“Getting away with murder.”
That’s how President Trump characterized pharmaceutical corporations for price-gouging patients while reaping astronomical profits.
The president’s words echo public fury about Big Pharma rip-offs, which Americans consistently place at the top of lists of problems they want elected representatives to fix.
But instead of reining in the industry’s abuses, Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are aiding and abetting a monstrous tax heist.
The tax proposal proposed by Republicans would give five top pharmaceutical corporations a $46.8 billion tax break, a new report from Public Citizen and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reveals.
These five Big Pharma corporations collectively hold more than $290 billion offshore.
The plan would create a tax “holiday,” letting companies repatriate profits they would have booked in other countries, paying a tax rate of 12 percent or lower, instead of the normal 35 percent rate.
Among the five corporations, Pfizer is hoarding the most. A tax holiday like the one proposed in Trump’s plan would reap Pfizer an estimated $26.7 billion.
The other corporations – Gilead Sciences, Amgen, Baxter International and Biogen Idec. – would escape anywhere from $1.3 billion to $8.6 billion in taxes owed.
A $46.8 billion tax break would be one more tremendous gift from Trump to Big Pharma – and an affront to taxpayers who pay their fair share.
It will do nothing to reduce drug prices or increase research and development.
It is, simply, a windfall to a super-profitable industry, and a reward to those who have most aggressively pursued tax-avoidance measures.