporate taxes. When his Treasury Department moved to crack down on that practice this year, Republicans howled.

But now things are different:

When Trump cajoled Indiana manufacturer Carrier into canceling part of its plans to ship jobs to Mexico last week, in part by offering a state tax incentive package to the company, House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed criticism of Trump’s efforts. “I’m pretty happy that we’re keeping jobs in America, aren’t you?” he said.

….Republicans and business lobbyists have long said the best way to end inversions and reduce outsourcing is to cut corporate taxes….Conservatives, business groups and even financial markets appear optimistic that Trump will deliver on that rate cut, then abandon the trade threats.

Will concern for the working class finally outweigh concern for put-upon American multinational corporations? It never did while Obama was president, and there’s no special reason to think it will now.

It does make me wonder, though. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but why didn’t Hillary Clinton make this stuff into a major campaign issue? It would have helped her against both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but she barely ever mentioned these kinds of reforms. Odd.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate