News Release

Trump Echos Apple’s PR: American Dream or Corporate Serfdom?

Trump claimed in the State of the Union last night: “The stock market has smashed one record after another. … Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers. … This, in fact, is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.”

JAMES HENRY, jamesshelburnehenry at mac.com, @submergingmkt
Henry recently wrote the piece “The Apple Tax Giveaway” for The American Interest.

Henry said today: “Trump lied. The $350 billion is not new U.S. investment; it is (promised) supplier purchases. Thirty billion dollars is the investment number and it was all in the pipeline (as were 20,000 U.S. jobs); and it now all qualifies for 100 percent depreciation the year it is made, if made by 2023. … The stock market would skyrocket if you gave the national parks to corporations too.”

Henry writes in the recent piece that Apple’s effective tax rate will be incredibly low: “A careful reading of the new tax bill reveals that Apple and its MNC [multinational corporations] brethren are not actually required to pay this ‘repatriation tax’ bill on their accumulated offshore stash now, but will have up to eight years to do so — interest free! — despite the glaringly obvious fact that Apple has plenty of ways to make money off the deferred cash in the meantime. …

“Most of the ‘new jobs’ and spending have nothing to do with the tax cuts; they are linear extensions of Apple’s pre-tax cut behavior …

“Furthermore, [Apple’s] press release intentionally skates past the question of precisely how Apple will be affected by the new tax law. It is especially careful to avoid mentioning that — as already reflected in its recent stock price surge — Apple is almost certain to be the tax heist’s largest single corporate beneficiary by far.

“As such, this latest Apple PR campaign easily outdistances ordinary run-of-the-mill efforts at corporate self-promotion. It represents a willful effort to bury all the gory details about how this massive transfer of public wealth will actually work. Indeed, the very tone of the release implies that Apple’s fellow American taxpayers should basically feel grateful that it is willing to pay any corporate taxes whatsoever — as if Apple were not just a giant capitalist corporation, spending every waking moment figuring out how to maximize profits and minimize taxes; as if it were some medieval lord, sitting in his brand-new circular castle, saddling the peasants with all of the tax burdens and common soldiering that keep the commonwealth safe in exchange for the sheer unadulterated privilege of being lied and sold to.”

Henry’s books include include The Pirate Bankers.