updated 01:41 pm EDT, Tue May 28, 2013
Says old tax laws at issue
A former New Hampshire Senator, John Sununu, is defending Apple's exploitation of tax laws in a Boston Globe editorial published on Monday. Sununu points out that none of Apple's actions have been illegal, only in line with what other multinational corporations would do, which is minimize taxes owed wherever possible. Instead, Sununu blames the billions companies like Apple are stashing offshore on Congress failing to change US tax laws.
"By refusing to feel guilty about the results produced by a 30-year-old corporate structure, [Apple CEO Tim] Cook placed the responsibility for the taxes Apple pays where it belongs: on the US Congress," Sununu writes. "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.'"
Sununu adds however that the issue is complex, since Congress has to balance lures to repatriate foreign cash versus the funding demands of the US government. Apple lobbyists have been pushing US politicians to enact a "tax holiday," which would briefly lower the US' corporate tax rate so that Apple (and other corporations) would lose less in repatriating their cash.