Senate goes after tax-cheating Apple

Pub date May 21, 2013
WriterTim Redmond
SectionPolitics Blog

Glad I’m not the only one who thinks its an outrage that the world’s most valuable company, with vast revenues and huge cash surpluses, is looking for ways to avoid paying federal taxes. A US Senate committee is going after Apple, with the chair, Carl Levin, saying the company created “ghost corporations” in Ireland to hide profits and cheat the US out of $9 billion.

Now, just for the record: What Apple is doing is probably legal. The federal tax code is, to put it mildly, all fucked up, and it allows US companies to get away with all sorts of gimmicks.

But remember: Somebody has to pay for all the debt that GW Bush racked up in his foolish wars, and all the other (much smaller) expenses that the federal government incurs. So if Apple hids $9 billion, then you and me — or, as the late, great Jonathan Kwitny put it, “the millions of lathe operators, clerks, computer programmers, dirt farmers, druggists, and hod carriers who are harnessed collectively as the American taxpayer” — have to make up the difference.

I’m glad Sen. Levin is on this.