From John Kennedy to Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, American presidents have taken aim at corporate America’s tax-avoidance schemes before — and mostly missed. Now, President Joe Biden is training the government’s sights on the loopholes, shelters and international havens that have long allowed multinational companies to dodge taxes in ways that ordinary households cannot. The idea is twofold: First, to help pay for Biden’s trillions in proposed spending — for everything from roads and bridges and green energy to internet access, job training, preschool and sick leave. And second, to shift more of the federal tax load onto companies and narrow America’s vast income inequality. Affluent investors reap the biggest windfalls when after-tax corporate profits accelerate.
Big Tech stocks are flexing their enormous strength again, after getting knocked around a bit earlier this year. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google’s parent company and Facebook all gave profit reports this week that blew past investors expectations. That has each of the Big Five on pace to rise more than the S&P 500 this month, and they collectively account for more than 21% of the entire S&P 500 again. Big Tech is reasserting itself after stumbling early this year amid rising interest rates, and as investors became enthralled instead with banks, oil producers and other companies that looked set to benefit most from a healthier economy.