In a move apparently to be more progressive, Burger King recently changed its motto from "have it your way" to "be your way." But the company's recent decision to merge with Tim Hortons and move its headquarters to Canada, which reportedly could score tax reductions for the company, is downright regressive.
Public pressure for economic patriotism and corporate stewardship must be a part of any permanent solution. It will mitigate market-based profit maximization pressures. Brand identity and consumer loyalty are not subject to the kind of loopholes that riddle the tax code or the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C.
As conservatives have been telling us since the wave of inversions began, we can't expect corporations to be "moral" or "patriotic." If we write the rules that let them get away with immoral and unpatriotic betrayal of U.S. taxpayers, they will do it. So the next order of business is to get Congress to pass legislation.
I believe the Democrats are right that we should curtail tax inversions and the Republicans are right that it should be part of an overall tax reform package. I understand the reluctance of the Dems to pursue this, but our tax system is a mess of special interest provisions that needs to be cleaned up.