“Some $54bn of the lucre Apple’s reaped from its iPods, iPhones and iPads is outside the US,” Richard Blackden reports for The Telegraph.

“Apple’s pile is a mere fraction of the $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion of profits that JPMorgan Chase estimates US companies have locked away overseas,” Blackden reports. “As the US recovery stumbles, this wall of cash is becoming an increasing source of agitation to some in Congress. And it revolves around the hottest political and economic subject in America at the moment: tax reform.”

“Senator John McCain last month became the latest, and certainly highest-profile politician, to push for a plan to get the money back. He wants the tax that companies pay when they repatriate their cash to be cut to 8.75% [from 35%] for one year – a tax holiday that supporters insist will unleash a wave of money that will roll into America and create jobs,” Blackden reports. “Dave Camp, the Republican chairman of the influential House Ways and Means Committee, is also pushing a similar plan.”

Blackden reports, “There’s no mystery why its appeal sharpens as weeks go by. The economy mustered growth of just 0.6pc last quarter and there’s little immediate reason for optimism in 2012. Any stimulus based on government spending will be stamped DOA – Dead on Arrival – a nasty little acronym much used in the US. That’s before politicians begin tackling the more than $14 trillion of national debt, creating another headwind for the economy. Those companies with the biggest foreign cash piles have sensed that momentum is shifting and are lobbying vigorously. ‘We’re better off with these dollars inside the country,’ says Dean Garfield, chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council, a group whose members include Microsoft, Google and Apple.”

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