Bono U2 Avoiding Irish Taxes

Today I read an interesting article in the U. K.’s Mail online.  Apparently a protest of Bono and U2 is planned for later this month when they perform in Glastonbury,  England.  The reason?  Bono and his group U2 have moved some of their business (yes, U2 is a Business) dealings to the Netherlands to avoid paying more taxes to Ireland.  It seems the Irish government has capped what the article calls, “generous tax breaks for artists…”

U2's The Edge

U2’s problem is that Bono meets often with world leaders asking them to contribute more money to starving countries.  Nothing wrong with that.  Infact, I would say that’s great.  But, now people are saying that, U2 by avoiding taxes, is depriving Ireland of badly needed tax revenue.  Revenue that would help Ireland provide assistance to the impoverished of their own country.

U2 says that they pay taxes all over the world because they’re a global business.  U2’s guitarist, The Edge, says, “Of course we want to be tax-efficient – who doesn’t?”  No argument here, that’s what businesses and individuals do.  They try to pay as little as possible.  They and you earned it,  right?

Okay, so here’s the deal.  One of the liberals favorite (and highest grossing last year) bands is doing what conservatives talk about all the time!!  They moved some of their business to the Netherlands to pay less taxes.  This illustrates perfectly what conservatives believe and what IS true.  Tax more and you risk losing businesses.  Tax less and you attract business.

You may have heard about Google, shifting some of their business out of the country.  By doing this they avoided paying over 3 billion dollars in taxes over a three year period.  We could have sure used that.  Again, they are doing what businesses do.  Their is nothing wrong with that.  They paid something like 2.4% overseas taxes.  Their effective tax rate was 22.2%.  If they had paid the U.S. corporate rate, I believe they would have been around 35%.  Quite a difference.  The U.S., by the way, has the highest or second highest corporate tax rate in the world.  Read about Google here:  or Google it.  Maybe you’ll want to Yahoo it.  Hard telling what Google does with searches about their tax tactics.  Keep in mind other corporations do the same.

In Wisconsin, Governor Walker is attmepting to be business friendly.  As you have no doubt heard, he is doing numerous things to keep taxes at bay and to keep the state budget balanced.  He’s also trying to attract businesses by giving them tax breaks (like U2 had in Ireland).  As a result,  Wisconsin has moved up the ladder considerably, interms of being business friendly.  Businesses, as I and others have said before, like stability.  Our President, doesn’t get this.

Wisconsin recently jumped 17 places in a survey of best and worst places to do business.  The survey was done by Chief Executive Magazine.  Wisconsin went from 41st to 24th on the list.  The survey included many things of which taxes were a part.  I am sure that CEO’s view Governor Walker as business friendly based not just on what he says, but what he is attempting to do.    I hear the Shame, Shame, Shame’s now.

Governor Walker and conservatives around the country believe that it if you attract and keep your businesses happy and your spending under control, you can provide the required services to your constituents.  Tax breaks for businesses hopefully bring the businesses to you, then they provide the jobs needed to employ more of your constituents.  More employed means more taxpayers that may offset the tax breaks given.  If not, you still have more employed people spending more money in your communities.  They pay sales taxes.  Perhaps buy homes and then pay property taxes.  Business is the key.  No jobs.  Everyone hurts.

So, you see,  conservatives apparently are correct in their belief that overtaxation of businesses can cost you badly needed revenue.  Watch the state of Illinois where they are raising taxes considerably, see if businesses don’t start to flee.  The owner/founder of Jimmy John’s restaurants is talking about moving his corporate headquarters from Illinois because of the tax hikes there.

From CNN Money on line:  Faced with a daunting $13 billion budget deficit, state legislators opted to raise personal and corporate income taxes. Companies will now have to pay a 7% corporate tax rate for the next four years, up from the previous 4.8%. And Illinois businesses are already subject to a 2.5% surcharge.

Read the article:

Here ‘s an article about Jimmy Johns:

Liberals and Obama could learn a valuable lesson by taking a look at Ireland and the U2 situation.  U2’s guitarist, The Edge, has it right when he says:  “Of course we want to be tax-efficient – who doesn’t?”  It’s really that simple, however, if you’re Stuck On Stupid, I don’t expect you to understand.

Do you understand?  Just Asking.

U2 Update:  It seems the Glastonbury appearance did result in some violence as the demonstrators, an anti-capitalist group known as Art Uncut, inflated 7-8 foot balloon that said, “U pay your tax 2.”  The Sidney Morning Herald has the story.


2 Responses to “Bono U2 Avoiding Irish Taxes”

  1. Very good point. Typical for the walthy preaching classes, isn’t it.

  2. Looks like Bono is the new John Kerry. I don’t blame these people for moving their businesses (or yachts) to avoid higher taxes. When tax advocates avoid taxes, it’s just plain hypocritical. And as you said, it just proves the point conservatives make about raising taxes.

    Also, I moved out of Illinois about six months ago when the income tax hike occurred. Though the income tax hike was not the number one reason I moved, it surely wasn’t a reason to stay. I have no plans of moving back any time soon.

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