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Letter: More Bias Than Insight

To the Editor:

It is astounding that the Los Angles Times would publish an op-ed so full of anti-corporate bias, misstatements and faulty logic, and that our very own Valley News would see fit to republish the same (“Apple’s Tax Tricks Give Rise to Lousy Reform Ideas,” June 3).

Michael Hiltzik argues that our corporate income taxes are fair because they “equalize” treatment of all business income, and that exempting foreign earnings for corporations would be an unfair benefit. Hiltzik fails to mention that corporation earnings are double taxed, unlike earnings of S-Corps and partnerships, which are only taxed once. Indeed, he undermines his own argument when he notes that shifting corporate taxes to individuals would require a tripling or quadrupling of dividend tax rates. The need to raise rates, beyond merely shifting taxes from corporations to individuals, is evidence that today’s double-taxed corporate investors are paying more than smaller partnerships on the same revenue. Fair?

Hiltzik concludes that if corporations do not pay, you will — by having a poorly funded government. You already pay, not as he suggests you would, but when corporations pass on taxes to their customers in higher prices, have less to distribute to their shareholders, invest in overseas jobs instead of U.S. ones and yes, by funding government programs that do not create new wealth as does the private sector.

Hiltzik’s column failed to note the very large amount of U.S. taxes that Apple does pay, and that Apple did not use Ireland to avoid taxes on its U.S. operations. He presented no facts to support his claim that Apple subsidiary Braeburn’s international funds are “deployed widely in the U.S. economy.” This article was not a responsible basis from which to consider tax reform — even for those who are not fans of big corporations and special-interest credits and deductions.

Tim Dreisbach

South Royalton

Related

Column: Apple’s Tax Tricks Give Rise to Lousy Reform Ideas

Monday, June 3, 2013

Apple Inc.’s success at avoiding billions of dollars in U.S. taxes through some (apparently) legal maneuvers has tax pundits pointing their guns at the corporate tax system. The case has revived numerous hoary cures for the supposed evil of corporate taxes. The cures include abolishing the corporate tax altogether, turning it into a pure “territorial” system that taxes multinational firms …