Yesterday on the Senate floor, McCain proved the only difference between him and Barack Obama is the President has two daughters neither of whom go on TV just to sound stupid about politics.
Yesterday the former GOP standard-bearer John McCain showed himself to be a warrior in President Obama’s war on success.
On Monday Senate investigators discovered that Apple’s been a perfectly legal mix of international tax shelters
to lower its tax burden. For example, they have a holding company
incorporated in Ireland that keeps its bank accounts in the U.S., Since Ireland assesses residency based on where the company’s assets
are but America assesses residency based on place of incorporation, for all intents an purposes, this holding company exists nowhere for tax purposes.
According to Politico Apple saved $44 billion since 2009 from tricks like this which are all perfectly legal. The United States has one of the world’s highest
corporate tax rates, so there is no wonder why US based companies look for international tax shelters . But he Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation report attacked Apple most heavily.
Congressional investigators found that some of Apple’s subsidiaries had no employees and were largely run by top officials from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. But by officially locating them in places like Ireland, Apple was able to, in effect, make them stateless — exempt from taxes, record-keeping laws and the need for the subsidiaries to even file tax returns anywhere in the world.
In other words, the Democratic Party-controlled Senate was throwing another another punch in President Obama’s war on success (remember nothing that Apple did was against the law–they simply had great CPAs).
Yesterday, the Senate brought in Apple executives so they could make a public spectacle of yelling at success.
At the start of the hearings, as the Ranking Member, McCain got to say a few words, he decried what he described as Apple’s “scheme” to avoid taxes.
“U.S. corporations cannot continue to avoid paying their appropriate share in taxes,” said McCain. “Our military can’t afford it. Our economy cannot endure it. And the American people will not tolerate it.”
Appropriate share of taxes….now where have I heard that before?
When it came time for Senator Rand Paul a member of the committee to speak he attacked the proceedings.
Tell me one of these politicians up here who doesn’t minimize their taxes,” Paul said. “Tell me a chief financial officer you would hire if he didn’t try to minimize his taxes legally. Tell me what Apple has done illegally. I’m offended by government that uses the IRS to bully the Tea Party, but I’m also offended by government that convenes a hearing to bully one of America’s greatest success stories. I’m offended by the spectacle of dragging in executives from an American company that is not doing anything illegal.”
“If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress,” Paul went on. “I think the committee should apologize to Apple, I think Congress should be on trial here for creating a bizarre and byzantine tax code that runs into the tens of thousands of pages and for creating a tax code that simply doesn’t compete with the rest of the world.”
Committee Chairman Levin fired back after Paul’s salvo, saying that while Apple was indeed a great global technology company, “No company should be able to determine how much they are going to pay in taxes . . . using all kinds of gimmicks to avoid paying the taxes…”
“This subcommittee is not going to apologize to Apple,” Levin said. “We did not drag them in front of this subcommittee. They have come here willingly to explain their system. We intend to hear from them as to what this system is that they use.”
Of course Levin is a progressive Democrat…that’s what he is supposed to say, but Paul wasn’t done, and gave the committee some more.
But John McCain had just about enough, wanting keep his progressive stripes when it was his turn to speak again he faced Levin and said the two of them had
worked together for more than a quarter of a century in the Senate and
“I know of no member of the United States Senate who ever accused
you of bullying or harassing a witness . . . And frankly it’s offensive
to hear you accused of that behavior which has never characterized the
conduct of this committee.”
Barack Obama must have smiled at that knowing he has another ally in the war against success.
Paul is correct the real problem is our crazy voluminous tax code. Apple’s first obligation is to its shareholders many of them “moms and pops” and/or pension plans for “moms and pops.” If progressives such as Carl Levin or John McCain want Apple to bring its earning back into the United States simplify the tax code and lower the tax rate. This is still a free capitalist country and a corporation’s gotta do what a corporation’s gotta do to earn money. Much of that is producing the best products at the lowest rates, but some of that is paying out as little as possible–the fiduciary responsibilities of senior management.
This brings us back to Senator McCain. In 2008 the GOP nominated Obama-lite to be president, voters chose the “original” Obama. In 2012 the GOP nominated Mitt Romney who was a bit less Obama-lite but still closer too close to the progressive standard bearer and once again the people chose the original over the copy.
2016 is just around the corner, it is clear that the Democratic Party is not moderating, they will most probably choose another radical progressive as their nominee. If the Republican’s follow suit and choose another “progressive-lite,” a John McCain or Mitt Romney clone they will be dooming us to another four years of crashing down the abyss of over regulation, over taxation and success-prevention. Given the choice between a John McCain type or an “original” progressive voters will always choose the original.