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(Talking Points Memo)   Apple is so hip, they've been making up Irish-American corporations that reside in both countries yet pay taxes in neither. That's like...whoa, man. My mind just got blown by your bodacious use of tax loopholes   (talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 380
    More: Asinine, Apple Inc., United States, u.s. income tax, share buyback, income taxes  
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7678 clicks; posted to Business » on 21 May 2013 at 10:05 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-21 11:24:20 AM  

Pappy091: I understand, but people need to blame the system, not the business. No one is going to voluntarily pay more taxes just because.

My main complaint is how we are demonizing rich people/ large companies in this country. I just don't get it. They aren't the problem. It just gets under my skin when I see it.


Actually, as a whole, they are indeed the problem. The poor don't lobby for the laws the rich need to avoid paying taxes - the rich do. Both political parties which run our country are, to greater or lesser extent, worked by our wealthy class like puppets. The disproportionate power they - in ever increasing amounts - continue to wield through the elected officials they bankroll is exactly the problem.

Money has it's own peculiar form of gravity - piles of money attract other piles of money. The descendents of the rich tend to stay rich, and the descendents of the poor tend to stay poor. Having more resources means you have a greater ability to guard those resources then others do, and use them to aquire even more. The rich can take advantage of our economic and political system in many ways that the poor simply cannot, and thereby reinforce the kind of permenant castes we were trying to avoid in this country. That's why many of the founding fathers were concerned about the corrosive effects of dynastic wealth.

That's not to say we don't need any rich or should dissolve all large corporations... but we do need to re-balance the system which has tilted so very far in favor of them already. That lack of balance is why for decades now the average American has steadily become more and more impoverished and the weathiest have been getting wealthier at an increasing pace (which is where the wealth of the poor and middle class has been re-distributed to).

The money which is piling up and stagnating in those piles of dynastic wealth should be circulating through the economy instead. There's a reason why our economy is so fragile now, and recovering so anemically (we need both supply AND demand, not just supply). It would make for a stronger, healthier, more prosperous nation for everyone if we could re-balance things back towards the masses a bit and away from the wealthy.
 
2013-05-21 11:26:14 AM  
I'm pretty sure Apple isn't the only company screwing over the countries they operate from
 
2013-05-21 11:28:42 AM  

hugram: Pappy091: Anyway, as another poster said, most of this discussion is directed to the wealthy which I am most certainly not.

Then why are you defending the very wealthy for paying less in taxes (from a percentage point of view) instead of defending people like you and I, who pay more from a percentage point of view?


I am saying that if any of the people that complain about this were to find themselves in the "1%", then they are going to use the exact same "loopholes" they are complaining about today. I don't have a problem eliminating most loopholes. I think that an overall simpler tax code is a very good thing. What I have a problem with is everyone hating rich people and big companies. You used to be looked up to for being successful in this country. Now it something to almost be ashamed of.
 
2013-05-21 11:29:06 AM  

Phinn: On the one hand, there the idea that someone, somewhere might be profiting without the gubment getting a cut ... Bbbbbut tax-killing Apple might interfere with the next generation of iPad .... What is a Hipster Leftist to do?


You're trying too hard. Subtlety, my son... you gotta lead the fish before you start jerking the bait.
 
2013-05-21 11:30:13 AM  

Thunderpipes: People in this thread are full of crap. My point is obvious. If liberals really cared about the welfare of the country, and fair taxation, none of this would be a problem. And let's face it, nothing will be done about Apple, because most Apple product owners vote Democrat. It is all about votes.

Personally, I think, good for Apple. Only way this will ever truly be solved is to make the US an attractive place to do business. Right now this is a terrible place to do business. You are punished for being successful. Why not outsource and hide your money?


You're never really a great troll but come on.  This is really lazy.  Put some effort into it.  This is Fark, not your local newspaper message board.
 
2013-05-21 11:35:10 AM  

t3knomanser: mongbiohazard: They WANT deductions, loopholes and other complexity in the tax code - as much complexity as possible - because they can hide behind that complexity.

That's not entirely false, but there's something else going on here.  Taxation is a complex problem. Simple tax systems- like say, the so-called "Fair Tax"- are deeply unfair and highly regressive. Complex tax systems  also end up being deeply unfair, because complexity creates confusion. It's simple to say, "Taxation should be fair," but it's much  much harder to identify what "fair" is.


I absolutely agree that a Flat/Fair tax would be awful, is regressive and is exactly what new age robber barons want.

However a simple tax system does not necessarily equal a flat tax. For instance a simpler tax system could just include different asset brackets, but just no (or fewer) deductions. There are many ways we could reduce complexity in the tax code without scrapping an ostensibly progressive (it's really pretty regressive right now as things stand) tax system entirely. I'd be happy if we lowered some of the rates but did away with ALL deductions. Instead of screwing with deductions and exemptions (which are disporportionately utilized by the wealthy) to hide the real rates, just put the rates where we want them to be and drop the facade.

But that's not likely to happen because it's part of the dance politicians play to keep getting votes from the public while also continuing to get their bribes lobbying/campaign money from the business community. Have rates supposedly high enough to appease to the proles, but include a bunch of opaque ways the wealthy can avoid actually paying any of it to appease the wealthy who bankroll them.
 
2013-05-21 11:35:18 AM  

mongbiohazard: Pappy091: I understand, but people need to blame the system, not the business. No one is going to voluntarily pay more taxes just because.

My main complaint is how we are demonizing rich people/ large companies in this country. I just don't get it. They aren't the problem. It just gets under my skin when I see it.

Actually, as a whole, they are indeed the problem. The poor don't lobby for the laws the rich need to avoid paying taxes - the rich do. Both political parties which run our country are, to greater or lesser extent, worked by our wealthy class like puppets. The disproportionate power they - in ever increasing amounts - continue to wield through the elected officials they bankroll is exactly the problem.

Money has it's own peculiar form of gravity - piles of money attract other piles of money. The descendents of the rich tend to stay rich, and the descendents of the poor tend to stay poor. Having more resources means you have a greater ability to guard those resources then others do, and use them to aquire even more. The rich can take advantage of our economic and political system in many ways that the poor simply cannot, and thereby reinforce the kind of permenant castes we were trying to avoid in this country. That's why many of the founding fathers were concerned about the corrosive effects of dynastic wealth.

That's not to say we don't need any rich or should dissolve all large corporations... but we do need to re-balance the system which has tilted so very far in favor of them already. That lack of balance is why for decades now the average American has steadily become more and more impoverished and the weathiest have been getting wealthier at an increasing pace (which is where the wealth of the poor and middle class has been re-distributed to).

The money which is piling up and stagnating in those piles of dynastic wealth should be circulating through the economy instead. There's a reason why our economy is so fragile now, and recovering so anemica ...


I agree that lobbyist are a huge problem. Campaign finance reform and TERM LIMITS are our only hope of solving that problem.

Most of your points revolve around the common misconception that there is a finite amount of wealth in the country that is being hoarded to a greater and greater extent by the wealthy. These people aren't burying gold in their back yards. They are invested in the economy. Their wealth is measure by and large by their assets, not cash.

One way to solve the "advantage" that they descendants of wealthy parents have is to teach all of our children better fiscal responsibility as they grow. I have been a proponent for years for have mandatory financial classes taught to all children every year starting at a very young age. It is actually very easy to retire a multi-millionaire in this country. All you need to do is have a plan in place. The sooner the better. Very few people realize this.
 
2013-05-21 11:38:28 AM  

Pappy091: hugram: Pappy091: Anyway, as another poster said, most of this discussion is directed to the wealthy which I am most certainly not.

Then why are you defending the very wealthy for paying less in taxes (from a percentage point of view) instead of defending people like you and I, who pay more from a percentage point of view?

I am saying that if any of the people that complain about this were to find themselves in the "1%", then they are going to use the exact same "loopholes" they are complaining about today. I don't have a problem eliminating most loopholes. I think that an overall simpler tax code is a very good thing. What I have a problem with is everyone hating rich people and big companies. You used to be looked up to for being successful in this country. Now it something to almost be ashamed of.


I don't hate rich people at all. I'm all for you to make as much as possible, assuming you are not hurting others to get your wealth.

What most people in here don't like is the level of greediness some of them possess, such as lobbying for tax breaks. That's just pure greed. Help pay back to the system that got you rich. Go try and get rich in Somalia or some other country that has no solid tax structures.

If I was super wealthy, I would not spend hundred of thousands of dollars lobbying to pay for less in taxes, but that's just me. After all, how many homes, cars, private jets, yachts, etc. do you really need?
 
2013-05-21 11:39:17 AM  

You're the jerk... jerk: The fact you would think people who hold that view to be foolish, makes me wonder how much you have studied economics and/or corporate finance.


I've studied enough to know that markets are not rational, not even in aggregate. Models of market pricing are just that- models. The stock market is a stochastic system, and while over time, a stock price may average out to represent something close to a company's actual value, most of the variation in stock price is little more than noise.

You're the jerk... jerk: Your comment about Apple being profitable but declining in stock price implies you do not see them failing to hit margin goals (which the higher price included in their assumption) or downward revisions to growth plans (previous stock prices had included these higher projections)


I'm quite aware that Apple isn't hitting the targets that investors are setting for them. All that really tells us is that the targets investors want have nothing to do with what a company will actually try to do. Apple's high stock prices were never driven by healthy fundamentals- they were driven by faddishness. Note the fact that everybody's wondering when Apple will release the next product that's as disruptive as the iPhone.
 
2013-05-21 11:39:52 AM  

Walker: This just in (please sit down): Corporations and rich people find ways to avoid paying taxes, while the little people get audited, fined, and basically get the shaft.

/more at 11


I think you meant to say Corporations ARE rich people...my friend.
 
2013-05-21 11:39:55 AM  
Tim Cook testifying now
 
2013-05-21 11:40:16 AM  

farker99: Just in - Apple is a corporation doing what all other corporations do to reduce their tax burden. Interviews with Google, HP, IBM, and other tech giants show that they do the same thing and some even got called to testify on it last year.

/This is Apples turn in the barrel


Well, apparently everyone defers their taxes, but only Apple has the gall to claim its overseas corporations don't need to pay taxes in any country.
 
2013-05-21 11:40:54 AM  

mongbiohazard: That's not to say we don't need any rich or should dissolve all large corporations... but we do need to re-balance the system which has tilted so very far in favor of them already. That lack of balance is why for decades now the average American has steadily become more and more impoverished and the weathiest have been getting wealthier at an increasing pace (which is where the wealth of the poor and middle class has been re-distributed to).

The money which is piling up and stagnating in those piles of dynastic wealth should be circulating through the economy instead. There's a reason why our economy is so fragile now, and recovering so anemically (we need both supply AND demand, not just supply). It would make for a stronger, healthier, more prosperous nation for everyone if we could re-balance things back towards the masses a bit and away from the wealthy.


Looking at the big picture, it's fairly obvious what has happened over the last 30 years. It has to do with a battle between the forces trying to raise wages, and the forces trying to raise assets. The asset side, of course, has won this battle in both parties.
 
2013-05-21 11:42:37 AM  

hugram: Pappy091: hugram: Pappy091: Anyway, as another poster said, most of this discussion is directed to the wealthy which I am most certainly not.

Then why are you defending the very wealthy for paying less in taxes (from a percentage point of view) instead of defending people like you and I, who pay more from a percentage point of view?

I am saying that if any of the people that complain about this were to find themselves in the "1%", then they are going to use the exact same "loopholes" they are complaining about today. I don't have a problem eliminating most loopholes. I think that an overall simpler tax code is a very good thing. What I have a problem with is everyone hating rich people and big companies. You used to be looked up to for being successful in this country. Now it something to almost be ashamed of.

I don't hate rich people at all. I'm all for you to make as much as possible, assuming you are not hurting others to get your wealth.

What most people in here don't like is the level of greediness some of them possess, such as lobbying for tax breaks. That's just pure greed. Help pay back to the system that got you rich. Go try and get rich in Somalia or some other country that has no solid tax structures.

If I was super wealthy, I would not spend hundred of thousands of dollars lobbying to pay for less in taxes, but that's just me. After all, how many homes, cars, private jets, yachts, etc. do you really need?


I can understand that, but what percentage of wealthy people do that?

Isn't that the same as a wealthy person hating all poor people because some poor people steal?

And I'm not talking about your viewpoint specifically, just the general public over the past several years.
 
2013-05-21 11:44:16 AM  

Pappy091: hugram: Pappy091: Anyway, as another poster said, most of this discussion is directed to the wealthy which I am most certainly not.

Then why are you defending the very wealthy for paying less in taxes (from a percentage point of view) instead of defending people like you and I, who pay more from a percentage point of view?

I am saying that if any of the people that complain about this were to find themselves in the "1%", then they are going to use the exact same "loopholes" they are complaining about today. I don't have a problem eliminating most loopholes. I think that an overall simpler tax code is a very good thing. What I have a problem with is everyone hating rich people and big companies. You used to be looked up to for being successful in this country. Now it something to almost be ashamed of.


No, no I wouldn't.

I have something called ethics.  It's the very reason I currently pay my full tax liability.
 
2013-05-21 11:45:37 AM  

mongbiohazard: However a simple tax system does not necessarily equal a flat tax


I agree, I pulled that one out as an example of extreme simplicity.

mongbiohazard: I'd be happy if we lowered some of the rates but did away with ALL deductions.


It sounds simple, but those deductions grew for  reasons. It's in the interests of the state to encourage people to have children, for example. Simply lowering the tax rate so that people have more disposable income doesn't mean that they'll have children. Giving them deductions for having children, on the other hand, allows the state to essentially invest a portion of its income into a future generation of workers and citizens. Similarly, local governments have a vested interest in getting people to purchase property in their borders. The state has a vested interest in supporting local governments, and hence things like mortgage interest deductions appear (it's also a sop to the banks and the real estate industry).

And so on. The state has good reasons to give up some of its tax income to encourage certain behaviors. Encouraging charitable giving. Encouraging investment in green energy. The state can plan for the long term, and doesn't need immediate returns on its investments. If you view tax deductions  as an investment made by the state, it quickly becomes clear why they get some complex so quickly.

Could it be simplified? Certainly. Could it ever be simple? Never.
 
2013-05-21 11:45:49 AM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: mongbiohazard: That's not to say we don't need any rich or should dissolve all large corporations... but we do need to re-balance the system which has tilted so very far in favor of them already. That lack of balance is why for decades now the average American has steadily become more and more impoverished and the weathiest have been getting wealthier at an increasing pace (which is where the wealth of the poor and middle class has been re-distributed to).

The money which is piling up and stagnating in those piles of dynastic wealth should be circulating through the economy instead. There's a reason why our economy is so fragile now, and recovering so anemically (we need both supply AND demand, not just supply). It would make for a stronger, healthier, more prosperous nation for everyone if we could re-balance things back towards the masses a bit and away from the wealthy.

Looking at the big picture, it's fairly obvious what has happened over the last 30 years. It has to do with a battle between the forces trying to raise wages, and the forces trying to raise assets. The asset side, of course, has won this battle in both parties.


Like I said in a previous post. A lot of people operate under the assumption of a finite amount of wealth. "If a rich person has $100 dollars, that's $100 that the rest of us don't have". It's just not true.
 
2013-05-21 11:46:38 AM  
"Excuse me, sir, but I've just decided that a large sum of money that you have in your possession now suddenly belongs to the government, because some poor people in an internet forum want it that way."

"Oh, well, let me get my checkbook.  Should I make that out to 'kiss my arse' or 'there's always bum fights'"?
 
2013-05-21 11:49:27 AM  

t3knomanser: You're the jerk... jerk: The fact you would think people who hold that view to be foolish, makes me wonder how much you have studied economics and/or corporate finance.

I've studied enough to know that markets are not rational, not even in aggregate. Models of market pricing are just that- models. The stock market is a stochastic system, and while over time, a stock price may average out to represent something close to a company's actual value, most of the variation in stock price is little more than noise.

You're the jerk... jerk: Your comment about Apple being profitable but declining in stock price implies you do not see them failing to hit margin goals (which the higher price included in their assumption) or downward revisions to growth plans (previous stock prices had included these higher projections)

I'm quite aware that Apple isn't hitting the targets that investors are setting for them. All that really tells us is that the targets investors want have nothing to do with what a company will actually try to do. Apple's high stock prices were never driven by healthy fundamentals- they were driven by faddishness. Note the fact that everybody's wondering when Apple will release the next product that's as disruptive as the iPhone.


You say this, but it is clearly wrong. AAPL's free cash flow grew over 600% since 2008, the P/E excluding cash is now under 6. The high prices are and continue to be warranted by the fundamentals. If anything the market under predicted growth in 2008 and slightly over predicted in 2011/2.

Also, please outline how you think a rational market would behave and how that is different than today. At any given time the stock price of a company represents the expected future value of the free cash flow of that company. Is it 100% correct? Obviously not. Does it generally correspond to the actual results? Yes.
 
2013-05-21 11:49:55 AM  

Pappy091: Like I said in a previous post. A lot of people operate under the assumption of a finite amount of wealth. "If a rich person has $100 dollars, that's $100 that the rest of us don't have". It's just not true.


That wasn't my post. But it is true that our economy is 70% reliant on consumer spending. While corporate profits are at historic highs, wages are at historic lows. The middle class does not have any money to spend on things beyond necessities. As a result aggregate demand is suffering. So companies aren't hiring. So wages suffer even more. And on and on we go, down the spiral towards the bottom.
 
2013-05-21 11:51:50 AM  
Yo dawg, we heard you like loopholes, so we exploited a loophole inside a loophole just for you!
 
2013-05-21 11:54:09 AM  

You're the jerk... jerk: You say this, but it is clearly wrong. AAPL's free cash flow grew over 600% since 2008, the P/E excluding cash is now under 6.


Compare that to its stock price, however. Its stock price was clearly out of control, nearly to the point of being a bubble, and is just now coming back down to about where it probably should be. The same thing happened with Google's stock price a few years back.
 
2013-05-21 11:56:38 AM  
The debate with Pappy091 is missing the point.  The tax planning opportunities available to multinational corporations have no relationship to the taxes paid by individuals, no matter how wealthy.

On the "loophole" issue, the folks at the IRS do their best to make international tax rules that are fair to both the government and the taxpayer but the reality is that there will never be broad multinational consensus on tax rules and so an army of very smart and highly-compensated professionals are always going to figure out ways to take advantage of the disparate rules in multiple jurisdictions.  It's not as simple as saying "oh, here's a big loophole, let's just close that up."  The rules are generally the way they are the way they are for perfectly legitimate reasons.  It's just that the folks the folks in Ireland (and the British Virgin Islands and so on) have different ideas of what is fair and appropriate.
 
2013-05-21 11:57:42 AM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: Pappy091: Like I said in a previous post. A lot of people operate under the assumption of a finite amount of wealth. "If a rich person has $100 dollars, that's $100 that the rest of us don't have". It's just not true.

That wasn't my post. But it is true that our economy is 70% reliant on consumer spending. While corporate profits are at historic highs, wages are at historic lows. The middle class does not have any money to spend on things beyond necessities. As a result aggregate demand is suffering. So companies aren't hiring. So wages suffer even more. And on and on we go, down the spiral towards the bottom.


I believe it is a false belief that the middle class is suffering. Saying that they only have money to spend on necessities is just laughable in my opinion. Unless we have gotten to a point in our country where 52" flat screens and 2200 sq ft houses are "necessary".
 
2013-05-21 12:01:44 PM  

Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: pute kisses like a man: you got some double dutch in my irish sandwich... or whatever they call it.

i wonder, would the US make more in tax revenue if it decreased taxes?  there is a point where it's not worth the financial complexity and costs of professional hours to avoid paying taxes.  or, should it just legislate out the possibility of these clever tactics?  not that it would work.  tax people would find a new loophole, or just leave.

  In terms of corporate tax, what is needed is a combination of lowering the nominal tax rate and closing a lot of the loopholes.  Our nominal rate is 35%, so conservatives tend to latch onto that number saying that corporations pay way too much tax here. But the reality is that our effective corporate tax rate, due to various subsidies, tax breaks and loop holes, is somewhere in the range of 12-16%, and many corporations pay no taxes at all.
   The biggest loopholes are the ones like Apple is exploiting to offshore the money to what is essentially a shell company, and similar ways to create giant write-offs.

 I'd be in favor of congress lowing the statutory rate to something in the high teens or low 20s, close the loopholes, and then add some tax breaks that will increase job creation.  For example, a lot of companies complain they can't find employees with the skills they need (because they're usually looking for something stupid like 5 years experience with software only they use).   Offer companies reasonable tax breaks/incentives to train new employees with the skills they need (with the incentive based on the amount of training required), as long as they keep that employee for at least 12 months after training is complete.


Our effective tax rate has historically hovered around 18%.  Tax increases, flat tax rate, loopholes, or no loopholes, it has always been about 18%.  Once everyone accepts that simple historical fact, everything else from any side is just theater.
 
2013-05-21 12:01:48 PM  

farker99: Just in - Apple is a corporation doing what all other corporations do to reduce their tax burden. Interviews with Google, HP, IBM, and other tech giants show that they do the same thing and some even got called to testify on it last year.

/This is Apples turn in the barrel


Will you still feel this way when it's Exxon or Halliburton?
 
2013-05-21 12:01:51 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: our economy is 70% reliant on consumer spending



Stop now, before you hurt yourself.

See, all production is for the purpose of consumption.  That's sort of the point in engaging in productive activity.  Also, some production chains are longer than others, but they all point to the same place.  Chew on that before you strain your intellect.

Dusk-You-n-Me: While corporate profits are at historic highs, wages are at historic lows.



Especially in Hollywood, amiright?

Dusk-You-n-Me: The middle class does not have any money to spend on things beyond necessities.



Except beer, cigarettes, smartphones, movies, cable TV and Disney World vacations. See, I told you to stop before ...

Dusk-You-n-Me: aggregate demand is suffering



Crap.  Never mind.
 
2013-05-21 12:08:08 PM  

Pappy091: I believe it is a false belief that the middle class is suffering.


It isn't false. It's a fact that wages are at historic lows. It's a fact that half the jobs in America pay less than $34,000 a year. It's a fact that without government assistance, 30% of our population would live in poverty. It's a fact that one in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty. You can ignore it, as most of our politicians and media does, or you can accept it and decide whether this is how you think the richest most powerful nation in the world should operate.
 
2013-05-21 12:09:12 PM  
And this makes them different then every big corporation how?
 
2013-05-21 12:09:29 PM  

t3knomanser: You're the jerk... jerk: You say this, but it is clearly wrong. AAPL's free cash flow grew over 600% since 2008, the P/E excluding cash is now under 6.

Compare that to its stock price, however. Its stock price was clearly out of control, nearly to the point of being a bubble, and is just now coming back down to about where it probably should be. The same thing happened with Google's stock price a few years back.


I don't see the trend you are talking about:
1. P/E excluding cash already adjusts for stock price. It was higher before when growth was expected (and obtained) it is much lower now that growth prospects have waned
2. The FCF seems to grow much faster than price indicating the market did a very good job of predicting growth and the eventual leveling off (ycharts)
 
2013-05-21 12:11:13 PM  

Pappy091: Walker: This just in (please sit down): Corporations and rich people find ways to avoid paying taxes, while the little people get audited, fined, and basically get the shaft.

/more at 11


Yay!...more income envy.

This just in, rich people pay FAR more in taxes (both percentage-wise and gross) than you could even imagine.

Why do people think that raising taxes is going to fix a rising multi-trillion dollar deficit. Raising taxes is a drop in the bucket compared to what we need to do to get out of this hole.


Oh please, oh wise one.  Tell us plebs what we must do to save our country!?!?!?
 
2013-05-21 12:11:46 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: Pappy091: I believe it is a false belief that the middle class is suffering.

It isn't false. It's a fact that wages are at historic lows. It's a fact that half the jobs in America pay less than $34,000 a year. It's a fact that without government assistance, 30% of our population would live in poverty. It's a fact that one in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty. You can ignore it, as most of our politicians and media does, or you can accept it and decide whether this is how you think the richest most powerful nation in the world should operate.


I think that most of the world laughs their asses of at America's definition of poverty. I'm not saying that the lower class should be content, but our definition of classes is way out of whack with the rest of the world. Just look at the quality of life that the lower/middle classes have today compared to 50 years ago.

This is still America, where you are responsible for your life. Everyone has the opportunity to be successful, however they define success. Redistribution of wealth is not the way to raise the lower/middle class. Better education with an emphasis on financial smarts is a good start though.
 
2013-05-21 12:12:32 PM  

JohnnyC: Pappy091: Walker: This just in (please sit down): Corporations and rich people find ways to avoid paying taxes, while the little people get audited, fined, and basically get the shaft.

/more at 11


Yay!...more income envy.

This just in, rich people pay FAR more in taxes (both percentage-wise and gross) than you could even imagine.

Why do people think that raising taxes is going to fix a rising multi-trillion dollar deficit. Raising taxes is a drop in the bucket compared to what we need to do to get out of this hole.

Oh look everyone! Pappy is here tell us how bad the rich have it. Oh please, Pappy... do it some more! Stand up for those poor, oppressed, sad, rich folks who so desperately need you to defend them. They're counting on you!


LOL Johnny C
 
2013-05-21 12:13:04 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: It isn't false. It's a fact that wages are at historic lows. It's a fact that half the jobs in America pay less than $34,000 a year. It's a fact that without government assistance, 30% of our population would live in poverty. It's a fact that one in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty. You can ignore it, as most of our politicians and media does, or you can accept it and decide whether this is how you think the richest most powerful nation in the world should operate.


You're not describing the middle class.

Also, earlier governmental action is the root cause of every problem you describe.
 
2013-05-21 12:15:12 PM  
Today is probably the only time I will ever agree with Rand Paul....
 
2013-05-21 12:18:50 PM  

Pappy091: Just look at the quality of life that the lower/middle classes have today compared to 50 years ago.


Hey what a coincidence, 40% of Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage. Things are totally better.

Pappy091: Redistribution of wealth is not the way to raise the lower/middle class


Sure it is. That's what taxes are, a redistribution of wealth. Those who have been successful need to pay back the country that facilitated their wealth. It's We the People, not Me the Person. I don't have kids, but I don't mind paying for public schools because it enhances the public good, and that's good for everybody - poor, middle, and rich.
 
2013-05-21 12:19:09 PM  
Appel literally has so much cash (not profits, not operating capital, actually excess CASH) that it is becoming a signficant problem for them on how and where to store it.  They've created a hedge fund for it, Braebrun, that is the single largest hedge fund in the world now.  Despite all this, they STILL feel the need to go to exteme lengths to chisel the last cent they can out of thier tax obligations and essentially refuse to say "thank you" to all those countries who legal, physical and poltical infrastructures make their operations possible and profitable.   Sickening really, but what do expect from a sompany built in the personal image of a confirmed sociopath?
 
2013-05-21 12:21:03 PM  
Dusk-You-n-Me:

It's a fact that wages are at historic lows.False statement.Quick Census Bureau check of historical wages by individual and household proves this to be false


It's a fact that half the jobs in America pay less than $34,000 a year.False Statement.  Again, Census Bureau check of Average Income for Americans shows this to be false for 2012.

It's a fact that without government assistance, 30% of our population would live in poverty.  Very vague statement with so many ways to define govt. assistance and poverty line discussion and Monte Carlo simulations of unknown situations to arise from cutting off govt. assistance that this is not a fact, but just conjecture.

It's a fact that one in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty.This is highly argumentative.  Whereas, I know where you got this data point, it is questionable based on the methodology they are employing to determine poverty line.  But, I'll grant you some legitimacy to this point given that you apparently haven't delved into the problems with bright line arguements on determination of poverty lines.
 
2013-05-21 12:21:15 PM  

Source4leko: Pappy091: Walker: This just in (please sit down): Corporations and rich people find ways to avoid paying taxes, while the little people get audited, fined, and basically get the shaft.

/more at 11


Yay!...more income envy.

This just in, rich people pay FAR more in taxes (both percentage-wise and gross) than you could even imagine.

Why do people think that raising taxes is going to fix a rising multi-trillion dollar deficit. Raising taxes is a drop in the bucket compared to what we need to do to get out of this hole.

Oh please, oh wise one.  Tell us plebs what we must do to save our country!?!?!?


Your choice, pitchforks and torches or move.
Panama is lookin' good.
 
2013-05-21 12:21:24 PM  

unlikely: So I'm fuzzy on this. Do we hate loopholes that allow corporations to dodge taxes or not?



Well, see that's the tricky part. We hate the loopholes and want the stop corporate exploitation of them right up to the point where we have a vested interest (ie. we makes some monies) from that loophole exploitation. And those are the people who have Congress' ear. But chances are you and I will never be in the position to enjoy that privilege, SO in short, no. We hate and yell and scream but ultimately we are serfs, not all that different than those toiling for barons and dukes and kings in Europe a thousand years ago. We have better shoes. And we have television and cell phones to tell us that we're actually something more than serfs, but the vast majority of us will work full-time, grateful for a handful of Federal Holidays and 2 weeks vacation each year. We'll work and work and work and keep working until we're unable to work anymore (just like our feudal ancestors). Then we'll hope there's enough squirreled away to live out our days indoors with heat and food. And family, we'll hope they'll help. And we have Social Security which will keep us just below poverty and most likely festering in squalor with minimal care until we eventually die. It takes the place of the convent that might have given us a fetid bed and bowl of gruel once upon a time, but the quality's about the same. Dull tedium, aching, and shiatting ourselves. Comfortable, or at least not in agony, as we reminisce about that one time we did something wonderful.

With the exception of some technologies and a some comforts here and there, it's pretty much no different than it was back then. We delude ourselves with our "American Dream" and we watch wealthy people cavort and fark each other and say profoundly stupid things on the television. It makes us feel like we're part of their circle, that we share some of this fancy living, the parties and socializing. We can't really tell the difference because we feel like we're at the party with them in High Def, and imagine what it must be like as we drink our cheap imitations of what they're drinking. We know they sleep at night, and we sleep at night so we figure that's pretty much the same. And we have an uncle who says stupid, outrageous, uninformed things so we tell ourselves, "hey, I've made it!"

What we don't see is while we're waiting for that 2 weeks this summer where we'll spend half of it cleaning out the attic and maybe 5 days at the beach with a day of travel at each end, the 1% is taking weeks at the beach frequently, and it's a private beach in the South of France, or somewhere in Central America with guards to keep the drug cartels and begger children away.  But we don't see that so we go ahead and identify them and it pacifies us. And we'll spend the next 8 months paying off the debt from that vacation. And unable to buy new eyeglasses as a result, but that's OK, 'cause these are still working. The 1% paid cash for their trip and didn't even notice the expense.

And we'll toil at our dumb jobs until we're 65, 68, 70, maybe more, and we might actually enjoy it now and then, just as our feudal serf ancestors might have enjoyed tending a particular garden (that also belonged to someone else), and there you have it. And then we'll grow decrepit and die, and the billionaires who've socked away their wealth and connived with their accountants and lobbyists to protect and keep their wealth will not notice our passing, except to tell some flunky to find another, younger serf to take our former place at the mill-wheel.
 
2013-05-21 12:22:23 PM  
i.imgur.com

Not a good reason to do it, but a good reason to fix the problem rather than going around blaming one business after another.

Perhaps, I don't know, we could close the loopholes? Could we? Probably not, that would negate "Trickle Down".
 
2013-05-21 12:23:42 PM  

Pappy091: I agree that lobbyist are a huge problem. Campaign finance reform and TERM LIMITS are our only hope of solving that problem.

Most of your points revolve around the common misconception that there is a finite amount of wealth in the country that is being hoarded to a greater and greater extent by the wealthy. These people aren't burying gold in their back yards. They are invested in the economy. Their wealth is measure by and large by their assets, not cash.



False. I said no such thing, nor do I believe it. But look at what's happened to corporate profits and worker productivity during this period of severe upwards wealth redistribution. Wealth HAS been created and it is all going straight to the top of the income pyramid. As the pool of the nation's wealth has grown ever larger no one is seeing it except for a small, already afluent, segment of our society.

And the wealthy don't sit on wealth by burying it in the backyard - that's something you're more likely to see the poor do (hide it in mattresses and such). The wealthy hide it in offshore accounts, tax havens, bank accounts, hedge funds, expensive durable goods, jewels, bearer bonds, expensive foreign villas, etc. etc...

One way to solve the "advantage" that they descendants of wealthy parents have is to teach all of our children better fiscal responsibility as they grow. I have been a proponent for years for have mandatory financial classes taught to all children every year starting at a very young age. It is actually very easy to retire a multi-millionaire in this country. All you need to do is have a plan in place. The sooner the better. Very few people realize this.

False. Fiscal responsibility is a basic skill we should indeed teach our youth, but it will absolutely not solve our problems whatsoever.

For one thing, I suspect that you're relying on a misconception that wealthy children are more fiscally responsible then poor children. Not only do I seriously doubt that they are, I'd suggest they're more likely to be personally irresposible, as they have employees who are paid to manage their finances for them.

But MUCH more importantly than that, the wealthy take disproportionate advantage of our economic system then the poor do in a vast myriad of ways. Someone poor may have an idea for a product or business but be unable to easily capitalize on it - if at all. The children of the wealthy (and wealthy themselves) tend to have the capital backing they need without much effort. The children of the poor have a harder time affording higher education - if they can manage to afford it at all - while the wealthy send their kids to whatever school they would like, which also tend to be schools where the wealthy children congregate thus ensuring them more lucrative networking then is available to poor children. Poor families pay more of their income to taxes, wealthy families don't become insolvent when the primary wage earner becomes sick or is laid off, wealthy families don't have the same stresses that poor families do trying to survive each day - which has a developmental cost for the children. The poor families are more likely to go to jail or suffer financial penalties which harm them to a far greater degree then wealthy families for the same criminal infractions. Small costs or fines may make the food or rent budget hard to meet, whereas a wealthy family doesn't have that problem. Etc. etc. etc....... You could go on all day long like that.

There are a million ways the wealthy are advantaged just by being wealthy. So in addition to the head start they got by starting out wealthy (the starting conditions) the accumulated million different advantages they continue to enjoy throughout their lives while competing ensure that they STAY wealthy for generations. This is why there's absolutely nothing inherently wrong with a progressive tax system. You tax the wealthy at a higher rate because they disproportionately benefit from society - and then use that money to continue running the society writ large and helping level the playing field for those at the bottom (increased education spending, maintaining the infrastructure the poor rely on proportionally more, etc.). I'd argue it's immoral to have anything BUT a progressive tax system. Unfortunately, because of the disproportionate power the wealthy wield over our government the tax system we currently have is actually fairly regressive right now.
 
2013-05-21 12:24:25 PM  
So, when do we arrest Apple? Or Microsoft? Or Hewlett-Packard?

After all, these corporations are people in so many areas of the law - why aren't they people here, too?

Dusk-You-n-Me: Sure it is. That's what taxes are, a redistribution of wealth. Those who have been successful need to pay back the country that facilitated their wealth. It's We the People, not Me the Person. I don't have kids, but I don't mind paying for public schools because it enhances the public good, and that's good for everybody - poor, middle, and rich.


Well stated. The "fark you, got mine" message pushed so hard by some folks goes against the public good, and such folks see corporate tax shelters as just good business sense. The rich get to pass the costs onto others, while they stay rich. Sure, it's anti-societal, but that's business for you.
 
2013-05-21 12:24:30 PM  

duenor: Rich  you have pee hands: Your response has nothing to do with my post.  It also doesn't make any sense.  People in this thread are demonizing Apple for using tax loopholes and advocating taxing them more, and some of them are even liberals.  Also, specific taxes on specific products further complicates the tax structure, something I'd think a "conservative" would be against.


The problem here is that Apple doesn't HAVE to stay in the US. They do so because it suits them, but it's not absolutely necessary. Their attitude (shared among many corps) is that, "Well if you're going to tax us that much we'll just leave and you get a pittance."

I don't think it's right, but they do have a point. Squeeze the golden goose too hard and you get squat.

As a libertarian, I'm not sure what the best course of action here is. It's not like we can (or should) seize their companies and demand our national cut.


Can't seize them, but it's not as if the US can't make it a living nightmare to try this form of creative accounting for all involved.  Unlike most countries and prior eras, the US can go anywhere it pleases.
 
2013-05-21 12:25:07 PM  

snocone: Was there a shift from for the "Good of the American People" to "Whatever the Stockholder Needs" or was it always that way?


The shift from "Stakeholder" capitalism to "Shareholder" capitalism in the US, can be traced back to a couple of journal articles in the late 70's, early 80's. It was promoted heavily by Jack Welch and other high profile executives, and ended up being adopted by the majority of American and British firms.

http://www.salon.com/2011/03/29/failure_of_shareholder_capitalism/

As the Salon article above points out, Shareholder capitalism has not been good for most folks, and has even failed in it's primary purpose of increasing share prices.

It has, however, helped make CEO's obscenely wealthy, and will therefore remain the default mode for all companies until there are widespread shareholder revolts against their boards.
 
2013-05-21 12:25:15 PM  

mekki: Pappy091: Walker: This just in (please sit down): Corporations and rich people find ways to avoid paying taxes, while the little people get audited, fined, and basically get the shaft.

/more at 11


Yay!...more income envy.

This just in, rich people pay FAR more in taxes (both percentage-wise and gross) than you could even imagine.

Why do people think that raising taxes is going to fix a rising multi-trillion dollar deficit. Raising taxes is a drop in the bucket compared to what we need to do to get out of this hole.

This just in, rich people ON PAPER seemingly pay far more in taxes but have an army of accountants to find all the loopholes to bring that number way down.


Newsflash .. There are people who use the Title CPA that can tell you how to pay less too. Lets not get persnickety because you haven't looked into reducing your tax liabilities using one or do you people really have nothing better to do all day than biatch about the way the country is run yet still manage to do nothing about it? Seriously. Inquiring minds would like to know.
 
2013-05-21 12:25:37 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: Pappy091: Just look at the quality of life that the lower/middle classes have today compared to 50 years ago.

Hey what a coincidence, 40% of Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage. Things are totally better.

Pappy091: Redistribution of wealth is not the way to raise the lower/middle class

Sure it is. That's what taxes are, a redistribution of wealth. Those who have been successful need to pay back the country that facilitated their wealth. It's We the People, not Me the Person. I don't have kids, but I don't mind paying for public schools because it enhances the public good, and that's good for everybody - poor, middle, and rich.


I MIGHT be able to see some reason in that argument if I thought that for one second our government was good stewards of our money.
 
2013-05-21 12:25:59 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: Those who have been successful need to pay back the country that facilitated their wealth. It's We the People, not Me the Person. I don't have kids, but I don't mind paying for public schools because it enhances the public good, and that's good for everybody - poor, middle, and rich.


No we don't.  Those that have been successful have done so in spite of governmental interference and harm.

People who make a real profit (in a free market, not in a rigged, crony-infested industry, which is just about all of them, nowadays) help themselves, and help society in the process.  They make a profit because they are providing the valuable goods and services desired by consumers, and doing so better and cheaper than others.

I don't care what you mind paying for, or not.  You only seem to care about what I'm paying for, in order to benefit you.

You're the selfish one.  You're the one who's only concerned about Me the Person.
 
2013-05-21 12:27:39 PM  

GBB: i wonder, would the US make more in tax revenue if it decreased taxes? there is a point where it's not worth the financial complexity and costs of professional hours to avoid paying taxes.


www.quotesworthrepeating.com

This is the blank curve? Anyone?

Anyone?
 
2013-05-21 12:28:02 PM  

Pocket Ninja: I'm sure this only relates to their ongoing concern about work conditions in their Chinese factories. They're still working so hard to correct the rampant abuses that their in-depth investigations uncovered in places like FoxConn, and what they're probably thinking is that when it's time to start spending some money on improving those factories and giving the employees something closer to a living wage that moves them beyond what are essentially slave conditions, it'll be good to have the money closer by. See, if the money was all the way in America, it would be harder to get it there than if it was already in a foreign country overseas. They should be lauded for their concerned efficiency.


Rephrase.

/B+
 
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