Proposal would set a standard

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 17, 2003

Sen. Mark Dayton isn't just making an empty gesture in memory of Paul Wellstone with a proposal to put some teeth back in a rule against Homeland Security contracts for tax evaders. The regulation makes sense as a way to hold corporations accountable for their choosing profit over patriotism.

The provision would withhold contracts from companies that relocate offshore to avoid paying taxes.

Wellstone was successful in his push for the amendment to the bill creating the Homeland Security Department, but after his death, the Senate watered it down with exceptions for reasons of national security, loss of U.S. jobs or additional costs to the U.S. government. Dayton wants it restored to the original Wellstone language, with an exception only in case where the president deems it necessary for national security.

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Why should citizens and other law-abiding and honest businesses, who dutifully pay their taxes, continue to have to do so and ultimately bear the financial shortfall because other companies are greedy and don't want to pay their fair share?

To have corporations that relocate for the sole reason of avoiding their tax responsibilities earning money off U.S. taxpayers with government contracts is an insult, and Dayton is right to take over where Wellstone left off. There must be consequences for that kind of corporate behavior.