WASHINGTON DC – Congressman Aaron Schock defended the biggest manufacturer in his district Tuesday after Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) scalded Peoria's Caterpillar during a Senate investigative panel.
“I am unimpressed with Chairman Levin’s inquisition today, and with the partisan report he issued targeting a great American company like Caterpillar. Caterpillar’s effective tax rate of 29 percent far exceeds that paid by many other U.S. companies who escape the politicized investigations of Chairman Levin. And if compared to General Motors effective rate of zero, serious questions arise about the motive and methodology behind Chairman Levin’s one-sided investigation.
“The demonization of a great American company that is under constant IRS audit and remains in full compliance with U.S. tax law is beneath the dignity of the United States Congress, though I am thankful that Chairman Levin’s efforts do little to undermine American confidence in Caterpillar’s reputation or its more than 118,000 employees worldwide. The lasting reputation of Chairman Levin and his committee, on the other hand, may be another story.
“This is not the way to do tax reform or address the serious problems with our approach to corporate or individual taxation. Official U.S. policy should be to incentivize corporations to do more business here at home. While I share Chairman Levin’s disdain for the 70,000 page U.S. tax code, the Senator’s efforts would be better spent convincing his Democratic colleagues about the need to get serious about tax reform.”
Levin released a report yesterday entitled “Caterpillar’s Offshore Tax Strategy” that only had the backing of Senate Democrats. The panel’s top Republican, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), would not sign off on the report and raised concerns at today’s hearing about the degree to which the Committee had asked the right questions during the investigation.
“Today, the fact is that the United States of America has the highest corporate tax rate of any country in the world. There is no doubt that this is a factor in moving operations overseas and . . . parking those profits overseas rather than bring them back to be subjected to a 35 percent corporate tax rate.”