Steve Forbes: The Two Big (And Easy) Revenue Sources That Obama Is Ignoring
By Steve Forbes
President Obama’s claim that higher taxes are necessary for more revenue is a sham. He has refused to use two easy ways to get more money–big money.
One cache of cash is $1.7 trillion in unrepatriated money that U.S. corporations have parked overseas. The U.S. is the only developed country that taxes its multinational corporations’ earnings that are made on foreign soil. Given our 35% corporate tax rate (the highest among developed nations), it’s no surprise companies don’t bring that money home. In 2004 we allowed such repatriation for one year, with only a 5.25% tax. More than $300 billion came back, with the Treasury netting a fast $18 billion. This time we should make the holiday permanent, perhaps pegging the rate at 7% or so. Uncle Sam would easily get $50+ billion right off the bat and tens of billions of dollars every year thereafter.
Another source: money from the leasing of federal lands for oil and gas drilling. Another renowned economist and FORBES columnist Merrill Matthews has noted that under President Obama such federal leasing is at a 30-year low. If our Commander-in-Chief could put his personal antipathy for carbon fuels aside, Washington could eventually collect upward of an extra $100 billion a year in royalties.