Apple posts Tim Cook’s US Senate testimony Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 12:19 pm. PT Written by Jim Dalrymple Great that Apple made this public. http://twitter.com/mixdup Joseph Blake It would’ve been public anyway once it was submitted to the Congressional Record steve_wildstrom Committee testimony is not printed in the record. It is published at the discretion of the committee. http://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/how_to_committe_hrg.htm http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II That’s really well prepared. That’s not Cook’s testimony though, is it? http://twitter.com/mixdup Joseph Blake it may not be 100% exactly the words he says in front of the committee tomorrow but I’d be willing to bet it’s within 90% of what he says. http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II Sure. I’d 100% expect him to use the talking points. Jim’s title just lead me to believe it was his actual words, before I opened it. Crabbit_git I don’t believe i just read all of that. I think I am going to have to agree with Eric Schmidt, if you as a government are un-happy with tax take, change the fucking laws. Crabbit_git Don’t blame any one for taking advantage of the very rules, regulations ans laws that you and your predecessors put in, if you are so disposed change the god damn laws. Reading Comprehension So you say the laws are the only standard that a corporation (or its shareholders, or the citizens) should hold itself to? If there wasn’t a law against computer-related crime, that one couldn’t blame them for trying to break into their competitors’ servers and shutting them down? Or (to choose a more contemporary example) that if they didn’t offer benefits to same-sex couples and their families (because the law didn’t require it), one couldn’t criticize them for not doing that? The first big trouble with using “the law” as the standard is that it’s a ridiculously low standard. The second problem is that tech companies are staffed full of well-paid, well-educated, smart people, who can sit around all day thinking of ways to beat the system, and who can implement a new idea in a day. Governments are full of inherently less-technical people, in a legal process that is by its very nature slower. There is no way a government can win this. A smart technical company with no morals doesn’t need to break the law, since it can run faster than the law. This has always been the case, only now computers have made it easier than ever. Crabbit_git These are Tax laws, set by and regulated by our elected officials. Google, whom I have little regard for were again present infront of a UK select comity (similar to a congresional hearing in US terms) to explain their tax arangment with regard to the UK. The Chair of the commitee was the UK MP Margret Hodge, who’s estate owns more than £200 million shares in a company that, as she defends, pays no appreciable tax in the UK. Her defence? They pay tax due. Hypocracy is not a word she knows. If you dont like the fact companies get away with using the very laws you defend, change the laws. http://twitter.com/usefulDesign Useful Design Changing the Laws is so easy when MPs own that kind of stock in corporations, live for their revolving door retirement jobs and when Congress is basically the largest corporate brothel in the USA with lobbyists servicing the re-election needs of Elected Reps 24/7 http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido There’s no way a government can win this if it’s populated by opportunists who aren’t prevented from profiting by its institutional sloppiness. The bedrock of this sloppiness is the lack of true campaign finance reform. There are a few governments in the world that enact relatively ethical public policy, maintain efficient infrastructure, and legislate to benefit all of their citizens. Ours is not one of them. http://twitter.com/usefulDesign Useful Design Word jfutral “So you say the laws are the only standard that a corporation (or its shareholders, or the citizens) should hold itself to?” Like it or not, we are a nation of laws. That is the standard on which we are built. We don’t get to legislate morality. [edit to add]“There is no way a government can win this.” Actually, there is no way for Apple to win this. They’ve lost before they’ve testified. This is government extortion hard at work. I remember Chuck Schumar’s veiled threats a few years ago when he was confounded that Apple did not spend more on lobbying and said something to the effect that they need to spend money in Washington before things turn against them and they need friends. And here we are. Joe typewriter_ribbon No doubt they are obeying the law, and of course they are finding ways to maximize profit, as is their prerogative. And yes, they don’t write the laws. But I don’t think this testimony is particularly forthright either, and I don’t think Cook can seriously claim much high ground; it appears they have been shifting profits away from the US, and have found ways to avoid being taxed anywhere in the world in some cases. Obviously they just navigate US and international laws to their own advantage, but there’s not much to be proud of in being identified as the most ruthless and cunning exploiter of the system. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-20/apple-s-offshore-entities-avoid-taxes-senate-probe-finds.html http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/business/apple-avoided-billions-in-taxes-congressional-panel-says.html?hp&_r=0 http://300stations.com/ Mark D Wolinski If only the two sources you quote have not been known to notoriously fabricate/exaggerate the facts against Apple. http://e-wadda.blogspot.com/ Aaron I find this interesting because one of Tim Cook’s key points (see p. 3) is that Apple supports comprehensive reform of the tax code that is revenue-neutral and lowers tax rates, particularly for repatriation of foreign earnings, which is basically the Republican talking points verbatim; yet if you look up Apple on opensecrets.org, they donate almost exclusively to Democratic candidates. They apparently don’t even bother hedging their bets by donating to both parties like many companies do. It makes you wonder what their thinking is when they are throwing money at the same party that vehemently opposes their economic interests and is dragging their top executives before a Senate panel for public lashings?