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Apple CEO talks taxes ahead of hearing: 'We pay every dollar that we owe'

post #1 of 126
Thread Starter 
Tim Cook is going to Washington to talk taxes and overseas cash holdings, and the Apple CEO is heading to the hill with a message: We pay every dollar that we owe.

cook


Cook will testify in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation on Tuesday, and the Apple chief spoke with Politico ahead of the hearing. Cook defended Apple's conduct, saying that the iPhone maker is operating well within the rules with regard to taxes, referring to a a massive overseas cash hoard.

"I can tell you unequivocally," Cook said, "Apple does not funnel its domestic profits overseas. We don't do that. We pay taxes on all the products we sell in the U.S., and we pay every dollar that we owe. And so I'd like to be really clear on that."

As of March 30, Apple held $102.3 billion in cash overseas, up 24 percent from the end of September 2012. The company cannot bring those funds back ashore without paying corporate taxes on them.

Apple's cash conundrum came to a head over the past few months, as investors ? dissatisfied with slowing revenue growth and a declining stock ? called for the company to turn some of its overseas holdings into a bigger dividend. Apple eventually circumvented the tax issue by taking on $17 billion in debt. That move, the firm's first bond offering since 1996, allowed apple to fund billions in cash returns to investors while avoiding the $9.2 billion it would have paid had it brought its overseas cash home.

Apple isn't alone among large corporations in keeping its money off American shores. A recent analysis found that Apple was holding about $40 billion in untaxed earnings in countries with a more favorable tax structure, such as Ireland. Google and Amazon are among the other tech giants that have done just the same for tax purposes.

Some of the senators before which Cook will find himself are quite ready to tear into Apple, even if the hearing is unlikely to result in any actionable legislative initiatives. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) called the entire tech industry to task for its tax avoidance, while Oklahoma's Sen. Tom Coburn (R) has previously said he was "livid" at Apple's tax actions.

Cook may parry such criticisms by pointing to Apple's impact on the American economy. The company employs 50,000 workers in all 50 states, and its actions have created another 550,000 jobs in manufacturing and software development. Cook will also likely note the company's $100 million investment in domestic manufacturing, with a U.S.-built Mac expected to roll off production lines this year.

In addition to the United States, Apple has come under fire in both Britain and Spain for practices that allow it to slip past tax regulations. A British report last year said that Apple pays about half the taxes it should by basing its operations out of Ireland.

A similar report from Spain's El Pa?s showed Apple routing 99 percent of its spanish sales through its Irish subsidiary. The iPad maker paid about 2.6 million euros in taxes for the year. Spanish Apple Store sales were up 86 percent.
post #2 of 126

Apple is using every loophole and trick known to Wall Street and leveraging offshore accounts to "pay every dollar they owe" which is very little.  They used loopholes to pay dividends.

 

Now, I'm all for business and pro-business but this Apple corporate tax dodging highlights a big problem where average working people like me pay the most into the system

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/apple-corporate-income-tax-rate_n_1429955.html

post #3 of 126

Give an accountant rules and he will find a way to maximize profits without breaking those rules.  Change the rules and companies will change the way they do business.Apple is not unique.

post #4 of 126
I respect Cook for getting out there, taking the heat, and putting himself in the spotlight instead of getting another executive to do the talking.
post #5 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by eat@me View Post

Apple is using every loophole and trick known to Wall Street and leveraging offshore accounts to "pay every dollar they owe" which is very little.  They used loopholes to pay dividends.

 

Now, I'm all for business and pro-business but this Apple corporate tax dodging highlights a big problem where average working people like me pay the most into the system

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/apple-corporate-income-tax-rate_n_1429955.html

 

Your point? Every single major corporation will use every single loophole available, as long as it's legal. Its what they pay their legal and accounting teams to do. Any company that does not do so is negligent. Yet you want Apple to cripple itself willingly, and pay a higher share of taxes than other corporations..because? You want Apple to play by rules that no other corporation plays by, just to give more money away?

 

Oh, and I'm pretty sure you don't pay "the most"-whatever the hell that means.  Apple one of the largest US corporate tax payers in existence. The US gvt gets BILLIONS annually in revenue from them. 

 

So just to keep track with what's currently expected to Apple from analysts and investors- they need to sell MORE units, at CHEAPER prices, while making MORE profit, MORE margin, and paying MORE taxes. Got it. 

post #6 of 126
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Oh, and I'm pretty sure you don't pay "the most"-whatever the hell that means.

 

I think he means by way of percentage, not amount.

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post #7 of 126
One of the few company's not in bankruptcy.
post #8 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by eat@me View Post

Apple is using every loophole and trick known to Wall Street and leveraging offshore accounts to "pay every dollar they owe" which is very little.  They used loopholes to pay dividends.

 

Now, I'm all for business and pro-business but this Apple corporate tax dodging highlights a big problem where average working people like me pay the most into the system

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/apple-corporate-income-tax-rate_n_1429955.html


Apple is doing nothing illegal.  Don't like the way taxes are handled?  Go to your elected official and make changes.  Apple is one of the largest tax payers in the US.  What TC did is essentially give the middle-finger to congress, and good for him.

post #9 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

 

Apple isn't alone among large corporations in keeping its money off American shores. 

 

But since it's Apple that makes it an abomination worth dragging the CEO in front some corrupt politicians so they can rail against the company. 

post #10 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

 

But since it's Apple that makes it an abomination worth dragging the CEO in front some corrupt politicians so they can rail against the company. 

 

You should at least wait to see what happens prior to passing such judgement. I'm sure at least highlights will be posted on here.

post #11 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by eat@me View Post

Apple is using every loophole and trick known to Wall Street and leveraging offshore accounts to "pay every dollar they owe" which is very little.  They used loopholes to pay dividends.

 

Now, I'm all for business and pro-business but this Apple corporate tax dodging highlights a big problem where average working people like me pay the most into the system

 

Good for Apple (and its investors and its employees and its customers!)

 

While you use terms like "loophole" and "tax dodging" in the pejorative sense, I am quite sure Apple is following the law. They are doing their best to keep as much of the money they have earned as possible. Good for them! Every business and individual should do the same thing. Sadly there are not as many "loopholes" available to individuals.

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post #12 of 126
If your accountant didn't take every deduction they could on your personal taxes, you would think they were screwing you out of money, right?
post #13 of 126

From "The Firm":

 

 

Quote:
Avery Tolar: Do you think l'm talking about breaking the law?
Mitch McDeere: No, I'm just trying to figure out how far you want it bent.
Avery Tolar: As far as you can without breaking it.

 

Sounds reasonable to me.

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post #14 of 126

Tim Cook:

 

Quote:
"If you look at it today, to repatriate cash to the U.S., you need to pay 35 percent of that cash. And that is a very high number," Cook said in an interview Thursday. "We are not proposing that it be zero. I know many of our peers believe that. But I don’t view that. But I think it has to be reasonable."

 

I'm not sure who in their right mind would not agree with this. 35% to repatriate is absolutely ridiculous. Corporations would have to be insane or suicidal to throw almost 40% of that money down the toilet for little to no benefit. 

 

Apple is possibly the largest corporate taxpayer in the US. They're certainly "paying their dues". 

post #15 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I respect Cook for getting out there, taking the heat, and putting himself in the spotlight instead of getting another executive to do the talking.

I think he was called to testify.

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post #16 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by eat@me View Post

Apple is using every loophole and trick known to Wall Street and leveraging offshore accounts to "pay every dollar they owe" which is very little.  They used loopholes to pay dividends.

Now, I'm all for business and pro-business but this Apple corporate tax dodging highlights a big problem where average working people like me pay the most into the system

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/apple-corporate-income-tax-rate_n_1429955.html

Big fail in your logic.

Ultimately the consumer pays the taxes-period.

Raise the taxes on corporations and this cost is passed on in the price you and I pay. Corporations don't pay taxes you do, always have always will.
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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
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post #17 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Corporations would have to be insane or suicidal to throw almost 40% of that money down the toilet for little to no benefit. 

 

What do you mean no benefit? It might not be spent wisely but it would certainly buy quite a bit of health care or perhaps an antimissile installation.

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post #18 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

What do you mean no benefit? It might not be spent wisely but it would certainly buy quite a bit of health care or perhaps an antimissile installation.

 

50,000 comedians out of work in this country and you're telling jokes. 1hmm.gif

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post #19 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

Ultimately the consumer pays the taxes-period.

Raise the taxes on corporations and this cost is passed on in the price you and I pay. Corporations don't pay taxes you do, always have always will.

I don't understand this, but then I'm not an accountant.

 

If the corporation raises price of widget but their cost to produce widget is the same, they make more profit and consequently owe more taxes. Where is the part where the consumer pays the taxes?

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post #20 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

 

But since it's Apple that makes it an abomination worth dragging the CEO in front some corrupt politicians so they can rail against the company. 

 

 

I know, right…? A bunch of politicians, posturing to score political points with the "angry electorate", singles out ONE company to "Take to task" for following the tax guidelines that those same politicians THEMSELVES wrote into law?? Wha…?

 

 

Are the pols actually saying "the laws we wrote weren't INTENDED to be applied in this manner"? Well then, all they need to do is AMEND them, and the problem will be FIXED. Don't blame the COMPANY for following the rules that YOU create. It's a different matter if they are BREAKING the rules, but they aren't.

 

Hammering on the ONE company that actually pays substantial taxes at home, and is among the highest paying of any single corporation, period, and does so WITHOUT riding taxpayer funded subsidies or indebtedness to gain their success, is PANDERING to the basest kind of politics.

 

The last report I read, Apple pays over $6 BILLION in taxes, in one year. They would love to "repatriate" the funds they've earned overseas, paid taxes on overseas, and continue to invest overseas… but double-taxation at the highest corporate rate just isn't an acceptable "write off". They've been asking Congress to allow a reduced rate on large-cap 'repatriations', to account more completely for the taxes paid elsewhere already but Congress isn't budging. 

 

Apple pays a substantial net tax rate (upwards of 25% or more on earnings?). Why should they be expected to pay ANOTHER 35% on top for money "brought home" from abroad? I agree with Apple on this one… lower the liability, and they'll take the hit. The current tax rates on "repatriation" are simply too high.

post #21 of 126
I'm tired of all the tax bashing on large corporations. It isn't a loophole to base your operations for the EU in Ireland. It is good business. It isn't a loophole leaving overseas profits overseas and not having to pay tax on those profits to the US. It is the law and it makes sense. If you don't bring the money back to the US, why should you have to pay US taxes on it? They already pay taxes on those same profits where they were earned.

Congress needs to be careful. If they screw it up too much, US corporations will move there headquarts overseas. Let these companies bring the money home at a reasonable rate and they will. Force an outrageous double taxation percentage like we have now, they will leave it overseas and keep borrowing money here at low rates. Cisco did This exact same thing already to increase dividends. It was nothing new.
post #22 of 126
Dear Tim,

Your ``Apple CEO talks taxes ahead of hearing: 'We pay every dollar that we owe''' wears thin.

Try this one on for size: Apple CEO talks taxes ahead of hearing: 'We pay only what the present US Tax Code requires.'

``Sure, we know it's absurd, but we are well within that absurd set of loop-holes corporate bribery/lobbying has influenced when writing the laws.''

P.S. As a NeXT/Apple alumnus I never agreed with the way Fred Anderson pushed the boundaries any more than I do with Peter Oppenheimer uses every loop-hole the corporate effective tax rate allows. But to do otherwise would have shareholders proclaiming they weren't doing their jobs.

When corporations stop bleeding the nation with handouts and then demanding tax shelters then perhaps a sweet spot in the tax revenue curve will happen. It will take a complete gutting of all tax loopholes for corporations before that happens.

You want to reduce your tax burden, then start reinvesting in your company R&D and technical talent. Sorry, you don't get to artificially raise your stock price by streamlining your tax burdens any longer.
post #23 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by eat@me View Post

Apple is using every loophole and trick known to Wall Street and leveraging offshore accounts to "pay every dollar they owe" which is very little.  They used loopholes to pay dividends.

Now, I'm all for business and pro-business but this Apple corporate tax dodging highlights a big problem where average working people like me pay the most into the system

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/apple-corporate-income-tax-rate_n_1429955.html

Get an accountant to do your taxes and you may find the govt owing you some money.

Btw pay your dies and not the whine.
post #24 of 126
35% tax to brings funds into US is just stupid. What is the basis for such a tax? If they changed the law, companies could have more of an option to invest money made overseas back into the USA.
post #25 of 126
I don't believe Apple is under any kind of investigation, therefore neither Apple nor Cook have an obligation to testify in this hearing. I think Cook is rather foolish to sit in a congressional hearing, being asked questions, and looking like Apple is on trial when it isn't. Cook should have taken a pass and instead, invited a few Senators to discuss tax policy with him at his headquarters in Cupertino without any cameras present. That is how you do things. Now Cook is going to open his big fat mouth, look like a criminal in front of questioning senators, and Apple's stock will fall again.

Thanks Tim!
post #26 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Dear Tim,

Your ``Apple CEO talks taxes ahead of hearing: 'We pay every dollar that we owe''' wears thin.

Try this one on for size: Apple CEO talks taxes ahead of hearing: 'We pay only what the present US Tax Code requires.'

 

toe-may-toe / toe-mah-toe

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

``Sure, we know it's absurd, but we are well within that absurd set of loop-holes corporate bribery/lobbying has influenced when writing the laws.''

 

The only thing that's absurd is that they have to pay anything at all, let alone have to jump through such obstacles and spend so much time and energy to get the taxes down to a reasonable level or to even have to explain themselves to a bunch of parasites (Congress.)

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #27 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't understand this, but then I'm not an accountant.

 

If the corporation raises price of widget but their cost to produce widget is the same, they make more profit and consequently owe more taxes. Where is the part where the consumer pays the taxes?

That's cost increases internally not appraised externally. Think of it as the difference between Margin Dollars and Margin %. In other words if I increase the rate of tax on income they owe, that will hit the Margin %, and in turn mean less margin dollars per unit. What will happen to protect those Margin % rates is the fixed cost of the item paid by the consumer goes up to cover the increases. 

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post #28 of 126
Quote:


'Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) called the entire tech industry to task for its tax avoidance, while Oklahoma's Sen. Tom Coburn (R) has previously said he was "livid" at Apple's tax actions."

If you don't like the US tax law (you can change it)
If you passed it and you don't like it (take it back)
--but you know you won't

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post #29 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Tim Cook:

 

 

I'm not sure who in their right mind would not agree with this. 35% to repatriate is absolutely ridiculous. Corporations would have to be insane or suicidal to throw almost 40% of that money down the toilet for little to no benefit. 

 

Apple is possibly the largest corporate taxpayer in the US. They're certainly "paying their dues". 

 

Ah, how quickly we forget the days when the maximum individual tax rate was 90%. Do you remember what we did back then? We built bridges, interstate freeways, damns, put a man on the moon, and accomplished many other worthy goals as a nation. This is nothing but a dog and pony show for the senators involved, and they are going to try to make Apple look evil. Why is Cook even doing this? Apple is not under investigation and nobody issued a subpoena to Cook. Watch Apple's stock drop like a rock next week.

post #30 of 126

Unlike the administration, Apple isn't doing anything illegal.

 

Making a lot of money is not a crime, and Tim Cook shouldn't be taking any crap from any weak politicians with a corrupt agenda who are looking to demonize the rich and big business.

post #31 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

That's cost increases internally not appraised externally. Think of it as the difference between Margin Dollars and Margin %. In other words if I increase the rate of tax on income they owe, that will hit the Margin %, and in turn mean less margin dollars per unit. What will happen to protect those Margin % rates is the fixed cost of the item paid by the consumer goes up to cover the increases. 

 

Or the quality or features are dropped...thus providing less product for the same nominal price. The effect is the same though.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #32 of 126

Let all keep in mind that Cook will be questioned by the same people or government who wrote the loop holes into the tax code. They want to burn at the stake the company who is doing exactly what they wrote into law. If I was Cook he should simple say to the senator to explain to the american public why the allowed the loop hole to exist in the first place. If they were really upset about then change the law.

 

Honestly this is just grand standing on the part of the governments part they are trying to show the public they are hard on big business which will allow them to get re-elected. Cook and them will put on a show for the viewing public and they all will go out to diner later and ask each other if they believer everyone bought it.


Edited by Maestro64 - 5/16/13 at 2:47pm
post #33 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

I don't believe Apple is under any kind of investigation, therefore neither Apple nor Cook have an obligation to testify in this hearing. I think Cook is rather foolish to sit in a congressional hearing, being asked questions, and looking like Apple is on trial when it isn't. Cook should have taken a pass and instead, invited a few Senators to discuss tax policy with him at his headquarters in Cupertino without any cameras present. That is how you do things. Now Cook is going to open his big fat mouth, look like a criminal in front of questioning senators, and Apple's stock will fall again.

Thanks Tim!
 

Cook is doing it because when the government invites you to have a talk you show up. Just ask M$ and Firestone what happen when you do not show up for their dog and pony show.

post #34 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post




Big fail in your logic.

Ultimately the consumer pays the taxes-period.

Raise the taxes on corporations and this cost is passed on in the price you and I pay. Corporations don't pay taxes you do, always have always will.

 

That is the biggest propaganda every extolled by none other than Corporations. Sure, keep raising your prices right out of competitive advantage status, right? Sorry, but maximizing your profit margin is not the concern of government. Research is designed primarily to advance both product development of theoretical science and to take those cost savings as a means to maximize profit margins while meeting your competitors lower prices, at a perceived level of quality differentiation.

 

How, price alone doesn't win out any more. Quality of product has been proven to create market growth. Apple has consistently shown it does.

 

Playing on a level field of regulations will only further that advantage. Wall Street is what corporations fear the most. Put in regulations that traders cannot sabotage a corporation price value for leverage over how they do business and make it a criminal series of penalties.

 

Abolishing Wall Street from every being bailed out again with watchdog rules enforced on how they manipulate the direction of a stock price and suddenly you reign in corruption.

 

Sorry, but Gold and other rare earth metals will not be where the money is moved. Commodities? Nope. In short, Wall Street will have to get used to lower profit margins and no more 30%+ year over year returns on any investment. It's absurd.

 

That leaves Real Estate, Land and future technologies to invest in before they have market penetration. The days of Pump n' Dump are coming to an end.

post #35 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Cook is doing it because the government invites you to have a talk you show up. Just ask M$ and Firestone what happen when you do not show up for their dog and pony show.

 

Yeah. Pretty scary isn't it.

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post #36 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Dear Tim,

Your ``Apple CEO talks taxes ahead of hearing: 'We pay every dollar that we owe''' wears thin.

Try this one on for size: Apple CEO talks taxes ahead of hearing: 'We pay only what the present US Tax Code requires.'

 

What is the difference between the two? Every tax dollar that you owe is every tax dollar that you are required to pay by the US Tax Code. How else do you know what "every dollar that we owe" means? There is a rule book and they are playing by the rules. Don't blame them for taking advantage of loopholes and taking every deduction they are entitled to take. That is what they owe per the law. Is there some higher moral tax code that I am unaware of, and if so, who made you king of that code? Your morals may be different than someone else's.

 

I doubt you pay "every dollar that you owe"... don't you take deductions? Don't you take the AMT if eligible? Or do you regularly claim more income than you actually receive, leave deductions on the table and ignore the AMT even if you may be eligible? Tax code says each spouse can give up to $14,000 tax free to each of their children and their spouses... but there is also a provision in the code that allows you to give more than that and also avoid paying taxes. So is that wrong? I mean, it's right there in writing for everyone to take advantage of, so why not?

 

People who make the kinds of statements you are making have obviously never been in business or you feel like we all should walk around with some alternative "moral" tax code in our heads where we all are supposed to give far more back to the government than the government actually says we have to pay. In my opinion, that is not moral - it's moronic.

post #37 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

That is the biggest propaganda every extolled by none other than Corporations.

 

Just because you don't understand (or agree with) something, doesn't make it propaganda.

 

rickag is correct (though I'd include investors and employees as well as the company customers.)

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post #38 of 126
Good for Tim. Stick by your guns. The US corporate tax rate is damn near 40%. Higher than almost anywhere else in the developed world. Apple is FAR from the only corporation doing this, nor should they be. A publicly traded company's primary job is to produce profits for their shareholders, not fund the US treasury. There is NOTHING wrong with finding the best way to minimize their tax bill. As a matter of fact, I would say it would be irresponsible if CEOs and accountants did NOT structure their businesses in the most tax efficient way.

Do you claim deductions on your personal taxes? How is that different? If you don't, well I guess you just enjoy having less money and lording your moral authority over the rest of us cheapskates who have the audacity to think we should be allowed to keep the money we have earned and are entitled to.
post #39 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't understand this, but then I'm not an accountant.

 

If the corporation raises price of widget but their cost to produce widget is the same, they make more profit and consequently owe more taxes. Where is the part where the consumer pays the taxes?

That's cost increases internally not appraised externally. Think of it as the difference between Margin Dollars and Margin %. In other words if I increase the rate of tax on income they owe, that will hit the Margin %, and in turn mean less margin dollars per unit. What will happen to protect those Margin % rates is the fixed cost of the item paid by the consumer goes up to cover the increases. 

In bookkeeping, the balance sheet has three columns, assets, liabilities and ownership equity. Which column does "Margin Dollars" go in?

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post #40 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Cook is doing it because the government invites you to have a talk you show up. Just ask M$ and Firestone what happen when you do not show up for their dog and pony show.

 

When the government invites you with a subpoena is when you show up to testify about anything, not voluntarily in front of a bunch of so-called senators who have already expressed a disdain for Apple and business in general. I'm sorry, but I simply would not do this on the basis of principal. If they want my opinion about something, come and ask me. Or let's go to lunch. But to "invite" me to testify in front of a bunch of angry senators who have already made up their minds about what it is that they are "investigating" is about as exciting as having Adolph Hitler invite you over for dinner.

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