Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt is a big supporter of President Obama. Schmidt endorsed and campaigned for Obama in 2008. Contributions from Google’s employees were the third largest source of campaign contributions for the president’s reelection effort. And there was even talk of Schmidt joining President Obama’s second term cabinet.
Given their close relationship, I urge President Obama to call out Google’s tax avoidance practices as he continues making the case for raising taxes on small business owners to ensure that the well-off are paying their “fair share.”
It was reported yesterday that Google has transferred about $10 billion to offshore accounts in Bermuda to avoid paying taxes. Where is the outrage?
According to Businessweek, Google’s $10 billion amounts to roughly 80% of the company’s 2011 pre-tax profits. And get this: “Last year, Google reported a tax rate of just 3.2 percent on the profit it said was earned overseas.” Google may be known as a tech company, but it evidently also has some of the world’s best lawyers and accountants!
And there’s more. We recently told you about the hypocrisy of Costco’s CEO Jim Sinegal, another big Obama supporter. Sinegal is saving $4 million in taxes because his company is rushing a special dividend payment before the end of year, when higher tax rates kick in. As it turns out, Costo isn’t the only liberally-led company that is rushing to dodge tax hikes.
The Washington Post, which endorsed President Obama, has announced that instead of quarterly dividend payments next year, stockholders will receive all of 2013’s dividends paid out in one lump sum on December 27th of this year.
And guess who happens to be one of the Post’s biggest shareholders? Warren Buffett’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway. As you know, Buffett has been clamoring for years for higher taxes. Presumably he will be donating his windfall to the IRS!
The Left’s Anti-Freedom Agenda
With talks stalled on the fiscal cliff, Washington continues to be a mess partly because of divided government. But big things are happening in the states.
For example, the Michigan legislature is expected to pass a right-to-work bill today. Thousands of union members and left-wing protestors are descending upon the Michigan capitol building today, threatening to make life miserable for legislators.
As we saw in Wisconsin, the unions can deliver on that promise. Some schools are closed today as teachers and staff abandon their jobs to join the demonstration. It has been reported that Lisa Fithian, a well-known anarchist active in the Occupy Wall Street movement and other violent protests, is involved too. As I write this, a union mob has attacked an Americans for Prosperity tent and destroyed it with people still inside.
Why the union violence? If Michigan enacts this reform, it will be the 24th right-to-work state. That means if you go to work at a company that has a union, you will not be forced to join the union. If the union gives its dues money to candidates and causes you don’t support, in a right-to-work state you make that decision. In states that do not have right-to-work laws, you can’t take certain jobs unless you join a union with which you may vehemently disagree.
It is a perfect example of the left’s anti-freedom agenda. And big labor is also a primary booster of big government, which is bleeding many states and their taxpayers dry. By the way, in this supposed era of austerity, the federal government has added on average 101 new federal employees every day for the past four years.
Harry’s Tribute To Hair?
Time is running out for our leaders in Washington to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. While everyone is focused on December 31st, Fox News reports that the logistics of getting a deal drafted into legislation, scored by the Congressional Budget Office and passed by both the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate mean that the real deadline to reach a deal is in fact much closer than the end of the year.
In that atmosphere, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the Senate floor and delivered an impassioned speech. About the looming tax hikes? No. About the need for entitlement reform? No. About the Arab Spring? No.
Believe it or not, Harry Reid delivered a tribute to Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson’s hair. If you’re interested, here’s what Reid said:
“One of the things we learn as little kids, and as we get older it’s something we also must adhere to, and that’s not to be envious. Envy isn’t something that is becoming of a human being, especially an adult. But I think if the truth were known, many, many senators would be very envious, as I am, and I would even think the presiding officer, about that hair of Ben Nelson’s.
“I mean, that is a mop of real hair! It’s often that people call his office, e-mail his office, they believe he has a toupee. It’s his hair! He’ll pull it for you any time just to show that it’s real. He has hair like a 15-year-old… And so, I have to acknowledge I am a little envious of his hair.”