If Apple paid more tax, we might pay less or something

“Opinion seems to be divided as to whether Apple’s tax avoidance schemes are a good thing or a bad thing,” Roger Kay writes for Forbes. “Free-marketers assert that Apple is doing everything it should, and exploiting our Byzantine tax laws is what it’s all about.”

MacDailyNews Take: Are you sure about those two statements, Roger? Divided how, exactly? 50-50, or 70-30, or 90-10? What about those “free-marketers” who’d like to, you know, clean up the Byzantine tax laws so that they make economic sense for a change? You know, like Tim Cook advocates?

“Certainly the shareholders (when they’re not being consumers of public services) would agree. Cook argued for a friendlier tax regime and said he’d repatriate his profits if the tax rate on foreign earnings were a ‘single-digit number,’ instead of 35%, and suggested, rather boldly in my view, that a tax rate on U.S. domestic earnings would be easier to bear if it were in the ‘mid 20s,'” Kay writes. “But here’s the thing: our government needs money to run its operations. The recent sequester has taken a bite out of vital services across the board.”

MacDailyNews Take: Really, Roger? Does “our government” really need more money to run its operations or does “our government” maybe, just maybe, need to rein in some of “its operations,” in order to live within some remote semblance of realistic means?

Here, maybe some hard numbers will cut through Roger’s simpering sludge: Apple paid $6 billion last year in taxes to the U.S. federal government. U.S. Federal spending in FY 2012, from CBO data, was $3.539 trillion. That’s $9.836 billion in U.S. Federal spending per day.

In other words, Apple, the world’s most valuable company and the U.S.A.’s #1 corporate taxpayer, funded “our government” for 14.64 hours last year.

Can you say “out-of-control monster,” Roger?

Kay plows on, “Let me make a suggestion. Apple could repatriate this year, say, $2 billion of its $100 billion in overseas retained earnings and pay $700 million in tax on it. The firm would get $1.3 billion in after-tax money, which could be used for investment or dividend payout, and the government would get some much-needed tax receipts to run for the benefit of everyone. And most of Apple’s overseas powder would still be dry.”

MacDailyNews Take: We congratulate Roger for miraculously having achieved gray hair without the benefit of accumulating even a shred of noticeable wisdom. Any random six-year-old is less naive.

Since you haven’t noticed the obvious: The U.S. federal government is a bottomless pit. It always wants more. It can never be sated. Like those morbidly obese 1,000+ pound people Jerry Springer used to cut out of their houses, the government needs to hear the word “no,” for a change.

“No, poor soul, just look at yourself, you’ve had more than enough. You make Mr. Creosote look anorexic.”

If Apple paid even more tax, we’d quite likely have to pay even more, too.

Bottom line: The extra $700 million in Apple-contributed tax receipts as per your painfully facile suggestion, Roger, would power the U.S. federal government for an additional 1 hour, 42 minutes, and 29 seconds.

Kay continues, “I think our government should be financed. By people who make a lot of money. Like Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hoo Boy. This has to be satire, right?

Related articles:
Apple CEO Tim Cook pounds another nail into the Keynesian coffin – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Cook makes no apology for company’s tax strategy – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook charms Capitol Hill – May 22, 2013
Rush Limbaugh: ‘High-tech lynching: Senate attempts to crucify Apple’ – May 21, 2013
Nobody on U.S. Senate committee laid a glove on Apple CEO Tim Cook – May 21, 2013
Senator Rand Paul: Senate committee ‘should apologize to Apple for bullying one of America’s greatest success stories’ (with video) – May 21, 2013
Ireland: We have no special tax rate deal with Apple – May 21, 2013
Apple prepares for Washington onslaught: CEO Tim Cook isn’t taking any chances with senators looking to grandstand – May 21, 2013
Watch Apple CEO Tim Cook’s live testimony before U.S. Senate, starting at 9:30am EDT – May 21, 2013
U.S. Senate investigation found no evidence that Apple did anything illegal in avoiding taxes – May 20, 2013


    1. Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves. – Ronald Reagan

          1. If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy. – Thomas Jefferson

            1. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future. – John F. Kennedy

            2. Generally not wise to say we need to only look forward by using a quote that is 40 some years removed from the current ills of our broken society.

            3. And the US Federal budget in 1963, Kennedy’s last, was roughly $111 Billion, about $5 Billion of which was deficit. Even accounting for inflation, government spending has exploded since.

    2. The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests. – Patrick Henry

      1. Patrick Henry was against the US Constitution for he believed it restricted the rights of the states. To this end, he refused all political positions offered to him in our new republic.

        Oh yea, and he purchased about 70 slaves. It’s always those that cry the loudest for freedom and the US Constitution that support and honor historical figures that actually stood against these very rights.

        MDN – restricts free speech.

  1. I don’t see why everyone is making a big deal out of this. Did Apple murder anyone? Did Apple try to steal more information by making spy goggles? No! They simply wanted to take care of their money. It is very understandable.

      1. Kay has bought in to Obama’s “soak the rich” class warfare garbage. He wants Apple to pay more so that he can pay less. He thinks this way because he’s a pitiful fool. Gov’t financing is not a zero sum game.

  2. Apple does what it can to avoid paying any more taxes than is required by law. So does everyone else in the United States. Some, including many companies, go just a bit beyond legal. Apparently Apple does everything legally. It would be nice to get the money repatriated so Apple, and other United States corporations, could pay taxes on it and we can all enjoy that money to support our government. So congress needs to change the taxes on foreign revenue. Something tells me that it actually could happen after yesterday. And I seldom think that anything can be done by Congress. Anything intelligently at least. And not self serving. So I believe that we could see some of this money coming back to the United States. Then the federal government will waste it in about 10 minutes. But hey, it’s the federal government it’s their job.

    1. The only spending was for:

      The Iraq war for oil that is now over two trillion dollars.

      The $700 billion dollars to bail out the banks.

      The approximately $100 billion dollars used to bailout the US auto industry.

      The $800 billion dollars to bail out the US economy.

      The billions used for welfare and unemployment benefits as the economy went from 5% to almost 8% unemployment and climbing in one year.

      The real problem was the US’s reduced income, another word for taxes. The Bush admin cut taxes and created deficits, rose the national debt and gold and oil all followed. The republicans had no problems with any of this until the black guy was elected. Then they were just outraged about the whole thing.

      MSN – deletes comments.

      1. “The real problem was the US’s reduced income, another word for taxes.”

        Buzz. That answer was already given, and ruled “asinine” by the judges, not to mention the members of the audience with a positive IQ. But we’ve got this lovely Obama bumper sticker (says “I’m an IDIOT” with the Obama “O” logo) as a parting gift for you.

      2. If the Iraq war was over oil, where is that oil? We don’t import oil from Iraq. You seem to forget that over thirty nations were involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom and that a DEMOCRATIC CONTROLLED SENATE AND HOUSE overwhelmingly voted authorization to use military force (read declaration of war) which I posted on MDN last week in its entirety. Among those who were calling for the Iraqi war were Hillary Clinton, Harry Reed, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, John (I fought in Vietnam) Kerry, and almost every other Democrat leader. Obama wasn’t present.

        The auto bailout cost far more than $100 billion. Obama gave Fiat $80 Billion alone to take Chrysler! All of what he did was illegal under our laws. I love the way you under state the unemployment figures. . . Any economist worth his salt will tell you the unemployment figures are down because people have run out of benefits and have dropped off the rolls!

        And race has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, POLICIES HAVE EVERYTHING TO DO WITH conservative opposition to Obama. Check your history! The first Black Man ever elected to the US Senate was a Republican… Look it up. Check the party registration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You are in for a shock. Republicans passed the civil rights bill in the ’60s. What party were all the segregationists of the 50s, 60, and 70s? Not republican? Republicans were formed to oppose Slavery you idiot!

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