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Apple on pace to double lobbying spending on taxes, other issues

post #1 of 38
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Embroiled in controversy over alleged tax avoidance, Apple is jumping into the fray in Washington, as the iPad maker is reportedly on track to double the amount of money it spends lobbying politicians.

cookface


Apple could spend $4 million lobbying politicians on the Hill, twice what the company spent last year and more than 20 times the $180,000 it spent in 1999, according to Reuters. The bump in lobbying spending comes with the iPhone maker under fire for allegedly being one of the largest tax avoiders in the nation.

Multinational U.S. corporations are currently holding about $1.5 trillion in profits offshore, hoping to somehow avoid the 35 percent corporate income tax that would accompany repatriation of the funds. About 6.7 percent of that total is held by Apple, which issued bonds to finance a stock buyback instead of paying $9.2 billion in taxes to bring the money back to America.

During his testimony on the Hill, Apple chief Cook said the company has no plans to bring its cash pile to American shores with taxes on foreign earnings as they are. It now appears the company is willing to put its muscle behind shifting corporate taxes downward.

"They are very, very tactical," an unnamed former Apple lobbyist told Reuters. "They only join issues they really care about."

Apple has yet to set up a political action fund to distribute employee contributions to sympathetic congresspersons, but the company has begun bringing in outside lobbying firms such as Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, as well as Capitol Tax Partners. The Glover Park Group and the Franklin Square Group have also signed on with Apple, giving the firm lobbyists with experience in taxes, broadband, electronic waste, and spectrum issues.

Cook in the course of his testimony called for the corporate tax rate to drop from its current level of 35 percent to around 25 percent. In terms of foreign earnings, the Apple chief didn't give a specific figure, but he did say that "the rate... to incent [a] huge number of companies [to repatriate their cash], would have to be a single-digit number."

Such a shift in the tax code, Cook said, would not be beneficial only for Apple. Apple, in fact, would be among the companies paying more than it currently does in taxes under such a scheme.

Aside from taxes, Apple would likely lobby Congress on environmental and import issues, as well as broadband and other technology issues. Another likely area of interest would be America's intellectual property protections. Given its struggles with Samsung and other Android device makers, Apple would like to see intellectual property protections within the United States strengthened, as it argues the system isn't built to handle the rapid pace of technological development.

"The U.S. court system is currently structured in such a way," Cook said during his testimony, "that it's currently difficult to get the protections a technology company needs."

Even should Apple double its lobbying to $4 million in 2013, its spending is nowhere near that of other tech giants. Four million would put Apple at about the level that Facebook spent last year. By comparison, Oracle spent more than 50 percent more than that, while Microsoft spent twice that amount. The largest tech lobbying spender in 2012 was Google, which spent $18.2 million lobbying Washington.
post #2 of 38

This is sad.  We all know that "lobbying" is just another word for corruption, payola, payoffs, bribes, etc. 

It's so primitive, so ... middle-ages. 

 

You'd think we'd be beyond that kind of corruption in this day and age.  

Oh well, born too soon I suppose. 1smile.gif

post #3 of 38

Stupid analysts.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #4 of 38
Great ! It was time to address this underutilzed tax deduction scheme, uh ? Thank you, Senators ...
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This is sad.  We all know that "lobbying" is just another word for corruption, payola, payoffs, bribes, etc. 
It's so primitive, so ... middle-ages. 

You'd think we'd be beyond that kind of corruption in this day and age.  
Oh well, born too soon I suppose. 1smile.gif

If you can't beat them join them ... sad but true. I at least have some faith that Tim will try to influence our 'for sale Congress' to improve things for the benefit of America as a whole not just Apple. Apple have to out bid South Korea remember.
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post #6 of 38
For a company the size of Apple $4 mil a year is pocket change. And it will likely be used over the IP issue more than the tax one. Because despite their public statements that they are happy to pay more if the laws require it, so long as the laws are fair, no company really wants a raise in expenses.

But better IP protection, particularly that might stop folks like Lodsys and avoid those court costs. Who wouldn't want that

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #7 of 38
Exactly what I called for in a thread yesterday. So gratifying that Tim reads AI.
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post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

For a company the size of Apple $4 mil a year is pocket change. And it will likely be used over the IP issue more than the tax one. Because despite their public statements that they are happy to pay more if the laws require it, so long as the laws are fair, no company really wants a raise in expenses.

But better IP protection, particularly that might stop folks like Lodsys and avoid those court costs. Who wouldn't want that

 

Some people.

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post #9 of 38
So now we get to find out if all these unwarranted attacks on Apple are because of their excessive mindshare or because they didn't spend enough on legal bribes in Washington.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/23/13 at 8:07am

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post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So now we get to find out if all these unwarranted attacks on Apple are because of their excessive mindshare or because they didn't spend enough on legal brides in Washington.

They should spend more money on improving auto spelling correction. Or just get rid of it.

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post #11 of 38
Does this increase reflect more than the salarial cost of the hearing (Tim Cook + his colleagues ) ?
post #12 of 38
(double post)
post #13 of 38

Now that Apple has decided to spend on lobbying Congress the hearings should stop. 

 

All that our lawmakers were asking was a share of all that money Apple was making. 

 

After all they need their retirement accounts too. Why should Apple not share some of the money with

our lawmakers. 

post #14 of 38
Ironically, lobbying is exactly what got us to where we are today with the convoluted tax code. I wouldn't have made this move.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

Ironically, lobbying is exactly what got us to where we are today with the convoluted tax code. I wouldn't have made this move.

You know the old sayings..

"If you can't beat 'em, pay them off." and "When in Rome bribe the Senate."

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #16 of 38

I wonder what the pro-rata cost of sending Tim Cook, Peter Oppenheimer and the other guy to Washington for the day was?  Given their wage packets it might even approach $4m just for that one event 1eek.gif

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post #17 of 38
The Senate hearing was just a sham. The real reason was to compel Apple to spend more money on lobbying. Mission accomplished.
post #18 of 38
Why pick on apple when google and every other company funnels its cash into foreign companies in exactly the same way?

Why can't apple drive the narrative? This week's story is: apple alone cheats at taxes, apple alone uses lobbyists, and only apple won't have a new product until late 2014.

Is this fair and accurate? Of course not. But. How can apple change this story?

Or maybe it's impossible and no matter what the story is going to be negative for apple.

If so..... That sucks!
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This is sad.  We all know that "lobbying" is just another word for corruption, payola, payoffs, bribes, etc. 

It's so primitive, so ... middle-ages. 

 

You'd think we'd be beyond that kind of corruption in this day and age.  

Oh well, born too soon I suppose. 1smile.gif

 

Not born too soon, just ignorant of human nature.

post #20 of 38
Robin Huber,
I also read your suggestion yesterday. I hate it, but I think you are correct. Apple will do its best to be an enlightened corporation, but it must act to balance the narrative.
Does anyone know how much Amazon spends on lobbying? Besos also has friends on Wall St. The p/e on their stock price is so high it is meaningless. I wonder how long they can keep their 'we are expanding to rule the world!' narrative going
I see Apple is cultivating Goldman a little through Laurene, maybe?

It's pitiful to watch a company like Apple get treated by Wall Street like an indentured whore slave. Trashed and thrown away over and over. Then attacked by the government for any reason. You are right, they will continue to have problems until they PAY UP.

It is reassuring that they are finally getting ahold of this issue of influence peddling and dealing with it. It's ugly but necessary.
Doing what the other guys are doing, very un-Apple like, but time to stop the bad influences from affecting the company's public perception.
What is really factored into the price is a kind of perpetual sense of disbelief that any company could be as good as Apple is. ~Retrogusto
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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Not born too soon, just ignorant of human nature.

'ignorant' is such a needlessly objectionable word to use. Just saying ...
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post #22 of 38
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
Not born too soon, just ignorant of human nature.

 

No, lobbying isn't "human nature". 1oyvey.gif

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No, lobbying isn't "human nature". 1oyvey.gif

Sure it is. Everyone pleads their case even children do it. Mommy won't let them do something, they'll go lobby Dad to let them.
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post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

'ignorant' is such a needlessly objectionable word to use. Just saying ...

 

Why? It is often appropriate. While it is often meant pejoratively (or at least received that way) it generally means lack of knowledge and/or understanding of something. What word would be better?

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post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So now we get to find out if all these unwarranted attacks on Apple are because of their excessive mindshare or because they didn't spend enough on legal bribes in Washington.

 

How exactly are these attacks "unwarranted" in your mind? Apple is using creative loopholes to avoid paying billions in taxes to the federal government. The only way I could argue that they are unwarranted is that the other companies using the same or similar tactics should be getting hammered on this too. Apple's unpaid taxes alone could fund several of the social programs that conservatives are itching to cut. 

 

I'm not going to feel sorry for Apple because one of its executives gets called in to answer questions about their creative accounting practices. It's a company, not a person. People bitch about welfare for individuals but don't seem to give a crap about the corporate welfare.

post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This is sad.  We all know that "lobbying" is just another word for corruption, payola, payoffs, bribes, etc. 

It's so primitive, so ... middle-ages. 

 

You'd think we'd be beyond that kind of corruption in this day and age.  

Oh well, born too soon I suppose. 1smile.gif

It is infuriating how spineless politicians are and how 'the people' (we) allow this to happen. Politicians are supposed to lead with vision. With a view to the long term future for the good of all. The principle is not complicated. It is like doctors being on the payroll of drug companies - how can their judgement be trusted? Some things need to be above and beyond big money. It undermines integrity and credibility.

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

How exactly are these attacks "unwarranted" in your mind? Apple is using creative loopholes to avoid paying billions in taxes to the federal government. The only way I could argue that they are unwarranted is that the other companies using the same or similar tactics should be getting hammered on this too. Apple's unpaid taxes alone could fund several of the social programs that conservatives are itching to cut. 

I'm not going to feel sorry for Apple because one of its executives gets called in to answer questions about their creative accounting practices. It's a company, not a person. People bitch about welfare for individuals but don't seem to give a crap about the corporate welfare.

Unwarranted because Apple is paying every dollar they owe and it would be unfair to tax them at 35% for profits eArned in another country in which they've already paid their taxes.

I can't believe you think it's fair that, say, Apple builds a device in China that is sold in India that would then be taxed in the US at 35%. Seriously?!

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


'ignorant' is such a needlessly objectionable word to use. Just saying ...

 

Ignorance means a lack of knowledge or understanding. One can be very intelligent but ignorant of certain things. Human nature being what it is the hope that people will be different is futile. Human beings are tool using animals at the core, and motivated purely by sex, power, and greed. There will always be corrupt politicians, greedy individuals and corporations, bribery, skullduggery, murder, and the like. Learning to manage human nature is, in my opinion, better than hoping that one day all mankind will live harmoniously together in some utopian society. It ain't gonna happen, EVER. Just look at the pontificating going on in this thread, all the "this is the way it should be" nonsense about fairness and a just society. Such things never existed and they never will exist because of our nature.


Edited by lkrupp - 5/23/13 at 1:32pm
post #29 of 38

Since Google can't compete in the marketplace and can't innovate and has to steal ...and then lobby politicians to make the theft legal, it's only right that Apple would fight back. 

 

It's unfortunate that this is the case, but shows how corrupt the politicians are.  Yesterday's hearing was just a shakedown, threatening Apple with even more taxes... threats that might go away with some well placed campaign contributions, and of course, that's the point.

 

Google wants to cheat by changing the rules of competition, and its' good for Apple to get int there to protect property rights.

post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

It is infuriating how spineless politicians are and how 'the people' (we) allow this to happen. Politicians are supposed to lead with vision. With a view to the long term future for the good of all. The principle is not complicated. It is like doctors being on the payroll of drug companies - how can their judgement be trusted? Some things need to be above and beyond big money. It undermines integrity and credibility.

 

This corruption has existed forever...which is why in the USA they made the constitution such that the federal government was supposed to be pretty toothless.  Alas, Lincoln pretty much ended that when he went to war with the states exercising their ultimate veto over the federal government.  Since then, federal power has only grown, and quite dramatically over the decades.

 

You want an end to this corruption?  Maybe we can start by getting rid of the laws that rig elections so that only republicans and democrats can win.

post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This is sad.  We all know that "lobbying" is just another word for corruption, payola, payoffs, bribes, etc. 

It's so primitive, so ... middle-ages. 

 

You'd think we'd be beyond that kind of corruption in this day and age.  

Oh well, born too soon I suppose. 1smile.gif

 

We also know that "senate hearings" means "shakedown".

 

Apple been got good, maybe they should have learned from Microsoft's experiences in the nineties.

 

Pay up or get grilled, roasted, dragged over the coals, the Mafia ain't got nothing on the US senate when it comes to extortion.

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post #32 of 38
What is really factored into the price is a kind of perpetual sense of disbelief that any company could be as good as Apple is. ~Retrogusto
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What is really factored into the price is a kind of perpetual sense of disbelief that any company could be as good as Apple is. ~Retrogusto
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post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Unwarranted because Apple is paying every dollar they owe

Oh please, we both know that is actually bullshit. I know you're not that stupid. It might be technically true, but that is due to the outrageous loopholes in the tax code. Apple has their IP held by a company in Ireland that exists only on paper so that it can claim less profits in the US because of IP royalties paid to the Ireland based shell company (which is getting taxed a whopping 2% by the Irish government). They are paying nowhere 35% on US profits or elsewhere in the world. Apple and other large companies' tax avoidance tactics are deplorable and your seeming acceptance of it is mind boggling.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Oh please, we both know that is actually bullshit. I know you're not that stupid. It might be technically true, but that is due to the outrageous loopholes in the tax code. Apple has their IP held by a company in Ireland that exists only on paper so that it can claim less profits in the US because of IP royalties paid to the Ireland based shell company (which is getting taxed a whopping 2% by the Irish government). They are paying nowhere 35% on US profits or elsewhere in the world. Apple and other large companies' tax avoidance tactics are deplorable and your seeming acceptance of it is mind boggling.

 

This post is nothing more than an emotionally-driven blathering screed containing a muddle of plainly incorrect rejections of facts ("it is actually bullshit" that Apple is paying what they owe) immediately followed by begrudgingly admission that those facts are actually correct ("technically true") to opinion about how Apple (et al) has (legally) done this ("due to the outrageous loopholes in the tax code") and closing with opinions about the fact that they do ("tactics are deplorable") and starry-eyed incredulity that someone doesn't agree with you ("your seeming acceptance of it is mind boggling.")

 

Sheesh.

 

Chill.

 

First, so far as we know to date, what Apple has done is perfectly legal. Nor, arguably, is there anything immoral or unethical about it.

 

Secondly, we all get that some (even many) people, like yourself, find it deplorable that the US government has, heretofore, been unable to pick Apple's pocket more. But chill. It is what it is. If you don't like it, there's a process to change it. Go ahead and get your buddies together and vote for the people who will change the rules to steal more of Apple's money. Though please don't whine about the negative consequences that are likely to come from that if they succeed.

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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


Oh please, we both know that is actually bullshit. I know you're not that stupid. It might be technically true, but that is due to the outrageous loopholes in the tax code. Apple has their IP held by a company in Ireland that exists only on paper so that it can claim less profits in the US because of IP royalties paid to the Ireland based shell company (which is getting taxed a whopping 2% by the Irish government). They are paying nowhere 35% on US profits or elsewhere in the world. Apple and other large companies' tax avoidance tactics are deplorable and your seeming acceptance of it is mind boggling.

 

So this building in Cork, Ireland with people working for Apple in it is "only on paper", is it?

 

 

 

The US does not control other countries laws.

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post #36 of 38
All this money on lobbying... I wonder how much waste would be eliminated by taking money out of politics. It might save the economy all on its own.
post #37 of 38
Please don't confuse bribes with extortion payments.
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

 

How exactly are these attacks "unwarranted" in your mind? Apple is using creative loopholes to avoid paying billions in taxes to the federal government. The only way I could argue that they are unwarranted is that the other companies using the same or similar tactics should be getting hammered on this too. Apple's unpaid taxes alone could fund several of the social programs that conservatives are itching to cut. 

 

I'm not going to feel sorry for Apple because one of its executives gets called in to answer questions about their creative accounting practices. It's a company, not a person. People bitch about welfare for individuals but don't seem to give a crap about the corporate welfare.


Why does the US deserve 35% of profits earned due to sales overseas? And Apple is just making the best of the system that Congress has created. While many like to say that the "system that Congress has created" is a misnomer because companies hire lobbyists, this article points out that Apple has never been big on lobbying. They're "doubling lobbying spending" to $4 million, pocket change for a company the size of Apple. They've never really spent that much on lobbying so it's safe to say that Apple is just following the laws that Congress has passed.

 

Also, if companies are really paying lobbyists to lobby Congress for favorable laws, thereby rigging the system, isn't it kind of hypocritical for Congress to cry foul? The members of Congress who are part of that committee to investigate Apple's tax policies probably accepted money from lobbyists and wrote laws in favor of companies who paid the lobbyists. Now Congress wants to score points in front of the camera for criticizing Apple all because they followed the laws that Congress not only wrote, but also took lobbyists' money for writing. It's nothing more than a political dog and pony show.

 

If Congress was really pissed off about Apple's tax avoidance policies, why can't they get their act together and pass something? Evidently, they would much rather deflect attention away from their pathetic ineptitude.

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