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Microsoft Businesses Education The Almighty Buck

Microsoft Pushes For Public Education Funding While Avoiding State Taxes 173

theodp writes: After stressing how important the funding of Washington State education — particularly CS Ed — is to Microsoft, company general counsel Brad Smith encountered one of those awkward interview moments (audio at 28:25). GeekWire Radio: "So, would you ever consider ending that practice [ducking WA taxes by routing software licensing royalties through Nevada-based Microsoft Licensing, GP] in Nevada [to help improve WA education]?" Smith: "I think there are better ways for us to address the state's needs than that kind of step." Back in 2010, Smith, Steve Ballmer, and Microsoft Corporation joined forces to defeat Proposition I-1098, apparently deciding there were better ways to address the state's needs than a progressive income tax.
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Microsoft Pushes For Public Education Funding While Avoiding State Taxes

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  • by srichard25 ( 221590 ) on Saturday April 11, 2015 @11:17PM (#49455813)

    Everyone loves taxes when it is someone else paying them.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 11, 2015 @11:27PM (#49455839)

      Everyone loves taxes when it is someone else paying them.

      I love taxes even when I'm paying them. What I don't love is people who want the benefits of public services and infrastructure (i.e. civilization) but don't want to pay for it.

      • by Moof123 ( 1292134 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @01:25AM (#49456119)

        Same here. I am happy to pay my taxes, especially if it keeps the schools funded and keeps old folks out of the gutter. I am sick and tired of way too much of my taxes going to the military industrial complex while the rich multinational oil company's whose interests are served by such mis-adventures sit back and dodge their civic duty to pay their fare share like me.

        Please increase my tax rate and properly fund our schools. I am tired of all the badly educated dumbasses, and it horrifies me to see kids only 10 years behind me have to rack up much more debt than I did to go to even a low end college.

        • by Jack Griffin ( 3459907 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @05:56AM (#49456551)

          Please increase my tax rate and properly fund our schools.

          We have a political Q&A TV show here, and one time a politician was on there promoting his low tax policies because "no-one wants higher taxes" There was a collective groan from the studio audience and one guy responded, "I'll happily pay more tax if it means better services". This was followed by another, and another which drew applause. The general consensus is the "low tax" promise is purely a political gimmick. If you want quality health education and infrastructure services that most people want, then you have to pay for it, and you pay for it through taxes.
          I paid over $70k in tax last year and will happily support higher tax rates dedicated to improving health, education and transport (not defence - $1Trillion on a illegal war? WTF? Those responsible for that should be hung for treason)

          • That's not far from the situation in UK politics: The big three parties are all pledging to increase public spending in some highly popular areas, and all openly admit that this means higher taxes. They all propose to handle this by restructuring tax in order to make it more progressive: Rich-bashing is very popular here right now, and everyone is eager to vote for any politician who promises an end to tax-dodging millionaires and megacorps. The numbers don't really support this approach - there just aren't

        • by gtall ( 79522 )

          Please step away from the 50's and 60's, the "military-industrial" complex is way to small to effect the economy. DoD spend about $600 billion a year (of which about $300 Billion is spent on salaries, benefits, etc.) and that pales in comparison to the rest of the nearly $4 Trillion federal budget and won't budget the $17 Trillion U.S. economy. In fact, even large companies are doing all they can to get away from reliance on DoD because of uncertain funding and small ball funding.

          • by nbauman ( 624611 )

            Please step away from the 50's and 60's, the "military-industrial" complex is way to small to effect the economy. DoD spend about $600 billion a year (of which about $300 Billion is spent on salaries, benefits, etc.) and that pales in comparison to the rest of the nearly $4 Trillion federal budget and won't budget the $17 Trillion U.S. economy. In fact, even large companies are doing all they can to get away from reliance on DoD because of uncertain funding and small ball funding.

            According to Joe Stiglitz, who must know something about economics because he won a Nobel prize for it, the cost of the Iraq war was at least $3 trillion. That's $10,000 per capita. One of the big costs of the war turns out to be paying pensions and lifetime health care for military. http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

            $3 trillion is about 2 years of all health care payments for everybody in the country. Medicare alone is about $500 billion a year, so the Iraq war cost 6 years of Medicare.

            At one time I used to

      • I love paying taxes when they go for public services and infrastructure (i.e. civilization), and not for bread and circuses giveaways that are simply an exercise in vote-buying slightly more subtle than packs of cigarettes.

      • You don't live in a country where they are squandered and your democracy is one in name only then?

        I love paying taxes when the country is run for the benefit of the people living there...
    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      I would rather have faxes fairly applied, like a fixed tax rate on discretionary income.
    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Everyone loves the benefits of government-funded infrastructure if someone else is paying for them.

      That's not entirely true. If you are in the top %0.001 of the population for income, you could feasibly pay for your own private infrastructure. You buy a plot of land, put a wall around it and hire a bunch of people to protect you, take care of you and cater to your needs. But your standard of living wouldn't actually be any objectively better than it is in contemporary America. In fact it would probably b

  • by eyepeepackets ( 33477 ) on Saturday April 11, 2015 @11:35PM (#49455857)

    What do you can it when you put the costs of doing business off onto anyone and everyone else?

    Profit!

    What do you think they study in MBA school, civics?

    • In other news, Microsoft announced that they needed the government to increase the number of H-1B visa workers allowed into the country, because the American educational system just wasn't producing enough skilled workers to meet the needs of high tech companies.
  • Alternatively (Score:5, Informative)

    by wombatmobile ( 623057 ) on Saturday April 11, 2015 @11:49PM (#49455895)

    “In Venezuela Chavez has made the co-ops a top political priority, giving them first refusal on government contracts and offering them economic incentives to trade with one another. By 2006, there were roughly 100,000 co-operatives in the country, employing more than 700,000 workers. Many are pieces of state infrastructure – toll booths, highway maintenance, health clinics – handed over to the communities to run. It’s a reverse of the logic of government outsourcing – rather than auctioning off pieces of the state to large corporations and losing democratic control, the people who use the resources are given the power to manage them, creating, at least in theory, both jobs and more responsive public services. Chavez’s many critics have derided these initiatives as handouts and unfair subsidies, of course. Yet in an era when Halliburton treats the U.S. government as its personal ATM for six years, withdraws upward of $20 billion in Iraq contracts alone, refuses to hire local workers either on the Gulf coast or in Iraq, then expresses its gratitude to U.S. taxpayers by moving its corporate headquarters to Dubai (with all the attendant tax and legal benefits), Chavez’s direct subsidies to regular people look significantly less radical.”

    Naomi Klein

  • As opposed to.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 12, 2015 @01:11AM (#49456085)

    Google pushesf for Public Education Funding While Avoiding Taxes

    Apple pushes for Public Education Funding While Avoiding Taxes

    Goldman Sachs pushes For Public Education Funding While Avoiding Taxes

    ExxonMobil pushes For Public Education Funding While Avoiding Taxes

    Koch Brothers pushes For Public Education Funding While Avoiding Taxes.

    etc...

    I'm all for capitalism but American capitalism was never about Rand's definition. It was about working hard and smart and being rewarded appropriately for your effort. It was OK to be rich as long as you earned it. What's currently going on though is a return to aristocracy rather than meritocracy.

    People that richly benefited from our mixed economy are now going on to screw the rest of us because they are in a decision making role. Back in the 50s major CEOs made 50 times what an employee made. Today they are making 500 times. We even have companies like Warlmart that shamelessly depend on food stamps to subside their employees wages. At some point there is going to be major blow back if major corporation continue hoarding all the wealth by evading taxes and paying their employees crap. (as happened to Greece where their own government and elite screwed over their own countrymen)

  • In the Boyer lecture Rupert Murdoch delivered something like two years ago he was calling for increased state funding of education - this from a man who even changed nationality to avoid tax.
    However it's a good idea even if the people who do not want to pay for it are pushing it.
  • It seems many people still do not understand that giving government more money cannot lead to better education or other social services. "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Low tax, small government, and more private schools and charter schools!
    • This idea is as ridiculous as the opposite extreme, which is imagining that giving the government more money will lead to better education and other social services.

      You're both wrong.

      I'll be the first to acknowledge that there are many organizational and institutional issues in government agencies which can blow through influxes of funds without any appreciable improvement in services. Yet it's equally true that there are government agencies and programs which run at efficiency levels which beggar private a

  • He makes sure that nobody else gets the big bucks, whenever possible, and he is accountable to the corporate entity, not to the society from which it resides.

    Corporate interests care about the education of people that they need to yoke. Shareholders are the only citizens that really matter to a corporate charter.

    Lawyer speak with forked tongue, as usual.

  • ... "progressive" means "other people pay".

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