Why tech execs want taxes

Many high-tech honchos say they'd back offshoring taxes. Are they trying to beat politicos to the punch?

Lots of good feedback to our special. Most of the e-mail responses have been measured and insightful. Of course, you run into the occasional bomb-thrower, but offshoring is the sort of subject that ignites passions. I was bracing for a lot worse.

Our poll turned up the tantalizing nugget that a number of U.S. businesses are willing to pay a per-head tax on jobs exported abroad. My assumption going into this was that any tax-proposal idea would be positively radioactive. Yet in private conversations, I've heard several technology execs acknowledge this is something they would support. Interesting. What with the all political grandstanding--which will only get worse as November approaches--maybe they're trying to get out ahead on the subject, before the politicians decide it for them. Now they're just waiting for somebody to go first.

Gallup weighs in
More polls. This one from Gallup on investors' sentiments about outsourcing overseas. The results: About two-thirds say it's "bad for the economy," while 23 percent indicated concern that it might cost a family member a job. You can interpret data in any of a number of ways, but this much is clear: The politicians are going to have a field day playing this issue for all that it's worth. To be expected--but when the policy makers start posturing for political advantage, a complicated issue becomes subject to caricature and, ultimately, demagoguery.

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