Blame Congress - The Missourian: Opinion

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Blame Congress

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Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 6:32 pm

Whatever you may think of Sen. Rand Paul and his sometimes wacky views, you have to give him credit for telling it like it is on a great many subjects.

The Kentucky Republican pulled away the blanket of hypocrisy that was stifling a Senate committee hearing last week that was focused on the problem of major U.S.-based, multinational corporations using loopholes to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes.

The Senate committee called Apple CEO Tim Cook in to harangue him over the tech company’s use of a web of offshore entities to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

Apple isn’t alone in its use of loopholes and offshore tax-avoidance techniques. They are commonly used by many large U.S.-based global firms as a legal way to reduce government levies at home and abroad.

The senators who criticized Cook know full well that few big corporations pay the 35 percent federal corporate tax.

They also know that our corporate tax rate is among the highest of all developed countries in the world and is the reason why companies seek to move revenues and jobs offshore. For instance, Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent and some companies, like Apple, pay less than that.

And yet Congress does nothing about it.

Which Sen. Paul pointed out when he said “Instead of harassing Apple executives, members of the Senate should have brought in a giant mirror if they wanted to see who is responsible.”

We are not condoning the tax avoidance schemes that Apple and many other giant multinational companies regularly use to get around the U.S. federal corporate tax rate. Apple didn’t do anything illegal. As Paul pointed out, the company was just maximizing profit for its shareholders by taking advantage of the loopholes available under our existing tax code.

We are renewing our request for Congress (including Sen. Paul) to do their jobs and overhaul the ridiculous U.S. corporate tax system which is outdated, too complex, full of loopholes and way too high.

Don’t blame Apple, blame Congress.

/opinion

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