Since I'm a contrarian, there are many issues where I disagree with seemingly most other people. But at least on a lot of those issues I have some understanding of the other side's argument, even if I disagree. Then there are the many issues where I just can't understand what the argument is at all.
An example from the recent news comes from the Apple tax hearings. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, Chair of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate, is shocked, shocked that Apple, after years of success at selling computers, iPhones and iPads, has accumulated some $100+ billion of cash overseas and declines to repatriate it to America. Since the USA levies a tax of about 35% on corporate income, bringing this cash into the US would cost Apple's shareholders about $35 billion.
To me it is completely obvious that any Apple executive who even thought for a second about bringing this money to the US and throwing away $35 billion of shareholder money would be totally incompetent and should be fired immediately. It is ridiculous to suggest that any executive who knows anything about his job and his fiduciary duty to his shareholders would give this idea a moment's consideration. So what in heaven's name is this hearing about?
Granted, Levin is an idiot. But how do you explain the likes of John McCain making statements like this (reported at cultofmac.com):
McCain concluded, “Apple has a negotiated tax rate of less than 2%. They have created loopholes to avoid paying $44 billion in taxes on income. $102 billion of $145 billion of Apple’s cash on hand is overseas. It’s time for Apple to reinvest in America.”
That man was the 2008 Republican candidate for President! Couldn't a high ranking former military officer like McCain give even a little deference to the fact that this man has a job and legal duties to his shareholders? By the way, Senator Rand Paul did a fairly good job standing up for Apple, although in reading his remarks I can't find any mention of the idea that bringing this money to the US and paying a $35 billion voluntary tax bill would be total dereliction of duty by Cook.