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The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


August 27, 2014 - 10:43 am

By now you’ve undoubtedly seen and read Democrats getting in a high dudgeon over Burger King’s purchase of Tim Horton’s, a Canadian donut company.  After the $11.4 billion acquisition, Burger King will move its headquarters to Canada. The King will be a Canuck in the eyes of the law.

Democrat backer Warren Buffet is financing the deal. Democrat officeholders and pundits are outrageously outraged about it. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is being outrageously opportunistic, using Burger King’s move north to promote burger chains based in his home state.

His complaint: the merger could be an ‘inversion,’ in which a corporation shifts its profits abroad to avoid U.S. taxes.

“Burger King’s decision to abandon the United States means consumers should turn to Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers or White Castle sliders. Burger King has always said ‘Have it Your Way’; well my way is to support two Ohio companies that haven’t abandoned their country or customers,” Brown said. Read the rest of his release here.

Following suit, I’ll be outrageously opportunistic and promote Texas-based Whataburger. Which has better burgers anyway. And spicy ketchup if you ask for it.

Burger King’s smoothies, though…not bad. Not bad at all.

The subject of “inversions” has come up in direct relation to US corporate taxes being hiked to the point that they’re the highest in the developed world. This should not be.

In an age of multinational corporatism, it’s counterproductive to tax corporations too hard. They can, and will, move their operations to more favorable locations. Canada under its Conservative government has become one of the more favorable countries to do business.

If Democrats really wanted to do the economy some good, they would look long and hard at sweeping tax reform, including corporate taxes.

For what it’s worth, Burger King says re-locating to Canada isn’t about taxes. It’s about not ripping Tim Horton’s, which is apparently in icon north of the border, from Canada and making it another grubby Yank operation.

Is the Burger King move an “inversion” or just another decision made by one of those things that are made up of people, but the left refuses to recognize as artificial people for the purposes of perpetual existence and organization?

I don’t know. But I do know that the Democrats have a direct avenue to retaliate against Burger King if they want. And that’s through the US armed forces.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Services has existing contracts with a number of vendors of Americana. Burger King is one of them. There are Burger King (and Popeye’s, and a few other) restaurants at US bases all over the world. At home bases, they’re convenient stops for military personnel and their families to grab a cheap bite. Overseas, they’re little slices of America in foreign lands. They’re also nice ways to introduce the local citizens to a little bit of American culture.

I doubt that I’m giving the Democrats any ideas here. Anyone on any of several congressional committees, and staffers of course, has to be aware of the AAFES contract with Burger King. I wouldn’t put it past them to be looking into the contract right now, seeking a way to strike the King off US bases.

It wouldn’t actually hurt Burger King’s bottom line. The base restaurants are surely a tiny fraction of the chain’s overall spread. It would be symbolic. Democrats like nothing better than symbolic strikes.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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Sounds like time for some clever work by the repubs - stipulate in a law that if Burger King is removed as an AAFES vendor, they have to be replaced by Chik -Fil-A. Then watch heads explode.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Preston,

You are missing something about the franchisees on military posts. Earlier this year, during the hoo-rah about raising the minimum wage, the Department of Defense issued a ukase mandating a $10.10 an hour minimum wage for all franchisees on bases; fast food, dry cleaning, hair dressing/barbers, etc. Franchisees started bailing out. The DoD was surprised that there could actually be a negative reaction to their order, and they suspended it "temorarily". But that is the main government contract a fast food business can have, and it is going away. I would expect other fast food chains to look at inversions very closely, to compete.

Subotai Bahadur
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spot on, Subo! Ha! There is a Burger King right up there on the Air Force Academy. I"ll be watching.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can't believe all the whining here there and everywhere about a nonexistent problem. Insta has already linked to the Federalist for an explanation.
BK will still payee US taxes for US earnings, will pay country of origin taxes on overseas earnings. The benefit is they can repatriate those, already taxed, earnings without being taxed again.
And you whing about the donk's being lo-info voters.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Much I care, the BK at Jacksonville NAS is dirty and poorly run.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I don't boycott often, but when I do, I prefer it to be a business I never patronized."

The 1% are not likely to be a meaningful demographic for fast food in general, which includes BK. So making the symbolic gesture of saying "I never go there, and this will be doubly true now because of this", seems stupid.

And to the extent that they influence others, if successful, would eventually throw many of those minimum wage workers that they profess to care so much about, onto the unemployment line.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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