Apple and its CEO Tim Cook are making history, superseding very serious Administration scandals from the MSM’s consciousness and from the front pages, as they endure a very public assault by Congress for having obeyed corporate and tax laws of the countries in which they conduct business.
For decades international corporations have used all tools available to them which might strengthen their business, their health, their market penetration, and their profitability. For decades most corporations, even small companies, when licensing intellectual property, have followed the rules Congress established, just as Apple has done. Now, Congress, led by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), sees an opportunity for righteous indignation accusing Apple of exploiting a tax loophole.
Levin is doing his limited best to countenance Apple into a corner of unAmerican darkness and of antipathetic mien to all taxpayers. Levin is hard on the heels of what, really? Simple tax avoidance – legal tax avoidance. Surely Levin has never deducted anything he was fully ‘entitled to’ on his income tax filings, has he? Surely not, or he would be a hypocrite.
This year Apple expects to pay $7 billion in United States taxes, more than any other company. It also intends to leave over $100 billion offshore, away from U.S. tax rates.
Listen up Tim:
With your personal money, with your vote, and with your company’s money, you supported a political party which is a former shell of what it was when you were a kid growing up. It is today a party which institutionalizes jealousy of anyone who has ‘more’ – not ‘much more’ necessarily, but just ‘more’. You have encouraged and endorsed a political party which has repeatedly assaulted all businesses, and particularly large companies, with socialist castigations from the teleprompter, and intimidations through over-reaching bureaucracies. You have advocated for a political agenda which sidestepped laws of the land to consolidate power in the hands of union bosses against their rank and file, and against the companies which employ them. Now you, Tim and Apple, you wonder why you are being publicly flogged for sport by the very people you mistakenly placed in power. Get your political, social, and economic priorities straight. You are not a too-big-to-fail bank protected by The Fed. Quit appearing surprised that the snake has coiled and is turning to bite. You are now getting a taste of the ideology toward which you have so readily allocated so much energy. Stop thinking you will ‘influence’ the Administration or the liberal Congress. Just Stop it. They’re not on your side. Never will be.
Listen up Congress:
Ignore Levin’s legislation, and ignore McCain who says, Congress “can effectively close the loopholes used by many U.S. multinational companies.” Quit acting like you work for the tax lawyer’s lobby, and act in the best interest of the millions who pay the taxes which pay you to do your jobs, and act in the best interest of the millions who wish they had jobs enabling them to pay taxes. Drop the corporate taxes all together, or reduce them to the single digit percentages. Give all companies on Earth a desire to base their headquarters in the United States. Corporations, little ones, medium ones, big ones, and giant ones like Apple, are vehicles which can enrich a society. That enrichment is felt through fulfilling jobs, through stimulation of creativity, and through enhancement in standards of living. Corporations have neither hearts, nor minds, only their people do. Don’t allow companies to play any role in the political process. None. Terminate lobbying. The taxes paid by more FULL TIME employees will more than make up for any elimination of corporate taxes. Relegate the term “loopholes” to the toxic trash heap. Apple is sending you, Congress, a very clear message. Listen. Don’t try to increase the bureaucracy to prevent the Apples of the Nation from reducing their tax exposure. Invite them to the table to tell you the truth on job creation. Right now, no-one is telling you the truth. This Administration and its flatterers in Congress, have been allowed to instil fear in those who aren’t cheering them on. Listen, then change that climate, and change the tax structure to reduce the massive financial and bureaucratic burden on all businesses. The small businesses will all love you for simplifying their lives. The partially employed and the unemployed will leap for joy.
A constituent of the vast baby boomer generation with a career which has been fortunate to know the ponderous corporate worlds, as well as the intimately pressurized, and invigorating entrepreneurial domains of high tech and venture capital, I have harvested my share of mistakes meandering through corridors of enterprise from Silicon Valley, to London and endless, colourful, sometimes praetorian points in between. The voyage has provided an abundance of fodder for a pen yielding to an inquisitive keyboard, a foraging mind, and a passionate spirit.
Whether political or business or social or economic or personal, is it not all political? It is a privilege to write, and an even greater privilege to be read by anyone, and sometimes with the wind at my back the writing may occasionally be legible. I do not write to invite scorn, nor to invite respect, but if I get really lucky the writing can stimulate thinking. I also write for the very selfish purpose of animating my own processes, and engaging the best of what life offers. Above all, whether biting fire or swatting shadows, I am grateful to be gifted the freedom to write and publish whatever flows down to the keyboard. To all those who enabled this freedom, and to all those standing guard to preserve it, I am indebted.