“Senators are angry that tech giant Apple isn’t paying its fair share,” Timothy P. Carney writes for The Washington Examiner. “I’m not talking about taxes. This is about campaign contributions and lobbying fees.”
“An investigation by Sen. Carl Levin and a grilling of Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations were ostensibly about Apple’s low tax bill,” Carney writes. “But nobody accused Apple of breaking the law. The company moved money around to minimize the tax it owed and then paid the amount the law required. Apple didn’t write the tax law or even lobby very hard to shape it.”
Carney writes, “And that’s just the problem. The grilling of Apple is best understood as a shakedown by politicians upset with Apple for not playing the Washington game that yields contributions, power, and personal wealth for congressmen and their aides. Apple doesn’t have a political action committee to fund incumbents’ re-elections. Apple doesn’t hire many congressional staff or any former congressmen as lobbyists. Apple mostly minds its own business — and how does that help the political class?”
“Politicians beat up Wal-Mart until Wal-Mart hired Democrat Leslie Dach in 2006 as its top political aide. The retailer started heavily funding the liberal Center for American Progress, run by Obama transition director John Podesta — and hiring the lobbying firm Podesta co-founded. Apple has held out, though,” Carney writes. “The thing to watch now: Does Apple make peace with Washington? Does it start a PAC? Does it hire the Podesta Group and employ Levin’s aides? Or will Apple try to stand up to the Beltway Shakedown.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: That last question that Carney ends with a period seems to have an answer already: In just the last 6 days we’ve learned that Apple has begun ramping up their D.C lobbying efforts and that they have hired former EPA chief Lisa Jackson to do something or other for Apple regarding “The Environment,” reporting directly to Tim Cook (her official title is unknown even to Tim Cook; might we suggest “Figurehead” or “D.C. Kowtow?”).
Greenpeace: Apple hiring former EPA chief Lisa Jackson a ‘bold move’ – May 29, 2013
Apple steps up lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. – May 24, 2013