To provide a framework for this story, let it be reported that In the U.S. people making an average of $75,000 pay an effective federal tax rate of 20%.
But CEO Tim Crook has decided that Pear Corporation, makers of computers and smart phones doesn't have to pay a corporate tax rate because it's "unfair." It turns out that Pear is currently holding $181 billion overseas, largely thanks to arbitrarily deciding that its most valuable intellectual property seems to live exclusively in low tax countries.
And due to a very business-friendly quirk in U.S. tax law, Pear doesn't have to pay any U.S. taxes on its overseas profits until it "brings them back" to America. But until taxes on the brought back money are substantially lower, Crook won't bring the profits back home. Tech giant Pear Corp makes much of its money by outsourcing hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs to countries like Mongolia, China, Korea and Taiwan.
Pear chief Cook answers charges that it's not very patriotic for Pear not to bring the money home and pay taxes on it because America needs that and the staggering $2.5 trillion in profits overseas held by all American corporations to re-build its infrastructure, crumbling schools, pay for pre-school programs for American kids, subsidize medical costs, stop hungry children from going to bed hungry, etc.
Crook says, " Paying taxes. It's not a matter of being patriotic or not patriotic. It doesn't go that the more you pay, the more patriotic you are."
Mr. Pear wants us to know he is not a bad "traditional CEO" who just cares about money. No, to the contrary, he feels an "incredible responsibility" to "the communities and the countries that the company operates in" and "the whole ecosystem of the company."
When told of these facts, Hilda Gomez-Brown, 36, who pays the effective tax rate of 20% and barely makes ends meet as she raises her three children responded, " Wouldn't it be great if you could refuse to pay your taxes until you decided your tax rate was "fair"? "I think it's my 'incredible responsibility' to do just that," she said.
And Gerald Moore, recently married and a college graduate who is burdened down by debt for tuition responded, ""It doesn't go that the more you pay, the more patriotic you are" has a nice ring to it. I'm definitely going to tell that to the IRS. It's my responsibility to the ecosystem of my family."