The CEO of Apple today will put his tail between his legs, which Steve Jobs never did, and testify before a Senate committee. They are expected to ask him about why Apple did not pay taxes that it was not obligated to pay.
The U.S. government expected to get its bite out of Apple, right down to the core. But Apple had set up a company in Ireland. It avoided U.S. taxes.
It had lots of other arrangements to avoid taxes. It hired tax lawyers to accomplish this.
Yes, my friends: tax lawyers! These are people who show rich corporations how to avoid paying taxes legally.
What is this nation coming to?
Congress is outraged. The arrogance of this! Not paying taxes that the U.S. tax code does not require Apple to pay. Senator Carl Levin spoke for Congress when he said, and I quote, “You can’t justify this kind of profit shifting with [these] kind of gimmicks.” Gimmicks, my friends. Apple used gimmicks. Tax lawyers went to the U.S. tax code that Congress had voted into law, and found . . . gimmicks!
This has to stop. It has to stop now.
Fortunately, the company’s executives are learning. Under Jobs, Apple spent only about $2 million a year on lobbying. That has to stop. It is time for Apple to do what other corporations do: pay its fair share of lobbying expenses. There are PACs to be funded, Congressmen to be placated. Business Week explains: “It’s stepping up its presence in the capital to avoid misfortunes such as the antitrust probes that afflicted Microsoft and Mountain View, California-based Google as they grew.”
So, Apple may yet become the faithful American corporation that Congress has come to expect.
The bite in the company’s logo will grow.