WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS OF TOTAL JOBS HERE IN THE U.S. VS JOBS ABROAD for some of America’s best-known multinational corporations? UNKNOWN. They stopped revealing those numbers publicly about 10 years ago. Via the Washington Post:
So secretive are these companies that they hand the figure over to government statisticians on the condition that officials will release only an aggregate number. The latest data show that multinationals cut 2.9 million jobs in the United States and added 2.4 million overseas between 2000 and 2009.
Some of the same companies that do not report their jobs breakdown, including Apple and Pfizer, are pushing lawmakers to cut their tax bills in the name of job creation in the United States.
In other words, they want ANOTHER “one-time” tax holiday to bring money they’ve ‘parked’ overseas into the U.S. with a tax break, in order to “create jobs.” Apple and Pfizer are part of a coalition of companies pushing Congress for this second one-time tax holiday — and, along with AT&T and Hewlett Packard, haven’t reported their U.S. to overseas employment breakdown since 2000. The FIRST “one-time” tax holiday for multinationals was in 2004. Here’s what Matt Taibbi has to say about it:
Here’s how it works: the tax laws say that companies can avoid paying taxes as long as they keep their profits overseas. Whenever that money comes back to the U.S., the companies have to pay taxes on it.
Think of it as a gigantic global IRA. Companies that put their profits in the offshore IRA can leave them there indefinitely with no tax consequence. Then, when they cash out, they pay the tax.
Only there’s a catch. In 2004, the corporate lobby got together and major employers like Cisco and Apple and GE begged congress to give them a “one-time” tax holiday, arguing that they would use the savings to create jobs. Congress, shamefully, relented, and a tax holiday was declared. Now companies paid about 5 percent in taxes, instead of 35-40 percent.
Money streamed back into America. But the companies did not use the savings to create jobs. Instead, they mostly just turned it into executive bonuses and ate the extra cash. Some of those companies promising waves of new hires have already committed to massive layoffs.
[...] I’m shocked there isn’t more of an uproar about this. Could you imagine what the Tea Party would be saying right now if there was a law on the books that allowed immigrants to indefinitely avoid taxes on income sent back to family members in the old country, in Mexico and Venezuela and India?
Imagine the uproar if Barack Obama, in the middle of this historic revenue crunch and “We’re so broke the world is going to end tomorrow!” debt-ceiling hystgeria, decided to declare a second “one-time tax holiday” for, say, unwed single mothers, or recipients of public assistance? Middle America would be running through the streets, firing shotguns out its truck window, waving chainsaws in mall lobbies, etc. Read it all…
It shouldn’t go unmentioned that these companies have become really, really good at hoarding extra cash as well.
Which multinational companies keep their U.S. vs. overseas employment numbers a secret?
- AT&T — The phone and digital giant does not include its employee breakdown in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Reed Saxon / AP
- Apple — Apple chief executive Steve Jobs holds up the new MacBook Air at the MacWorld Conference in 2008 in San Francisco. Apple also does not reveal how many of its employees are based in the United States. Apple and Pfizer are part of a coalition of companies pushing for Congress to give them a tax break on money they have parked overseas, saying that any money brought back to this country would spur hiring. Paul Sakuma / AP
- Hewlett-Packard — HP is among the multinational companies that do not disclose the breakdown of their job numbers. Jeff Chiu / The Associated Press
- IBM — IBM stopped disclosing its U.S. head count in 2009. Dave Finegold, dean of the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, estimates that 2009 marked the first time the company had more employees in India than the United States. IBM chief executive Sam Palmisano has also met a number of times with the president for discussions on the economy. Sean Gallup / Getty Images
- Pfizer — Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug company, hasn’t reported the breakdown of its workforce between the United States and overseas since 2000. Mary Altaffer / AP
- Procter & Gamble — Tide is a brand of Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer products company. You won’t find P&G’s U.S. head count in its filings, either. When initially asked for the number, company spokesman Paul Fox said: “We do not track nor report U.S.-specific jobs numbers vs. jobs overseas.” After it was pointed out that P&G’s chief executive, Bob McDonald, had cited such figures in an op-ed piece, Fox acknowledged that company did track that data. The number of U.S. employees is 35,000 out of 127,000 total, or 28 percent. Daniel Acker / Bloomberg News
Via the Washington Post
Maybe THIS TIME they’ll create some jobs in the U.S., right? Maybe this time they won’t just take this extra money from the U.S. Treasury and give their shareholders extra income and themselves massive bonuses, then hoard what’s left over — OR create some more jobs in China and India. Because the downside is only that we’ll have more unemployment, less federal revenue, meaning we’ll need to cut federal benefits and services to the rest of Americans who aren’t millionaires or multinational corporations — just like the Teaparty Republicans have been planning.