Hoosier Daddy?

Hoosier lawmaker Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) asks a good question: Should contractors working abroad have to pay the U.S. government billions in unpaid taxes?

His answer: Yes!

And he's moving ahead in making it a law.

On Monday -- yes, one day before Tax Day -- the House approved his Contracting and Tax Accountability Act, H.R. 4881. The Senate sponsor is Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Robert Brodsky at Government Executive wrote about it. And here's a press release.

"Every year, on April 15th, Hoosiers play by the rules and pay their taxes; I don't think it's too much to ask companies that receive millions, sometimes billions, in taxpayer dollars to do the same. Not only do these bad actors cheat our government of tax revenue, they also gain an unfair advantage over businesses that are doing the right thing," Ellsworth said in the release. "This bill is a practical and cost-effective way to ensure all companies compete on an equal playing field and to restore some accountability in the government contracting system."

"Hard-working Americans don't get a free pass if they fail to pay their taxes, and neither should corporate interests," Obama said. "Our government should ensure that federal contractors also play by the rules and satisfy the basic responsibility of paying taxes. I commend Representative Ellsworth for his leadership in passing this important bill in the House, and I look forward to working to pass it in the Senate."

I have a feeling that some contractors are going to be bitter about the whole thing.

Get it?

By Robert O'Harrow |  April 17, 2008; 7:00 AM ET Contract workers
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Posted by: safmmail@yahoo.com | April 22, 2008 11:35 AM

I worked for 4 years as a DOD civilian employee in the Middle East and paid taxes on every cent I made. I worked side by side with civilian contractors and the warfigheter. I was not there to make tax free money, unlike many contractors who were not shy about admitting that was their only motivation for being there. I never understood why contractors were granted a relief from paying taxes. They are still US citizens and their families back home are enjoying the privileges of living in this country - what makes them any different than the rest of us?

Posted by: cak5789@yahoo.com | April 22, 2008 9:43 PM

This is a bit of a shell game. Contractors will merely pass the cost of the taxes back to the government and then get to add that cost to the profit markup - ultimately making their profit higher. I wonder if the legislators really have any idea of how this works. This is more grandstanding politcal showmanship and no substance whatsover. In fact, it will cause the "price tag" for the Iraq and Afghanistan operation, as well as all US Gov operations, to go up at least 30 percent. As Mr. Justice Brandies of the Supreme court said, ignorant but well meaning people do a great deal of damage.

Posted by: Chris | April 28, 2008 11:21 AM

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