Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Editorial: A Canadian-Brazilian Whopper, Hold the Taxes and Jobs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Editorial: A Canadian-Brazilian Whopper, Hold the Taxes and Jobs

Article excerpt

So who's up for a Rio-Toronto Whopper?

Burger King, owned by 3G Capital, the same Brazilian billionaires who financed the takeover of Anheuser-Busch in 2008, announced Tuesday that with some help from Warren Buffett, it had acquired Canada's beloved Tim Hortons restaurant chain for $11.4 billion. The combined entity will be headquartered in suburban Toronto, providing U.S. tax benefits for the Brazilians, who, like Mr. Buffett, are some of the world's richest men.

Here let us note that U.S. taxpayers already subsidize Burger King by providing health care and food stamps to many of the 191,000 employees at the restaurant it and its franchisees own. It's estimated that it costs taxpayers $1.2 billion a year to subsidize McDonald's employees. Based on the relative size of the two companies, that would make the annual subsidy to Burger King and its franchisees about $266 million.

As aggravating as this deal should be to U.S. consumers unrestrained capitalism is only furthering income inequality it can only be more so to the Canadians. Sure they have national health care. Sure the minimum wage in Ontario is $10.20 Canadian, about $9.30 U.S., or roughly $2 higher than the federal minimum wage. But Tim Hortons, founded by a hard-living, hard-nosed Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player, is a very big deal north of the border.

It was bad enough that Wendy's owned Tim Hortons for 11 years before spinning it off as a Canadian stand-alone in 2006. Now come the Brazilians and the Burger King guys from Miami. It will be hard to know who's making the Timbits (doughnut-hole-like snacks that Canadians treat with the reverence usually reserved for communion wafers).

The last time this page published an editorial that didn't contain the name "Ferguson" was Aug. 12. The subject then was the decision by Walgreen Co. of Deerfield, Ill. …

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