Fox Business Host Calls Walgreens ‘Shameful’ for Not Using Loopholes to Avoid Paying Taxes (Video)

charles-payneIf you haven’t heard of the term “inversion,” let me try to simplify it for you.  It’s a trick some companies use to claim that their profits are mostly made overseas so they can avoid paying taxes here in the United States.  Granted, it’s slightly more complicated than that, but that’s generally what the process boils down to.

It’s something Walgreens considered doing, but ultimately they decided against it.  Good for them, right?

Well, not if you’re Fox Business host Charles Payne, who called Walgreens decision to not cheat the tax code “shameful.”

“I think he [President Obama] scored a huge victory today,” Payne said, “when the CEO of Walgreens, they made an acquisition of a company, they had an opportunity to do inversion. Instead they said no, we won’t.”

“So essentially, the CEO of Walgreens destroyed capitalism, shareholder rights,” Payne continued. “He not only blinked, he gave the president so much ammunition.  It was one of the most shameful moves I’ve seen a CEO do in a long time.”

Yes, that’s a Fox Business host calling a company that decided not to use tax loopholes to avoid paying taxes “shameful.”  I’m sure Charles Payne considers himself a true “patriot” as well.

But we all know why this was so shameful – because Walgreens reversed course and did what President Obama supports.  That is, they didn’t use loopholes in our tax code to avoid paying taxes.

Amazing, isn’t it?

It’s just baffling.  This man is essentially saying that cheating the United States government out of millions of dollars in tax revenue is just “good business.”

I guess had they chose to play the system, and avoid paying millions in taxes, that would make them more patriotic?  Is that the “logic” Payne is using?

So true “capitalism” means allowing companies to exploit our tax system to avoid paying taxes.  That’s the “greatness” of capitalism, legalized tax evasion?   Because that’s pretty much the message I’m getting from Payne.

But like I said before, this really has nothing to do with Walgreens or capitalism.  It’s all about President Obama opposing inversion, and Walgreens ultimately being on the side of the president.

Watch Payne’s comments below via Fox News


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • jonjstrine42

    So basically, what Chuckie is saying is, “How dare Walgreens pay their fair share of taxes! That’s Un-American!”
    Chuck, if you want to see “shameful”, look in the mirror.

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    • Matthew Reece

      There is no such thing as a fair share of theft and slavery.

      • talonts

        So I’m guessing you never drive on public roads or bridges? Because if you do, you support that “slavery”.

        Congrats on looking like a total douche.

      • Matthew Reece

        I have every right to reclaim part of my stolen money by using the things that were paid for by it.

      • Matthew Reece

        In order to be logically consistent, you would have to say to a woman who has been kidnapped, caged, and repeatedly raped, “Because you accept food and drink from your kidnapper and rapist, you consent to what he is doing to you.” This is absurd, so you should abandon the position you hold.

  • Flounder

    It’d be nice if the clip didn’t cut off as soon as they started talking…. We don’t even get to see the “shameful” comment.

  • Ralph Byrns

    Payne is wrong on all counts. His argument is predictably based on simple-minded acceptance of Milton Friedman’s notion that corporate decision makers should single-mindedly focus on maximizing shareholder value, and that no ethical duty requires any consideration of “social responsibility.” Parallel reasoning suggests that it’s okay for a firm to dump poison into a communal water supply if it is not illegal and reduces the firm’s direct production costs, as long as the discounted present value of the dumping is positive.

    Similarly, General Motors maximized expected profitability based on asymmetric information when GM execs knew about safety hazards likely to cause lots of deaths and injuries. The GM execs weighed the expectation of being caught and penalized for these hazards, and chose to optimize for stockholders. Vile and immoral decision making,

    Back to why this Fox commentator is wrong on all counts: Walgreen’s didn’t change course because it was socially or politically correct. There was no change of heart. The Board of Directors at Walgreen’s made a decision quite consistent with Friedman’s maxim; it did the “right” thing because it feared losses caused by bad publicity if it had relocated. This commentator advocated Walgreen’s sticking to a lossy decision. Why? To worship an oversimplified version of capitalism by showing the public that firms would not yield to public opinion? That would truly have been an empty, stupid gesture, contrary to Friedman. As I wrote above, this guy is wrong on all counts. But why would we expect anything smarter from Fox?

    • Fustercluck

      Extremely well said Mr. Byrns and the corporate amorality you describe brilliantly also stands as a defense against allowing these corporations to privatize public services and functions for the very same reasons you’ve detailed. Maximizing shareholder value may work well for organizing the activities of a corporation but our public institutions must not be subsumed under that same amorality because its mission is not profit driven.

  • hermanprovi

    Fools come in all colors!

  • labman57

    To so-called ‘free market capitalists’ (read: avaricious Machiavellians) such as Payne, patriotism has more to do with GREEN than it does “red, white, and blue”.

    • Matthew Reece

      Payne is not an anarchist (AFAIK), so he is not a free-market capitalist.

  • mre2000

    Most of the time when you truncate a clip like that, its followed up with something that essentially invalidates your argument. This is a classic conservative trick that I really don’t want to see you get into. From the video perspective this is no different than “you didn’t build that.” Context is important.