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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taxes are no match for corporate America

The games that corporations play to avoid paying their share of taxes, at all levels, in this country and elsewhere, are breathtaking. The Times uses Apple as an example today, here, but there are many others.

Corporate managers are paid to maximize share value -- that's their sworn duty. If they don't try to beat the tax system, they'll be canned, and might even go to jail. There's something wrong there, but good luck trying to fix it. Just quiet down and pay yours before the IRS shows up with handcuffs with your name on them.

Comments (12)

I thought that was a pretty good article. One thing that did bother me about it though was that the authors couldn't seem to understand why Apple was working so hard to minimize their tax burden. The authors seemed to assume that Apple should just be a "good citizen" and pay CA a bunch of money.

If it was me, I'd be doing the same thing as Apple. CA doesn't deserve anymore tax money based on how stupidly they have spent that last several trillion dollars that taxpayers have given them.

CA is actually lucky that Apple hasn't moved everything out of state. They are in the process of moving a lot of operations out of CA as are other companies.

So there is another twist to that whole article which the authors missed. And that is the fact that if a state gets too greedy, then people start moving their assets elsewhere.

I read that last night. Very interesting and well written. For some time I have known about the amount of money sitting off shore that the corporations want to bring in. Interesting how they consider it a loss if they allow it in under less taxation but don't consider it a loss when its not brought in. When Obama is out I expect a huge spike in jobs and money after a business friendly government is in power.I then compare the amount of money the Fed prints to give away when those real dollars could be allowed in.
Another point was how some city's complain about the lack of local tax but will give away the store for the jobs.
Oh well, back to the Sunday cartoons and coffee...

Oh sure. Everything will change if a business-friendly government replaces President Obama - then the money will come back from offshore. Maybe even Mitt Romney will bring his fortune back from the islands once we're friendlier to those wonderful corporations. But there's one question: How much friendlier can it possibly get?

The poster corporation for this is GE that paid no taxes on 14.2 billion in 2010 profits with a 3.2 billion dollar tax benefit thrown in. I suppose we should say, "GE who paid no taxes" - since corporations are people too. I remember reading that their return was 52,000 pages.

Of course if you suggest that corporations run the government, you'll get the usual robotic suck-ups defending the system and complaining about how we have one of the highest tax rates for corporations in the world - while the corporate media controls and stifles the debate.

That's why I was so impressed with Jimmy Kimmel's set last night at the White House Corespondent's Dinner. He said, "Some people say journalism is in decline -- you've become too politicized, too focused on sensationalism. They say that you no longer honor your duty to inform America -- but instead actively try to divide us, so your corporate overlords can rake in the profits ... I don't have a joke for this. I'm just letting you know what 'some people say.'"


The Obama administration unfriendly to GE? They brought GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt in to advise them on business. They made him chair of Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Here's another example of corporate control: Have you heard any stories about GE's possible culpability as the designer of Fukushima? I doubt it. There aren't going to be any investigative stories on Dateline about that. GE still owns 49% of NBC/Universal.

Even if they paid up, this whole premise of corporations paying anything is a little bit of a charade. It makes it seem like the government is the overlord cracking down on everyone with these darn taxes.

Maybe for real people, but the big corporations own the government, so for them, taxes are really just like taking a collection to hold the office party. The government is just another division like Human Resources or Accounting - not some entity ordering them around. Then the board gets together and tells the government what to do.

Corporate taxes are an interoffice expense like who buys the doughnuts this month.

Back before Bob Packwood "put more money in your jeans" by eliminating many common tax breaks, I used to save every receipt. Gas taxes were deductible, interest paid on credit card purchases was deductible - my behavior wasn't significantly different than, say, Apple's. The name of the game was reduce the tax burden.

"One thing that did bother me about it though was that the authors couldn't seem to understand why Apple was working so hard to minimize their tax burden. The authors seemed to assume that Apple should just be a "good citizen" and pay CA a bunch of money."

One thing? I found many...

Like the comparison between Apple and WalMart.

WalMart, that evil sweatshop that liberals love to hate, pays almost twice the taxes than Apple, with almost half the profits.

Remember the narrative...
WalMart is evil, Apple is noble.

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as
possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the
treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes.
Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister
in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone
does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any
public duty to pay more than the law demands."

Judge Learned Hand (1872-1961), Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals
Gregory v. Helvering 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934), aff'd, 293 U.S. 465, 55 S.Ct. 266, 79 L.Ed. 596 (1935)

Too bad Herman Cain isn't still in the game.

I look forward to the President demonizing evil Apple for not pay it's "fair share"...

These type of articles bother me to no end, because they never seem to acknowledge the fact that these "Evil" Corporations employ millions of people, enabling them to pay taxes, own a home, and provide for themselves.

I don't think corporations are evil. I don't ascribe to them any real emotions. That's why it's wrong that our legal system has given them the rights and protections afforded to a human being. I don't think they're human beings.

It's also interesting how much we hear about patriotism. Isn't that really a belief that the earth is divided into nations? So aren't these multi-national corporations a new kind of division of the planet - one that threatens the sovereignty of nations? If so, wouldn't being pro-corporation be unpatriotic? Personally, I think we should believe in America more than Apple or General Electric.

Are nations on the way out? Is the world becoming One Big Corporation?

I don't blame corporations for being mindless profit seeking monsters. That is their purpose.

I blame government for not protecting the people adequately. For that is their purpose.

Reminds me of Italy in the 40's. That government was so screwed up that everyone kept two sets of books.

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