We did it for 1 year at 5 percent. We actually limited how much could come in. I say make it permanent. But make it permanent and make it low enough that people would do it. If you permanently do this at 5 percent, the money will come home. But money goes where it is 32 welcome.
If we want to have high taxes, we are going to continue along this. Everybody talks about tax reform. Just do it. Other countries just do it. We have a percent corporate income tax. We are chas- ing people away from us.
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Their headquarters may no longer be in Cupertino. They may be in Dublin with all their employees. They are the type of company, high-tech companies that can relocate around the world. They are not dependent on large manufacturing forces. So if you want to chase them out, bring them here and vilify them. It is exactly the wrong thing to do. We should be giving them an award today. We should be congratulating them on being a great American company and hiring people and not vilifying them for obeying the law. I mean, they are obeying the law.
No one is accusing them of breaking the law.
They are doing what their shareholders ask, which is to maximize profit. We have created this byzantine and bizarre Tax Code and chased them overseas. But it has been going on a long time. But just fix it. There are 70 votes right now in the Senate for having a 5-per- cent repatriation tax. Those votes exist, but everybody says, oh, that is the sweetener for overall tax reform, because so many peo- ple agreed to it.
Why not just pass it tomorrow? The same with the corporate income tax. We have made ourselves beholden to things like the CBO that are, like, well, the CBO will score that as a loss of revenue.
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Well, one, the CBO does not know a lot of times, I think, up from down in the sense that you could change the cor- porate tax — there is such a number that you can lower it to where you will get more revenue. I do not know what that number is, but that number does exist. We are at 35 percent.
You have a couple trillion dollars overseas. There is some number you lower it to where less money goes overseas unless people set up their compa- nies to have their taxes overseas. So there are many ways you can do this. Repatriation would bring a lot home. But if we take it that this is a vendetta against American companies for trying to maximize profit, I think we real- ly have missed the boat here. And really, I say one again, there should be a giant mirror sitting there. We should be looking at our- selves. We should be talking about what we do. Overall tax reform, everybody wants to do it, but they say, oh, it has to be revenue neutral.
That to me is absurd as well. That means we are just going to punish some more people and punish some people less. Leave it with the people who earn it. So I am very frustrated by the whole proceeding, particularly be- cause of all these accusations. They are simply doing what every company does. Taxes are simply a cost, and they try to minimize them legally. I do, too. I 33 take a home mortgage deduction. I take my kid deductions. I take all the deductions I can legally take.
This kind of vilification has gone on before. FDR did it. The President did it in his campaign. This is something that is not good for the country. Is there a Mr. Apple out there?
It is us. If you have a mutual fund, you probably own some Apple shares.
If you are a teacher with a pension fund, you own Apple shares. If you are a fireman with a pension fund, you probably own Apple. Apple is a great American company, and I do not even know if they will know the breakdown, but I think it is interesting. Probably the vast ma- jority — I would guess 70, 80 percent of their stock may be owned by Americans. And so who are we doing when we want to punish Mr.
Who are we punishing? We are punishing ourselves. And if we want to grow America, we want more companies to suc- ceed in our country, make money welcome. Money goes where it is welcome, and as much as you want to stuff the genie back in the box and say you must do this in America, companies can and will go everywhere. So let us make it a good place to work. Let us not vilify our American companies.
And so what I would say, let us keep in mind what we are talk- ing about today is not breaking of law. What we are talking about is a company doing what every company in America does, and that is, trying to minimize their tax burden. Could I make one comment just to be sure the record is correct? In my testimony — and I want to be crystal clear — I said I take no position on the legal correctness or strength of any tax position taken by Apple. I do not want that construed as saying what they have done is also fine.
I have no idea. And that was not the point of the hearing.
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The Subcommittee staff did not request tax returns. They have only requested financial data, so far as I have seen. What we are trying to do in the hearing, as I understand it, is understand what happens under current tl. We can come with different answers, but nobody is trying to vilify Apple, nobody is trying to say what they did is either wrong, but, frankly, I am also not say- ing that there is no adjustment to be made to their income. I sim- ply do not know. I was not given the facts to reach that conclusion, and I do not reach that conclusion. I think you have put it very clearly.