Keith Ellison: "Really disappointing" Apple won't pay more taxes than it legally owes [VIDEO]

Categories: Keith Ellison
keith ellison new rect.jpg
Ellison thinks a sense of moral obligation should motivate Apple to pay more taxes.
During a congressional hearing last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook came under fire for keeping more than $100 billion of the company's money overseas in order to avoid paying American taxes.

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Congress members didn't suggest Apple was doing anything illegal, and the upshot of the hearing was that America's tax code is in dire need of simplification. But short of that happening, Rep. Keith Ellison hopes Cook will realize he "ought to want to help pay the expenses of this country" because without the government's help, Apple woudn't have been successful in the first place.

Or so he said during a weekend appearance on Ed Schultz's MSNBC show.

Here's a transcript of Ellison's comments, followed by the video (h/t: National Review Online):
The American people have got to point out to [Republicans that] taxes aren't a punishment. Taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society. You wanna make sure that we have decent infrastructure? Oh, by the way, we had a bridge fall just the other day. You know, there is going to have to be some taxes paid. And it should be fair. And companies like Apple and GE and all the rest of them should pay their fair share...

It seems to me only fair that Apple would step up and help fund the country that has made it possible for them to be successful in the first place. Apple wouldn't be a multibillion-dollar corporation but for the fact that the United States of America made it possible for them to be that successful. It seems to me they ought to want to help to pay the expenses of this country so that everybody can have a fair shot. I think it's really disappointing that they don't.


Ah, if only multinational, multibillion-dollar corporations were motivated by a sense of justice and the civic good rather than profits... then we wouldn't need tax reform.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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33 comments
CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

So according to this fool's logic, Blacks should pay more in taxes because 1. This country made it possible for them to be successful as opposed to living in dirt huts in parts of Africa or the Carribean. 2. Many whites, and hispanics, they should pay more in taxes because they benefit more from the handouts, welfare and other things they get in this country. In other words, if it's a benefits tested system, then doesn't that mean the poorest should pay more taxes?

Or everyone in CA and VA should pay higher taxes because they have the most federal dollars spent in them?

hindsight
hindsight

Maybe this moral crusader should step up an lead by example. How about Ellison contributes some extra money to help pay off some government debt here? I never see anyone championing higher taxes on wealth contributing any extra of their own? What's stopping them?

u_r70
u_r70

Huh?  Apple, like any other organization that has shareholders, has a LEGAL duty to those shareholders to not squander corporate dollars and to try to maximize shareholder profits.  I don't think a "moral" obligation will survive a suit by said shareholders if Apple decides to feel benevolent and start making donations (in the form of voluntarily paying higher taxes) to the US Treasury.  This is retarded -- you want Apple to pay more taxes then change the law to make them pay more taxes.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

pretty fucked up that the congressional oversight comittee was more concerned about dick riding apple ceo and other fanboy shit


LINUX 


LINUXLINUXLINUX

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Stories like this entirely miss the point.  Unfortunately, it looks like Rep. Ellison has entirely missed the point as well.  Yes, it is disappointing that a lot of the elites seem to think that they achieved their success in a vacuum, and their country and the multitude of unique opportunities, available nowhere else in the world, mean nothing to them.  But that's the reality we see all around us every day.

The point is that all of this is legal.  It's perfectly legal to be a US corporation, entitled to all the benefits that status confers (including an armed guard 10 times larger than the next largest military in the world), and create offshore shell companies that do nothing except hold money off the ledger so it doesn't have to be accounted and taxed.  Perfectly legal.  It's also perfectly legal to do any number of obviously wrong things, as long as you have enough legal and lobbying representation to either change the laws to make your actions legal, or to intimidate anyone from challenging you.  Look at Wall Street.  The Justice Department can't find one thing done wrong in the collapse of the housing finance bubble, despite the multitude of lawsuits quite clearly demonstrating intentional fraud and the looting of the bond market.  Some money might change hands in civil lawsuits, but that will only fan the flames of "legal reform," to eliminate even the toll fare for fraud, much less any prosecution (which has already been bought off).

So if Rep. Ellison wants to make the elites pay for their privileges, he ought to start in on that task.  It's utterly pointless and absurd to complain that the people who took advantage of their power and privileges to re-write the laws to specifically keep them from having to honor their obligations would, having gone to that effort, go ahead and not use the very loopholes the worked so hard to have created.

keny1
keny1

"Ah, if only multinational, multi-billion dollar corporations were motivated by a sense of justice and the civic good rather than profits... then we wouldn't need tax reform."

Hey Rupar: Would you like a tall glass of ice cold utopia to wash down your delusional idealism?

Mike Hess
Mike Hess

Because they only paid $6B in us taxes last year. The US is the only company that thinks it should tax the overseas profits of US companies from their overseas operations. This policy actually encourages companies to locate more of their operations overseas where they can pay their overseas operating costs with this overseas revenue and not deal with the US asserting often an additional 30% tax rate, again on products produced and sold overseas, to bring that revenue back to fund US operations Scary out politicians don't understand this.

Eric VonSchliesing
Eric VonSchliesing

Is this the same Ellison that had unreported campaign contributions, discrepancies in cash balances, and misclassified disbursements during his campaigns for the Minnesota House of Representatives? I think so.

keny1
keny1

So it is Apple's duty to "help to pay the expenses of this country so that everybody can have a fair shot."? What in the motherfuck is this man smoking? 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@u_r70 you are a private property freak!  i bet you guard your SSN # like people care about having it

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@u_r70 would you like all the money you spend to dissapear and never return...have no impact on the area you live. 


will you side with the GREEDY PIGS when they run america into the fucking ground and your drinking water out of a fucking ditch while your wife sucks dick to get food

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@swmnguy ya the book is called "perfectly legal" - we know it well

doesn't change the fact that these "entities" make all profit from labor exploitation and american consumers. Since AMERICA made these greedy fucks rich it would be reasonable to assume they would submit to the law of the land that enriched them to begin with : tax all tax everything.

bill.e.goat
bill.e.goat

@Eric VonSchliesing Do you have any sources for these claims?

green23
green23 topcommenter

You voted for Ellison...remember?

You can't keep your lies straight, can you?

bill.e.goat
bill.e.goat

@keny1 Not sure, but Kennedy was clearly high on the same stuff man!  "ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."  Craziness!  Clearly a sign of end times.

keny1
keny1

@digitalprotocol So what is the solution? Tax them at 80%? 90%? 99%? And somehow you think that will give them an incentive to continue their operations in the U.S.? See, that line of thinking is the very REASON companies like Apple keep their money offshore and outsource labor. 

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@digitalprotocol @swmnguy  "Greedy fucks"? With that line of thinking, why try harder, think smarter, do better? I'm no Apple fan boy, but they're already being hit with taxes abroad, and you think they should bring the money home (not sure for what) just to be taxed again?

That's as dumb as you working in Denmark for a year, getting taxed by their system for 50% of your wages and then having to pay another 35% on top of that to the US because you're a US citizen. 

Why bother working when you're only keeping 15 out of every 100.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@green23  Like it matters in the 2nd.. A convicted pedophile/rapist/serial killer would win in the 2nd as long as they had a D after their name.

(Not saying Keith is any of those, just noting how liberal the 2nd is)

keny1
keny1

@bill.e.goat If a corporation employs people and pays their legal share of taxes, they are doing more than enough for their country. 

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@digitalprotocol @keny1 Hurt to promote the common good?  Not to be harsh but eliminate EIC, maybe then people will start paying attention to how their tax dollars are being spent instead of waiting for their hand out.

keny1
keny1

@digitalprotocol Of course I can. Here's an idea: Let's eliminate all loopholes and have a straight up flat tax. If a corporation keeps jobs in America, they get tax relief. If they outsource, they get penalized.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@keny1 ya you're right its double edged - can go either way. its pretty clear what way its going. 

you ever thought about looking from a different persepctive than your usual fat old white guy outlook

keny1
keny1

@digitalprotocol And when all corporations and business owners are taxed to death and either leave the country or close up shop, who is going to pay for your welfare and EBT card?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@keny1 fuck them - i dont use apple shit - impose a ban on importing their goods until they cough it up. 

America paid them, they used that money to pay scumbags to exploit tax codes 

they are pieces of shit just like you. ive read books on this topic so identifying you as a piece of shit is easy.

what happens when there is no money from taxes to pay for your fat pig mouth to slurp water from the faucet? what then?

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@digitalprotocol@CinBlueland Sorry dig, I work for an international company, I know why we have "entities" in Luxembourg, Ireland, Singapore, etc. 

As for not bringing the money home, the cash might not be coming directly back to the states but Apple's headquarters are still in the US which is where most of their R&D, Marketing, etc are done. It's not just a few Exec's sitting around and yelling at people in India to make more better faster.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@CinBlueland i dont think they are getting taxed overseas as they operate in "tax havens"

nothing matters tho

Onan
Onan

@CinBlueland @green23 Yep, pretty much. Hell, when Sabo retired, the Republican almost came in THIRD in that first Ellison race.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

"We" the people created corporations, which means "we" the people created corporate tax loopholes. (When I say "we", I mean you and your ilk. I refuse to ask others to limit my potential)

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

@bill.e.goat @keny1 I disagree also,  We didn't form all of these tax loopholes, Corporations did.  This has gone way too far as to what your tax due should be.  But large corporations lobby to make sure they don't pay even close to what would be fair. 

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