The tax cheats at Apple

I’m a fan of Apple products. I’m typing this on a MacBook Air, which I like immensely. It’s thin and light and easy to carry around. I almost never turn it off. I just close the cover and when I open it again it’s almost instantly ready to go. I leave an iPod Nano plugged into my car’s stereo system and I’m constantly using my iPod Touch for notes, keeping track of spending and appointments and gas mileage, surfing the web, watching YouTube videos, and even on occasion playing music, the original purpose of the iPod.

On the other hand, I’m not an Apple fanboy. It struck me as ridiculous that the iPhone and iPod Touch did not originally include a copy-and-paste feature found ten years earlier in comparable Palm pocket-size computers. Their recent pointless and abrupt withdrawal of the Final Cut Studio professional video editing suite in favor of a reworked but severely limited Final Cut Pro X was at best incompetent. Apple stores are great unless you actually know what you want to buy and would like to pick it up and check out. (I have literally given up after standing around, products in my hand, and spending 20 minutes trying to buy them.) The nicest thing I can say about Apple is that they’re not as bad as Microsoft.

Those annoyances aside, there’s one good reason to really be peeved with Apple.

Currently Apple is pushing very hard to get the federal government, which as you’re probably aware is running a bit of a deficit at the moment, to give it a special tax break worth four billion dollars. Needless to say, Congress isn’t about to give you a four billion dollar tax break, but Apple can afford to hire more lobbyists than you can.

It’s not like Apple needs a $4 billion tax break to stay in business or something. According to their balance sheet, they’re currently sitting on $47 billion in cash and short-term investments.

A British organization devoted in large part to getting corporations to pay the taxes they owe now has a U.S. branch. Click here for their page about Apple.

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