There's a built-in paradox about the idea of a corporate tax holiday. It's quite literally an opportunity for corporations to take a vacation from paying taxes. But the purported benefit is that it's a chance for the American economy to recover money that corporations sent away to places like Bermuda in order to avoid paying taxes in the first place. Ask a lobbyist working for the coalition of bluechip companies that are gunning for such a loophole, however, and they'd tell you it's a great way to stimulate the economy. Google, Apple, Cisco and Microsoft--and an army of 160 powerful lobbyists--are leading the charge on Capitol Hill for legislation that would provide a $78.7 billion tax break for corporations repatriating offshore funds. The only problem is, when Congress agreed to a similar measure in 2004, it failed miserably. And the general consensus is that it would be no different this time around.
Lobbyists insist that the tax holiday for America's richest companies will work wonders. Bloomberg reports that at least 60 of the 160 total lobbyists advocating for the tax holiday "once worked for a sitting member of the House or Senate." Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus's former chief of staff Jeffrey Forbes is one of the most prominent and this dizzying infographic maps out the rest of the significant connections. Their message is all basically the same. "It would do much to regenerate the economy," former Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and current Oracle lobbyist Robert Livingston told Bloomberg. "A total of $1.5 trillion from all affected U.S. companies would go a long way to pull us out of the doldrums."