Shareholders want higher returns. Always. Apple’s $100 billion plan to pay shareholders through stock buybacks and dividends is a perfect reminder of what’s at stake for the world’s leading corporations. As American companies such as Apple take advantage of extensive loopholes and accounting tricks to cut their tax payments to the U.S. government and pay out investors, it is worth considering the notion of what they get in return for each dollar they pay the government. What is the yield? What if each tax dollar collected by the government is seen not as a burden but as an investment in American competitiveness? Ensuring it is a meaningful investment will help boards of directors and CEOs make the case for repatriating foreign profits. That is up to the White House and Congress as much as any CEO or board.