“They offload Apple's tax burden onto other taxpayers – in particular, onto working families and small businesses. The lost tax revenue feeds a budget deficit that has reached troubling proportions, and has helped lead to round after round of budget slashing and the ill-advised sequestration now threatening our economic recovery.”--Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
“Tell me one of these politicians up here that doesn’t minimize their taxes. Tell me a chief financial officer that you would hire if he didn’t try to minimize your taxes legally. Tell me what Apple has done that is illegal.
“I am offended by a government that uses the IRS to bully groups such as the Tea Party but I am also offended by a government that convenes a hearing to bully one of American’s success stories.
“I am offended by the ’spectacle’ of dragging in here executives from an American company that is not doing anything illegal. If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress.
“I frankly think the Committee should apologize to Apple. I frankly think Congress should be on trial here for creating a bizarre and Byzantine tax code that runs into the tens of thousands of pages, for creating a tax code that simply doesn’t compete with the rest of the world.
“This committee will admit: Apple has not broken any laws. Yet, they are forced into a show trial at the whims of politicians, when in fact; Congress should be on trial for chasing the profits of great American companies overseas. You haul before this committee one of America’s greatest success stories and you want applause?
“I say, instead of Apple executives, you should have brought in a giant mirror, so we could look at the reflection of Congress because this problem is solely and completely created by the awful tax code.
“If you want to assign blame, the Committee needs to look in the mirror and see who created this mess, see who created the tax code that drives American companies overseas.-- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky)
Sitting at the heart of the Apple scandal-palooza in Washington is the belief that Apple’s low tax bill via the use of Ireland’s low corporate tax regime is helping to drive the U.S. deficit to $16 trillion, and that government taxes and spending can generate jobs and prosperity for the middle class.
Specifically, the belief that the well-spring for economic growth sits in Washington. That the Congress’s leveraged buyout of the U.S. creates more economic growth. That D.C. will get you a job and will help you start your car by getting others to pay their “fair share,’ as defined by politicians, to the IRS.
Don’t forget — Congress and the government work for you, you don’t work for Congress or anyone else in government.
Let’s go through the highlights of the voting record of Sen. Carl Levin on spending and budget issues, according to OnTheIssues.org (click here: http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/carl_levin.htm):
Voted yes on the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012, which permanently extended the 2001 and 2003 Bush-era income tax rates for taxable income up to $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, but increased taxes on those taxpayers, plus increased the national debt by $4 trillion over 10 years. (Jan 2013)
Voted against extending all Bush tax cuts. (July 2012)
Voted yes on increasing taxes for people earning over $1 million (2012)
Voted against an amendment to raise the value of taxable estates to $5 million. (2012)
Voted no on the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts. (May 2011)
Voted yes on Congressional pay raises. (Jul 2009)
Voted no on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax. (Apr 2009)
Voted yes on additional $825 billion stimulus spending. (Feb 2009)
Voted no on raising the estate tax exemption to $5 million from $1 million. (Feb 2008)
Voted no on paying down federal debt by rating government programs' effectiveness. (Mar 2007)
Voted no on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. (Mar 2007)
Voted no on raising estate-tax exemption to $5 million. (Mar 2007)
Voted no on supporting permanence of estate tax cuts. (Aug 2006)
Voted no on permanently repealing the `death tax`. (Jun 2006)
Voted no on $40 billion in reduced federal overall spending. (Dec 2005)
National Taxpayers Union gives senator a "Big Spender" rating on tax votes. (Dec 2003)
Voted no on $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. (May 2003)
Voted no on across-the-board spending cuts. (Oct 1999)
Voted no on defunding renewable and solar energy. (Jun 1999)
Voted no on balanced-budget constitutional amendment. (Mar 1997)
The White House and Congress’s stimulus spending has doubled the federal debt held by the public to an estimated 76.6% of GDP this year, the largest percentage since 1950, says the Congressional Budget Office, debt American taxpayers must pay.
At the same time, the U.S. economy is suffering through a mediocre recovery with economic growth running at the lowest rate since World War II.
All this, in spite of historic tax increases pushed through by Congress and as spending on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. Spending on entitlements is now hitting record levels, set to rise inexorably as health reform rolls in and as the baby boomers retire.
The majority of the President’s stimulus spending didn’t finance job-creating projects digging tunnels or building highways or roads or bridges.
Instead much of it went towards transfer payments to the states for pork-barrel projects as well as green-energy boondoggles that became a multi-billion dollar giveaway to political favorites, with many taxpayer-backed green companies since failing, including Solyndra, LSP Energy, Energy Conversion Devices, Abound Solar and Beacon Power.
Government policies that have not stopped the runaway debt spending to support other government money sinks including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the U.S. Post Office and Amtrak. Government spending that is set to hit $46 trillion over the next 10 years.
America is a generous nation that wants to help the truly destitute.
But many taxpayers would rather create jobs for the poor and the middle class, the best welfare program there is. Which is what Apple does — 600,000 created or supported by Apple, the company says.
Middle-class taxpayers want a job, not a government lifeline.
Elizabeth MacDonald joined FOX Business Network (FBN) as stocks editor in September 2007 and is the author of Skirting Heresy: The Life and Times of Margery Kempe (Franciscan Media, June 2014).
Follow Elizabeth MacDonald on Twitter @LizMacDonaldFOX.