This is a glimpse into the world of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-funded charity that pays for lawmaker trips to resorts where they leave with ready-to-pass bills written by corporate lawyers. Neither ALEC nor the Georgia legislature would show us where the money comes from, or who it goes to.
The Investigators: ALEC - The Backroom
Where Laws Are Born
Help Us Put the Spotlight on ALEC - Help Expose the Bad Guys!
Scott Walker: The First ALEC President? (Note: Under Walker his efforts are a major reason for exploding prison populations because of private prison corporations involved with state legislatures and ALEC. Presently, there are an estimated 2.3 million Americans in prison many for non-violent crimes. This is the highest prison population in the world for any country and is appalling.)
So a Lobbyist and an ALEC Legislator Walk into a Bar...Caught on Tape by NBC
Has Walmart been involved with state legislatures across America with connections to ALEC? In 2011, the Walton Family Foundation and Walmart were listed side by side as chairman level sponsors of ALEC's annual meeting. According to analysts, since 1990, Walmart's PAC and Walton family members have given more than $1 million to politicians who have been board members or state chairs of ALEC. So what's the agreement here, state legislatures get paid off with a lousy US$1 million and Walmart gets to walk out of the US with an alleged US$76 billion in assets parked in 78 offshore locations? ALEC has become notorious for backing some of the most controversial state laws in recent years, especially ones that attack public education, the environment, and civil rights. Basically, ALEC suggests corporate robber barons are having their roads cleared of debris for their continued pillaging across America's state legislatures.
Here is another powerful corporate member involved in ALEC: Steven Reinemund, Exxon Mobil Board of Directors. Walmart director Steven Reinemund, Dean of Business at Wake Forest University, also serves on the ExxonMobil board. An Exxon Mobil executive currently sits on ALEC's 14-member Private Enterprise Council.
This article appeared
Walmart Accused of Stashing $76 Billion in Assets in 78 Foreign Tax Havens
Friday, June 19, 2015
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon—Credit: Walmart
Walmart, the biggest retailer in the world, uses foreign tax shelters to stash $76 billion in assets in order to reduce the amount of taxes it has to pay to the U.S. government.
A report (pdf) from Americans for Tax Fairness said Walmart had at least 78 offshore subsidiaries and branches to stash the assets where they’re not subject to U.S. corporate tax rates.
The study, which used information provided by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, said 90% of the havens were based in Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Bloomberg reported "overseas operations have helped the company cut more than $3.5 billion off its income tax bills in the past six years."
Luxembourg has no Walmart stores, but the company’s subsidiaries there reported $1.3 billion in profits from 2010 to 2013. These havens paid taxes at a rate of less than 1%, according to the report.
The study also said all Walmart's 3,500 stores in China, Central America, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, South Africa and Chile appeared to be owned through tax havens in the British Virgin Islands, Curacao and Luxembourg.
Another tax-saving trick employed by the company is for the parts of the company based in higher-tax regions to "borrow" money from the subsidiaries in low-tax countries. Interest is then paid (on paper, at least) to the division in the low-tax area, moving profits to that division.
To Learn More:
The Walmart Web (Americans for Tax Fairness)
Wal-Mart Has $76 Billion in Undisclosed Overseas Tax Havens (by Jesse Drucker and Renee Dudley, Bloomberg)
Welfare for the Rich: Fortune 500 Companies Sweep up $63 Billion in Government Subsidies (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
State May Close "Walmart Loophole" that Lets Big Employers Shift Workers to Medi-Cal (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)