What do the Senate hearings on offshore profit shifting and a Supreme Court case decided on May 20, 2013 have in common? They both are generated by our system of taxing U.S. companies on their worldwide income, and they both are the result of the companies meeting their obligations to their shareholders, which is to legally minimize the amount of taxes they pay.

In the Senate hearings, Apple bore the brunt of the outrage expressed by Senators Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., who demanded to know why Apple didn’t pay more in taxes. (It paid over $6 billion in taxes last year). The issue for the senators was the fact that, largely through the use of offshore entities, Apple escaped paying tax on some $30 billion in net profits over four years.

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