It was fascinating to see Tim Cook of Apple testifying before Congress about how his company is not only America’s largest corporate tax payer but also has scrupulously followed every law that governs the amount of taxes it pays on its US earnings.



It was quite an unbelievable scene, though all too common here in Washington, DC. Someone who had done nothing wrong, whose company had played 100% by the rules (as fas as we know), was being grilled by the very people who wrote the rules they suddenly seemed to dislike. It was if a poor college freshman were being given an F, even though he completed every assignment and followed every class rule, only because his professor really hated the way he, in hindsight, and at the end of the term, had designed the course.

The only scandal about the Apple hearings is that Tim Cook had to take time out from working on the iPhone 6 (the sooner the better, sir), to waste his time, and our money, with testimony that taught nothing and that will change nothing. I wish the American people could hold hearings and subpoena Senators to account for making the insane tax code that American citizens and corporations have to live with. That would be an interesting event. and would provide at least some value, something that can’t be said of the little Apple circus that played in DC.


Posted by Carlos Alvarenga

Carlos A. Alvarenga is the Executive Director of World 50 Labs and Adjunct Professor in the Logistics, Business and Public Policy Department at the University of Maryland’s Robert E. Smith School of Business.

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