Economic Conservatives Defend Apple’s Tax Strategy

Given Apple’s longtime reputation as the particular darling of the liberal lefty end of the spectrum, it’s been facinating to see mostly prominant conservatives rallying to the defense of Apple’s corporate tax strategies. Some snippets:

High-Tech Lynching: Senate Attempts to Crucify Apple – Limbaugh

Talk radio host and longtime Apple products fan Rush Limbaugh contends that a Senate committee is attempting to crucify Apple Inc. over taxes blaming it for the deficit, the national debt, and unemployment, and that while nobody is accusing Apple of violating tax law, the company is still being persecuted.

Limbaugh notes that the only person on the committee defending Apple, and defending the concept of low taxes and limited government, is Senator Rand Paul, and that Apple Inc. pays more taxes than any US corporation – $6 billion last year to the US Treasury, $16 million a day, and pays 2.5% of all income tax collected by the US Treasury.

Of Course Apple Avoids Billions in Taxes and It Should

The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson says the U.S. corporate tax code is an impossible dream Apple is acting like a sensible corporation, including its having discoveres ingenious ways to avoid paying taxes on income earned overseas.

Thompson notes that Apple is a multinational company, with 61 percent of its revenue from foreign operations, and that to (legally) minimize its tax bill, Apple has set up empty subsidiaries in lower-tax countries like Ireland, effectively making them a quasi-stateless corporation with an effective corporate tax rate of about 20 percent.

He observes that issue is really about unrealistic expectations in which people (some of whom should know better) wish we could tax American companies on their earnings from all around the world, but we just can’t.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Exposes Ugly Truths About Keynesian Economics

Forbes’ John Tamny comments on Apple over the past few days having been the recipient of juvenile attacks from U.S. Senators on both sides of the political aisle – its alleged misdeed the legal shielding of overseas earnings from corporate taxation stateside.

Tamny observes that Congress, ever eager to spend other people’s money, is bothered that Apple would not expose all of its earnings to U.S. taxation, despite the fact that the company funnels $billions in taxes to the feds on an annual basis. “The hubris of the political class,” says Tamny, “is surely limitless.”

Too true.

Tamny also observes that the Apple story offers a real-world critique of the effect of Keynesian stimulus programs, revealing with great clarity just how anti-growth is the government stimulus oxymoron.

He notes that in the staggeringly obtuse Keynesian view of the world, how capital is allocated is of no consequence; the important thing being that money is spent with abandon and the economic ideal is to get the money spent as quickly as possible.

On the contrary he contends, how capital is allocated is of great importance, and that when politicians and government workers (their salaries coerced from the hands of those they rule, quite unlike how investors voluntarily pay Apple salaries) allocate the funds they tax away, theres no market discipline to restrain them and starve their errors.

Tamney says that in a limping economy we should be very thankful that Apple has blocked billions from reaching the obnoxious hands of politicians.

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