The Nunn-Buffett connection

The billionaire who frequently calls for higher taxes on the wealthy is financing a deal allowing Burger King to sidestep America's corporate income tax rate. He also maxed out to Michelle Nunn, who says she opposes such inversions.

Michelle Nunn

The news that Burger King plans to acquire Canada’s Tim Horton’s, and thusly become a company entitled to that country’s reduced corporate income tax rate, could carry political ramifications all the way down to Georgia.

That’s because Warren Buffett, a billionaire known for his support of Democratic candidates and causes, is helping finance the deal. The Wall Street Journal noted that he’s providing a quarter of the funds behind the inversion.

His role in the deal flies in the face of his rhetoric in America, which is largely centered on a call for the wealthy to pay considerably more in taxes. Yet this deal allows Burger King to avoid current tax rates.

Buffett has contributed over $64,000 to the Democratic National Committee this election cycle, and he’s also maxed out to the party’s Senate nominee in Georgia, Michelle Nunn. He cut her campaign two checks to the tune of $2,600 each last year.

Not only does the Burger King deal fly in the face of Buffett’s rhetoric, but it contradicts Nunn as well.

“These companies are exploiting a loophole in the tax code to shelter profits overseas, while taking advantage of all the taxpayer-subsidized benefits of working from the U.S. — and that should be changed,” she stated earlier this month.

Nunn’s Republican rival, David Perdue, has called for comprehensive tax reform and has gone on the record as a supporter of the Fair Tax.

“The United States has a punitive tax structure, including the highest corporate tax rate in the world, which puts American companies at a tremendous competitive disadvantage,” spokesman Derrick Dickey stated in the same piece that quotes Nunn. “David believes in tax reform that would attract profits currently trapped overseas back to America for investment and job creation here at home.”

August 25, 2014