Have you heard about Burger King’s purchase of Tim Hortons in the news recently?
Tim Hortons is a Canadian coffee and doughnut shop that was acquired by Burger King for $11 billion.
This move makes Burger King the third largest fast-food company in the world.
However, it’s not the size that’s freaking out this one US senator.
It’s the fact that the company will now be moving to Canada. No more high US corporate tax rates for them.
He even called for a boycott of Burger King, saying that people should go to Wendy’s instead. By the way, this is a democrat senator, from Ohio.
His name is Sherrod Brown.
I don’t know what they eat in Ohio, but maybe he’s got something against Burger King. They’re not my favorite fast food restaurant (I’d have to go with McDonald’s, Taco Bell, or Chick-fil-la), but I don’t hate them like Senator Brown does.
By the way, most stereotypical last name ever…
In fact, Senator Brown said Americans should not only boycott Burger King, but impose a global minimum tax rate:
“We need an immediate fix to forestall a flood of these dangerous inversions and a long term solution that lowers corporate tax rates while instituting a country-by-country global minimum tax,”
Yeah, he just proposed that.
But I think he’s forgetting a few things about the issue (if there even is an issue).
Um, the Stores are Still Here
Senator Brown is making this sound like Burger King is packing its bags, closing its stores, and leaving for Canada.
That’s not how it’s going.
Burger King bought a Canadian based company. That means the main headquarters will be in Canada.
All the Burger King restaurants will still be there. The jobs will stay too.
What the Heck is Economic Patriotism?
I love this quote from Senator Brown on Burger King leaving for Canada…
“Burger King has always said ‘Have it Your Way’; well my way is to support two Ohio companies that haven’t abandoned their country or customers,”
It reminds me of Obama’s “economic patriotism” remarks.
Burger King hasn’t abandoned America or consumers. It’s called business. Companies buyout other companies all the time. They move, they grow, they die.
None of it has to do with their “patriotism.”
And, how exactly is Burger King supposed to abandon America? The restaurants are still here. They’re still serving Americans.
Dude, Taxes are too High
It’s no secret that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.
It’s also no secret that people don’t like paying exorbitant taxes. This is especially true when you’re trying to build something (like, oh I don’t know… a company).
Canada’s tax rate is 15%. The US’s is 35%.
The more money that goes into taxes, the less money you have to invest in building your business.
Building your business means providing more store locations, better products, and creating more jobs.
Our high tax rate isn’t encouraging companies to grow. In fact, it’s encouraging them to leave the US for countries with lower tax rates.
It’s Business, not a Declaration of War
Mergers and acquisitions are a common occurrence in the market. In 2013, US mergers and acquisitions totaled $1,006 billion.
That number fluctuates throughout the years. But, it’s important to remember that business activities like Burger King’s are routine.
Contrary to Senator Brown’s idea of how the business world works, Burger King isn’t giving American customers the finger.
They’re not even giving the US tax system the finger… although I wouldn’t blame them if they did.
Get Over it, Congress
You might be wondering why some senators are so upset about Burger King’s acquisition.
Well, the answer to your question consists of one simple word…
Yep, it always comes down to money.
Once Burger King moves to Canada, they’ll be paying Canadian taxes.
Who needs those excessive US corporate taxes when you’ve got Canada?
It’s what economists call “incentives.” Burger King has an incentive to move its headquarters to other nations with lower tax rates.
It’s not bad, immoral, or traitorous. It’s a logical business decision.
Passing a global minimum corporate tax rate for businesses won’t help the situation.
Senator Brown needs to stop waving his stick at companies. He needs to understand what makes them leave and what will make them flock here in droves.
A low corporate tax rate will bring scores of businesses to the US. Hopefully, greedy politicians will understand this and start implementing policies to encourage it.