Burger King Critics Grill Wrong People


August 27, 2014 9:50AM

When news broke yesterday that Burger King was headed north of the border to reduce its tax liability, many people lost their minds. Facebook commenters took to Burger King’s page and hurled epithets  like “traitor,” “un-American,” and “tax cheat” at the burger joint. Americans have a right to be upset that an iconic brand is fleeing for Canada, but they’re pointing their finger in the wrong direction. The only reason Burger King is heading north is our prohibitive corporate tax rate, which is the highest effective corporate tax rate in the world. At nearly 40 percent, our corporate tax rate is some 15 points higher than the average nation’s. It’s important to remember that corporations don’t pay taxes. It’s not as if Burger King’s creepy faux king mascot foots the corporation’s tax bill. People do. Burger King’s workers pay it through lower wages, shareholders pay it through lower payouts on their investments, and consumers pay it through higher burger prices. Burger King’s attempt to reduce its tax burden will only mean it can pass on higher wages to workers, higher earnings to investors, and cheaper burgers to the rest of us. Burger King is simply making a prudent business decision. If Americans are up in arms about the restaurant’s relocation, they should call their congressman and demand that we fix our tax code, starting with the corporate tax. Get rid of all the loopholes that favor some business over others, and lower the overall rate for all businesses—from the mom and pop shop to the Burger King’s of the world. That’s the “American” solution to this whole affair. – Justin Owen