France approves digital tax measures against Apple despite US pressure

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Comments

  • Reply 81 of 186
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,019member
    crowley said:
    Marvin said:
    avon b7 said:
    roake said:
    pjs_socal said:
    I am surprised that it took EU countries this long to enact these kinds of taxes. It’s common knowledge that Apple (with help from Ireland) took advantage of loopholes in international tax laws to reduce their tax burden. Of course, Apple has done nothing illegal, but it’s completely within each country’s rights to change tax laws to close those loopholes.
    So imagine if every UN country charged Apple an additional 3% on gross revenue.
    Where would the problem be? It's a decision each sovereign state must weigh up. And in this case it isn't 'Apple', it's companies that go above a specific limit.
    Taxing revenues is unheard of. And stupid. Only pre-tax profits are typically taxed. 

    If a company like Walmart or GM were taxed at 3% of revenues, they’d have no profits left. This ill-advised EU move opens up a completely new front in a likely serious trade war. 

    I predict they’ll have to back off. 
    It’s just another sales tax.  See my comments above.
    It seems to differ from sales tax in the sense that it's not charged to the consumer during business operation but is charged at the end of year like income tax. Companies could of course raise prices in response but they can raise prices at any time just as they can in an attempt to avoid all tax but raising prices might allow competitors to undercut them and reduce their sales. While a 3% revenue tax could be damaging to a business, it gets offset against their corporate income tax, similar to how repatriation tax works:

    https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2019/03/tnf-france-draft-proposal-for-digital-services-tax.html
    https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/French_Government_submits_draft_bill_on_digital_services_tax_to_Council_of_Ministers/$FILE/2019G_000737-19Gbl_Indirect_France - Draft bill on digital services tax.pdf

    If companies pay the expected amount of income tax, they won't notice a difference. It's a measure to prevent companies avoiding paying their corporate income tax. Companies are obviously irked by it because there are no loopholes to exploit here.
    It’s more complicated than that, Marvin. Taxing revenue opens up a new can of worms. As I mentioned using an example before, it discriminates against different kinds of businesses that have inherently different income producing abilities: it is a 15% income tax rate on 20%-margin businesses (e.g., Apple), but a 100% tax rate on a 3%-margin business (e.g., digital retailing). It would be a ridiculously high tax rate on money-losing large businesses such as Uber and AirBNB. It would also discriminate massively against early-stage businesses that are making little or no money — after all, it does not take that much to get to 28M euros in revenues. 

    This is will be litigated. There will be retaliation. Bottom line, it’ll create a completely new can of worms vis-a-vis international trade and international business. They will have to withdraw it, but I predict it won’t become law. 
    These are number shenanigans.  This 3% revenue tax has fundamentally the same effect as an increase of 3% on the sales tax, which France already has.  You wouldn't care if France raised its sales tax rate, so why care about this?  In addition, you maintain that all taxes are born by the customers, so the business you name will just raise prices by whatever amount is required to make up - why are you concerned about the prices consumers pay in France?  Or in the case of Facebook and Google, why are you concerned about the prices advertisers pay?

    Frankly, Uber, AirBnB and other low margin disruptors haven't exactly acted in a way that casts a bright light on their business models, and have invited a reckoning.  And taxation that discriminates against large businesses will create a climate that favours small business, so hurrah for that.

    You're also being disingenuous about early stage business that earn more that 28 million euros, since the change also requires them to earn more than 750 million euros globally.  That's not an early stage business.
    If basic arithmetic = ‘number shenanigans’, well..... ‘Nuff said. 
    I didn't say it wasn't basic arithmetic, but its still a shenanigan. A 3% tax eats up all of a companies profit margin? Well they'll raise prices then won't they? Problem solved. You postulating it as uneconomic for the poor, unfortunate, low-margin bsuinesses is a shenanigan.
  • Reply 82 of 186
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,019member
    avon b7 said:
    roake said:
    pjs_socal said:
    I am surprised that it took EU countries this long to enact these kinds of taxes. It’s common knowledge that Apple (with help from Ireland) took advantage of loopholes in international tax laws to reduce their tax burden. Of course, Apple has done nothing illegal, but it’s completely within each country’s rights to change tax laws to close those loopholes.
    So imagine if every UN country charged Apple an additional 3% on gross revenue.
    Where would the problem be? It's a decision each sovereign state must weigh up. And in this case it isn't 'Apple', it's companies that go above a specific limit.
    Taxing revenues is unheard of. And stupid. Only pre-tax profits are typically taxed. 

    If a company like Walmart or GM were taxed at 3% of revenues, they’d have no profits left. This ill-advised EU move opens up a completely new front in a likely serious trade war. 

    I predict they’ll have to back off. 
    Huh?   You don't pay sales tax?   Do you live in a cave somewhere?
    Groan... for the THIRD time now...

    Read the friggin’ thread, man. 
      Idid....   I'm asking where's that cave you live in where you don't need to pay sales tax?
    I asked him yesterday what he thought the meaningful difference was.  He hasn't answered.  I suspect he doesn't have an answer.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 83 of 186
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member
    avon b7 said:

    Did you read the post I was replying to?

    Here it is (my bold):

    "...ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe."

    Unless otherwise stated in my post, EU and Europe are interchangeable. That should be crystal clear to a person who lives in a place called "North America" and which provides for the same contextualisations.

    Europe means EU!

    Now, the 'otherwise stated' was duly and clearly pointed out with reference to Yugoslavia.

    Surprising you managed to fudge things up.

    You seem trapped in an old school thinking of 'tanks and battalions'. The world has moved on. The Russians will not invade Europe (let me clarify that for you: EU). Even if it had NO defence capacity!

    Why? Because strategically the U.S would not allow it. It would be to much to lose so the whole thing becomes moot. That is the reality. 

    However, Europe (yes, EU again) is planning for a unified defence platform but for reasons of strategic goals too. Just like the U.S (and Russia and China). It will happen. The last relevant EU meeting on this was last month (.pdf https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/39786/st10048-en19.pdf)

    Ukraine is strategic to the EU as the EU is to Ukraine. 

    A Ukraine falling under the umbrella of the EU would automatically provide it with protection from Russia. No military hardware required.

    Russia will huff and puff just like Trump huffs and puffs but the EU will chart its own military course but in line with its own objectives, not those who try to impose their own requirements from the outside.
    That's utter bullshit.  If the EU was defenseless, which because of the US, UK, Poland and France it isn't, the Russians would take back all Warsaw Pact nations.  And if it wanted Germany the Germans couldn't stop them without our help.

    And the entire point is that the EU has been freeloading on the US for defense because of the assumption that "strategically" we wouldn't allow it.  That YOU believe that the world has moved on from tanks and battalions is only because you live in a country completely sheltered by the tanks and battalions of the US. 

    You ungrateful jerk.  My kid will serve so your kids can have socialized medicine without having to pay for an army that can stand up to a country that has already invaded Europe. 

    And no...the EU will no longer mean Europe.  Not after Brexit. And your "unified defense platform" won't be anything worth spit in a real war without the UK.
    edited July 14 cat52anantksundaram
  • Reply 84 of 186
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,212member
    nht said:
    avon b7 said:

    Did you read the post I was replying to?

    Here it is (my bold):

    "...ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe."

    Unless otherwise stated in my post, EU and Europe are interchangeable. That should be crystal clear to a person who lives in a place called "North America" and which provides for the same contextualisations.

    Europe means EU!

    Now, the 'otherwise stated' was duly and clearly pointed out with reference to Yugoslavia.

    Surprising you managed to fudge things up.

    You seem trapped in an old school thinking of 'tanks and battalions'. The world has moved on. The Russians will not invade Europe (let me clarify that for you: EU). Even if it had NO defence capacity!

    Why? Because strategically the U.S would not allow it. It would be to much to lose so the whole thing becomes moot. That is the reality. 

    However, Europe (yes, EU again) is planning for a unified defence platform but for reasons of strategic goals too. Just like the U.S (and Russia and China). It will happen. The last relevant EU meeting on this was last month (.pdf https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/39786/st10048-en19.pdf)

    Ukraine is strategic to the EU as the EU is to Ukraine. 

    A Ukraine falling under the umbrella of the EU would automatically provide it with protection from Russia. No military hardware required.

    Russia will huff and puff just like Trump huffs and puffs but the EU will chart its own military course but in line with its own objectives, not those who try to impose their own requirements from the outside.
    That's utter bullshit.  If the EU was defenseless, which because of the US, UK, Poland and France it isn't, the Russians would take back all Warsaw Pact nations.  And if it wanted Germany the Germans couldn't stop them without our help.

    And the entire point is that the EU has been freeloading on the US for defense because of the assumption that "strategically" we wouldn't allow it.  That YOU believe that the world has moved on from tanks and battalions is only because you live in a country completely sheltered by the tanks and battalions of the US. 

    You ungrateful jerk.  My kid will serve so your kids can have socialized medicine without having to pay for an army that can stand up to a country that has already invaded Europe. 

    And no...the EU will no longer mean Europe.  Not after Brexit. And your "unified defense platform" won't be anything worth spit in a real war without the UK.
    There you go again with that old school thinking. That 'best military in the world' drum banging, which by chance was the same one that rang out during the Yugoslavian conflict.

    I will repeat myself. If the EU was a hive if free loading but pacific hippies with no defence but for words, Russia (I'm surprised you don't call them 'commies') would not do anything on a military level because the U.S simply wouldn't stand back and let them swallow up the whole thing. Not for any love of the EU or its people of course but for purely strategic reasons.

    Of course, that isn't the reality we live in and in 2016 the EU (as a collective) was second only to the U.S on defence spending (over 200 billion euros). Let that sink in for a while.

    The goal now (and it is part of the summary I linked to) is to get (and to quote a U.S styling) 'more bang for buck'!

    That is through better coordination, more procurement at EU levels (as opposed to national levels) and higher levels of military and civilian crossover.

    If you read the summary, you will have noted that one of the major pillars of defence wasn't even around when your old school thinking was at its height. Cyberwarfare.

    As for being ungrateful, what are you blathering on about now? That's irrevelant but possibly a sign of how you view most EU citizens.

    Peace and stability within Europe
    (the EU) has been mostly down to its own interweaving, not Uncle Sam! And it isn't easy to get over 20 member states to move in the same direction so it has been quite a task to pull off. 

    It isn't paradise, it isn't perfect but the vast majority of people living here are pro EU and if the UK gets a second referendum I expect remain to win.
  • Reply 85 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    For those who think Europe has a well funded military, this article may catch you by surprise:

    A German battalion assigned to Nato's rapid response force used broomstick handles instead of guns on a joint exercise due to chronic equipment shortages:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11420627/German-army-used-broomsticks-instead-of-guns-during-training.html


    So please spare us the talk of how Europe can defend itself.
  • Reply 86 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    Whenever I have traveled throughout Europe, the people I met have been very friendly.

    On the one hand, they are very grateful for the US's involvement not only during WWII, but up through the present time.

    But then on the other hand, you can sense they are also resentful that someone else needs to look after them.  In this respect they remind me of petulant teenagers, who yearn to be independent, but when push comes to shove, still need Mommy & Daddy to back them up.


    I actually don't blame them for feeling this way, as it's a natural reaction whenever someone isn't pulling their own weight.  There's bound to be resentment...

    For instance Germany is supposed to be spending 2% of their budget on defense, but currently only spend 1.3%, so they have a very long way to go before they're living up to the standards imposed by NATO membership.

    So expect more resentment from our European friends, until at the very least they start spending a mere 2% on defense.
    edited July 14
  • Reply 87 of 186
    Abalos65Abalos65 Posts: 54member
    cat52 said:
    For those who think Europe has a well funded military, this article may catch you by surprise:

    A German battalion assigned to Nato's rapid response force used broomstick handles instead of guns on a joint exercise due to chronic equipment shortages:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11420627/German-army-used-broomsticks-instead-of-guns-during-training.html


    So please spare us the talk of how Europe can defend itself.
    Do you think that such an article is a solid argument that all the armies of the WHOLE of Europe cannot defend themselves? This kind of article is just clickbait for people to confirm their biases or preconceived ideas. 

    So please spare us the talk of how this is evidence of anything. (Condescending, isn't it?)
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 88 of 186
    launfalllaunfall Posts: 45member
    iCave said:
    roake said:
    pjs_socal said:
    I am surprised that it took EU countries this long to enact these kinds of taxes. It’s common knowledge that Apple (with help from Ireland) took advantage of loopholes in international tax laws to reduce their tax burden. Of course, Apple has done nothing illegal, but it’s completely within each country’s rights to change tax laws to close those loopholes.
    So imagine if every UN country charged Apple an additional 3% on gross revenue.
    3% tax is on gross revenue generated in that country (from digital services in this case), which seems perfectly reasonable.

    This is a good interim measure at least until the whole of EU passes a common tax law. At some point, corporations need to realize that pitting one country against another to get favourable tax treatment (looking at you Ireland and Luxembourg) can only take you so far.

    I love Apple (the company) to pieces but when it comes to taxation, it appears to use tax loopholes like any other corporation does.
    You seem to be forgetting that in the US every state competes with every other state to attract business: outright grants, favorable tax incentives, leasing state-owned land for a fraction of its value. Ireland and Luxembourg did nothing different from what Texas recently did for Apple, what numerous states have done to induce Toyota and Mercedes to open plants, mostly in states that have no labor unions. Where's your outrage?
  • Reply 89 of 186
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,212member
    cat52 said:
    For those who think Europe has a well funded military, this article may catch you by surprise:

    A German battalion assigned to Nato's rapid response force used broomstick handles instead of guns on a joint exercise due to chronic equipment shortages:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11420627/German-army-used-broomsticks-instead-of-guns-during-training.html


    So please spare us the talk of how Europe can defend itself.
    You clearly failed to understand previous posts. We are talking about where the EU is heading and its goals for far more military integration and independence.

    You will not be surprised to learn that the Trump administration is not happy with this and the usual threats have been launched:

    https://thedefensepost.com/2019/05/15/us-eu-trade-war-weapons/
  • Reply 90 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    Abalos65 said:
    cat52 said:
    For those who think Europe has a well funded military, this article may catch you by surprise:

    A German battalion assigned to Nato's rapid response force used broomstick handles instead of guns on a joint exercise due to chronic equipment shortages:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11420627/German-army-used-broomsticks-instead-of-guns-during-training.html


    So please spare us the talk of how Europe can defend itself.
    Do you think that such an article is a solid argument that all the armies of the WHOLE of Europe cannot defend themselves? This kind of article is just clickbait for people to confirm their biases or preconceived ideas. 

    So please spare us the talk of how this is evidence of anything. (Condescending, isn't it?)
    @Abalos65 - It's interesting when you come across an article which doesn't confirm your own bias, you are rather quick to dismiss it as "clickbait".  I guess that makes things easy...

    For many people though, when they hear the German army is so poorly funded it cannot even conduct a military exercise without having to resort to using broomsticks, it's rather eye opening.

    And given that Germany has the strongest economy in Europe, if even German soldiers don't have the funds to use real guns in NATO military exercises, then I'm not sure what other country you think is magically going to rush to Europe's defense if such a need arises.  The Flemish, perhaps?
    edited July 14
  • Reply 91 of 186
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,152member
    avon b7 said:
    nht said:
    avon b7 said:

    Did you read the post I was replying to?

    Here it is (my bold):

    "...ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe."

    Unless otherwise stated in my post, EU and Europe are interchangeable. That should be crystal clear to a person who lives in a place called "North America" and which provides for the same contextualisations.

    Europe means EU!

    Now, the 'otherwise stated' was duly and clearly pointed out with reference to Yugoslavia.

    Surprising you managed to fudge things up.

    You seem trapped in an old school thinking of 'tanks and battalions'. The world has moved on. The Russians will not invade Europe (let me clarify that for you: EU). Even if it had NO defence capacity!

    Why? Because strategically the U.S would not allow it. It would be to much to lose so the whole thing becomes moot. That is the reality. 

    However, Europe (yes, EU again) is planning for a unified defence platform but for reasons of strategic goals too. Just like the U.S (and Russia and China). It will happen. The last relevant EU meeting on this was last month (.pdf https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/39786/st10048-en19.pdf)

    Ukraine is strategic to the EU as the EU is to Ukraine. 

    A Ukraine falling under the umbrella of the EU would automatically provide it with protection from Russia. No military hardware required.

    Russia will huff and puff just like Trump huffs and puffs but the EU will chart its own military course but in line with its own objectives, not those who try to impose their own requirements from the outside.
    That's utter bullshit.  If the EU was defenseless, which because of the US, UK, Poland and France it isn't, the Russians would take back all Warsaw Pact nations.  And if it wanted Germany the Germans couldn't stop them without our help.

    And the entire point is that the EU has been freeloading on the US for defense because of the assumption that "strategically" we wouldn't allow it.  That YOU believe that the world has moved on from tanks and battalions is only because you live in a country completely sheltered by the tanks and battalions of the US. 

    You ungrateful jerk.  My kid will serve so your kids can have socialized medicine without having to pay for an army that can stand up to a country that has already invaded Europe. 

    And no...the EU will no longer mean Europe.  Not after Brexit. And your "unified defense platform" won't be anything worth spit in a real war without the UK.
    There you go again with that old school thinking. That 'best military in the world' drum banging, which by chance was the same one that rang out during the Yugoslavian conflict.

    I will repeat myself. If the EU was a hive if free loading but pacific hippies with no defence but for words, Russia (I'm surprised you don't call them 'commies') would not do anything on a military level because the U.S simply wouldn't stand back and let them swallow up the whole thing. Not for any love of the EU or its people of course but for purely strategic reasons.

    Of course, that isn't the reality we live in and in 2016 the EU (as a collective) was second only to the U.S on defence spending (over 200 billion euros). Let that sink in for a while.

    The goal now (and it is part of the summary I linked to) is to get (and to quote a U.S styling) 'more bang for buck'!

    That is through better coordination, more procurement at EU levels (as opposed to national levels) and higher levels of military and civilian crossover.

    If you read the summary, you will have noted that one of the major pillars of defence wasn't even around when your old school thinking was at its height. Cyberwarfare.

    As for being ungrateful, what are you blathering on about now? That's irrevelant but possibly a sign of how you view most EU citizens.

    Peace and stability within Europe
    (the EU) has been mostly down to its own interweaving, not Uncle Sam! And it isn't easy to get over 20 member states to move in the same direction so it has been quite a task to pull off. 

    It isn't paradise, it isn't perfect but the vast majority of people living here are pro EU and if the UK gets a second referendum I expect remain to win.
    While I agree with you,  I think, with regard to Russia, you are both missing the reason why they would not attack Europe:  Russia is now run by a bunch of capitalistic oligarch's (led by Putin) who are more interested in personal wealth than nationalistic expansion.    They are more likely to use tactics like they used in Britain to insure the Brexit vote went their way and here in 2016 to insure that our election went their way than to send tanks and planes.   They didn't even officially send their military into Ukraine -- it was all covert stuff and "volunteers".   They have a military and will use it when they need it (like in Syria), but otherwise they are just your typical Russian Oligarch/mobsters....

    Bascally, they'll attack a country using social media to get what they want instead of spending billions on tanks, guns and bombs...   It's cheaper and more effective.
  • Reply 92 of 186
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,152member
    launfall said:
    iCave said:
    roake said:
    pjs_socal said:
    I am surprised that it took EU countries this long to enact these kinds of taxes. It’s common knowledge that Apple (with help from Ireland) took advantage of loopholes in international tax laws to reduce their tax burden. Of course, Apple has done nothing illegal, but it’s completely within each country’s rights to change tax laws to close those loopholes.
    So imagine if every UN country charged Apple an additional 3% on gross revenue.
    3% tax is on gross revenue generated in that country (from digital services in this case), which seems perfectly reasonable.

    This is a good interim measure at least until the whole of EU passes a common tax law. At some point, corporations need to realize that pitting one country against another to get favourable tax treatment (looking at you Ireland and Luxembourg) can only take you so far.

    I love Apple (the company) to pieces but when it comes to taxation, it appears to use tax loopholes like any other corporation does.
    You seem to be forgetting that in the US every state competes with every other state to attract business: outright grants, favorable tax incentives, leasing state-owned land for a fraction of its value. Ireland and Luxembourg did nothing different from what Texas recently did for Apple, what numerous states have done to induce Toyota and Mercedes to open plants, mostly in states that have no labor unions. Where's your outrage?
    Your analogy is not quite correct:  Unlike Texas and the other states you mention, Ireland broke EU rules when they created a tax haven for Apple.

    And, even here it is being addressed where a vendor in Texas can no longer sell stuff in NewYork on Amazon or EBay and avoid the New York sales tax they would otherwise have to pay.   I think that is a much closer analogy to the French Tax on services that are provided across national lines -- they're taxing them where they are being sold rather than where they originated.
  • Reply 93 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    avon b7 said:
    cat52 said:
    For those who think Europe has a well funded military, this article may catch you by surprise:

    A German battalion assigned to Nato's rapid response force used broomstick handles instead of guns on a joint exercise due to chronic equipment shortages:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11420627/German-army-used-broomsticks-instead-of-guns-during-training.html


    So please spare us the talk of how Europe can defend itself.
    You clearly failed to understand previous posts. We are talking about where the EU is heading and its goals for far more military integration and independence.

    You will not be surprised to learn that the Trump administration is not happy with this and the usual threats have been launched:

    https://thedefensepost.com/2019/05/15/us-eu-trade-war-weapons/
    Well, there seems to be several issues at play here.

    But no, I don't disagree the EU wants more military "integration", because the EU's goal is to strengthen the EU and weaken the member states, and having an EU army does exactly that.

    However a poorly funded EU army is still not going to provide much resistance if Russia ever decides to start throwing its weight around.
  • Reply 94 of 186
    Abalos65Abalos65 Posts: 54member
    cat52 said:
    Abalos65 said:
    cat52 said:
    For those who think Europe has a well funded military, this article may catch you by surprise:

    A German battalion assigned to Nato's rapid response force used broomstick handles instead of guns on a joint exercise due to chronic equipment shortages:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11420627/German-army-used-broomsticks-instead-of-guns-during-training.html


    So please spare us the talk of how Europe can defend itself.
    Do you think that such an article is a solid argument that all the armies of the WHOLE of Europe cannot defend themselves? This kind of article is just clickbait for people to confirm their biases or preconceived ideas. 

    So please spare us the talk of how this is evidence of anything. (Condescending, isn't it?)
    @Abalos65 - It's interesting when you come across an article which doesn't confirm your own bias, you are rather quick to dismiss it as "clickbait".  I guess that makes things easy...

    For many people though, when they hear the German army is so poorly funded it cannot even conduct a military exercise without having to resort to using broomsticks, it's rather eye opening.

    And given that Germany has the strongest economy in Europe, if even German soldiers don't have the funds to use real guns in NATO military exercises, then I'm not sure what other country you think is magically going to rush to Europe's defense if such a need arises.  The Flemish, perhaps?
    Just repeating the article again doesn't make it anymore convincing. You're still saying that because one time the German army had to use broomsticks Europe is not able to defend itself. I still call that a crappy argument. And this all the while I do think that armies in Europe should have larger budgets to comply with the 2% GDP agreement. Also, thank you for assuming my stance on the topic and pointing the finger back is also not childish at all.
  • Reply 95 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    Abalos65 said:
    cat52 said:
    Abalos65 said:
    cat52 said:
    For those who think Europe has a well funded military, this article may catch you by surprise:

    A German battalion assigned to Nato's rapid response force used broomstick handles instead of guns on a joint exercise due to chronic equipment shortages:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11420627/German-army-used-broomsticks-instead-of-guns-during-training.html


    So please spare us the talk of how Europe can defend itself.
    Do you think that such an article is a solid argument that all the armies of the WHOLE of Europe cannot defend themselves? This kind of article is just clickbait for people to confirm their biases or preconceived ideas. 

    So please spare us the talk of how this is evidence of anything. (Condescending, isn't it?)
    @Abalos65 - It's interesting when you come across an article which doesn't confirm your own bias, you are rather quick to dismiss it as "clickbait".  I guess that makes things easy...

    For many people though, when they hear the German army is so poorly funded it cannot even conduct a military exercise without having to resort to using broomsticks, it's rather eye opening.

    And given that Germany has the strongest economy in Europe, if even German soldiers don't have the funds to use real guns in NATO military exercises, then I'm not sure what other country you think is magically going to rush to Europe's defense if such a need arises.  The Flemish, perhaps?
    Just repeating the article again doesn't make it anymore convincing. You're still saying that because one time the German army had to use broomsticks Europe is not able to defend itself. I still call that a crappy argument. And this all the while I do think that armies in Europe should have larger budgets to comply with the 2% GDP agreement. Also, thank you for assuming my stance on the topic and pointing the finger back is also not childish at all.
    On an internet forum I'm not going to take an hour to write a post.  Internet forums are meant for quick little snippets of info.

    But if you must know, a friend of mine is a former member of the Swedish Special Protection Group, which is similar to the US's Rangers.

    Him and I have had long conversations about Europe's military preparedness, and in his opinion, both Sweden as well as Europe as a whole have cut their military budgets to such a point where they're basically a joke.

    And the article I posted about the German army having to use broomsticks in a NATO military exercise, is a prime example of just what a joke the European military now is.


    You are free to think such an article is "clickbait", and you are free to think the Europeans are capable of defending themselves from a conventional Russian military attack.  But people who are much closer to the European military scene than I presume you are, tend to differ.

  • Reply 96 of 186
    avon b7 said:
    roake said:
    pjs_socal said:
    I am surprised that it took EU countries this long to enact these kinds of taxes. It’s common knowledge that Apple (with help from Ireland) took advantage of loopholes in international tax laws to reduce their tax burden. Of course, Apple has done nothing illegal, but it’s completely within each country’s rights to change tax laws to close those loopholes.
    So imagine if every UN country charged Apple an additional 3% on gross revenue.
    Where would the problem be? It's a decision each sovereign state must weigh up. And in this case it isn't 'Apple', it's companies that go above a specific limit.
    Taxing revenues is unheard of. And stupid. Only pre-tax profits are typically taxed. 

    If a company like Walmart or GM were taxed at 3% of revenues, they’d have no profits left. This ill-advised EU move opens up a completely new front in a likely serious trade war. 

    I predict they’ll have to back off. 
    Huh?   You don't pay sales tax?   Do you live in a cave somewhere?
    Groan... for the THIRD time now...

    Read the friggin’ thread, man. 
      Idid....   I'm asking where's that cave you live in where you don't need to pay sales tax?
    The only cure for not understanding the difference between a corporate tax and a sales tax is.... I am afraid... a basic education. I honestly don’t know what else to say!
    cat52
  • Reply 97 of 186
    seanjseanj Posts: 68member
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    edited July 14 cat52anantksundaram
  • Reply 98 of 186
    crowley said:
    avon b7 said:
    roake said:
    pjs_socal said:
    I am surprised that it took EU countries this long to enact these kinds of taxes. It’s common knowledge that Apple (with help from Ireland) took advantage of loopholes in international tax laws to reduce their tax burden. Of course, Apple has done nothing illegal, but it’s completely within each country’s rights to change tax laws to close those loopholes.
    So imagine if every UN country charged Apple an additional 3% on gross revenue.
    Where would the problem be? It's a decision each sovereign state must weigh up. And in this case it isn't 'Apple', it's companies that go above a specific limit.
    Taxing revenues is unheard of. And stupid. Only pre-tax profits are typically taxed. 

    If a company like Walmart or GM were taxed at 3% of revenues, they’d have no profits left. This ill-advised EU move opens up a completely new front in a likely serious trade war. 

    I predict they’ll have to back off. 
    Huh?   You don't pay sales tax?   Do you live in a cave somewhere?
    Groan... for the THIRD time now...

    Read the friggin’ thread, man. 
      Idid....   I'm asking where's that cave you live in where you don't need to pay sales tax?
    I asked him yesterday what he thought the meaningful difference was.  He hasn't answered.  I suspect he doesn't have an answer.
    See my answer above, in Post #96.
    edited July 14
  • Reply 99 of 186

    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    I’d love to see the EU reaction if the US announced that it was walking out of NATO.

    Damn, I would.
    cat52
  • Reply 100 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    Very well spoken.  Things are rarely as they seem on the surface.  But once you dig a little deeper, it's not that difficult to get a clearer sense of what's going on behind all the noise.
    anantksundaram
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