Multinational entrepreneurs are generating a lot of profits overseas, and they would bring that money back to the U.S. if tax rates were more reasonable, an Atherton resident told Congresswoman Anna Eshoo during a town hall call Tuesday night.
Eshoo agreed and elaborated, saying that this could be a way to address the national deficit.
“When was the last time we had the opportunity to inject up to 2 trillion back into the American economy?” Eschoo asked rhetorically.
Eshoo (CA-14) spoke to constituents in Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Woodside and Atherton via conference call from her office in D.C., fielding questions about issues such as tax reform, immigration, and higher education. Some of the callers said the state of the nation could be improved by modifying the tax code. She agreed, indicating she supports repatriation. Repatriation is a term used to refer to the transfer of dollars made in foreign countries into American accounts.
“Companies are holding money overseas, because a tax rate of some 35 percent applies to bringing back profits into the country,” Eshoo said. “That represents anywhere from 1.4 to 2 trillion dollars. This is serious, serious money.”
Financial matters weren’t the only topics discussed during the call. A caller from Woodside wanted to know what Eshoo would do to retain talented individuals in Silicon Valley.
“A lot of my companies were based on great programmers and technology people who came here to go to Stanford and Berkeley to learn computer science,” said a woman who identified herself as Casey. “They contributed to the company being successful and creating jobs. But immigration is so tough now that we have brain drain.”
Eschoo pointed to The Dream Act as a solution to the immigration laws that disable people who have attained advanced degrees in the U.S. from attaining American citizenship.
“If Andy Grove had come in under the present law, we would not have the Intel corporation,” she said. “That has to change.”
She said that if someone graduates from American universities and wants to stay and work in the U.S., they should have a green card “stapled to their college degree.”