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Patriotic repatriation

2018-01-18

It was one of the better ideas in a skewed tax bill: set a one-time repatriation rate for the estimated $2.6 trillion in corporate cash that’s been parked overseas, to pump it back into the U.S. economy.

Tech juggernaut Apple, which has a stockpile of $265 billion in such funds, just took the feds up on their offer — announcing plans to bring back a huge pile, and in the process make $38 billion in tax payments, at the low, low onetime rate of 15.5%. CEO Tim Cook had better now live up to his promise to invest in creating thousands of new jobs. The last time companies repatriated foreign profits at a discount, in 2004, they wound up slashing jobs and inflating executive paychecks.

As for what the feds should do with this and other windfalls: Pour the cash into America’s rapidly aging bridges, tunnels, roads, energy grids and more. You know, the kind of investments President Trump and Democrats alike claim to care deeply about.