Des Moines Burger King Provides Platform For Tax Inversion Protest

And the protests against Burger King continue.

The Des Moines Register is reporting 15 Iowans gathered at the Des Moines Burger King to protest the merger of Burger King and Tim Horton's, with the headquarters for the merged company moving to Toronto, Canada, thereby changing its tax base from American to Canadian.

"Americans don't like being pushed around by kings, whether they wear a real crown or are shilling burgers and fries," said Andrew Rasmussen, president of the Des Moines Education Association. "Let's let these corporations know they aren't royalty. They are part of the community and they need to start paying their fair share."

Sue Dinsdale, the executive director of the Iowa Citizen Action Network, said companies who do an inversion want to reap the benefits of doing business in the U.S. but they don't want to help pay for the nation's services.

"If Burger King catches on fire, they want a firefighter to come, but without taxes we can't pay our firefighters," she said.

Dinsdale also said the rally was meant to elevate the issue.

"We're so caught up in this whole negative advertising election season that people aren't realizing that there are real consequences to who we vote for. This is one of them," Dinsdale said.

However, according to Radio Iowa, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R) in an interview stated the protestors should focus on changing the tax laws and not the corporations that take advantage of said laws.

Grassley says the protesters should be focusing their efforts elsewhere. "They ought to be demonstrating to Congress to change the corporate tax laws, reduce the corporate tax rate so we're competitive," Grassley says, "and at the same time, any organization is going to have to be able to compete in the United States and expand their business or they won't be in business."

Burger King, which has more than 75 Iowa restaurants, is planning to acquire the successful Canadian donut shop chain and would move the fast-food company's headquarters from Miami to Toronto. Grassley, a Republican, says the move is understandable given America's tax structure. He says the U.S. corporate tax rate is thirty-five percent while states add another four percent -- for a total of thirty-nine percent.

"We've got to reduce the corporate tax rate to at least what the international average is of about twenty-three percent," Grassley says. "Think how uncompetitive we are at 39, get it down to 23 so we can compete." Drug store chain Walgreens came under fire in August after its leaders announced they were considering a plan to move the corporate headquarters overseas.

In an interview with Radio Iowa in August, Grassley called the United States' tax system "unpatriotic" as U.S.-based companies have a very hard time competing in the global marketplace. Burger King is the latest corporation to weigh such a move.