Apple becomes latest target of the Beltway Shakedown

“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?”).

Related articles:
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


  1. The socialist government starts with a piggybank full of money. He takes the piggybank and borrows against that. In the mind of the socialist, he doesn’t need to repay borrowed money, so by borrowing against the piggybank, the socialist thinks he’s doubled his money. Magic.

    When the socialist wakes up from his dream state and realises that not only is the piggybank empty but he has to repay the money that he’s borrowed, he hunts around for more money. First the socialist looks in the nooks and crannies in the sofa, hoping that he’s got some secreted away in the back of the sofa during one of his jagged drunken spending sprees.

    When digging around the sofa doesn’t work, the socialist will threaten to beat up his mom and dad who are the productive members of his family. He’ll sit and cry and threaten to kick his mom and dad out of their house so he can take their house and mortgage it for more money.

    That, my friends, is the way of the socialist – shaking down every living breathing individual, human or otherwise, for the last pennies that they’ve saved up for a rainy day.

    Socalist thinking, socialist values.

      1. And what do Fascist Republicans value? Even more power and even more control and even more money that they get only as a result of the efforts of the peons below them.

        1. You know, it’s funny but these days the most fascist among us are the leftists who seek to control the country through radical statist and totalitarian methods. They are hostile to everything that disagrees with their specific political agendas. Like most fascists, they believe in the superiority of the state over the individual. They may think they are for freedom, but in reality they are more akin to Mussolini or Hitler in their actions. Unlike traditional fascists, they ( modern liberals ) apply their particular brand of fascism to class warfare as well.

          These Neo-Fascists like to identify themselves as those who fought against things like xenophobia, but oddly enough, they have become extremely xenophobic. They are mean spirited, vitriolic, and downright scary. They are typically anti-Constitutionalists because the Constitution has this annoying habit of protecting the people from an over powered government. Individuals do not exist, as far as they are concerned, just the all powerful state and they will use the power of the government to squash you, to deny you any right they they do not wish to allow from what kind of dog you have to what kind of lightbulb you use, to whether or not you are allowed to possess firearms.

          And the thing is, they don’t even see their own fascism. They have this antiquated quaint perception of conservatism as being fascist when ironically conservatives and libertarians are those seeking freedom, liberty, and rights of the individual.

          It’s a circus mirror world now. I am safer as an individual with conservatives than I will ever be with liberals. With liberals I either toe the line, behave as I am ordered, or I’m an uncle tom racist low life.

          Yes conservatives believe in power. We believe in granting you the power to excel and build the kind of life you want. We believe that you are a better judge of how to use the wealth you earn, than some politician.

          Neo-fascists seek a world of legislated egalitarianism, but it’s more a world of goose stepping mediocrity, in which the best and brightest are contained and not allowed to excel, and when they do, they are yanked down either through punitive tax measures or absurd regulatory efforts.

          1. It’s ironic Thelonious, that every single thing you just wrote about modern liberals just as easily applies directly to modern conservatives, including the selective blindness to their own foibles. A blindness in which you demonstrated beautifully in the very statement to which I am responding.

            I think it more accurate to say that those with power and or wealth are interested in nothing more than the retention and expansion of same. And if they weren’t so insistent on arbitrarily picking these ludicrous ‘teams’ of Democrat vs Republican or Conservative vs Liberal, we would surely see that they are really the same at their core.

            It’s high time that people cease being blinded by party loyalties to the point of gross over-persecution of the opposition coupled with overly apologist stances from those who root for or play on the same team. It is beyond ridiculous.

          2. People who are extreme in their views are most often blind to their own flaws.

            I am a moderate. I believe in social programs and fiscal responsibility.

            I believe we can save money by preventing crime. I believe we can prevent crime by making sure kids have safe places to go after school, especially if home is not safe. I’m all for strict penalties too, but can’t we try to keep kids in school and out of gangs as well? And that takes money.

            Maybe in a perfect capitalist economy business could be relied upon to donate time and money, but while many do contribute the effort is often inconsistent between communities. Hence social programs.

            I applaud Tim Cook for advocating a simpler tax code. Lets cut out needless bearaucracy so that we can afford useful programs.

    1. Forbes, a capitalist magazine, recently rated the happiest and saddest countries in the world. The happiest are:
      1. Norway – Socialist
      2. Denmark – Socialist
      3. Sweden – Socialist
      12. United States – Capitalist
      Now the top three might be so happy because they have some of the best looking people in the world, or, just maybe, they know something that you don’t.

      1. There has been a sixth night of rioting in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, despite police reinforcements being deployed.
        Cars were set alight in poor suburbs inhabited largely by immigrants, although the unrest was reportedly not as serious as on previous nights.
        The rioting also spread outside the capital for the first time on Friday, with youths torching vehicles and buildings in two towns.
        The US and UK meanwhile warned their citizens to avoid affected areas.

        yeah, right “Chesspiece”

        1. There were few dozens of idiots burning cars, which is hardly a rioting society vs gov. And no, Sweden isn’t socialist, it’s social democracy, which is a different thing. Their politics is mostly free from lobby money and Levin-like extortion experts. People don’t die starving or being homeless, have job security and generous parental leaves and benefits. Their economy and private sector has less regulations and governmental intrusions than many other countries. Sure there are problems, some of them are serious, but nothing like in US. If you are looking for the socialist country, look for Cuba.

            1. I’m an expat living in Sweden, following their politics and other affairs. Those 20 idiots didn’t went burning cars because of poverty. Police shot elderly man dead armed with machete when he tried to swing it at the cop.

            2. Sure why not, when police wasn’t prepared. Generally you don’t see people burning other people’s properties in Sweden. That is why the police acted in small numbers at the beginning. When it was not enough, local population joined the police patrolling the streets. Therefore it wasn’t poor suburbs vs state.

            3. To make it more clear: There wasn’t people on other side of the barricades (like Greece or France) that police can see and take actions. There were 20-25 sneaky idiots, running in small groups in the night and torching the cars.

      2. Muslim Eid riots in Denmark: Shootings, stoning the police, 60 club-wielding Muslims attack hospital
        At the traditional Eid celebrations in the Muslim ghetto of Vollsmose in Denmark’s third biggest city, Odense, a car arrives with two Muslims from a unwelcome gang. One of the two is shot and later stabbed, the other escapes. As the victim receives treatment at Odense University Hospital, 60-70 aggressive and violent Muslims arrive at the hospital, bringing weapons such as clubs, knives and even guns, wanting to kill him. The police are quick to respond, but are not able to make any arrests. They draw their guns in order to make the Muslims leave the hospital. On their way out, the angry mob smashes several windows in an ambulance and a police car. Later during the day, the police manage to arrest 6 of them, and now their many friends are threatening to cause even bigger riots if they are not released.

        1. I just checked the World Health Organization numbers in Wikipedia, and the countries mentioned have suicide rankings of:
          34. United States
          35. Sweden
          36. Norway
          41. Denmark
          What source are you using?

          1. What does a pro-Israeli protest in Norway have to do with anything? Are you suggesting that only “socialist” countries have civil unrest?

      3. Up until recently we were also talking about mostly monolithic cultures in the vast frigid. It’s the true test of a valid state to manage a diversity of people’s and the USA was the first to really try.

    2. Deficit spending was instituted as the normal way of operating a government treasury by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer several centuries ago. (Unfortunately I learned that part of history several decades ago and don’t recall his name. Maybe someone else on this thread will recall it.)

      His instituting the government running on borrowed money was long, long before any “socialist” form of government in Britain. Deficit spending has no direct tie to socialism. Deficit spending has been its greatest in the U.S. for military reasons. Deficit spending for intra U.S. social reasons falls a distant second. Arguably one of the most socialist U.S. Presidents in recent times, Clinton, actually didn’t run a deficit in his final year.

  2. “…they have hired former EPA chief Lisa Jackson to do something or other for Apple regarding “The Environment,” reporting directly to Tim Cook..”

    Steve-o is rolling over in his grave. I suspect this will mark the beginning of the great decline of my beloved .

  3. Nut, First and Botvijerk — you REALLY need to go back to school and learn what the word “socialist” actually means.

    And PUH-LEASE don’t try to make lobbying and greasing the palm something that Democrats do and the noble Republicans do not.

    “The only things a socialist values are power and control.”
    And what — Bush, Palin, Bachman and the sort are just filled with the milk of human kindness and only want what is best for everyone?

    1. “And what — Bush, Palin, Bachman and the sort are just filled with the milk of human kindness and only want what is best for everyone?”

      No. Communism is giving people what some “leader” thinks is best for everyone. The people you mentioned want you to have the liberty to decide for yourself what is best.

      1. chrish1961…You say ‘The people you mentioned want you to have the liberty to decide for yourself what is best.” Nice try. But actually, that’s only true up to the point where it involves your home and your body. Then the named names have a whole agenda designed to take away your ability to decide for yourself. The ironies of our political system: Dems want to take over your public life. Reps want to take over your private life. And between them, they just want to take away everything that was ever great about America. You can have em’ all. Until we get money out of politics, the same scum keep getting reelected by low information voters who at least recognize their not so pretty faces.

        1. Dr K,
          The idea that the Reps want to control your body Is based upon their belief in the need to protect the unborn who are the most needy, dependent and helpless form of human life. You don’t néed religion as a foundation for this. You need objective science. Do some research and not with a bias. This whole argument is based on a “woman’s choice”, ignoring the scientific evidence, which is the only one that has a chance to change the focus to ” the value of life”.
          Let me know if you need more info.

  4. Orin Hatch declared war on Microsoft in 1992, told a tech conference if you want to be in business you should get involved in politics, and MS grew their lobbying “donations” five fold in seven years, and their PAC “donations” 22 fold from 96 to 12. Let’s see how Apple fares.
    I would suggest hiring Lisa Jackson has less to do with the real lobbying robber-barons than a valiant PR effort against the consistently anti-Apple NYT tech writers, always eager for another slippery path to a Pulitzer.

  5. That is exactly right.

    Apple is the new Microsoft. Clinton went after Microsoft with it’s monopoly BS for the same reason. At that time Microsoft did little lobbying and paying the politician piper.

    So Apple is doing what MS did – paying their bribes to DC now.

    It’s so blatant.

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