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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 28, 2013/ 19 Sivan 5773

Senate Takes Bite of Apple

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I hate Apple. There was a time when I would look at my iPhone, and my heart would skip a beat. With its stylish white-and-gray cover, it felt like a luxury car I could hold in my hot little hand. It told me things I didn't know. It told me how to get where I wanted to go. It was exciting. It purred cute little noises that let me know I was wanted, desirable, in demand.

Now I look at it and see hours spent in the fix-it station, dubbed the Genius Bar, the rapacious 30 percent commissions Apple charges to vendors, the demon device that has wooed so many secrets from me that it knows the name of my first dog. I see the nag that keeps bugging me about updates.

You start out thinking you own an iPhone until you realize it owns you.

I have told myself that, yes, I can leave Apple, I can be strong. I can look into the light of the seductive screen and not rush into it. But like Julia Roberts in "Sleeping with the Enemy," I have to plan my escape. You cannot just leave Apple. There are terms.

So when Apple CEO Tim Cook was set to testify before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on Tuesday on the issue of tax avoidance, I didn't see it as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., did. Paul said the committee should apologize to Apple as he berated "a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America's greatest success stories."

I see the panel and the corporation as evenly matched. I figured Cook could hold his own when faced down by a gaggle of senators who try to squeeze the most out of federal campaign contribution laws as they lecture Apple about its duty to not play the tax code. And they do so in a way that you'd never guess that senators helped write that tax code.

"We pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar," quoth Cook. "We not only comply with the laws, we comply with the spirit of the laws."

And: "We don't stash our money on some Caribbean island." He's absolutely right. Apple doesn't have to stash its money on the Cayman Islands because it stashes its intellectual property on a European island, Ireland.

Cook then put the ball in the Senate's court: "We recommend a dramatic simplification of the corporate tax code. This reform should be revenue-neutral, eliminate all corporate tax expenditures, lower corporate income tax rates and implement a reasonable tax on foreign earnings that allows the free flow of capital back to the United States." He even told the senators he assumed that under such a system, Apple would pay more.

To which a skeptical Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., responded, "Let's assume that we simplify our tax code ... What keeps another country in one of these emerging markets from undercutting us once again like Ireland did back in '80?" Apple has a deal with Ireland that allows it to pay a tax rate of 2 percent or less.

At the end of the day, however, Apple has the more compelling argument -- thanks to Washington. No U.S. senator could accuse Apple of breaking U.S. law. Apple could accuse America of having a corporate tax rate that is too high; at a combined federal/state rate of 39 percent, the Wall Street Journal pegs it as the highest in the developed world.

No other nation in the world, noted Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has such a high tax rate for repatriating money. In 2004, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., sponsored a bill that lowered that rate temporarily. Economists might differ on how much growth her legislation prompted, but at least it brought $300 billion into the country and put $18 billion in the U.S. Treasury.

What is more, the issue before the committee concerned profits made abroad -- if with the help of shell corporations enabled by U.S. tax law. When Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., complained that Apple exploited holes in the tax code, those were holes of Washington's own making.

Cook boasted that Cupertino's ZIP code, 95014, is the home of "the brightest, most creative people on the planet." Levin should know that people who think they're really smart usually think they're too smart to pay retail taxes.

By the end of the exchange, it was clear that Congress and Apple have so much in common. Both are very expensive. Both are intrusive. Each insinuates itself into your life in ways you would not have imagined. They're always making you approve things, as if you have choice. They think they're smarter than they are, they think they're smarter than you are, and they don't really like competition.

I am terrified of the awesome power of the federal government, and I lose sleep over what Apple knows about me.

But I can leave Apple.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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© 2013, Creators Syndicate

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