Burger King and Warren Buffett Can Kiss Our Buns—Go to Steak and Shake Instead!

August 26th, 2014

Another one bites the dust.

Thanks to our high corporate taxes many American companies are taking off to other countries to lower their tax burden.  Now Burger King is figuratively packing up the grills and fryers and heading up to Canada where the tax rates are much more hospitable.

What’s worse (and quite ironic) is that much of the Burger King move is being financed by none other than Warren Buffett.  Yes, you read that right.  Warren Buffett—the same billionaire who famously complained that rich people don’t pay enough in taxes and that his poor secretary pays more as a percentage of her income in taxes than he does.

That’s always struck me as funny because there is absolutely nothing in the law preventing Mr. Buffett from giving 95% of his money to the federal government if he so chooses.  The only person stopping him is Warren Buffett himself.  The Burger King move just further smokes out Mr. Buffett as a hypocrite.  No worries—I doubt you become so rich without being very calculating.

Clearly, the solution to stopping companies like Burger King from making such a move would be to change the tax laws by lowering the corporate income tax to be competitive with other countries.  While President Obama frequently says he supports this change, he does absolutely nothing to seriously promote it.  Face it.  He never will.  He likes . . . no . . . he LOVES taxes.  He can’t get enough of them from anywhere he can find them.  You won’t see Barack Obama seriously moving to lower corporate income taxes.

That leaves Congress.  Ultimately, they can’t do this without the president, but there is always the option of passing a law and overriding a veto if necessary.  That’s where the midterm elections come in.  We absolutely have to retain control of the House and win the Senate.  Get rid of Harry Reid as Majority Leader.  Without that, we’ll definitely see a parade of businesses leaving our shores for greener (in this case dollar bill green) pastures.

While I understand that businesses answer to shareholders and that their purpose is to make money not just raise money to increase government coffers, I’m not a fan of companies leaving the country to accomplish this.  In my book, that makes them losers and by doing it they cross a line.

What I do think they should do is to take every legal action in their power to force the tax change we need.  Threatening to leave and making the case why it’s harmful to stay is a lot different than actually packing up and leaving.

For that, I put Burger King now way down the list of American companies I’d want to spend my hard earned dollars on (although to be honest I can’t imagine eating there anyway because I’d personally prefer to starve).

As far as I’m concerned, we should knock Burger King’s creepy king mascot off his throne for taking this action.  At the same time, we should support solid American companies like Steak and Shake.  It’s based in Indianapolis and prides itself on fresh made to order food whereas about the only good thing you can say about Burger King’s “food” is that it has enough preservatives in it to last well into the next century.  You could probably throw a Whopper in a time capsule and eat it a hundred years later when it’s opened.

Yuck.

Buffett has lost much respect for this move and Burger King is likely to lose a lot of American customers.  Hopefully, both will soon learn the error of their ways.  In the meantime, go grab a Steak and Shake burger and wave the American flag with pride.

 



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