Union Big: Use Overseas Profit Tax to Fund Infrastructure Bank

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - 12:29 PM

(New York, NY -- Bob Hennelly, WNYC)  As we've reported, the idea of using an infrastructure bank to fund big projects is gaining steam.  The most recent evidence was in the President's budget, released last month.  But questions about where the tens of billions of seed money would come from remain unanswered.

Now Andy Stern,  a Senior Fellow at Georgetown Public Policy Institute and the former president of the Service Employees International Union, has a possible solution. He thinks it’s wise to induce US multi-nationals to repatriate some of their foreign profits with a tax holiday. Because none of that money is getting taxed now, he said the tax rate could even be lowered to a minimum rate of 5.25 percent on overseas profits, well below the current 35 percent. He wants that new revenue to be put to work here in the United States re-building the nation's aging and  dysfunctional infrastructure.

"It could be more than that — but the minimum should be at least 5.25 percent," Stern said in a telephone interview.  "That would generate at least $40 to 50 billion dollars for opening equity in an infrastructure bank. That in turn could be additionally leveraged into $500 billion."

Read the full  Stucknation column at


News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.