You are equating legality with morality. I never claimed Apple didn't pay the taxes it was legally required to pay. My point is that Apple might operate in the world, but it is a United States company. A US company that benefits from lobbying efforts that create loop holes in the tax law to give companies tax benefits regular citizens do not have. Further, these same tax laws encourage US companies to do business overseas at the expense of having it conducted in the US. The US government should not reward companies with tax breaks when they relocate operations overseas. Moreover, in the height of the economic boom in the eighties US companies lobbied Congress to do away with import taxes designed to keep industry and technological superiority in the US and with its democratic partners. This import taxes stood in place since the founding of this Country and was fully embraced by the people who created this Country. The economy has not recovered since. Now companies like Apple on top of all the other tax breaks and legal loop holes allowing for tax havens US companies get, want a tax holiday to repatriate their earnings that US tax payers helped provide in terms of the tax breaks they get? It is greed at its best.
Further, the US spends billions every year to implement international laws that primarily benefit US companies. It spends millions sending out the US Trade representative to strong arm countries like Canada to enhance and enforce US IP interests at the expense of the wishes of people in those Countries. We fight wars so US companies like Apple have expanded markets to operate in. All this stuff is expensive, and US companies want more tax breaks? Bank of America, the largest Bank in the world doesn't pay any federal income taxes.
I think it was Oliver Wendell Holmes who wrote, "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society." US politicians should shut down the tax loop holes companies like Apple enjoy. The IRS and State taxing entities spend little time policing big companies because of their lawyers. For instance, Apple has had several feuds with taxing entities. Apple tied both the IRS and the State of California up for over ten years on various tax matters. Here is an interesting article discussing how Apple operates to avoid taxes. Essentially when you buy an iPhone, no matter where you live, the profit goes to Nevada where there is a zero percent corporate tax rate. It also routes money through several different countries to avoid taxes. Smart for sure, but not fair to the rest of us.