Former New Hampshire Senator John E. Sununu on Monday penned an op-ed piece for the Boston Globe defending Apple's tax practices. Just last week, of course, a trio of Apple executives made their way down to Washington D.C. to answer questions before a congressional subcommittee regarding Apple's foreign cash hoard of $100 billion.
In the op-ed piece, Sununu accurately points out that none of what Apple is doing is illegal. On the contrary, Sununu notes that Apple is simply doing what any other similarly situated multinational corporation would do, which is to minimize its tax liability within the confines of the law.
As it stands now, the US currently has the highest corporate income tax rate in the world. Consequently, Sununu writes that the real blame with respect to corporations keeping untold billions in profits overseas falls directly on Congress.
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. And Congress, being Congress, took the bait. Amid hearings of the House tax-writing committee he leads, Representative David Camp bluntly declared, "The tax code is a mess." John McCain observed that the Apple situation "reflects a flawed corporate tax system." [Carl] Levin closed his own hearing by saying, "It's unfair. It needs to change."
Of course, calling for change is much easier than implementing it. Sununu points out that reworking the tax code isn't necessarily straightforward because Congress needs to strike a balance between raising revenues and simultaneously enticing corporations to repatriate billions in overseas profits.