Rep. Billy Long: We need the Fair Tax

Earlier this month, President Obama tallied what some are calling a “major victory” when the U.S. Treasury announced new rule proposals, which resulted in the termination of U.S. drug maker Pfizer Inc. from finalizing a $160 billion acquisition agreement with Botox provider Allergan Plc. If carried out, the merger would have meant the largest tax inversion – relocating a corporation’s legal address overseas to avoid higher taxes – in history, and the movement of American jobs overseas.

On its surface, the administration’s rules may seem to have steered in the right direction. Agreeably, America’s tax code should not provide statutory incentive for companies looking to sidestep their taxes and move jobs elsewhere. However, federal intervention in these situations can be slippery-slopes toward economic burden.

In the case of Pfizer and Allergan, these health companies were blindsided by the administration after countless costly hours had been put into merging the two companies. Allergan CEO Brent Saunders divulged that, “It really looked like they did a very fine job of constructing a rule here – a temporary rule – to stop this deal, and obviously it was successful.” He added that “for the rules to be changed after the game has started to be played is a bit un-American.”

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