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Fortune’s Allan Sloan and Stephen Colbert talk tax inversions

Stephen Colbert.Stephen Colbert.
Stephen Colbert.Photo credit: Brad Barket—Getty Images

From President Obama to Stephen Colbert, corporate tax inversions are raising the hackles of pundits and politicians alike.

Some 60 companies have traded in their American status for a foreign HQ and correspondingly lower tax rates, according to a recent Fortune cover story by Allan Sloan.

The magazine’s senior editor at large dropped by the Colbert Report Wednesday night to talk corporate tax inversions. His article, “Positively un-American,” and recent column, “How to stop companies from deserting American before its too late,” delved into the issues surrounding companies who have benefitted from U.S. laws, policies and location while throwing in the towel on taxes in the name of fiduciary duty — as well as how the government can step in to stem the growing number of these deals.

“We have this idea, I have this idea, that to be American you should act like a citizen,” Sloan told Colbert. “You shouldn’t just take stuff from the country, which these companies have done, and then decide you don’t want to pay for it.”

Watch the full clip below.


Also worth a watch is Colbert’s inversion explanation and rant right before he interviewed Sloan.

It’s a three-minute overview of what an inversion is, and the debate that is flaring between those who say companies should take advantage of the legal ability to boost shareholder value and those that are calling the move flagrantly un-American.