Rush Limbaugh: New York Times targeting Apple; latest hit piece based on erroneous tax data

Mac, iPhone, and iPad user Rush Limbaugh today discussed taxes, Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, and the New York Times, among other things, on his radio program that, since its inception on August 1, 1988, is the highest-rated talk radio show in the United States. The 3-hour Rush Limbaugh Show airs daily on a network of approximately 590 AM and FM affiliate stations. The program is also broadcast worldwide on the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network. A November 2008 poll by Zogby International found that Rush Limbaugh was the most trusted news personality in the nation.

From the live transcript, Limbaugh said in part:

On Saturday there was a long, long story in the New York Times about Apple and its taxes and how Apple is avoiding paying taxes and how mean that is to the country. Now, let me set this up. I know many of you are not fans of Apple because you consider them to be a bunch of left-wingers and so forth. And I know that many of you get a little disturbed when I talk about my Apple stuff, that I like it, and I share it with you. I’m big on sharing my passions. But this is a teachable moment. It is a teachable moment about media. It’s a teachable moment about taxes. And it’s a teachable moment about young people who make up many of the bloggers on a lot of the tech sites that write about Apple and the other high-tech companies and gizmos and products and so forth.

After reading the story, one — and maybe it was more — but one young — I’m sure young — blogger on a tech site expressed sadness and disappointment over the lack of patriotism shown by Apple in doing what it could to avoid paying taxes. Apple did nothing illegal. There’s no law that they broke. This is the key point. There’s another thing in this story. The New York Times used a really fringe think tank called the Greenlining Institute as their source for financial data. And what this group did, they compared Apple’s taxes paid in a year previous to the year’s income they were using to compare. I think it’s an omission of ignorance. I don’t think it was done purposely.

For example, when you file your taxes for April 15th, you’re paying your taxes on your income of the previous year. So what these guys did in this story is report Apple’s income last fiscal year, and then they used the taxes they paid in the year prior. Well, Apple’s profits have been growing like crazy, so the percentage of taxes paid by Apple is, according to the erroneous way in which they reported, is much lower than what was actually paid… I will read you some of the highlights because it’s a teachable moment. It’s a teachable moment about capitalism. It’s a teachable moment about economic growth, corporate growth, competition, employment. It’s a teachable moment about taxes. And it’s also a teachable moment about what is very predictable, and that is how the youth, young people, these bloggers have been conditioned to look at this.

And the New York Times is now targeting Apple. I remember when the first iPad hit, Steve Jobs (in every print ad that featured the iPad) had the New York Times on the display. When they were demonstrating the Web browser of the iPad, the website they always used was the New York Times. There was a symbiotic relationship. Steve Jobs had said publicly that it was his goal to teach the New York Times how to thrive in the digital arena, outside of the “dead tree,” actual publication arena. But something’s happened. Apple’s gotten too big; it’s gotten too successful. Something happened, and now the New York Times is out for them. This is the third or fourth hit piece on Apple.

There’s a great example. I’ll give you a great anecdote. A couple three months, maybe, before he passed away, Steve Jobs goes to the Cupertino City Council in Cupertino, California, where they are attempting to get permission (Apple is) to build a giant new headquarters. According to the artist’s renderings, it looks like a giant circular spaceship with solar panels all over the top of the thing and a giant courtyard in the middle. They’ve got all the environmental stuff as part of the presentation. It’s supposed to be state-of-the-art, and it’s huge. It is huge. And Jobs himself goes to the city council to get permission to present the plans, to talk it up.

And of course Apple wants some favorable tax treatment as they’re doing this. And one of the anecdotes in the story is, a city councilwoman in Cupertino says (paraphrased), “Well, Mr. Jobs, if we do this, what can you give back? Perhaps you could offer free Wi-Fi for all of Cupertino.” And Jobs’ response was, “You know, I guess I’m a little stupid or old-fashioned. The way I thought this worked was, we pay our taxes and you do that. Now, if that’s not the way it works, we don’t have to build our headquarters in Cupertino; we can just move.” And, of course, the city councilwoman withdrew her idea.

She’s no longer on the city council, according to the story, and Apple is moving ahead with their plans. But what’s missing from this story? I’ll just tell you: It’s all about how… And Apple’s not the only one that’s cited for not paying its “fair share,” although they’re not breaking any law… So The Times is just beside itself, and the people who write the story make it clear that Apple is not being patriotic. Apple is not paying its fair share even though it’s not breaking the law. It goes on to describe the education deficits in California and the state budget deficits in California and the federal budget deficit and how Apple’s not paying it’s fair share. There’s a guy runs a community college near Cupertino, and this guy’s quotes are amazing [see full transcript].

I’m not gonna try to remember them. I want to read them directly to you so I’ll find them after the break and perhaps get into the story. But this guy is just unbelievable. No, I take it back! He’s totally believable, given that he’s a product of the news media his whole life. But he’s just beside himself. His school’s budget deficit is Apple’s fault. The California state budget deficit is Apple’s fault. Not one word in this story — and I know it’s a story on corporate taxation. I understand fully. But, folks, it’s a hit piece, and there’s not one word in this story about how any of these taxing authorities spend money irresponsibly.

There’s not one word! Why is California running a huge budget deficit? Why is their education system in debt? It’s not Apple’s fault. It’s the people that run the state government’s fault, from the governor on down to the legislature, the assembly. That’s not touched on in this story. It’s an attack on successful capitalist companies who are not breaking the law and who are paying as little as they can, just like Warren Buffett.

But, you see, Warren Buffett gets away with it because while he’s owing a billion dollars in back taxes and fighting it in private, publicly he’s out talking about how he doesn’t pay enough in taxes and it’s unfair that the secretary pays a higher rate than he does. So he inoculates himself from any of this kind of criticism. The New York Times will never write a story about Buffett like the one that they’ve written here about Apple… Why is the state of California in trouble? It’s not because Apple’s doing anything. It’s not Apple’s fault. If the state were run like Apple is, everything would be hunky-dory. Apple’s not the guilty party. Microsoft isn’t the guilty party. Cisco’s not the guilty party. The guilty party are the state’s Democrats and whoever else. Republicans, too, if they’re engaged in this wild, irresponsible borrowing and spending. And the same thing at educational institutions. You don’t spend what you don’t have. And then when you do, and you rack up a big deficit, you blame it on yourself if you have any moral fiber. You don’t go blaming it on corporations that are doing their share.

Why does Apple, why do corporations want to spend as little on taxes as possible? I’ll tell you why. They want to be competitive with all the other corporations that are doing the same thing. They want to maximize shareholder value. They want to keep the price of their products low as they can so they can sell them. Everything a successful corporation does is oriented to two things: the stockholders and the customers. That’s who their bosses are. This New York Times piece and all the critics in it think the purpose of a corporation is to provide health care for the employees, free Wi-Fi for the community where the corporation is, and unlimited money for governments to spend irresponsibly. That’s what they think the purpose of a corporation is. And it’s not.

The purpose of a corporation is not to have jobs in the community. It’s not to have health care for people. That’s not why they exist. There isn’t one person that started a business because he thought his community needed jobs or because he thought people in his town needed health care. That’s not why people start businesses. Corporations are people. People work there. Stockholders own shares of stock. Who is it that’s paying these taxes? It’s people. Apple’s employees pay taxes. Apple pays withholding taxes. It’s absurd. I use that word a lot. It’s absurd to believe, as the New York Times wants, to think that corporations don’t pay their fair share.

Much more in the full transcript here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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95 Comments

  1. WTF MDN? Is this a commercial for Rush? Why the commercial before the article? Please exclude such things the next time you post comments by Rush.

    I don’t mind reading his on-topic comments about Apple, but I do mind reading the b.s. promoting his show beforehand.

    1. Dear overly-sensitive knee-jerk Liberal,

      That is an expository paragraph, not an ad. Had it not been placed there, your comment would instead read:

      “Who the fsck is Rush Limbaugh to be commenting on anything and why does it matter what the big fat jerk says anyway?! Nobody listens to that garbage, so MDN should ignore him.”

      Wah, wah, wah…

      1. Hey dumbass, what makes you automatically assume the person is a liberal? Maybe he doesn’t like Rush or maybe he doesn’t like promos like this.

        For the record, I think Rush is right on this for the most part….and …gasp…I am a liberal.

          1. Normally, expert opinion comes from people with credibility, of which Limbaugh has none.

            You however have mastered the juvenile insult devoid of substance and contributing nothing to the argument, much like your hero, dough-faced, loud-mouth Limbaugh.

            1. “You however have mastered the juvenile insult devoid of substance and contributing nothing to the argument, much like your hero, dough-faced, loud-mouth Limbaugh”

              Am I the only one entertained by that attempt to sound moderate and even-keeled, failing in the last few words?
              BTW, I don’t like the name-calling from either side, for any reason. Let’s just criticize ourselves; let’s admit none of us are as smart as we’d like to be, and we can go on from there as civilized adults.

        1. Buster,
          You may consider yourself a liberal, but if you can agree with Limbaugh on this issue, you’re really not. If you are a) open to listening to conservative perspectives; b) don’t automatically agree with whatever is in the New York Times, and; c) don’t think big corporations working to please customers while making a profit are the root of all evil then, by definition, you are not a liberal. Sorry, but don’t worry, I won’t tell all your liberal friends.
          Regards,
          Janice

          1. Buster is a commie, low life, drone, from Canada. A real over the top loser. There is nothing that can be said to change this idiots Lemming mind about anything that isn’t a liberal talking point. Move along and try to communicate with actual on the fence type people who will listen.

            1. Geez Reality say what you really mean. Between you and Fartchecker above, the knuckle-draggers are out in full force today. Canadians have a relatively think skin and for the most part, laugh (and pity) at idiots like you who have no capability to discuss issues.
              Janice, I simply love how you pick and choose your own criteria to determine people’s political leanings. I am not close minded and believe it or not, left and right wing groups have some good policies. The problem, is that they are mixed with bad. One has to decide which has the least bad.

        2. I’m an independent, not particularly fond of Limbaugh’s style, but I think his comments are right on. I’m confused by the anti-success mindset in our culture the past few years. When I was growing up, we looked at successful people and businesses as a positive thing. Greed is certainly nothing new and there were as many greedy people working in companies then than now…. somehow everything is political now and every comment is an excuse to flame… that’s sad because it shuts down real debate that helps inform people of all sides of an issue. In Apple’s case, they employ thousands of highly paid (and some not so highly paid in retail) people who in turn pay taxes… I think Steve Jobs had it right when he pointed that out to the Cupertino City Council. I hope I can teach my kids that just because someone else has a lot because they worked hard or won the lottery, we are not entitled to take it.

      2. “Who the fsck is Rush Limbaugh (a High School Grad, Oxycontin Addict, Closet Case) to be commenting on anything and why does it matter what the big fat jerk says anyway?! Nobody with a n education and a day job listens to that garbage, so MDN should ignore him.”

      1. It seems more like an explanatory introduction than a promotion — after all, MDN is read outside the U.S., too, so international readers might not know who Rush Limbaugh is.

        1. Obviously.

          The Libs can’t argue Limbaugh’s points so they attack him and take potshots at MDN for covering what a guy with 20 million listeners said about Apple, NYT, taxes, etc. over a significant portion of very expensive airtime today.

    2. Perhaps, shit-for-brains, it’s there to help people like me, who are not Americans, who can’t listen to these shows, who may only be even vaguely aware of who the fsck Rush Limbaugh is, to understand the context of the dialogue.

      Is that clear enough for you to understand?

      The world revolves around its axis, not the USA, despite what you might think.

      1. Wow Rorschach, congratulations on being more insulting than even some Americans LOL You are on a US site discussing a US Company, a US Newspaper, and a US talk show host. Hmmm let me see… If you want to bring in your take from your country you can do that… free speech and all. You bet your axis!

      1. Then maybe you should explain what part of Rush’s argument you disagree with.

        I find focusing on the argument, not the person presenting it, leads to a more intelligent discussion about the issue.

        Crazy, I know.

        1. I actually didn’t say I disagreed with this particular comment. I did listen to mush gumball for about 7 years when he started but as his mind became more and more addled from the Oxy, he lost sight of his common sense.

    3. MDN is right to bring this to light. This is related to that hit piece he other other day on how i(products) have to be made in China because their production produces too much pollution. I do know why everyone is so surprised. Doesn’t the media do this to popular celebrities and politicians all the time?

      just my $0.02

      1. When Liberals can’t refute an argument, they attack like rabid dogs or at least try to immediately change the subject.

        It’s how a three-year-old “debates.”

        It’s so plain to see. I just wish the rest of the world could see it as clearly.

  2. While I’m an independent, I applaud Rush’s advocacy of Apple as Obama’s militant, America-hating liberals tear it down! Apple is the only reason that prevents me from California seceding from the union to purge this nation from the progressive cancer that tears everything good about the country down to the ground! Keep up the good work, Rush!

    1. I’d call you hyperbolic, but I lived through two terms where Libs called the U.S. President “Hitler” and “Satan” and worse, so you seem downright reserved in comparison to the Looney Left.

  3. I don’t normally listen to RL, but I read the entire transcript and, I have to say, there is not one thing he said that I don’t agree with!

  4. The continuous Rush Limbaugh ass-licking has got to stop. Most of us are repulsed by this person, as the bigoted mental case has no credibility. Speak for yourself rather than quote this divisive turd. Most of MDN’s readers are not fans, and the last thing I personally want to see when I come here for Apple news is political references- particularly from fanboys of the right. Jimmy Kimmel was right- the difference between Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh is that Bill’s audience Knows he’s an asshole! If MDN insists on aggravating and polarizing its readers, this site will become irrelevant. A lot of us are sick of politics in general- particularly those people who make it even uglier than it already is. Man up and stick to your own opinions and takes without feeling the need to quote someone else for validation. In this case, as you can see, the argument turns to the source, rather than the issue.

    1. You give away your ruse.

      You are trying, but failing, to turn the argument from what Limbaugh says – with which I believe the majority of MDN readers agree – to who is saying it.

      I say that you are scared that MDN readers will see for themselves the rationality and how they agree with what Rush says vs. what you Libs say that he says. That is how you come across. Very defensive. Very desirous of silencing speech or speakers you don’t like. Very Amercian Liberal 2012.

      Also, I’m certain that you have no proof to back up your claims as to what “most of us” want. Further, guess what I do with headlines I don’t care for? I ignore them and move on to the next. I certainly don’t waste my time commenting.

      So, now that your ruse of trying to turn the argument from Limbaugh’s points to the typical liberal mischaracterization of Limbaugh himself has been exposed, what exactly did Limbaugh say that you don’t agree with?

      1. @First 2010 . . . “Further, guess what I do with headlines I don’t care for? I ignore them and move on to the next. I certainly don’t waste my time commenting.”

        I agree on this point. Obviously including Rush Limbaugh’s comments on this site sparks a war and increases the hits to the site… if you really and truly are offended by free speech, then you should refuse to click on the story and go to the next. I’ve been having fun tonight jabbing some of you with my comments, precisely because you go off the deep end. To be honest, I don’t like the right insulting the rational liberal voices here (and there are many) but the wild vitriol of some of you just makes me want to play the game and see if I can make your heads explode 😉 Someone in the news commented on Apple– that is enough of a story to post to the site. Remember that thing called capitalism? Well the angrier you get, the more it works. Apple sells good stuff people from every political bend want to buy. Celebrate it, and comment if you wish, but popping out your eyeballs and letting steam come out of your ears, well, that’s your fault 😉

    2. Auramac, Why not focus first on trying, as best you can, to make an intelligent comment about the post? From you drooling attack, we assume you agree with the New York Times that Apple is evil and unpatriotic, not like the virtuous and America loving, tax contributing General Electric. What did they pay, by the way. Now, Aura, continue your drooling rage.

      1. Kent, if he was focused on making an intelligent comment he wouldn’t be a liberal anymore.

        Although I have hope for him. They tend to gnash there teeth the most right before they come around.

        Don’t forget, liberals are terrified mostly of other liberals. They don’t want to be talked about like their liberal friends talk about Palin for instance. They don’t want the New York Times going after them. And they know that there’s very little to fear from conservatives so they foam at the mouth touting their liberal “credentials”.

        With enough ridicule and patience they quite often come around. Most conservatives start out as libs.

        1. I listened to Rush today go over this and He is right 100% on this topic as he is almost always right on other topics. Conservatism is being proud of your country and freedom. Freedom is not for cowards or immoral people. This is why libs tend to lash out like a scared animal that is cornered and want to be controlled by a central government.

          1. Conservatism is being proud of your country and freedom. Freedom is not for cowards or immoral people.”

            Conservatism is the product of ignorance, motivated by fear and fueled by hatred of whatever “other” is the object of derision/fear at the moment.

            In the Revolutionary War the conservatives were those loyal to the Crown.
            Nice try.

    3. apparently you are mistaken, you don’t speak for most of the MDN bloggers. did you just dream you were the ‘appointed one?’

      it is revealing to me, that your invective is directed at rush, the man, and you completely avoid commenting on the transcript.

      it is my experience, that people who hate others do so out of fear. why are you so afraid of rush limbaugh? we’re here to help if you’ll let us. another teachable moment, if you will.

  5. Reporting about the absurd ways corporations avoid paying taxes is refreshing. This is another way Apple’s a great thing for America, it’s a company people want to love and so it is a flashpoint exposing things like working conditions and tax-law scamming. Apple will survive or fail based on its future innovation, so they’ll be fine. Who cares if it’s Rush Limbaugh or the NYT or Mike Daisy’s semi-fictional account, the point is questioning this stuff is healthy for the whole country, right?

  6. If you kicked all the goddamned liberal pinkos out of office in California the budget deficit problem will go away by itself overnight because liberal commie pinkos don’t know the meaning of balanced budgets.

    1. heh heh goddamned liberal pinkos…..made me think that you are wrong. God did everything he could to help the poor and sick and needy….he was probably the first liberal according to your perspective..hehhehheh

      1. The only thing is, I wouldn’t have used the fscking inept government to help the poor. I’d only use the government if I wanted to enslave the poor and guarantee dependent votes for me.

      2. WRONG BLISTER!!!!!!

        GOD, in The Bible, states that you should not try to take from your neighbor. You need to take care of yourself.

        So you LIbtards have it all backwards as usual. You are doing the DEVIL’s bidding and stealing from the hard working. Go To Your Home, HELL!!!!!

        1. Gawd, not sure which sky gawd you exactly follow, doesn’t mean Jack in these United States before the law.

          Jesus, whom Christians claim to follow, would not be welcome in the Republican rallies that many so-called evangelical churches have degenerated to.

    2. FYI- The last Balanced Budget in the US Government was submitted by William Jefferson Clinton.

      When he left office we were running a surplus and were on track to pay down the entire accumulated national debt, Dubya Bush (our first appointed President) and the Republican Congress (until 2006) destroyed all that with tax cuts, unfunded Medicare D and 2 wars on borrowed money.

      Reagan, Daddy Bush and Bush The Idiot submitted NOT ONE balanced budget. The last Republican drafted budget that balanced happened under Dwight Eisenhower- over 50 years ago.

      In California the problems date to Republican Howard Jarvis and Prop 13.

      Modern Republicans suck at financial affairs, foreign affairs, national defense and most everything else. OBL is dead and Dubya never did get him- despite saying that “he can run, but he can’t hide”.

      1. The truth hurts. What’s hilarious is that conservatives want to try and spin it to day Clinton in his eight years managed to balance the budget because of what Bush senior set in place..uh…no.

        BTW…..MDN is code for FOX.

        MacDailyNews is a wholly owned subsidiary of the FOX networks. Why do you think they are otherwise anonymous? Is it not clear yet that they purposely promote political arguments as complete hit whores? Wise up…

  7. How long will it take all of you just to accept each others political views. Even if you don’t agree with it, you are still one nation that needs to reunite. Put aside your differences!

        1. No, Mitch, I don’t believe it much. I’m just sayin’, for the benefit o’ some foreigners, that it is just no use to expect nicely behaved electioneering, in the U.S. But afterwards the attack dogs will get a two year breather, until the mid term elections. Been this way since Andrew Jackson, or maybe before.

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