Here's one option: Companies could repatriate foreign profits at, say, a 15 percent rate, less than the average company pays and well below the top rate of 35 percent. To keep that subsidy, they would have to show an increase in employee headcount, averaged over the next three years. In the long run, the bigger the increase in payroll, the bigger the tax break.
Some companies lobbying for a tax holiday -- technology giants Cisco, Apple Inc. and Google Inc. come to mind -- probably wouldn't benefit much by this plan, as they are unlikely to hire in large numbers. So be it. They will have to bring back their offshore earnings at the higher rate or invest the money overseas.
Likewise, this is hardly a cure-all for 9 percent unemployment. Some companies will figure out how to game the system, and others will be rewarded for hiring workers they intended to hire anyway. But it might nudge some cautious manufacturers to take the hiring plunge instead of continuing to wait for the jobless rate to decline and consumer spending to rebound.
Creating some new jobs is better than creating no new jobs.
In the 112th Congress, that would count as progress.
David Fuller's view US multinational companies are a huge success story. They will invest in and hire within their home country when it is in their best interests to do so.
This raises the question: Should their first loyalty be to their shareholders or the USA?
No doubt the discussion and debate on this subject will continue.