What could they do with the $80B in cash? Well, the article has some ideas, but let's say they took just $2B of that -- they could hire 40,000 U.S. workers at $50,000 each for a year. Or 20,000 workers at $50,000 each for 2 years.
They only have 64,000 workers, so they could pay each of them a bonus of $31,250 and still have roughly $80B in cash.
They could build 10 NFL football stadia with retractable roofs and have about $70B in cash left. They could pay each American $500 and still have $65B in cash left.
At some point, it becomes remarkably obscene. I mean, the CEO could take a $1B bonus and barely dent the cash (roughly 1.23% of cash). So, tomorrow you are a billionaire and it makes virtually no impact on your cash position.
Assuming that Chinese laborers putting together iPhones are getting $5 a day (which is probably high, but we will go with that), you could hire 1,000,000 extra Chinese workers for an entire year and spend only around $2B for the entire year ($5,000,000 x 365 = 365M x 5 = $1.825B).
A few other items -- most of the cash is kept overseas "for tax purposes" -- which, of course, is what you would expect good people interested in deficit reduction to do: make sure they pay no taxes on billions of profits earned off purchases by U.S. citizens).
And -- in 2009, total U.S. foreign aid (not wars, just the aid that Ron Paul wants to end to balance the $1T budget deficit), was $45B. So, if Apple made $10B in cash and kept the $81B it has, it could give away money to other nations at the same rate as the U.S. government has, and do so for 2 years.
This is more proof of the concept that reducing taxes does not create jobs. Apple offshores its money so as to pay no taxes, it holds $81B in cash, so it should be announcing either 40,000 U.S. hirings or 1,000,000 Chinese hirings, right? Right? Nope. it will hire the bare minimumm required to meet demand. It is product demand that causes hiring, not tax rates.