Caterpillar likely to get GOP support on corporate tax Senate subcommittee dog and pony show

“Caterpillar Inc. is likely to get some Republican support Tuesday when the giant maker of construction and mining equipment faces criticism of its accounting policies at a Senate subcommittee hearing,” James R. Hagerty reports for MarketWatch. “A report on Caterpillar’s tax-avoidance strategies, to be released before the hearing of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, has been spearheaded by Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the panel. But Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who is the ranking minority member on the subcommittee, is expected to dissent from at least some of Sen. Levin’s criticism.”

“The two Senators usually work well together, a spokesman for Sen. McCain said Thursday, but ‘they disagree on this one,'” Hagerty reports. “He said Sen. McCain doesn’t believe Caterpillar’s tax practices are as ‘egregious’ as Sen. Levin does. Tax Analysts, a newsletter, earlier reported that Sen. McCain was ‘distancing himself’ from the report.”

“In May 2013, both Sens. Levin and McCain were critical of Apple Inc. when the subcommittee issued a report on that company’s tax-reduction strategies,” Hagerty reports. “The subcommittee’s investigation found no evidence that Apple did anything illegal. Apple told the panel that it paid all taxes due and argued the U.S. tax code needed a ‘dramatic simplification.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: More worthless, money-wasting belching, bloviating, and grandstanding.

U.S. corporations avoid U.S. corporate taxes because they are too high, geniuses.

In November 2012, Tim Worstall wrote an interesting article for The Register. In case you missed it:

Google, Apple, eBay shouldn’t pay taxes – people should pay taxes.

Under the current U.S. corporate tax system, it would be very expensive to repatriate that cash. Unfortunately, the tax code has not kept up with the digital age. The tax system handicaps American corporations in relation to our foreign competitors who don’t have such constraints on the free flow of capital… Apple has always believed in the simple, not the complex. You can see it in our products and the way we conduct ourselves. It is in this spirit that we recommend a dramatic simplification of the corporate tax code. This reform should be revenue neutral, eliminate all corporate tax expenditures, lower corporate income tax rates and implement a reasonable tax on foreign earnings that allows the free flow of capital back to the U.S. We make this recommendation with our eyes wide open, realizing this would likely increase Apple’s U.S. taxes. But we strongly believe such comprehensive reform would be fair to all taxpayers, would keep America globally competitive and would promote U.S. economic growth.Apple CEO Tim Cook, May 21, 2013

Related articles:
Not in Taxes anymore: On site at Apple’s famous Irish ‘headquarters’ – November 2, 2013
Senators Levin, McCain say Ireland faces questions even as Apple tax loophole tightened – October 16, 2013
Ireland to close Apple’s tax loophole, but leave bigger one open – October 15, 2013
U.S. SEC ends review of Apple taxes, overseas cash – October 5, 2013
Obama, world leaders push big companies like Apple, Google to pay more taxes – September 6, 2013
G20 think tank OECD proposes blueprint for global crackdown on tax avoidance – July 19, 2013
Apple again faces scrutiny after paying no UK corporate taxes for 2012 – July 1, 2013
Bloomberg News’ awful reporting on Apple’s U.S. corporate taxes – May 30, 2013
Thomas Sowell on Apple, corporate taxes, and ‘the road to serfdom’ – May 28, 2013
Former Senator Sununu: Congress wrote the tax laws, so why blame Apple for obeying them? – May 28, 2013
Taxing Apple just taxes you – May 24, 2013
Don’t tax Apple, tax its shareholders – May 24, 2013
If Apple paid more tax, we might pay less or something – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook pounds another nail into the Keynesian coffin – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Cook makes no apology for company’s tax strategy – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook charms Capitol Hill – May 22, 2013
Rush Limbaugh: ‘High-tech lynching: Senate attempts to crucify Apple’ – May 21, 2013
Nobody on U.S. Senate committee laid a glove on Apple CEO Tim Cook – May 21, 2013
Senator Rand Paul: Senate committee ‘should apologize to Apple for bullying one of America’s greatest success stories’ (with video) – May 21, 2013
Ireland: We have no special tax rate deal with Apple – May 21, 2013
Apple prepares for Washington onslaught: CEO Tim Cook isn’t taking any chances with senators looking to grandstand – May 21, 2013
Watch Apple CEO Tim Cook’s live testimony before U.S. Senate, starting at 9:30am EDT – May 21, 2013
U.S. Senate investigation found no evidence that Apple did anything illegal in avoiding taxes – May 20, 2013
Apple pays under 2% on overseas profits and it’s entirely legal – November 5, 2012
Google, Apple, eBay shouldn’t pay taxes – people should pay taxes – November 25, 2012
So how much did Apple really pay in taxes? – November 1, 2012
Apple’s showdown with the U.S. government over taxes on offshore cash – July 13, 2012
Apple‘s $74 billion tops list of U.S. tech companies’ overseas cash – July 9, 2012
Apple’s dividend move puts spotlight on foreign cash holdings, repatriation tax reform – March 20, 2012
Apple: Good start; and what about the overseas cash? – March 19, 2012
Apple’s foreign cash hoard piles up: $54 billion and rapidly growing – January 11, 2012
Senator John McCain eyes Apple’s $54 billion overseas cash pile – November 3, 2011
Google joins Apple in push for U.S. repatriation tax holiday – October 3, 2011
Apple lobbies Obama for tax holiday, wants to bring overseas bounty home – August 24, 2011
U.S Senate Democrat Schumer allies with Apple, other multinationals on repatriation tax talks – June 21, 2011
U.S. companies push for tax break on foreign cash – June 20, 2011
Apple, Oracle, Duke Energy, others organize lobbying blitz for tax holiday – February 17, 2011


    1. that sure seems to be the way things are shaping up. in the republican world view, there is never a good time to increase the minimum wage, and the lower the taxes the better.

      henry ford had it right, back before he became a cranky old plutocrat with more money than croesus…. if you want people to buy your products, then pay them a living wage that allows them to afford the products. (go back and compare what he was paying on an hourly basis with what the prevailing hourly wage in america was then – your jaw will drop and bounce off the floor)

      he was actually quite progressive and generous in paying his workers in the early years of his company.

      and when it comes to taxes, as has been pointed out previously, distinctly non-socialist dwight eisenhower had america booming despite a 90% tax rate on the top earners. (which i gotta say is mighty high), but when you compare corporations today wailing about 35% ,not counting all the subsidies and fancy dan tax law loopholes that allow them to get way under that they do seem like spoiled babies.

      1. Also important to point out that most top earners didn’t actually pay the 90% because it forced them to invest the money back into the business creating more and better paid jobs.

      2. Perhaps if we stopped the influx of super cheap labor we’d see wages increase.

        Dems ‘say’ they want to provide legal path because they care about those poor hardworking ppl living “in the shadows” but really just want to swing voting demo’s in their favor.
        Repub elites ‘say’ they want to provide legal path but really just want to please the CoB cronies.

        Both are idiots.

        Regardless, any person/organization that doesn’t do everything legal to avoid paying taxes is a fool that apparently doesn’t mind throwing good money after bad.

        And McCain is a stinking RINO.

      1. The “poor” pay low or no income taxes. The “wealthy” pay low or no payroll taxes. Each pay about 50% of total government revenue. The split is about 50/50. The “poor” used to pay more, but their average adjusted wages and wealth have steadily declined in the past 30 years, thus tax revenue from the “poor” have declined. The “wealthy” are paying historically low income taxes, while enjoying historically high wealth accumulation.

        Those are the facts, why do we always have to spin them to create political polarization?

  1. Socialists only have one approach to solving problems. Taxing citizens into the poorhouse. That’s their one size fits all approach.

    Even if you’re paying taxation rates of 99%, they’ll still find some way to shake you down for the remaining 1%.

    Socialist accounting goes like this: 1+1=½.

    1. Terrorists have many approaches to creating problems. That’s there all fits to one world approach.

      Terrorist accounting goes like this:

      – Wahhhh they were responsible for 911.
      – Wahhhh they have weapons of mass destruction.
      – Wahhhh we don’t want to have a vote at the UN to have our war cause we are a demoncratic nation.
      – Wahhhh we use Gutless Bay cause we are so brave with due process.
      -Wahhhh we torture people to ensure civilized behavior.
      -Wahhhh we spy on everybody to find out who the paranoids are.

      = On crumbling empire.

    2. Hey there Reinhard, this famous quote most likely applies to YOU and your centipede master.
      “the more I know the monied class, the more I understand the guillotine.”

      now get in line and lay down on the table, jackboot monkey.

    1. A Corporation is a nothing more than a legal fiction to describe an agreement between one or more people who come together for the purpose of conducting economic enterprise. So, yes. Corporations ARE people.

  2. Corporations should pay no taxes? Interesting concept. So, the infrastructure they use, including educational systems to teach their employees, the roads on which they transport goods, the court systems that (mostly) protect their i.p., the ports where their products are shipped, the police, fire, and military organizations that protect their assets here and abroad should all be free for them and paid for by citizens, but corporations are now arguing they should have the rights of citizens to donate to political causes and deny workers health care if it’s against the corporation’s espoused religious beliefs.

    One question: How can I declare myself a corporation?

    I’m not arguing that corporations aren’t taxed at too high a rate. I’m not knowledgable enough to judge. But I’m not foolish enough to let them off the hook, either.

  3. The problem with politicians is that they all have special interests in one way or another. McCain was probably supported by Caterpillar or has the business in his state.

    What is needed is an independent committee to come up with a better tax plan. Take all the frigging loopholes out and create something that is fair and equitable for all citizens and businesses.

    1. How’s this?

      Come up somehow (perhaps based on zip code, county, whatever) with a “base” income, and anything up to that income NO ONE is permitted to tax on the basis of income.

      Anything – and I mean ANYTHING – you get in income of any kind over that amount is taxed at a flat percentage. End of tax code.

      And yes, DON’T tax corporations. Any tax on a corporation is simply a tax on us hidden in the prices of the products of the corporation. If you want to REALLY see tax reform, wait until people get to see how much they’re REALLY paying in taxes.

      1. Strongly disagree about the dream to not tax corporations. Infrastructure needs to be maintained, and the funds to do so are currently being hoarded in large part by multinational corporations. Thus the tax code needs reform, not elimination. With the exception of corporate executives, nobody benefits in the long term by racing to the bottom.

        Ask Ireland how undercutting other nations’ tax rates works out. Such short-term thinking has too many negative consequences for a community. The majority of the world’s biggest companies are headquartered in the the most expensive real estate markets because the value of good infrastructure and education easily trumps low tax rates. You want ultimate freedom with no regulation or taxes, Somalia is what you’ll get.

        Fair & efficient taxation rewards efficient companies, good work, and responsible consumption. The problem we have today is that special interests have carved up the tax code to ensure their existing behavior is rewarded, and that the costs of doing business can be easily transferred internationally. With loophole closure and some reform, income taxes could be lowered (and waste/pollution/consumption taxes raised, not to mention tariffs against goods made via child labor and polluting processes). Fair taxation has NEVER been a disincentive for a company to make money or an honest man to work.

  4. If Apple has already paid foreign tax (admittedly low) on this foreign-earned money, they why should they pay ANY tax on it? Isn’t this double-taxation?

    You pay your taxes in the country (or Union) that you earned it.

  5. MDN respectfully reprinted tofu thin Tim testimony in May 2013.

    “It is in this spirit that we recommend a dramatic simplification of the corporate tax code.”

    Precisely! Amen, brother.

    Now, here is the delicious dilemma.

    You have a gay (increasingly activist) leader of the most cash rich company coffers on earth hiring a former Senate Democrat operative to lobby, or is it simply routine reroute of K Street payola, for common sense corporate tax reform.

    Now, think about it. Where do you go Apple to ‘git er done?

    Chew on that digital denizens …

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