My readers tend to expect an inspirational scripture along with a natural life and family discussion. But honestly, considering the latest IRS fiasco, I feel absolutely compelled to ask: What part of 9-9-9 don't the elected officials of this nation understand?
And why do our hypocritical officials insist on railing against U.S. corporations like Apple that manage to find loopholes in our unfair tax system?
When I sat down to write today, I was thinking about the tornado in Oklahoma and the death of Malcom Shabazz, grandson of slain civil rights activist Malcolm X, who was killed in Mexico earlier this month. Then, wham. Right in the middle of my keystrokes, the IRS corruption sham and the Apple standoff hit me in the face.
Apple CEO Tim Cook made a reasonable request of Congress — lower the 35 percent tax rate his company must pay if we want Apple to repatriate $100 billion from offshore locations.
What’s reasonable about Cook’s request you may ask?
Do you remember former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 proposal? It made a lot of sense when the Atlanta businessman announced it during his presidential run, but it makes even more sense following the recent IRS scandal, where the agency acknowledged targeting conservative groups for additional scrutiny.
Consistent with Cain’s proposal, Cook wants the tax rate for repatriated money be set "in single digits" in order to compete with other countries that set limits low enough to attract companies like Apple. For instance, Apple and the Irish government reportedly had a 2 percent deal in the 1980s.
I remember my time as a college professor teaching my business students about the rising trend of business to leave U.S. shores for greener pastures overseas — where tax rates were lower and labor costs were far more attractive than here at home. My lectures were intriguing to my students, to say the least. They understood that if the U.S. chose not to compete, our economy would be the big loser over the next few decades.
When I served in the Georgia Legislature as the representative from District 28, my platform included workfare over welfare and economic growth — as opposed to higher taxation. As one who was open to various tax models, including the flat tax, I was among those who found the presidential candidacy and the “9-9-9” platform of Cain to be refreshing — and promising — to say the least.
Let me be clear though, I don’t actually support offshore tax shelters, especially when people in the U.S. are suffering — some are actually starving. But still I dare to ask what’s wrong with healthy competition so the U.S. can once again compete with other countries in attracting our own U.S. corporate wealth.
If I had $1 billion, I would surely be opposed to pouring 35 percent of it into tax coffers, particularly when I morally object to having my tax money used to fund abhorrent abortions and to pay for contraceptives that will be dispensed to 15-year old girls without the knowledge or consent of their parents.
I can’t help but think that fewer tax dollars from companies like Apple would be better spent educating children, and helping families in need, such as those in Moore, Okla., whose lives were shattered by the sometimes cruel side of nature.
My heart goes out to the victims of the recent Oklahoma tragedy. Let us continue to pray for them, and for all who continue to lose lives and property every day in America and across the globe. In the midst of all of the tragedy, one can’t help wonder if there is a connection between what humans term “natural disasters” and something closer to the human heart.
Are these “signs of the times” occurring more and more frequently in order to turn our attention back to the plight of humanity?
Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open housing movement. Read more reports from Dr. Alveda C. King — Click Here Now.
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