When the U.S. Senate held an investigatory hearing on “Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code” recently, a subcommittee summoned an Apple corporation spokesman to appear. I was offended by the very idea. I scoffed at the notion that a $4 trillion bureaucratic monster—aka the federal government—would attempt to bully, berate and badger one of America’s greatest success stories.
In the late 1990s, Apple was struggling to find its place among America business, as sales diminished and the niche of Apple products had yet to be defined. The company overcame this insurmountable challenge by not only thriving, but by becoming one of the largest companies in the world.
Today, more than 600,000 American jobs rely on Apple.
Apple’s job creating machine extends across the United States. The iPhone uses Gorilla Glass, which is manufactured in Kentucky by Corning. Today, Corning—and Kentucky—benefit from nearly $700 million in sales, employing more than 300 people thanks to Apple. Rather than berating Apple, we should celebrate the jobs Apple continues to create.
I think the federal government owes an apology to Apple. Instead of Apple, Congress should be on trial for having the crummiest tax code imaginable; for having a byzantine tax code that runs into the tens of thousands of pages; for creating a tax code that simply doesn’t compete with the rest of the world.
The Senate subcommittee admitted that Apple had not broken any laws. Yet, they are forced into a public trial at the whims of politicians, when in fact, Congress should be on trial for chasing the profits of great American companies overseas.
The Senate hauled before a committee one of America’s greatest success stories—and wanted what? Applause?