Burger King’s Acquisition Should Be Celebrated, Not Castigated

In 1974, Burger King introduced a jingle that encouraged diners to “Have It Your Way.”

Ironically, the Obama administration has usurped the jingle and altered it to “Have It Our Way” to describe their approach to business — pay our taxes, conform to our regulations and support our causes or will we castigate you.

Burger King has the audacity to expand their market share by acquiring Canada-based Tim Hortons, a causal fast food chain known for their donuts and coffee, and in the process is considering moving their headquarters to Canada from Florida.
Immediately they were accused of being unpatriotic.

In fact they are not. They are simply following in the footsteps of some two dozen U.S. companies, ranging from Liberty Global to Sara Lee, that have quietly moved their headquarters out of the United States to places like Ireland, Canada and England since 2008 in search of lower corporate income taxes, according to The Washington Post.

Was there an outcry then? Hardly a peep.

But there’s been a steady and growing parade of U.S. companies that have moved their headquarters to other countries or are thinking of doing so.

In April, Pfizer was lambasted for trying to buy U.K.-based AstraZeneca and becoming a British company, even though their headquarters would have remained in New York.

And now Burger King is the new whipping boy for buying Tim Hortons and moving their headquarters to Canada. Ironically, Burger King is not even American owned, as a Brazilian company acquired a majority stake in the firm in 2010.

It’s not that Burger King is any less patriotic than others are for moving; they simply seized an opportunity to legally grow their business while improving their profitability. And they will continue to pay corporate taxes for their U.S.-based restaurants and pay the wages of American workers.

This isn’t really about taxes. Burger King wants to expand their breakfast offerings, so it makes sense to acquire a company with a big stake in the fast-food breakfast market. This really is all about that old buzzword — synergy.

In other words, Burger King should be applauded, not rebuked, for a savvy move.

But how many other U.S. companies will be forced to relocate because they can’t be profitable under the current corporate tax law?

Is President Obama asleep at the wheel or does he just not recognize the mounting threat this has for our economy and job creation?

David Harsanyi, the senior editor for The Federalist who appeared on my Made in America radio show, describes the Left in much different terms. They aren’t asleep, he said. They are “freaking out.”

He contends Obama’s people can’t comprehend that American companies are not buying into his promises to alleviate the economic pain that causes them to seek drastic measures, including relocating.

It’s time for the Obama administration to understand that their crony crowd of big business contributors does not represent the real work being done by both big and small companies to survive. They aren’t in business to “placate the Obama administration or generate more revenue for government,” according to Harsanyi.

Just as we are beginning to make progress on backshoring — the process of American manufactures moving their operations back to the U.S. primarily from Asian countries —we’re watching our big corporations seeking a more profitable economic environment elsewhere for their headquarters.

Something is terribly wrong with the American domestic economic policy when we seem to be inviting American companies to move out of the country to survive.

We have a leader with no business acumen, who surrounded himself with advisers with no business acumen. We should not be surprised that business is considered the ugly stepchild by this administration.

When is the American business community going to rise up and proclaim that enough is enough? We have the numbers, what we lack is the will.

I’m all for exporting American products to other countries, but not exporting our corporate headquarters.

It’s time we “had it our way.”

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