Obama admin worries EU’s Apple decision will cost U.S. taxpayers; Bernie Sanders applauds EU tax demand

“The White House says the Obama administration is concerned that American taxpayers will ultimately bear the brunt of the European Union’s decision requiring Apple to pay billions of dollars in back taxes,” The Associated Press reports. “White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Apple could deduct the payment from those back taxes to the amount owed the United States government. Earnest says that’s not fair to American taxpayers.”

“Earnest says it’s important for the U.S. and Europe to work collaboratively on the goal of preventing the unfair erosion of the tax base rather than taking a unilateral approach,” AP reports. “When asked about the EU’s concerns about an unfair playing field within Europe, Earnest says he won’t discuss internal EU business, but that President Barack Obama is committed to ensuring American companies and taxpayers are treated fairly.”

“Bernie Sanders is applauding the European Union’s ruling that Apple must pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) plus interest in back taxes to Ireland,” AP reports. “The Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate tweeted Tuesday that ‘huge corporations can’t be allowed to use loopholes and tax havens to boost their obscene profits even higher… Apple’s earnings in 2015 were the highest reported of any corporation in history, yet apparently that wasn’t enough.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: High earnings means you should be unfairly taxed? That’s some strange, addled “logic.”

SEE ALSO:
Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s $14.5 billion in so-called back taxes – August 30, 2016
U.S. Treasury: The European Commission’s retroactive tax demands on Apple are unfair – August 30, 2016
EU demands Apple pay massive $14.5 billion in taxes plus interest – August 30, 2016
Apple CFO Maestri: Despite EU tax ruling, we will continue to invest in Ireland – August 30, 2016
Apple CEO Cook blasts European Commission for ‘ignoring Ireland’s tax laws, upending the international tax system’ – August 30, 2016
European Commission to rule Ireland’s tax arrangement with Apple illegal – August 29, 2016
Ireland prepares for a fight with EU over Apple tax clawback – August 29, 2016
U.S. government warns EU: Do not hit Apple with a massive back tax bill – or else – August 25, 2016
European Commission denies anti-U.S. bias after U.S. Treasury intervention over Apple, Amazon tax probes – August 25, 2016

80 Comments

  1. Bernie “Logic”:

    • Let’s tax people and companies based on how jealous they make people who’ve never held a real job or paid meaningful taxes and who lived off welfare before being elected to public office by a state full of loons so that they could continue to live off welfare (public office) for life.

    • Let’s rail against Wall Street and then immediately endorse the one candidate couldn’t possibly be more sold out and beholden to Wall Street.

    After watching the Democrat Party “debates,” it’s clear that the Party of Slavery candidates Clinton and Sanders both think America is a total mess. So, why wouldn’t we want something other than more of the same?

    The Democrat Party managed to come up with two viable candidates in their primary: One of them belongs in a Soviet retirement home and the other in Leavenworth.

    1. Not until after The Hunchback of Pyongyang’s glowing endorsement of Hillary Merkel, and the purchase of a $575k vacation home in Lake Champlain beachfront did I truly know how “socialism” really works…
      “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”…evidently, Bernie’s needs are different than us mere unwashed masses.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2016/08/10/bernie-sanders-buys-a-half-million-dollar-vacation-home-and-the-internet-cries-hypocrisy/

      1. At his age, after a long career, why are you surprised that Bernie saved up enough money to buy a retirement property? You would think that a libertarian like you would support Bernie’s right to do so. But no, it seems you’re more of a partisan hack than a principled libertarian.

        Bernie is too honest for the office of president if the biggest criticism you can level against him is that he engaged in a legitimate business transaction. Pretty modest place compared to what his congressional colleagues have taken for themselves, too.

          1. From the WaPo article:

            The Sanders’ new home is 1800 square feet with a grand total of 500 feet of beachfront. His net worth is the lowest in the Senate by far. http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/summary.php?cid=N00000528&year=2014

            Slimy Senate leader Mitch McConnell, in comparison, somehow magically accrued about $24,000,000 of net worth after 30 years of “public service”, a job that currently pays $174,000 per year. You do the math and tell us there is no corruption here.
            http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/summary.php?CID=N00003389&year=2010

            1. Bernie Sanders ran for president against Hillary Merkel, then endorsed her….Mitch McConnell never espoused any socialist agenda, he’s just an extortionist thug the same as Bernie. But, at least, Mitch doesn’t gloss it over under the guise of a pontificating socialist savior.

            2. Calling McConnell “an extortionist thug” may be the only thing you’ve ever written that I agree on with you. But no-one with an ounce of common sense could put McConnell, with a net worth over $27 million in the same bracket as Sanders, who has a net worth of less than $450k. Clearly, even using your terms, one of them is doing a lot more extorting than the other. And it ain’t Sanders.

            3. Why do you keep playing into his hand? Are you new to this website and his crap? He thrives on picking off people like you. He can’t run his game if you don’t engage him. Stop wasting your time and oxygen.

            4. Funny, I think of you as one of my highly-opinionated uncles, who were fierce libertarians and intellectuals but essentially harmless and who, in family gatherings, generated much amusement and enjoyable debate. After a round of drinks and shouting and barbecued lamb, we would all go home.

              But the internet has a kind of amplifying effect that adds import and menace to anything that we say. Coupled with relative anonymity, we all become bigger, stronger, and scarier than our backyard barbecue selves. It becomes all-important to discredit poisonous ideas lest they spread like a virus on the internet. Preserving traditional values becomes paramount. Virtue stands at a crossroads.

              Myself, I think that free speech transcends all other concerns. It’s totalitarians that fret about free speech, and look for ways to silence us.

            5. “free speech transcends all other concerns”…Well said, that is why I am astonished that MDN hasn’t covered what is going on with the unilateral sell-out of the internet by the Obama regime to international control (The UN.) This may well be the last election cycle that free speech, via internet, is allowed. The Ministry of Truth will come to full fruition.

            1. Clinton is 43 points ahead of Trump amongst Florida’s Jewish community, and she has huge support amongst Jewish voters in both California and New York.

              So WWJD? Most likely, he’d endorse Clinton.

            2. Appropriate, since “Lucifer” didn’t exist. Like the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, he’s just a made up thing. Exactly like most of the accusations towards Clinton the Trump campaign pretend are a big deal.

              (And this time I’ll hit the correct reply link :-))

            3. Appropriate, since “Lucifer” didn’t exist. Like the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, he’s just a made up thing. Exactly like most of the accusations towards Clinton the Trump campaign pretend are a big deal.

            4. Although both are Jewish and Jesus (and fellow Essenes) espoused a lot of what are now considered socialist ideals, that’s just a poor comparison. Marx clearly choose to claim them as his own rather than grant attribution to the source, due to “religion being the opiate of the people” and all that.

              Which just re-enforces my opinion that socialism is nothing more than religion without God. Same type of hierarchical, monolithic, intolerant power structure as an organized religion; true believers / proletariat;

              Jesus had a good career as an inspirational speaker… which Bernie doesn’t even come remotely close to. Jesus inspired people to be better people, Bernie is basically just a rabble-rouser. Jesus told people to render unto Caesar what was Caesar’s (obey secular laws), Bernie tells people they can have more if the State takes from those who have more.

              At any rate, Jesus was a skilled carpenter. An honest job. Bernie is a politician… the only thing lower than the pond scum sucking leeches we call lawyers.

            1. Botty, shame on you. You know better than to spread out right lies with your labeling. It definitely does not help your cause when you resort to things like this.

              You know that she was appointed to that case. You know that she went to the judge presiding over the case and asked to be removed from the case because she knew he was likely guilty. You know that the judge refused to let her leave the case and warned her that she’d better do the best job possible. You know that the district attorney over the case has said — repeatedly over the years — Clinton did the appropriate job for her client.

              It was an unfortunate circumstance for everyone except her client. You know that.

            2. Shadowself, Botty is not referring to that court case. I don’t begrudge her defense work on a criminal case. Botty is referring to Bill and his rapes (Jaunita Broaddrick et al) and Hillary’s managing of the “bimbo eruptions. It was HER enabling of Bill Clinton that allowed him to get away with all that he did.

            3. That being said, there is absolutely no justification for Hillary retelling the story of her defense of that rapist and LAUGHING about the techniques she used—telling the jury that the 12 year old girl fantasized about having sex with older men and was asking for it, coming on to the perp—when the truth was that she was kidnapped and brutally raped by a stranger.

            4. You’re falling into the trap of spreading stories that have a grain of truth in them, but are distorted so as to give a certain impression.
              Clinton laughed once in the retelling, and it wasn’t a true laugh, more of a laugh of incredulity. She didn’t tell the jury that the 12 year old fantasized about having sex; she told the judge (not a jury) in a pre-trial motion that a number of other people, including a child psychologist who interviewed the girl, had said she was unstable and had such fantasies. The motion asked that the judge order a full psychological exam of the girl to try to determine the truth. The defendant took – and passed – a polygraph test, which is probably what Clinton was laughing about, saying the case destroyed her faith in the technology. Ultimately, the defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, since the DA conceded he couldn’t prove the rape charge. The victim and her mother were the two main people pushing for the plea deal that was eventually cut.
              And unless you were there, you can’t possibly know that “the truth was that she was kidnapped and brutally raped by a stranger.”

        1. Apparently you, like the rest of the blind Apple fanboy club, did not read the ruling at all. Apple’s special deal was not fair or square and clearly NOT what every other international company does.

          Either we live by a uniform code of laws or we allow corruption to pick winners and losers. Are you in support of the latter along with the rest of the nutter club?

          1. Mike you really know how to persuade people to your way of thinking with such a polite and respectful response. Tim Cook’s response belies the lies and retroactive”illegal” interpretation of the EU Commision and ignore’s Ireland’s own admission of non-Apple guilt and complete tax compliance.

            Perhaps you need to brush up on your own reading skills. You are merely interpreting and toadying up to your own rabid EU Commission fanboy point of view. You devoutly wish it to be so. But the appeals process may well turn it around and show it for the unfair bunk it is

            1. What constitutes membership in the blind Apple fanboy club? Apparently, coming to Apple’s defence in any way, shape, or form. Remind me never to do that ever again. I want no association with such a reviled, mindless group of people bereft of social conscience. That’s why I am switching to Microsoft. Uh, unless they did the same thing as Apple, let me check…

            2. Those losing the argument usually resort to the tired “blind Apple fanboy” cliche. It’s all they’ve got and to feel good/superior about themselves with when they’re anything but. Thanks for the laugh.

    2. Drink more Kool-Aid. Am I reading correctly Apple paid .005% in EU taxes. This is exactly what Sanders has been saying regarding large corporations and the top five percent using tax havens and loopholes to avoid paying taxes. Should the US have a “real” progressive tax system or one filled with so many loopholes Tump pays less in taxes than you do. That being said, if Apple used legal tax avoidance strategies, the EU should have no rights to back taxes. It’s seems like an EU money grab.

      1. No, you’re reading what the EU would have claimed their share would be. International Tax Law is that companies pay the bulk of their Income Taxes to the country where they are headquartered, not to every country where they do business. Otherwise taxation would be nightmare. The EU commission is trying to up-end that over two century old tax policy and go to an every country Income tax scheme nightmare for businesses where it would be almost impossible to account for exactly what part of income is earned where. This would put the world into chaos. No business would be willing to do business anywhere.

        1. I thought that the sales offices (or the largest corporate grouping in that country up to a regional headquarters) were the points that got taxed in foreign countries, keeping taxation manageable for international companies.

  2. Apple sold hundreds of thousands of products worldwide from a subsidiary in Ireland – making *billions* of Euros.

    It then transferred all that money to a head office which was physically located *nowhere* – which Ireland allowed. Being nowhere, the non-located head office paid *no* corporation tax.

    The only corporation tax paid was on a declared 50 million euros – declared by the original subsidiary – of which 10 million euros were paid in tax. This amounted last year to a corporation tax rate of 0.005%.

    1. You lie.

      In Ireland and in every country where Apple operates, the company follows the law and pays all the taxes they owe.

      The EU alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on the company’s taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law.

      Hopefully, this overreach will help to hasten the demise of “globalism.”

      1. Nothing he said was incorrect.

        Apple sold their products from their office in Ireland, and because of the specific way the head office is structured, none of that revenue was taxed. And the only tax paid was on the declared revenue of about 50m EUR. Apple (and Ireland) claim that all was in accordance with relevant law.

        Saying “You lie” without refuting any of the arguments doesn’t make what you say true. You need to remember that when arguing with others.

        What you say in your message is correct, to the extent that it is what Apple (and government of Ireland) claim. Whether it is actually true has yet to be seen. All of us here have a tendency to believe everything Apple says, but as we know, most posters here have at some point or another distorted the truth, or written outright falsehoods, and there is no logical reason why Apple wouldn’t do that as well.

        1. “Apple is the largest taxpayer in Ireland, Apple is the largest taxpayer in the U.S., Apple is the largest taxpayer in the world.” — Apple CFO  Luca Maestri

          Apple performs distribution, procurement and logistics in Ireland, but the R&D and product development and design happens in the U.S.A.

          For Q416, Apple Inc. expects the company’s tax rate to be about 25.5% (source).

            1. Number of laws broken by Apple = 0 (zero).

              Take this to court, Apple and Ireland. It’s a sure winner in any uncorrupted judge’s courtroom.

            2. Gramps, the EU is a collective which can do no right in your eyes, we get it. So you’re more in favor of unelected corporate executives dictating what happens in our civilization? At least the EU officials are accountable via the member states administrations, which are indeed elected.

            3. “So you’re more in favor of unelected corporate executives dictating what happens in our civilization?”

              whoa, whoa, stop the presses, whippersnapper…that lie ’bout made muh choppers fall out. I am, as always, for our constitutional republic whose sole purpose is the protection of the natural rights of man….that is. the rights of the individual over the collective.

            4. No court of law has heard any arguments or made a ruling, Mike. This was a commission of appointed Bureaucrats with an agenda made up of European Socialists attempting to do an end run around the EU’s original treaties which allow the member nations autonomy in their tax laws and regulations. For the most part it was a foregone conclusion what they were going to rule. They were going to apply a statutorily applied regulation to void Ireland’s Tax Laws in existence for the past 30 years and force them into compliance with THEIR ideas of what the tax rates should be.

              It has nothing to do with the size of the company. When Apple came to Ireland, it was anything but a huge multinational corporation. Apple’s Market Cap was then under $7 billion, and nowhere near breaking into the Fortune 500. Ireland wanted to bring businesses to their country so they constructed an attractive tax code. Other companies, not just Apple, took advantage of it. Perfectly legal. The EU did not even exist yet!

              This is an attempt to force a retro-active change in tax policy by un-elected bureaucrats from outside the country. Ireland will not even be able to benefit from any money they collect from Apple. . . another “regulation” from the EU states that back taxes collected must go to repay any loans a country may have gotten from the EU. Oh. . . Ireland owes the EU about 180 Billion Euros and they’d like that Apple money to pay that down. Perhaps NOW you might get an inkling of what’s going on? It’s a shakedown.

            5. Don’t see why the EU doesn’t just structure it’s taxation similar to Federal (EU), State (member country), County (cities in country) type system which would make this entire case moot.

            1. They were in 2012, paying $1 out of every $40 in US Business Income Taxes. If Tim Cook said that today, I would bet it is true again. His factual resources are better than yours. He also has a lot more at risk if he says something pertinent about Apple that is not true under the rules of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002.

          1. You realize that the phrase ‘largest taxpayer’ could mean “taxpayer with largest cash amount/marketcap” as well as “taxpayer that paid the largest tax amount” or even “taxpayer that paid the largest percentage of income as tax”. So the CFO is not technically lying in making his statement.

        2. Don’t think “you lie” is the issue here. The question is, did Apple break any Irish tax laws? It may be that Apple transferred income to an HQ housed only technically in Ireland, but that is apparently not illegal. Your original post makes no mention of laws being broken, only your apparent belief that the rate Apple paid is somehow…what? Immoral? Inappropriate? Unfair? You may have made only true statements, but my response is, “So what? Apple is not obliged to pay more taxes than the saw says. Taxes are not a moral issue, as long as the laws are followed.”

          1. “You lie” is just First [whatever] being his usual self. Only Botvinnik takes him seriously on here.
            But you’re only half right about the question you ask. Both Apple and Ireland argue that no Irish tax laws were broken. The EU’s argument, though, is that the Irish tax law that wasn’t broken was itself unlawful under EU laws, which were designed to promote fair play between its member nations.
            I’m not a lawyer nor an expert in international tax issues. But the real questions seem to be whether the Irish law was unlawful under EU rules; whether the EU can impose those rules on its members, and if it can, whether it can do so retroactively.

    2. No, Josh, Ireland is merely the European hub of Apple, not the worldwide distribution point. Apple has other such hubs and headquarters elsewhere. For example Apple USA, Apple Japan, Apple China, etc. These do the same thing as Apple in Ireland do for their regions. The money was NOT transferred to a “head office” which is in Cupertino, California, because to do so would incur the idiotic 35% repatriation tax our stupid government requires our domestic firms to pay to bring off shore earnings into the United States. We are only one of TWO countries in the world to have a tax on their domestic companies who want to bring home their assets to INVEST in their own home countries. The other is a land-locked dictatorship in Africa that has no international businesses located within its borders. The rest of the world allow transfer of financial assets freely.

      That claim you are quoting is based on a mis-understanding. Apple transfers after tax money in Ireland to a holding company which banks the money or invests it. It makes no money because it has no INCOME to tax. It only holds that which has already BEEN taxed when it gets it. SHEESH. It has a limited number of employees because it doesn’t need many to bank money or invest it.

      1. “Apple transfers after tax money in Ireland to a holding company which banks the money or invests it. It makes no money because it has no INCOME to tax. It only holds that which has already BEEN taxed when it gets it. SHEESH. It has a limited number of employees because it doesn’t need many to bank money or invest it.”

        This is patently false.

        Apple attributed income/profits to a non existent “Head Office” BEFORE they were taxed. Actually, this income was NEVER taxed.

        Please see the quote below from the European Commission

        “Following an in-depth state aid investigation launched in June 2014, the European Commission has concluded that two tax rulings issued by Ireland to Apple have substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991. The rulings endorsed a way to establish the taxable profits for two Irish incorporated companies of the Apple group (Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe), which did not correspond to economic reality: almost all sales profits recorded by the two companies were internally attributed to a “head office”. The Commission’s assessment showed that these “head offices” existed only on paper and could not have generated such profits. These profits allocated to the “head offices” were not subject to tax in any country under specific provisions of the Irish tax law, which are no longer in force. As a result of the allocation method endorsed in the tax rulings, Apple only paid an effective corporate tax rate that declined from 1% in 2003 to 0.005% in 2014 on the profits of Apple Sales International. ”

        The full text can be found at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2923_en.htm

    1. Let me guess which liar uttered those undefensible words: the hypocrite who sells Chinese-made goods with his name on them?

      Isolationism is a recipe for disaster, botty. Apple isn’t supporting your candidate because it wants to actually do business with people in every nation of the world. Erecting barriers of any kind to legitimate business is the absolute worst thing the USA or any nation can do. Globalism is not a song, its actually how your multinational corporate overlords like Apple operate every day. If the trade rules were fair (most are) and the companies all played by the rules, then even you would love globalism. So don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

  3. Let’s see from this article:

    “Earnest says it’s important for the U.S. and Europe to work collaboratively on the goal of preventing the unfair erosion of the tax base rather than taking a unilateral approach.”

    Then on the same topic from another article posted on MDN Thursday, August 25, 2016: U.S. government warns EU: Do not hit Apple with a massive back tax bill – or else

    “The United States has sent a message to the European Union: Stop your tax crackdown on American companies or be prepared to suffer the consequences.”

    Yeah, sounds like their concept of working collaboratively is doing what they say… or else. It’s so unimpressed, but not unexpected considering the source.

  4. This ideology is pervasive- the ‘let’s be fair’ ideology. This is an exempt from an Obama interview with Charlie Gibson, ABC news:

    “GIBSON: All right. You have, however, said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, “I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton,” which was 28 percent. It’s now 15 percent. That’s almost a doubling, if you went to 28 percent. But actually, Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent.
    OBAMA: Right.
    GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.
    OBAMA: Right.
    GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?
    OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year—$29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That’s not fair.”

    1. That Gibson claim sounded quite fishy, so I just did some research. Apparently, neither after Reagan, nor after Bush tax cuts did the revenues increase; they dropped quite noticeably. The employment (per capita) didn’t grow either. The economy apparently did show some growth after Reagan tax cuts, but it seems that the growth could be attributed to the Fed rate cuts and, even more significantly, heavy defense spending (i.e. significant deficit spending). Meanwhile, after Clinton tax increases, there was a significant tax revenue growth, ending in a historic surplus, and parallel to that growth, economy grew very robustly, as did employment per capita. Even investments actually grew much more significantly after Clinton tax increases than after Reagan and Bush cuts.

      Tax cuts never really caused any meaningful improvement for anyone other than the richest segment of the country.

      1. The internet is a series of tubes—really, magical cornucopias that all sparkle with the sheen of truth but emit bitter fruit, spoilt by contaminated, grubby hands.

        1. I hear what you are saying, but your charts aren’t backing it up. The second one is irrelevant to what I’m talking about (personal income tax), and the first one actually confirms exactly what I said. If you look closely at the personal tax portion of your graph (purple area), it actually shrinks during the Reagan (and Bush Jr.) years, and expands during the Clinton years, confirming what I just said, that tax cuts (surprise!) reduce revenue, and tax increases increase it.

    1. Post-mortems are all well and good but we need leadership and guidance through the next phase. So what we want is not people who did not make mistakes in the past, but rather people who did make them but learnt from them and are cocked and loaded. We do not need people who go off half-cocked and are probably loaded.

      1. Are you getting the leader and guidance you need? Take this simple test, well it’s not a test, it’s a quote. Where do hilarious and dump trump fit on the scale?

        “To lead people, walk beside them …
        As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
        The next best, the people honor and praise.
        The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate …
        When the best leader’s work is done the people say,
        We did it ourselves!”

        Lao Tzu

Leave a Reply to Alan Smittee Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.