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Wed May 22, 2013, 02:08 PM

I think I'll sit out this episode of 2 Minutes of Hate; RE: Apple, Inc.



Apple broke no law. We can't prosecute people for being "wrong" we can only prosecute for acting in ways defined by law as being illegal; otherwise we are not governed by law but caprice and envy. Frankly, I'm impressed that Apple waded into the literally tens of thousands of pages of tax law and were able to so expertly craft the shelter. They aren't to be condemned, they're to be congratulated for being one of the few entities actually able to navigate the labyrinth of contradiction, shift and incompetent construction. It's truly a marvel to behold. That the number of companies exploiting this loophole is so few is an indictment of the byzantine nightmare that is the US tax code.

What if we one day had a tax code that even the "little people" could obey too? Golly!

Congress has no business complaining because they wrote the law. They can change it but I don't believe they will. Perhaps I'm too cynical at the ripe old age of 24 but I think they fear the campaign backlash/loss of tax revenue were they to act in accordance with their professed outrage.

This is just a show for the public. Beat up a few high-profile corporate execs and then do nothing of substance. It gives the people their 2 minutes of cathartic hate and then its back to the usual tedium. I can't share the outrage over this issue because the staged farce is meant to make us outraged so that we still love our masters as they lie to our faces. They're pillorying Apple so you don't notice what incompetent stumble-bums they are as they pretend to look out for our best interests.

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Reply I think I'll sit out this episode of 2 Minutes of Hate; RE: Apple, Inc. (Original post)
Nuclear Unicorn May 2013 OP
CincyDem May 2013 #1
Bake May 2013 #2
randome May 2013 #3
Nimajneb Nilknarf May 2013 #19
randome May 2013 #27
liberal N proud May 2013 #4
kelliekat44 May 2013 #5
Nuclear Unicorn May 2013 #7
Nuclear Unicorn May 2013 #8
KurtNYC May 2013 #6
RevStPatrick May 2013 #9
MadrasT May 2013 #10
pa28 May 2013 #11
Nuclear Unicorn May 2013 #15
Savannahmann May 2013 #12
Initech May 2013 #13
Tom Rinaldo May 2013 #14
Nuclear Unicorn May 2013 #16
badtoworse May 2013 #17
Dreamer Tatum May 2013 #18
Wounded Bear May 2013 #20
Dreamer Tatum May 2013 #24
Nuclear Unicorn May 2013 #25
Egalitarian Thug May 2013 #21
Nuclear Unicorn May 2013 #29
Egalitarian Thug May 2013 #33
Rise Rebel Resist May 2013 #22
Nye Bevan May 2013 #23
Blue_Tires May 2013 #26
MADem May 2013 #28
rightsideout May 2013 #30
unblock May 2013 #31
Fuddnik May 2013 #32
pitchforx May 2013 #34
ZRT2209 May 2013 #35
xfundy May 2013 #36

Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 02:10 PM

1. Here Here !!! Spot on Uni. n/t

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 02:12 PM

2. Applause, applause, applause!!

Haters in the other thread want to throw somebody in jail for OBEYING THE DAMN LAW!! And then get pissy when I suggest we need to CHANGE THE DAMN LAW.



Bake

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 02:12 PM

3. Yes, the umbrage should be reserved for those who wrote the loopholes.



Stop looking for heroes. BE one.


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Response to randome (Reply #3)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:19 PM

19. Kudos to you randome. Your opinion is the most astute thing I've read on this forum so far.

 

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Response to Nimajneb Nilknarf (Reply #19)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:37 PM

27. Shucks. You only say that because I'm always right.

Kidding! Thanks!



Stop looking for heroes. BE one.


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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 02:12 PM

4. They broke no law because the law is broken

RANT ON

We all know how this happened; the corporations paid lobbyist who paid congress (don't tell me they don't) to write a law that allowed them to send profits off-shore where there are no taxes thus cheating the US citizens out of billions of dollars that could have helped with the DEBT and DEFICIT that the right wingers are all enraged about.

But never mind that scam because over there across the street, there is a family who is getting federal aid (welfare), we must stop them moochers.


RANT OFF

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #4)

Wed May 22, 2013, 02:15 PM

5. If they aren't going to change the laws to make taxpaying more fair..then STFU!!!

Otherwise it just keeps reminding people of how much the system is stacked in favor of the wealthy on every turn.

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #5)

Wed May 22, 2013, 02:17 PM

7. can we please not do the "STFU" thing? Please.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #4)

Wed May 22, 2013, 02:20 PM

8. Which is what makes this a farce

If Corp X paid lobbyists then those lobbyists lobbied congress. Which means congress still wrote the law. Are we then to trust congress to investigate what congress did on behalf of the non-lobbying proles?

It's not Apple. It's congress demanding corporations pay tribute lest the laws be written against them.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 02:15 PM

6. What if Congress brought in citizens and asked them:

"How many dependents did you claim last year?"
A: 3
"And why did you claim 3 ?"
A: Because I followed the tax code that you, Congress, wrote. Followed it to the letter.
"But do you realize that by claiming 3 dependents you are paying less taxes than you would if you had declared only one?!"

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 03:18 PM

9. Of course the irony of what you say...

 

...is the greatest TV commercial ever made:





(sent from my Macbook, probably the 10th Apple computer I've owned over the years)

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 03:19 PM

10. Yep, nailed it. n/t

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 03:32 PM

11. They exploited a set of intentional loopholes to dodge their tax obligations. Just like Mitt Romney.

Are you sure you want to applaud Apple because they can afford an army of clever accountants to legally shield their billions from taxation? They are now lobbying for changes in the law that would allow repatriation at a very low rate or even a total amnesty.

Like Romney, Apple probably did not break the law but it seems to me they are both part of the problem. I'll sit out the "two minutes hate" but I think I'll sit out the free congratulatory back rub as well.

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Response to pa28 (Reply #11)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:09 PM

15. Don't take the congratulatory part too literally.

Please note that I also opined that it would be nice if the tax code were a thing the "little people" could obey as well. In other words, it should be a thing where people do not require, "an army of clever accountants to legally shield" their earnings.

If it takes an army to fix it is because the people with the power have waged war. That's not Apple, that's our government. That Apple can afford the army is not an indictment of Apple, it is a cause for alarm that all the other businesses out there are being subjected to laws they cannot fully and fairly comprehend and may inadvertently violate even if they had the best of intentions.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 03:42 PM

12. K and R Big time

I have never understood why people here and in the rest of our party get so outraged when someone plays by the rules to win. We don't demand tax reform from Washington, we don't demand accountability of our elected reps. We scream that the corporations are crooked.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 03:46 PM

13. Hate the game not the player. Especially those that rig the game.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:01 PM

14. I have no problem being upset with Apple over this matter, none at all.

However if they carefully took all steps needed to comply with the letter of the law there should not be a witch hunt looking for an excuse to prosecute them. I get that.

However there is a difference between unethical and illegal and just because something is legal doesn't mean I can't be upset over it being unethical. And Congress is not one monolithic entity either. Just like with the Supreme Court there are principled dissenting opinions that someday may evolve into the prevailing majority view point. So sure no doubt there are hypocritical show boating members of Congress as you describe, but there are also some voices in Congress who have long argued for tax fairness and greater economic justice. Just because those voices did not prevail when the tax loopholes that Apple used became law is no reason why those voices should be silent about this now. If anything they should be louder now that the intended result of those loopholes are clearly revealed.

I agree that it makes little sense to have selective outrage at Apple only just because it seems they may be a little bit more talented at playing a rigged game than some others. The anger should be over the rigged game, but it is appropriate to call public attention to an outrageous example of how that game is being played. That is how people grasp the concept - examples are always needed and is this is a damn good one. Not every corporation devotes as much energy to legally scamming the system as Apple has. If they get no flak for this the future trend line for corporate (legal) tax evasion) is obvious, and it will be even worse than what we subject to now.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #14)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:12 PM

16. But that's the thing --

We may well have our outrage but what will congress do? I submit: not a damned thing and they know it.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:16 PM

17. Brilliant!!

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:18 PM

18. Using that logic

Mitt Romney violated no law by having offshore tax havens.

Gee, I wonder what the prevailing attitude was about THAT?

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #18)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:28 PM

20. Pretty much the same....

Although it's not "proven" that Romney violated no laws. It is assumed that he was breaking the law and took advantage of the amnesty granted to certain large overseas accounts during the bailout era.

The big thing there was the whole, "We don't have to show you people our tax returns" when every other politician does. The outrage was about something the same here. They might have not broken the law, but they did exploit it to the fullest.

It really is about the law itself, and how tax laws get written to the advantage of the "haves" at the expense of others.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #20)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:34 PM

24. I don't feel like searching, but I seem to recall people wanting Romney in prison.

This is all framed in terms of the "liberal" company, Apple. Had this come out about
Exxon, GE, or other tax avoiders, no one would lament the law; they'd scream for
nationalization.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #18)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:35 PM

25. Prevailing attitudes have little bearing on written law.

We may well find Mr. Romney's -- or Apple's -- or anyone else's -- off-shore accounts unfair or unethical but if it is legal then it is legal.

I doubt leaving the law undefined except by the emotions of the crowd is a substitute. I'm not saying you advocate such things but as soon as the legislature commits pen to paper it creates a system that can be manipulated. The more complex the system the more gross the distortions we will find, as the Apple incident illustrates.

I believe nothing will be done. This is all just a show. However, I fear if anything does happen it will only make the system even more complex meaning the "little people" who cannot afford armies of accountants will be further pushed out of the competitive market while those with the money will continue to create a system only they can obey. Then, when the next big They-Didn't-Pay 2 Minutes of Hate comes along we'll chant and pant-hoot on cue until A) nothing happens or B) it becomes even more convoluted and corrupt.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:29 PM

21. "Apple broke no law", you can't say that with any more authority than the people on the other

 

side can say Apple broke the law. You don't know that, they don't know that, and the fact is that neither Apple nor the IRS can say that either, and that's the root of all of this.

Within the 73,600+ pages of the 2012 U.S. Tax Code exist hundreds or even thousands of contradictory provisions. How do you think these giant paper people get away with paying no taxes on what are literally inconceivable profits?

And to use Orwell to rationalize your bias it is beyond ironic.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #21)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:42 PM

29. We may not be so far apart

"Within the 73,600+ pages of the 2012 U.S. Tax Code exist hundreds or even thousands of contradictory provisions"

This was central to my OP.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #29)

Wed May 22, 2013, 05:00 PM

33. No we're not. However, I don't share you opinion that Congress created this because they're

 

"incompetent stumble-bums", rather they created this to achieve exactly what they have, a law so convoluted that the result is no law at all that gives anybody with sufficient means the ability to opt-out of paying taxes.

Your first sentence indicated to me that you were defending Apple.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:32 PM

22. apples big enough and ugly enough to jump to its own defense.

 

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:33 PM

23. To be fair, only about 40% of DUers favor the summary execution of Tim Cook.

We are a pretty reasonable bunch here, on the whole.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:36 PM

26. I might have a little more sympathy for them if they employed more Americans...

I think it's the combination of those two things more than anything else...

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:42 PM

28. Greedy, hateful, selfish, rotten bastards excoriating greedy, hateful, selfish, rotten bastards.

A pox on both their houses.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:44 PM

30. Stop busting on Apple!

Typed using my Mac Pro Quad Core tower computer.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:45 PM

31. "congress has no business complaining"

i've heard this attitude in many places, congress wrote the tax code so they shouldn't investigate apple, etc.

this is ridiculous. the entire point of congressional inquiries is to find out what is actually happening (whether legal or not) and determine is we as a country consider it odious and to then, if appropriate, to do something, most notably CRAFT LEGISLATION, to address the problem.

if someone is BREAKING the law, then investigations into such matters are best left to police, prosecutors, justice departments, etc. yes, something congress gets in on the act for show but usually they just screw it up (just ask poindexter and north).


in this case it is perfectly appropriate for congress to examine what companies like apple are doing, and say, "damn, this is legal!? we need to change that!"

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 04:50 PM

32. Poor widdle Apple.

I refuse to buy ANYTHING made by these parasites and their i-slave labor.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #32)

Wed May 22, 2013, 05:15 PM

34. Tax Evasion- there's an app for that

and Apple helped create it-Apple lobbies for 0 corporate taxes, pays their workers minimum wage and even less overseas at Foxconn sweatshops where it makes it's' products. i don't see great charity work or social consciousness coming from this quasi-cult.
Samsung is building a chip factory in the US- what's apple done for US lately?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 05:17 PM

35. Should Apple pay U.S. tax on revenue from products sold outside the U.S.?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 07:26 PM

36. Cons are roaring about this "librul" company

and their outrageous tax avoidance scheme. So, cons, change the laws, get rid of the loophole, make taxes more fair? OK?

Oh, hell no they won't. GE and many other HUUUUUUUGE repug-supporting, job-offshoring corps pay NO taxes, and they can't risk angering them.

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