Apple, Google, Microsoft and Cisco: massive funders of the USA, at a price

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The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported this in March last year:

The US government makes vast interest payments to technology giants including Apple and Microsoft on the billions of dollars they shelter from tax offshore.

A trawl of Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosures shows that Apple, Microsoft, Google and Cisco Systems hold $163 billion in US government debt, earning these companies substantial sums in interest.

This means American taxpayers in effect pay interest to tech giants on their offshore cash which is held there for tax reduction purposes.

There is, of course, nothing unlawful about what these companies are doing. But it is offensive. At exactly the same time as these companies are doing their utmost to avoid paying tax to governments they are quite willing to lend those governments the money needed to make good the shortfall in revenues to which they are contributing, in exchange for a fee. And all that is because they are clueless as to what to do with the cash piles they have sitting offshore which they refuse to share with their shareholders who might out it to better use, but who can't because of the tax paying phobia of these companies that means they will not pay that cash into the US, which is necessary if it is to be passed on to shareholders, because that would trigger a tax bill before the payment could be made.

You could not imagine a more screwed up world than this. It's one where tax is very clearly driving behaviour in a way that is just about detrimental to everyone but the executives of the corporations involved, with whom all the power lies.

Welcome to the world where tax is the excuse for the use of corporations in pursuit of personal gain by a very few at cost to the vast majority.

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