Note from Senior Management: National Review Editor-in-Chief Rich Lowry takes on Warren Buffett’s tax strategy in Politico. We reprint here.
It must have been a bitter moment for President Barack Obama when he got the news that his favorite economic guru not only doesn’t like paying taxes but hates America.
Warren Buffett, whose eponymous rule was a staple of Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, is underwriting Burger King’s proposed move to Canada that the left is denouncing as practically the most dastardly plot since the Rosenbergs helped the Soviets get the atomic bomb.
Burger King is acquiring the Canadian coffee and doughnuts chain Tim Hortons in what is called a “corporate inversion.” At least that’s the technical term for it. Obama and the left prefer to call it by names usually reserved for spies and AWOL soldiers before they get a last cigarette and a blindfold.
The practice of corporate inversion, or relocating overseas to avoid the burden of U.S. taxes, offends the president’s sense of “economic patriotism,” as he put it in a speech a few weeks ago. He referred to firms that make this move as “corporate deserters” taking advantage of an “unpatriotic tax loophole.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist from Vermont, says companies like Burger King are betraying America’s veterans, and “have absolutely no loyalty to the people of the United States and our government.” Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, has called for a boycott. Online petitions are targeting the chain for its rank abandonment of the United States.
This outpouring of patriotic fervor is something to behold, especially from the same sort of people who used to think expecting a politician to wear a flag lapel pin was a crudely nationalistic imposition.
The left almost universally scorns the idea that a closely held family business might have religious motivations — and was outraged by the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision for this reason — yet believes that enormous globe-bestriding corporations should have patriotic feelings.
Burger King is owned, by the way, by a Brazilian private equity firm. Its Brazilian patriotism should be in doubt, too, since it showed no sign of sinking into a months-long funk after Germany crushed Brazil in the World Cup semifinal.
Read the rest of the story at Politico.