Originally Posted by Linguist
All true. I'm actually getting more and more hesitant to buy stuff from a company with all this cash in the bank that still ships all of its production offshore, and then looks for a tax break on repatriating its profits.
...a large portion of US debt is owned by China, this seems rather silly now doesn't it? The problem for you is buying quality goods locally from domestic companies. If you can do that - it is what you should do. But any company that selling to global markets is generating revenue globally (outside of the US in particular) and those funds, while a part of the overall revenue of the company, remain outside the US because the tax tag on "repatriating" the funds into the US is high. This gives companies like Microsoft, Cisco and Apple no real incentive to bring the profits "home". In fact several companies have setup "home offices" outside the US in order to escape the higher taxes.
Apple has an interest in remaining a US company, even though China stands to become its largest market, and globally the US market is starting trail global sales outside the US for Apple. One of the nice things for Apple is that they can hold their profits in national currency where it occurs and thus not suffer any exchange issues when they go to increase operations (like building Apple Stores in China or India), or conversely leverage strong currencies against weaker ones to an advantage.
The larger problem is that the US badly needs to overhaul it's corporate tax program. Given that the taxes companies and corporations pay to the government are rolled into the cost of operations (and therefore into the price of goods and services paid for by the consumer), it seems silly to me to raise taxes on business. It simply results in me and you as consumers paying those taxes in the price we pay for what we are purchasing - so we pay not just our own taxes (income, property, sales and use, hospitality, gas, state, local and city - in some cases) but the taxes that well-meaning but clueless people insist be levied on businesses and corporations as well.