“At the State of the Union address just four months ago, President Obama sang the praises of Apple, a company that is consummately American — from its logo to its fashion-driven product line. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook sat proudly in Michelle Obama’s box as the president announced that for the first time in years, Mac computers would be built in America,” John E. Sununu, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire, writes for The Boston Globe.
“Last week Cook found himself in a box of a very different sort. With candor and patience that put his inquisitors off stride, he endured hours of grilling before the Senate Investigations Subcommittee,” Sununu writes. “Carl Levin, the panel’s chairman, described Apple’s behavior as ‘gimmickry’ and accused them of pursuing ‘the holy grail of tax avoidance.'”
“At issue was the company’s corporate structure and the effective tax rate that resulted from it. No one argued that Apple had done anything illegal or broken any rules. Levin simply felt that the company should pay more. Ironically, he was the only senator in the room who held office when Apple established its existing corporate structure back in 1980,” Sununu writes. “And as one of the three lonely votes against the 1986 tax bill that set the foundation of today’s system, he surely understands as well as anyone that many companies seek to limit their tax exposure while carefully complying with the laws as written.”
Sununu writes, “Making the case for his company’s decisions, Cook came off far better than the average witness on Capitol Hill. Perhaps it’s easier to be blunt when you employ 60,000 workers in the United States, but lines like ‘we pay all the taxes we owe — every single dollar’ set the tone from the start… By refusing to feel guilty about the results produced by a 30-year-old corporate structure, Cook placed the responsibility for the taxes Apple pays where it belongs: on the US Congress.
Read more in the full article here.
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