Airgas Exec angry about federal tax being ‘uneven’

Peter McCausland, the Executive Board Chairman of Airgas Inc., protests what he calls the ‘unfair’ federal law that makes his employees pay higher income taxes than the multi-million dollar private equity people. He goes to say that his employees, numbering more than 14,000, include everyone from managers to truck drivers, and that this unfair taxation is making them lose a lot of money.

The tax break was made in order to incentivize new businesses. However, McCausland defends what he says is a loophole in the law. “If a private-equity guy invests his own money, that should qualify for capital-gains treatment. But the income he gets from [investors'] money should be taxed like ordinary income.” At the moment, high-level business only get to pay a mere 15 percent of capital gains tax instead of paying the income and payroll taxes that employees have to suffer.

He voiced out his concern by writing a letter each to two United States Senators, namely Robert Casey, a democrat, and Pat Toomey, a republican. “If the private-equity people paid income taxes at ordinary rates, and if corporations paid taxes on foreign income, and if Amazon paid sales tax, the system would be more fair”, says McCausland.  However, both Senators defended the law in their replies.

McCausland told reporters “Both the Republicans and the Democrats were reluctant to come out and say this is a loophole we ought to close… It’s a ridiculous position. It’s fundamentally unfair.”

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