Apple Inc’s aggressive response to a €13 billion ($14.5 billion) tax ruling by the European Commission shows the U.S. technology company doesn’t understand the moral obligation on big companies to pay taxes, according to the leader of the eurozone’s finance ministers.
Because it’s terrible that a company which has played by all the rules should see its money confiscated—or the attempt made—anyway.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem [President of the Eurogroup, the collection of Eurozone finance ministers] said Apple had “failed to grasp” the public outcry over tax avoidance by large companies.
Perhaps Dijsselbloem has failed to grasp the public’s dismay over excessive taxation and Europe’s refusal to allow competition—especially on taxes.
And just to emphasize Dijsselbloem’s disingenuousness, there’s this comment by him:
The Apple response shows that they don’t grasp what’s going on in society and they do not grasp what’s going on in the public debate. This is a very strong moral issue and large companies, even if they’re this large, can’t say “this is not about us, there’s no problem here.”
American companies or any company that uses all these different tax plans and at the end of the day pays no tax, that’s not fair.
No, the moral issue is the EU bureaucracy’s demanding to impose its concept of morality in place of the morals of sovereign peoples’. What’s not fair is being punished even though all the rules, all these different tax plans, have been satisfied. What’s not fair is demanding all these different tax plans to be normalized in accordance with an EU bureaucracy’s diktats, in complete disregard of constituent nation sovereign imperatives.
Or perhaps Dijsselbloem’s just pettily jealous of having been outgamed by a better man. If Dijsselbloem, or his cronies in that EU bureaucracy, don’t like the gamesmanship here, they should work to eliminate the incentives associated: they should work to get the rest of the EU’s tax plans‘ tax rates reduced to competitive levels, so such gamesmanship becomes irrelevant.
But that’s inconceivable to folks like the Eurogroup, so all they have is their inchoate demand that dissenters just sit down, and shut up.