IRS

New York Times Wants Congress to be Nicer to IRS, Meaner to Apple

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angry mob
Credit: eldeeem / photo on flickr

Today's New York Times contains a tale of two hearings: The fairly friendly dressing down of Apple CEO Tim Cook for his company's efforts to pay billions less in taxes by moving and keeping profits overseas vs. the hostile interrogation of Lois Lerner, who oversees the IRS's decision making process about tax exemptions for organizations and supervised the suppression and delay of applications by Tea Party–affiliated groups. 

Here's how Michael Shear tells it in "Torches and Pitchforks for I.R.S. but Cheers for Apple":

Wednesday's I.R.S. hearing felt like an inquisition — unforgiving, angry, prosecutorial.

Mr. Cook, by contrast, took his hot seat in front of senators who seemed halfhearted in their desire to beat up on the rich guy who makes their iPhones, and whose products are far more popular than they are.

"With him, they were just not going to go up against an American success story," said Neil Eggleston, a veteran Washington lawyer who has prepared many government officials to face a grilling at the hands of lawmakers.

Here's the heart of his take: 

One thing became clear this week on Capitol Hill: It is better to be a tax dodger than a tax collector.

Which is, frankly, nuts. The IRS got called up in front of the class because it (incompetently) used what should have been neutral administrative papershuffling for political ends, abusing the rights of private citizens in the process. Apple, by contrast, used totally legal mechanisms to minimize their tax burden, employing an army of lawyers to stay within the letter of the law. 

It looks to me like congressional pitchforks are pointed in exactly the right direction (for once).

Bonus: 3 reason to fear the IRS

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  1. “One thing became clear this week on Capitol Hill: It is better to be a tax dodger than a tax collector.”
    NYT: just too many lies to bother with.

    1. One thing became clear this week on Capitol Hill: It is better to be a tax dodger than a tax collector.

      As God intended it.

      1. Yes, let us be clear. We’re the hosts. The government is the parasite.

        1. Let me be clear: I first learned about Osama Bin Laden’s death when I heard myself announce it on the news.
          /Barack

      2. Very biblical. A tax collector was the worse thing you could be in first century Palestine. They ranked down there with prostitutes. The religious authorities were scandalized that Jesus actually ate with them.

        It’s not that Jesus believed in taxes. He clearly told the tax collectors to “go and sin no more”, the same as he told the prostitutes.

        1. Yep–Zachhaeus essentially admits that he was little better than a corrupt thief.

          “”Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

          Would that more government officials and crony capitalists made such a pledge.

        2. All the complaints about taxes and contempt for tax collectors that appears in the Gospels was over an imperial tax of about 4%.

    2. Of course, every single person alive agrees with this. Including tax collectors.

  2. “One thing became clear this week on Capitol Hill: It is better to be a tax dodger than a tax collector.”

    If only that were true.

    1. I hear several members of the Obama admin agree with that. Tim Geithner was not available for commentary.

  3. One thing became clear this week on Capitol Hill: It is better to be a tax dodger than a tax collector.

    Finally, congress is doing it’s job.

    1. What, precisely, is illegal about paying taxes per U.S. law? As opposed, say, to violating laws and ethics in targeting people for their political beliefs, which, it just so happens, oppose those of the administration?

      1. Pro Libertate| 5.23.13 @ 1:17PM |#
        “What, precisely, is illegal about paying taxes per U.S. law? As opposed, say, to violating laws and ethics in targeting people for their political beliefs, which, it just so happens, oppose those of the administration?”

        Exactly the point; the NYT lied by claiming there was a tax dodger involved, and then lied that the problem was being a tax collector rather than a corrupt bureaucrat.
        NYT: too many lies to bother with.

        1. I guess they need credibility as a shill for the Democrats and the current government more than they do as relatively objective reporters of the news.

      2. Not a thing, ProL.

        What get’s the Grey Lady’s knickers in a twist is the challenge to governmental authority. To proggies the power the government exercises against individuals is for the public good and ZOMG SOMOLIA!! if God forbid people obey the laws in a manner that is beneficial to the individual good but detrimental to government power and authority. By obeying the law but keeping more of what is yours, as opposed to willingly handing over what the government has determinined is its share (or else), you are breaking the spirit of the law and hampering the ‘progress’ the proggies beleive is necessary to build a more perfect society.

        Oh, and lest I forget – because Fuck You, that’s why.

        1. You know, when the Republicans take over the White House–looking more and more likely to happen in 2016–they should threaten to do the same things this administration did, wait for the huge outcry, then say, “We were just kidding. We’d never do that. But here’s what you said when Obama actually did do it.”

          Of course, the problem is that the GOP does much of the same shit and won’t give up the opportunity to continue doing it.

          1. You know, when the Republicans take over the White House–looking more and more likely to happen in 2016–they should threaten to do the same things this administration did, wait for the huge outcry, then say, “We were just kidding. We’d never do that. But here’s what you said when Obama actually did do it.”

            If only they had that sort of testicular fortitude to do it. Some serious proggie heads woul be assploding.

            1. “My fellow Americans. Since you said it was okay to drone-kill Americans, I’m launching drones against all Americans overseas.”

            2. You severely underestimate the partisan’s ability to engage in cognitive dissonance.

              Whenever a progressive brings up the “Bush Did it Too!” argument, I always point out that tu quoque is a fallacy and two wrongs don’t make a right.

              And 95% of the time, the proggie doesn’t give a shit. He just repeats BUSH DID IT TOO. That’s all there is.

              1. It’s not for the partisans’ benefit. It’s for everyone else.

                1. Hey, I agree there. I was just pointing out that proggie heads won’t explode because their capacity for Team Blue apologetics approaches infinity.

                  1. If we could find a way to harness the raw power of the dissonance singularity that exists in proggie’s heads, we could power every single home for a million years.

                    1. It’s amazing to watch because every single new political discussion starts with a progressive saying “Where were the Republicans on this in 2001-2008?”

                      IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER

                    2. That’s correct. It doesn’t. I’m fine prosecuting them, too. Let’s have a big trial next week.

  4. One organization creates useful products that millions of people want and the other takes your money and demands gratitude that they didn’t take more of it.

    Clearly our country is broken when we do not sufficiently celebrate the latter organization.

  5. Considering how many of the Obama administration were busted for not paying taxes, this statement is too rich with irony to parse.

  6. One thing became clear this week on Capitol Hill: It is better to be a tax dodger than a tax collector.

    One thing became clear this week in the New York Times: it’s better to be an armed robber than a merchant.

    1. Collecting money by force is good. Making money by making products that people want is bad.

      1. Well, seeing as the NYT doesnt make a product that many people want, can you blame them for sneering at those who do?

        1. Zing!

      2. Do you know how many ROADZ had to die to make that iPhone?

  7. Classic NYT: Beat up on the guy following the law while defending the people actually breaking the law.

  8. Of course the NYT fails to mention that Apple legally dodged taxes while the IRS illegally harassed citizens. Does anyone take this rag seriously?

    1. Apple legally dodged taxes

      Pedantic rant: If Apple followed the law then by definition they didn’t “dodge” anything. If politicos want Apple and other KKKORPORASHUNZ to pay more in taxes, or to not use a “loophole” in the tax law to keep more of their money, then they should change the law, not haul Apple execs into Congress to be brow-beaten by a bunch of greedy ass grandstanding shitheels (aka congresscunts). /rant off

      1. Yet another example of the “fantasy” of Atlas Shrugged coming true: the parasites don’t want to force Rearden to hand over his property; they want him to want to hand over his property.

        See also: the current feminist complaints about the unequal distribution of household chores. It’s not enough for men to do more cleaning; they have to want to do more cleaning.

      2. Just curious… could Tim Cook not have simply told Congress to fuck off?

  9. I love how this administration leaks things like the Drone strike kill list to the NYT’s, knowing they will run it on page one to make Obama look like MISTER SUPERAWESOME TERRORIST KILLER, and no one bats an eye about “leaks”.

    Then Mr. Rosen at Fox gets a scoop about North Korea from probably the same leak, and he gets his parents phones tapped. The NYT instead ignores the prosecution of Rosen and probably thinks he deserves it.

    Fuck the NYT’s sideways.

    1. The NYT instead ignores the prosecution of Rosen and probably thinks he deserves it.

      Of course he deserved it, look at how low he was wearing that Fox News badge. That fuckin’ slut Rosen was practically begging for it.

  10. Apple can convince me to buy a product and that is the absolute worst thing without the cudgel of government backing them that they can do to me. The IRS can destroy my life. According to proglodytes, the former is more to be feared than the later. I have never, even as a young naive liberal, have been able to grasp how they rationalize that equation to their favored sentiment of anti-business.

    1. Something something capitalist pigs something.

      Why are expecting anything approaching rational thought from these intellectual primitives?

    2. I have to say that I do miss Phil Donahue. He was an intolerable leftist, but he was a good host, invited people on he disagreed with and let them talk.

      Milton Friedman – Socialism vs. Capitalism

      1. Wow, he actually sat there quietly and let Milton speak. Today the talking heads would have cut him off after a few seconds.

        1. Donahue was awesome as a talk show. That was tee-vee in the days where they assumed that people other than crackheads watched daytime tee-vee.

      2. Maybe my favorite Milton quote/segment.

  11. I’m sure the New York Times Corporation’s lawyers do their best to make sure they are paying the maximum taxes possible.

    1. The NYT avoids taxes the old-fashioned way: they lose money. It’s not surprising that they’re seething with jealousy when it comes to the most successful company in the world.

      -jcr

      1. Even after they got the city to eminent-domain them their new headquarters, they’re still losing money? Poor things.

  12. What Shear fails to mention is that Tim Cook is an innocent man who was harassed by a brain-dead senator looking to score some cheap publicity, and the IRS minions were caught red-handed abusing their power for the benefit of their political masters. Fuck Carl Levin, fuck the IRS, and fuck the NYT.

    -jcr

  13. Tax dodger? That’s a hell of an accusation to just blithely lay on Apple. I assume that this simp doesn’t have any proof of that charge.

    1. That sounds awfully actionable, doesn’t it?

      1. If I were Apple, I would certainly take a look into it. The thing is that dodging can mean two things: evasion (illegal) and avoidance (legal). But I don’t think I would have a problem if Apple decided to make this idiot split those hairs in a civil action.

        1. What about avoision?

    2. I also trust that the author of that piece has never take a tax deduction in her life or in anyway tried to minimize her tax burden.

      1. She takes no deductions. During the winter, she holds bake sales and sends the proceeds to the Treasury. She does the same in the summer, but she holds car washes.

    3. I also trust that the author of that piece has never take a tax deduction in her life or in anyway tried to minimize her tax burden.

      1. She takes no deductions. During the winter, she holds bake sales and sends the proceeds to the Treasury. She does the same in the summer, but she holds car washes.

  14. It is better to be a tax dodger than a tax collector.

    Hey fuckknucle, show us where Apple didn’t comply with tax laws, as written by the brain trust that was grilling Cook.

  15. What about Samsung? They dodge taxes by not being an American company!

    WHY IS NO ONE OUTRAGED!?

    1. What is especially laughable is what they are really complaining about is the Apple operation in Ireland and the Irish being deprived of tax loot they are not even asking for in order to attract foreign investment.

  16. I cannot wait to get my dirt farm operating on Mars. Holy crap, I just cannot wait to get off this rock and away from these statist idiots.

    1. You pay taxes on that Martian dirt farm, Mister?

      1. Any tax collectors found on my dirt farm will be exterminated like the vermin they are.

        1. Uh huh (adds Mad Scientist to drone list).

        2. The US government won’t be capable of sending tax collectors to Mars for at least another 50 years.

    2. Tell me what crops grow best there. My corn always turns out green.

      1. Dirt. All I’m gonna grow is dirt.

    3. Oh yeah? Well, you’ll still need ROADZ on Mars. What now, smart guy?

      1. Dune buggies!

    4. It would be easier to avoid taxes by joining the gray economy. A lot of opportunities and openings. You want an in, find a friend working the flea market. For many of the operators that is just the front end, he’ll know plenty of ways to generate cash under the table. If you have tech skills, find contracts under the reporting minimum on DICE, wait, I’ve said too much.

      Anyway, much easier than building a rocket, a ship, a colony dome and less isolated.

      1. The IRS estimated in 2006 that participants in the gray economy were underpaying at least $385 billion in taxes. That’s 64 times Apple’s tax bill from last year. Where oh where is the leftist rage on this one?

        1. It’s coming. Just wait.

    5. Yep. The more time goes by, the more atractive that one way trip to Mars is starting to look.

  17. Its certainly better to be a tax dodger, just ask GM. They were bailed out then got a sweet deal to avoid paying taxes for awhile.

    1. Its certainly better to be a tax dodger, just ask GM. They were bailed out then got a sweet deal to avoid paying taxes for awhile.

      GM is different. The US economy could never survive without GM and they need our collective help.

      /UAW

  18. Wednesday’s I.R.S. hearing felt like an inquisition ? unforgiving, angry, prosecutorial.

    If only.

    When do the prosecutions of the DOJ for violating the civil rights of AP reporters start?

    1. Unforgiving? What a poor choice of words. Liberals tend to be callous like that.

  19. speaking of legos:
    http://gizmodo.com/this-incred…..-509484787

  20. I’d like to dedicate this song to IRS and NYT: You’re all a bunch of dickheads.

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