In Defense of America’s ‘Benedict Arnold’ CEOs

By Hunter Wallace

In the interest of fairness, I will link to today’s article by free-market theorist James Pethokoukis on the Pfizer deal:

“Another big American company is fleeing overseas to find a safe space from U.S. taxes. And once again, grandstanding politicians are stomping all over the businessmen behind the deal.

Drug giant Pfizer, based in New York, is merging with Irish pharmaceutical firm Allergan in a $160 billion deal. If approved by regulators, this would be the largest “corporate inversion” to date, a clever bit of financial engineering where a company merges with a foreign rival based in a country with lighter taxes. The Pfizer-Allergan combo would be based in Dublin, reportedly cutting Pfizer’s tax rate from 25 percent to roughly 17 or 18 percent. The new firm would still be called Pfizer, and would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under Pfizer’s ticker symbol, PFE. But Pfizer’s tax bill would be a heck of a lot lower.

The leading presidential candidates of each party are not happy about this. They dispute that what’s good for Pfizer is good for America. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton attacked Pfizer for avoiding its “fair share” of taxes in a deal that “will leave U.S. taxpayers holding the bag.” Republican frontrunner Donald Trump called the very idea of inversion “disgusting,” and said Washington “should be ashamed” for allowing it. …”

From the NY Times article:

“WASHINGTON — Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has long been the most politically active drug maker in Washington, and its representatives have tended to wrap themselves in the American flag while pressing their concerns with lawmakers and regulators.

So when the company announced this week that it would abandon not only the flag but the United States, its planned move to Ireland stunned the medicine industry’s lobbying corps — not the least because Pfizer’s chief lobbyist, Sally Susman, is the daughter of one of President Obama’s biggest, most generous benefactors, Louis Susman. …”

Shakes head.

Big Pharma has the most powerful lobby in Washington:

“The White House has begun building a political case for reining in drug costs, and the administration recently agreed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord to intellectual property protections for advanced pharmaceuticals that was about half of what the industry demanded and United States law provides. Worse, a 2011 patent law has resulted in a wave of lawsuits funded by hedge funds against the industry’s most valuable property — drug patents. …”

Question: of all the things in the world we can import, why don’t we engage in free-trade for cheap, generic foreign prescription drugs? Wouldn’t that benefit the American consumer?

About Hunter Wallace 11765 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

12 Comments

  1. 1. I think there needs to be a solution to inversions, that that will most likely have to involve an international treaty harmonizing corporate income tax rates.

    2. However, my whitey sense starts tingling, in fact, burning, and I get really suspicious when I hear some of the people making a BFD out of inversions, acting as if it’s the world’s biggest crisis. And by that, I mean liberal Democrats. These are the same people who are on Goldman Sachs’s payroll, want to open the flood gates to the whole world, out and outright support free trade agreements if they didn’t help write them (to wit: HRC and TPP). Likewise, many of the same Republicans who are xenophiles have all of sudden become great immigration patriots in the mold of Jeff Sessions when it comes to the Syrians, but only the Syrians. That also makes me suspicious.

  2. “Inversion” is just the latest corporate buzz word for “out sourcing”, “off shoring” and tax avoidance.

    God only knows what sorts of horrors are luring in the language of the TPP and even in other deals already done.

    I remember when I researched China PNTR for my former employer, it became clear to me that China PNTR was just as much an investment treaty as a trade treaty, and it allowed for and protected & promoted American investment in China.

    I may have turned a few Congressman, and a US Senator or two around on China PNTR, but, that didn’t stop it. The corporate forces are too big and to entrenched. The only hope is that an outside billionaire like a Trump might upset the apple cart, but, even a Trump could only get so far as Brad has pointed out.

    Btw, I called Enron a scam long before they collapsed, but again they collapsed of their own weight, not from any outside force or forces.

  3. The Roman Catholics over at the US Chamber of Commerce led by Tom Donahue supply the money and muscle for the Jews like Susman, Barshefsky, Zollick etc.

  4. ‘These are the same people who are on Goldman Sachs’s payroll, want to open the flood gates to the whole world, out and outright support free trade agreements if they didn’t help write them (to wit: HRC and TPP).’

    In antebellum North Carolina, it was the plantationeers who wrote the law – undermining the white working class by importing cheap labour.

    Though the specifick businesses have changed, as well as the style of the rape, the principle remains the same – the greedy make the rest suffer

  5. Hunter,

    “Question: of all the things in the world we can import, why don’t we engage in free-trade for cheap, generic foreign prescription drugs? Wouldn’t that benefit the American consumer?”

    The best way to keep it cheap for Americans would be to have the lowest corporate tax in the world. Then not only would Pfizer stay here, but the Irish company would have probably merged/moved over here to join it instead of the other way around.

    But if we are to have high corporate taxes, then the drugs will be cheaper imported–until the other country gets mad and tries to cut us off.

    Quite simply, these companies will go to whichever countries offer them the best deal. If we had a zero corporate tax and zero antidiscrimination laws, we’d be the world center for pharma, banking and many other industries so fast it would make one’s head swim–As long as we have basic law and order in the land–They’re not going to go to Somalia.

    • Jeff,

      “The best way to keep it cheap for Americans would be to have the lowest corporate tax in the world. Then not only would Pfizer stay here, but the Irish company would have probably merged/moved over here to join it instead of the other way around.”

      No, the cheapest way by far to get those prescription drugs would be to import generic versions from Asian countries.

      “But if we are to have high corporate taxes, then the drugs will be cheaper imported–until the other country gets mad and tries to cut us off.”

      All we have to do to solve the problem is either to import the drugs from foreign countries or throw out their bullshit patents in this country and produce them domestically.

      “Quite simply, these companies will go to whichever countries offer them the best deal. If we had a zero corporate tax and zero antidiscrimination laws, we’d be the world center for pharma, banking and many other industries so fast it would make one’s head swim–As long as we have basic law and order in the land–They’re not going to go to Somalia.”

      If the government stood up for the sacred consumer in this case, there wouldn’t be a problem. It doesn’t because of the pharmaceutical industry lobby.

      • Hunter,

        “No, the cheapest way by far to get those prescription drugs would be to import generic versions from Asian countries.”

        Ok, I presume you are talking about drugs that are patented, but the Asian countries are violating the patent. Yes, the violating Asian drugs would be cheaper, but if the drugs are no longer under patent, then why would the Asian drugs be cheaper? I doubt labor cost is much of an issue in pharma.

        “All we have to do to solve the problem is either to import the drugs from foreign countries or throw out their bullshit patents in this country and produce them domestically.”

        Are you making an argument against patents? I am for patents. Without patents, what is the reward for all that R&D?

        “If the government stood up for the sacred consumer in this case, there wouldn’t be a problem. It doesn’t because of the pharmaceutical industry lobby.”

        I’m not sure I understand. How is the gov supposed to stand up for the consumer? It looks to me like they could serve the consumer best by not taxing pharma. That would make the drugs cheap and keep the industry here too.

  6. Jeff Davis – bingo. The cost of bringing a new drug to market is approx. 1 billion dollars. Companies need patents to be able to create the drug, and make up thee costs.

    I’d would not ever take “cheap generics from Asia”. Do you want accountability of the substances in that pill or syrup you are ingesting? Well do you? Remember the track record of China, in substituting diethylene glycol for glycerin, in various medications?

  7. A little math, the philo kind:

    “We do not want American workers, but we desire American customers.”

    (+1) – (-1) = 0

    Class dismissed.

  8. As I recall, American Pharmaceutical companies enjoy immunity from lawsuits due to vaccines that cause severe health conditions and or death. What was set up in 1986 was a government victim fund National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Now these companies enjoy obscene profits off the backs of Americans. Also, in 2013 the Supreme court in a 5-4 decision ruled that state lawsuits claiming drugmakers failed to adequately design their medicines cannot proceed because these are pre-empted by federal law.

    Officials at the rubber stamping FDA are in the pocket of these drug companies. One medication I take costs my insurance company approximately $1200.00 for 90 pills while denying competing companies from making a generic. There used to be one, but the drug company was saved by the FDA who disallowed a generic form.

    I have zero sympathy for these anti-natural treatment companies who would love to make all vitamins available by prescription only.

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