Tag: Apple

The Apple Of His Eye

All the congressional hearings of late, it’s difficult to keep track of events without a scorecard. I have long held the belief that bureaucrats in general (and legislators specifically) hold public hearings to throw the folks back home a bone, to show them that their expensive/bloated/dysfunctional government, and the functionaries that they the voters put in place, are on the job and doing the people’s business, yea for the democratic process. Too bad these weasels (Jefferson’s idea of the citizen representative, that accomplished businessman who would devote a few years to serve out of a patriotic duty, then remove himself voluntarily and go back to being a productive citizen and allow another to take his place, that idea is so dead and buried) all subscribe to the Jess Unruh school of politics. To the uninitiated, Unruh is a particular hero of mine {tongue firmly planted against cheek}, an old school politician from California that famously said ,”If you can’t take their money, drink their liquor, screw their women, and still vote against them, then you got no business here in Washington”.

Yesterday Tim Cook got hauled up in front of the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (What, nothing of late in the news on steroid use in Baseball you guys can exploit?) to explain why Apple is so good at tax accounting, specifically why Apple doesn’t pay taxes. In keelhauling CEO Cook on national television, for all 11 CSPAN viewers, they again called attention to the abortion that which is our tax code.

Senator Rand Paul, wasted no time in making some hay on the issue.

Paul mentions our corporate tax rate is double that of Canada, how about TRIPLE that of most successful European nations. Repatriating tax money at a 35% corporate rate? no wonder Cook has over $100 billion parked in overseas accounts.

Ireland has a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, conversely the world’s largest technology companies have decided to build factories there. Ireland negotiates that rate to further sweeten the pot, making foreign capital welcome thus bringing growth, jobs and prosperity.

Paul mentioned a bill that would repatriate this foreign money back to America at a 5% rate and use it to bolster infrastructure, there was an article in the WSJ last week floating the idea of bringing all foreign money owned by American corporations (well over $1 trillion)bak here tax free, then loaning this money to Uncle Sam interest free for a period of time, corporations keep more of their profits and the government gets interest free loans, (isn’t the US government too big to fail?) a win/win all the way around.

One consistent complaint from large U.S. companies is that our government taxes multinational companies on their global earnings, while other nations tax only profits earned within a country’s borders. That gives U.S. companies reason to park foreign earnings overseas, they are taxed only when brought back to the U.S.. The fix is obvious, tax U.S. companies only on profits realized here in America (allowing profits earned overseas to be taxed at that country’s tax rate), and lower the over all statutory corporate rate, making it more competitive with the global economy. But as these and other hearings have revealed, calling for a far simpler tax code is easier then producing one. And yes, criticizing our cumbersome tax code is the epitome of grabbing low hanging fruit.

But back to Paul, he is clearly taking a page out of the Obama bible for presidential campaigning, use both hands to finger point and highlight the current guy’s shortcomings, then run on being ”
Not That Guy”. His 13 hour filibuster was more show then substance (Ted Cruz already got Holder to admit, through a continuous application of head locks and full nelsons, that targeting an American citizen on American soil for assassination was clearly unconstitutional) but I liked his principled stance. As with most Libertarians, they lose sight of the fact that people cannot be counted on to do the right thing consistently and sometimes we do need the rule of law to smack them back into compliance, but as a starting point I like the “keep your nose out of my business” philosophy. Rand Paul is doing everything he can to be the Ungovernment government official, a smart move given what we have now.

Yes, it is early, and Rubio seems to be losing steam. Politics abhors a vacuum so Paul will accommodate. And with Christie and his stomach staple surgery, the horses are jockeying for position.

Big and Little Apples Roundups

A lot going on today and I don’t have time to flood the zone with posts on everything. So here are a few rapid-fire thoughts:

It’s clear that today’s Empire State Building shooting was not a mass shooting but straight-up murder. The press were all geared up to cover it like a mass shooting, but the guy killed an executive and then got mowed down by cops on a crowded street. Much as I’d like to criticize the cops — all nine of the wounded were hit by their fire — my initial read is that they did the right thing. Grabbing murderers is their job. And when he turned on them with a weapon in hand, they had no choice but to fire.

Speaking of murderers, Anders Brevik is going to get 10-21 years in prison for murdering 77 people, most of them young and defenseless. This may sound like a liberal judge but it isn’t: Norway has neither the death penalty nor life sentences. 21 years is the maximum anyone can be sentenced to. The prosecutors can, however, petition against release for dangerous people and there is little doubt they will do so whenever this piece of shit is eligible to get out. Let’s hope the man never sees a free day.

Staying in the courts, Apple won its big lawsuit against Samsung, one of 19 lawsuits on four continents the two companies are currently fighting out. I have not kept up with this but read enough today to conclude that Samsung did copycat quite a bit, at least in their early iterations.

Finally, if you haven’t read it, please read Jim’s comment under the Lance Armstrong thread for a much better analysis of today’s events than I was able to bash out.

Update: One of Harley’s friends reminded me of this on Facebook: Chicago has some of the tougher gun control laws in the nation. On Thursday night/Friday morning, 19 people were shot in various unrelated incidents. Strange that this is getting a lot less coverage than what happened in New York.