Google on Taxes: Do as I Contribute, Not as I Do
[O/T preamble: though I made a petty point of changing my computer’s home page to Bing following upon Google’s dalliance with the Chinese government – no evil there – I have to admit that, maddeningly, Google still has the best search engine.]
A July analysis in US News and World Report indicates that, of all computer and internet companies, Google funneled the highest percent (75%) of its 2010 campaign contributions to democrat candidates.
Yet Bloomberg this week reported that at 2.4%, Google has achieved the lowest overseas tax rate in the tech sector. This is especially eye-opening juxtaposed with the US corporate income tax rate of 35%.
The problem is not that $3.1 billion over the last three years was “diverted” to private investors (i.e., retained by Google) from the US and other governments due to Google’s savvy application of tax codes. On the contrary; I’ll be the last to argue that the unhealthy revenue addiction of any government should be treated with ever more taxes. It’s that Google is so obviously two-faced: on the one hand, energetically maneuvering to reduce its own tax bill while, on the other, deploying resources so as to inflict tax-happy elected officials on everyone else.
Pick a corporate philosophy on taxes and stick to it: either (shudder) pay a 35% corporate income tax and contribute to dems or exploit tax loopholes and find something else to do with those contributions. The mix-n-match, hooray-for-me-too-bad-for-you approach isn’t cutting it.