[telecom] Uncovering Apple's Tax Havens | On Point with Tom Ashbrook

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Uncovering Apple's Tax Havens On Point with Tom Ashbrook May 22, 2013

Apple in the hot seat. Lawmakers say the company dodged billions in taxes on overseas profits. We'll look at the world of offshore tax escapes.

The headlines looked pretty bad for Apple this week on taxes and offshore shelters. "Gimmicks." "Schemes." Billions dodged. Stateless subsidiaries paying taxes nowhere, on giant revenues.

Then on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook in the hot seat in Washington, insisting that Apple is proud to be an American company, that it's broken no laws. Reminding Congress of the billions it does pay in U.S. taxes. Apple is not the only U.S. corporation working the edges of tax law in the global economy. It's a big deal.

Up next On Point: Apple's taxes, American law and offshore escapes.

-- Tom Ashbrook


Jesse Drucker, investigative reporter for Bloomberg News and author of the journalism series "The Great Corporate Tax Dodge." (@JesseDrucker)

Kara Swisher, co-executive editor of the technology news website AllThingsD. (@karaswisher)

Edward Kleinbard, professor of law at the University of Southern California's School of Law. He served as Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Alan Auerbach, professor of economics and law at University of California Berkeley and director of the Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance there. He also served as deputy Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation.

***** Moderator's Note *****

So now the chickens come home to roost: having helped American multi-nationals to put millions of americans out of work, having looked the other way while corporate executives shopped for the right jurisdictions to defend themselves against shareholder lawsuits, and having ignored warnings from world-class economists about the long-term effects of moving manufacturing, computer programming, and design efforts to third-world countries, the Congress is now seeing its own ox being gored. Our "public servants", who acted stupidly and selfishly to line their own campaign coffers by allowing corporate lobbyists to write the tax code, now have the gaul to act surprised when the same lobbyists tell their customers they don't need to pay Uncle Sam.

I'd say they brought it on themselves, but there is no "they": we elected these avaricious, short-sited, simple fools, so the problem is closer to home: in Pogo's immortal words, "We have met the enemy, and he is us".

Bill Horne Moderator

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