Tuesday, August 30, 2016


The geniuses in Brussels proved once again that they are in fact more incompetent than their counterparts Over Here (which is saying something) with one of the  nuttiest rulings of all time announced today.  Brussels has demanded that Apple pay 10 years worth of back taxes to the Republic of Ireland despite, in effect, admitting that Apple has complied with the law in all respects during that period.  But that isn't the story.  Ireland doesn't want the money!  Imagine, a government that doesn't want higher taxes?!!!  Man bites dog!

Aisde from the international ramifications and the remarkable fact that what Brussels has managed to do in an election year is to get Republicans and Democrats in Congress to agree in opposition to the Union's stance AND given it's highly questionable validity under all kinds of international law AND the highly questionable issue of retroactivity under ANYBODY'S law, the timing of this couldn't be dumber.  What must first be understood is that Brussels, while no doubt firing another salvo in the long war against American Internationals, is really using Apple as a pawn to once again get after Ireland for it's tax policy.

One might remember a few years ago Brussels threatened all sorts of dire reprisals against Dublin unless the Republic brought its corporate tax rates up to "European Standard"--Ireland was, and is at 12.5%--and doing very nicely thank you very much.  Then the Brits fell in line and lowered their rates to 15%; the Irish told Brussels to go pound sand and that was the end of that.  But Brussels didn't forget and here we go again with them thinking how clever we all are by using a completely unrelated piece of regulation--laws against unfair competition--to go after an American company in order to, in effect, wreck the Irish tax code.  My God, it's an annuity for lawyers on both sides of the pond but that isn't the worst of it.

To say that these fools are tone deaf would be the understatement of the past six months.  They lost the UK in July; the Dutchies have been making noises about leaving for a year; as we learned yesterday everybody running for office in France is not rejecting the thought of leaving and then of course there is the southern tier which simply have other things on their mind.  The unifying reason?  Governance by unelected bureaucrats and interference in the laws and mores of what are supposed to be sovereign nations.  If Ms. May invokes article 55  (50?) early in the year she will have been dealt  hand about which chemie players can only dream: a natural nine.  And to top the whole thing off, discussions regarding a joint trade agreement between the Union and the U.S. broke down today.  Despite the babblings of Il Duce, guess who goes to the front of the line now?  And with the "special relationship" intact.  And in regard to tax matters, on the side of the Angels.  Albion, and is that going to be a bitter pill.

If this bunch had a collective brain they would take it out and play with it.   Some years ago when hostage taking was the preferred modus opperendus of terrorists there appeared a very funny cartoon in one of the Brit magazines dealing in dark humour (is there one that didn't?):  Headline:  Terrorists take themselves prisoner.  Threaten to shoot themselves if demands not met.  Life mimics fiction.  Or perhaps the headline today should read: Dog bites himself.  As I keep saying:  You can't make this stuff up.

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