Comments on: Apple, hypocrisy and stakeholder tax Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:23:32 +0000 hourly 1 By: nzl-kz7 Tue, 28 May 2013 05:31:19 +0000 This whole publicity stunt (And Witch Hunt that Hadas Gleefully partakes in) is intended to divert public anger away from government failures and refusal to reduce the gorging by public employees from the taxpayers purse, onto taxpaying companies who have simply obeyed the law paying in full all they are required to.

For Hadas to see a Hypocrite, he has merely to look in the mirror.

By: EconCassandra Fri, 24 May 2013 21:39:33 +0000 A “reality check” from the UK Guardian:

What is the economic responsibility of corporate America?

Even Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is calling out the private sector for not doing its part to help the frail economy

Heidi Moore (updated)
Heidi Moore, Thursday 23 May 2013 14.15 EDT
Jump to comments (130)

The best kind of Federal Reserve chairman is the one who doesn’t believe he owes anyone anything. That is when we start to hear the truth about the economy more directly.

Seven years into his term, and unlikely to renew his engagement in Washington, Ben Bernanke has reached this state. He started out as a diplomat and an able politician who avoided offending people and adopted the appropriate Washington plumage to survive. Now he is the truth-teller we need.

He has spent seven years dealing with a do-nothing Congress with little more than perhaps quiet exasperation. Now that his term is nearly over, he is a bolder man. In his testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of Washington, he pulled no punches. He declared:

“Monetary policy is not omnipotent. We are pushing pretty hard at this point.”

Bernanke has chided Congress before, subtly, on its refusal to take action with the budget and revise fiscal policy. He was not so subtle this time. Bernanke noted that long-term health of the economy is “not the Fed’s job” – “that’s the private sector’s job and Congress’s job.”

Congress, we can leave aside. We know that austerity is painful and counterproductive, as the travails of Europe have shown us. If we didn’t know it, Bernanke made it clear. Bernanke’s mention of the private sector, however, is important. While Congress and the Fed discuss what to do about the slow economy, there are a few voices notably absent: those of any important CEOs willing to do their part to increase hiring.

The corporate and financial side of America – the private sector – is not doing its part to help the economy. Congress, as utterly useless as it has been in producing decent legislation, can only do that – legislation. Companies and banks actually hold the purse strings and hiring power, and they are not loosening them to help the economy.

Take a bill introduced by Democratic Representative John K Delaney of Maryland this week. The bipartisan bill – with 13 co-sponsors from the Republican and Democratic ranks – is devoted to improving the country’s weakening infrastructure by luring corporations to contribute to the effort.

Many of these corporations, in protest of “high corporate taxes” that they rarely actually pay, hire expensive lawyers to avoid the entirety of their tax bills. Yet they use the nation’s roads for trucking, our waterways for shipping, our bridges and city streets and airports. In small towns, one big corporation can make the entire economy, as FedEx is in its Tennessee headquarters. But how about the towns and the states that these companies just pass through on their way to making money? They don’t get the same economic benefit to help with their maintenance.

While major corporations are happy to use infrastructure, they contribute very little to its maintenance as long as they don’t pay their full compliment of taxes. Yet convincing these corporations to pay their full tax burden is a lost cause, as was evident yesterday when Apple CEO Tim Cook smilingly explained openly to Congress how Apple uses Irish subsidiaries to lessen its US tax bill. The lawmakers mostly met Cook’s testimony with adoration. The message of his appearance on behalf of corporations everywhere was: allow us to pay lower taxes, and we will stop avoiding them.

As this ego-fed debate continues, the nation’s infrastructure needs repair – hundreds of billions of dollars in repair, according to many studies – and that money isn’t coming from the government. So Washington has to think carefully: how can it persuade corporations to do their duty and pick up part of the tab for the services they use?

The answer is in Congressman Delaney’s bill, which proposes that companies be allowed to repatriate their foreign earnings at a lower tax rate – as low as 8%, probably – if they use some of the money to buy new infrastructure bonds. The bonds, of which only $50bn will be sold, will raise about $750bn for infrastructure investment.

With its bipartisan support and solid negotiation technique – a simple quid pro quo – the Delaney bill is likely to be successful, or at least should be. It is perhaps the first constructive answer to both a government and a corporate problem.

Still, there remains a question of whether the offshore tax holiday was ever really a plausible corporate problem, or one hyped by CEOs as an excuse to inflate their company’s coffers and their stockholders’ wallets rather than invest in new initiatives. Once the offshore-profits issue is out of the way, what excuse will companies have left for not investing money in the American economy and American workers?

The issue of offshore profits and a tax holiday was a red herring: US companies have not been hurting for cash. The stock market is at record highs overall, and particularly so for big companies. The stock market riches are flooding corporations in inflated stock options and paper wealth. Corporate profits, as a percentage of US GDP, are higher than ever, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

The 2004 tax holiday showed that the companies that took advantage actually fired workers, and that was during a good economy. There is no reason to believe they would be any more eager to hire as long as there is the excuse of a weak economy.

The truth is, the weak economy is not out of the hands of corporations. They don’t have a tax problem. They don’t have an economic problem. They don’t have a problem of an unskilled workforce. Instead, they have an innovation problem. These companies could, for instance, invest in new initiatives or expand their business models. Very few, if any, companies are doing that. In fact, a recent study from Accenture raised the question of whether CEOs even believe in innovation as a solution any more. The survey of 512 companies found 51% said they were investing more in innovation but 46% said their companies were becoming risk-averse anyway.

This is fearful thinking, and it’s the same plague that infects Congress. Just as fear has paralyzed Congress, it has scared CEOs. Yet fear is no excuse. Taxes are no excuse. Caution is no excuse.

The excuses have run out. The corporate side of America is not pulling its weight. It is not paying the fair price in economic boosterism or in taxes for all the advantages it enjoys. Instead of hearing Ben Bernanke testifying, or Congress and the Fed trading blame, maybe it’s time to ask some CEOs why they have taken themselves out of the equation of getting America back on its feet.

Even more importantly, it’s worth asking why we have let them.

By: EconCassandra Fri, 24 May 2013 21:18:14 +0000 @ QuietThinker —

You state “Apple is being singled out unfairly. These tax rules date back to when Apple was still struggling to survive. These rules were basically created by lobbyists (and the politicians in thrall to them) for larger, older multinational corporations. Apple has to follow along to compete against other corporations that use these loopholes. Politicians are not about to put the heat on those corporations originally responsible – they know better than to bite the hand that feeds them.


Are you serious?

There is NO excuse for what these companies did!

For one thing, Apple and the other companies involved in this tax fraud deliberately created secret accounts to hide money from ALL sources of taxation.


ALL companies “struggle to survive” in order to grow and make money for their stockholders.

Since when is a corporation “excused” from obeying the law that is on the books, no matter the “reason”.

I am quite sure Apple and these other corporation have their own lobbying groups as well.

And Apple should be excused because they had to “cheat to compete”?

If our politicians are complicit they should go to jail also, just like the perpetrators.

Right now, they want to cut a deal, which is nothing more than one dirty hand washing the other, so nothing will be done.

It is the lack of concern as to what the wealthy class and are government are doing “in bed with each other” by the American people that has gotten us into this mess.

I find it incredibly difficult to believe you don’t seem to comprehend the basic illegality of what these people have done.

By: EconCassandra Fri, 24 May 2013 21:04:17 +0000 @ Nurgle —

A really pointless reply.

If you knew ANYTHING whatsoever about corporations and how they really operate, you wouldn’t make assinine statements like this.

By the way, this country is NOT a democracy. It is a plutocracy and always has been.

Next time you have occassion to actually read the US Constitution, you need to pay closer attention to the “fine print”.

This nation uses an “electoral college” system, which was specifically included by our “founding fathers” to prevent any such notions of what was going on in Europe at the time to inflame the masses here as well.

This works to ensure that neither the “popular vote”, nor our “elected representives” — who, in fact, are elected to represent the interests of the wealthy class in each state — are able to exercise any undue power over the government.

This is one reason why our government — actually, I should say YOUR government — is totally deadlocked, mainly because the two wealthy factions are fighting an existential “battle royal” over the remains of this once-great nation. Kind of like vultures fighting over the decaying remains of a corpse.

Why should they care what happens to this nation, when there is no “down side” to what they are doing in any way at all.

After all, they are citizens of the world, and can’t afford to be sentimental about the US population that has become a drag on their wealth.


What is there so difficult about understanding that what these companies have done is far beyond what the present liberal US tax laws permit?

Just in case you don’t know how to spell it, here is the definition for you and for Mr. Hadas, as well.


deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.
a particular instance of such deceit or trickery: mail fraud; election frauds.
any deception, trickery, or humbug: That diet book is a fraud and a waste of time.
a person who makes deceitful pretenses; sham; poseur.
1300–50; Middle English fraude < Old French < Medieval Latin fraud- (stem of fraus ) deceit, injury

Related forms
fraud·ful, adjective
fraud·ful·ly, adverb
an·ti·fraud, adjective
pre·fraud, noun

1. See deceit. 3. wile, hoax.

If you notice the word has been around for awhile, so your ignorance of the concept is no excuse.

By: QuietThinker Fri, 24 May 2013 15:59:23 +0000 Taxes on profit provide a relatively low portion of the total government take – 9 percent in the United States ..”
Business uses far more of the government provided physical infrastructure and financial, legal, and foreign service structure than individuals. It is unconscionable that our corporate taxes are slow. Yes, we have high nominal rates, but these are a complete fiction. Our effective corporate taxes rates are extremely low.

“– and new or retained jobs and investment usually generate far more new tax revenue than is lost by lower taxes on profit.” This may be true sometimes, but has yet to be proven true in general. It is certainly not true with respect to the foreign profits loophole under discussion. In recent years those profits have been used to build plants elsewhere and shut down US factories.

By: QuietThinker Fri, 24 May 2013 15:43:43 +0000 Apple is being singled out unfairly. These tax rules date back to when Apple was still struggling to survive. These rules were basically created by lobbyists (and the politicians in thrall to them) for larger, older multinational corporations. Apple has to follow along to compete against other corporations that use these loopholes. Politicians are not about to put the heat on those corporations originally responsible – they know better than to bite the hand that feeds them.

By: Plinius Thu, 23 May 2013 15:05:09 +0000 Thankfully, Mr. Hadas, your opinion counts far less than Tim Cook’s accurate presentation of the facts.

By: Bigred44 Thu, 23 May 2013 01:35:22 +0000 All people having their pay reported on W-2 forms are the real heroes that hold the country together. While government gives them some deductions, their income is totally reported. The corporations and individuals having income outside of a W-2 report what income they chose to report. Any concern about tax rates for them is a joke. Pay a high tax rate, but hide as much income as you can. Whine all the time about tax rates so as to keep people looking one way and justify the actions of tax fraud. Pays well so it seems.

By: Nurgle Wed, 22 May 2013 23:36:45 +0000 Some really pointless rhetoric in the comments here. The author is making a valid point. Corporations are generally playing by the rules. Most citizens affected live in democracies. If those citizens are unhappy with with the results of the rules in place, change them. It is hypocritical to enact legislation and then become unsatisfied when the terms of that legislation are applied.

By: EconCassandra Wed, 22 May 2013 20:14:53 +0000 Your article is pathetic in its so-called “ethical” arguments. The wealthy class got caught red-handed with their “hands in the till” and now they are defiantly refusing to bring home the taxes that they are cheating the American people out of, demanding instead some sort of “deal”.

Unlike you, I see NO encouraging precedents.

Ireland is not the first, nor only, incident of wealthy tax cheats hiding their ill-gotten gains elsewhere. Switzerland comes to mind, as well as the Cayman Islands, but there are also a multitude of others.

NOTHING has been done by this government to collect ANY of it. The classic example is Switzerland, where the government first offered amnesty to wealthy tax cheats, but then instead of pursuing them, the govenment began to bargain with them!!!!


Instead, you suggest we “shame” them???