Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wal-Mart: Watch For Our Falling State Taxes

This is the lead on the Wall Street Journal:
In May 2001, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. issued an appeal to big accounting firms: Find us creative new ways to cut our state tax bills.

Ernst & Young LLP swung into action. Senior tax experts at the big accounting firm swapped ideas via email and in a series of meetings. At least one gathering, according to an internal Ernst & Young calendar, took place in Wal-Mart's headquarters in the "Tax Shelter Room."

How the heck is it fiscally responsible to let this big corporation get corporate welfare?

They shelled out millions on a new ad campaign to help change the company's image. The main theme is that you should feel lucky Wal-Mart came to your town and how much money you save if you did all of your shopping there. But while consumers may enjoy a short-term saving in their pocket, what is happening in the long term?

So they are skiming a few million dollars in taxes to keep prices low. But compare that to the figure of $18 billion. That's the amount they imported from China in 2004. How about paying a little more taxes and a little less importing?

Wal-Mart busts up unions, pays low wages, provides health care to a selct few employees, doesn't pay it's fair share of taxes, and forces manufacturers to outsource to meet their price strategy. In return they kill small businesses because they can sell stuff cheaper.

Ain't that America?

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