The U.S. Government Has Soured on Apple

Here’s President Obama from the DNC convention in 2012:

We believe the little girl who’s offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the next Steve Jobs or the scientist who cures cancer or the president of the United States — (cheers, applause) — and it is in our power to give her that chance. (Cheers, applause.)

But here’s the reality today, a long seven months later:

Apple grilled about tax havens

Apple executives defended the company’s tax strategy on Capitol Hill Tuesday, claiming that it pays one of the highest effective tax rates of any major corporation.

A Senate panel called the hearing to examine what committee leadership said was the iPhone maker’s strategy of shifting income to an Irish subsidiary to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Apple officials said the money resided with its overseas operations, such as those in Ireland, not to avoid taxes but because of the growth of Apple’s sales overseas.

And after listening to Senators Levin and McCain, you’d think that criminal charges against Apple are imminent. . .

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and ranking member John McCain of Arizona both started the hearing with withering criticism of Apple’s practice of shifting income to Ireland to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Levin, a Democrat, called the practice a “sham,” while McCain, a Republican, said that Apple’s claims that it use of the Irish subsidiary did not reduce its U.S. taxes is “demonstrably false.”

“U.S. corporations cannot continue to avoid paying their appropriate share in taxes,” said McCain. “Our military can’t afford it. Our economy cannot endure it. And the American people will not tolerate it.”

. . .except. . .

Even the critics of Apple at the hearing did not claim that it was doing anything illegal with its tax strategy, they were only saying that the way the current tax system is now set up was bad policy.

So the entire hearing was a stunt?



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