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09.21.10

Steve Ballmer Lobbies to Pay Less Tax

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sign - pay at the pump

Summary: Microsoft’s poor CEO has no choice but to lobby Washington lawmakers (some of whom are from Microsoft) so as to pass the burden of taxation to the public

TECHRIGHTS has many posts about Microsoft’s tax dodge but rarely do we see individual positions on the subject. Yesterday we showed that a former Microsoft manager, Ross Hunter, in now working in the Washington government to rid Microsoft of tax while passing all the burden to the public. Now it turns out that Microsoft’ CEO personally pays to lobby for himself to pay less in taxes:

Ballmer and Bezos opposing income tax initiative I-1098

Microsoft as a company has been silent on the initiative, although the Washington Roundtable, which represents executives from large corporations, including Microsoft, opposes the measure.

The contributions by Ballmer, Bezos and others “says that they’ve reached the same conclusion that many others have, which is this is really bad for the economy and really bad for job creation,” Mullin said.

Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesman for Yes on I-1098 campaign, said he wasn’t surprised by the contributions. “We’ve known for some time that some of the state’s wealthiest people, who would pay more under I-1098, are opposing it for that reason,” he said.

What the article does not say is that Bill Gates’ family is exempted from tax because of the Gates Foundation and therefore its positions on the subject may be different. We wrote about this in [1, 2, 3, 4]. The Seattle Times fails to mention this crucial point.

Famous Ballmer quotes appear in the following new articles which are so timely:

  • Tech Executives Say the Darnedest Things

    Here’s another one of our favorites from Ballmer. Yes, Larry Ellison was paid $74 million when Ballmer said this. Ballmer had received less than a million. Though most of Ballmer’s money comes from ownership of Microsoft stock. When this was reported, the guy was worth $15 billion. Sorry, but if you are worth that kind of money, the last thing you should be complaining about is someone else being overpaid.

  • Eight Boneheaded Blunders by America’s Biggest CEOs

    1. Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.
    – Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft (MSFT)

    Allegedly, Ballmer made this statement upon learning that engineer Kai-Fu Lee was leaving Microsoft in order to join Google (GOOG). Microsoft sued Google over the hiring, arguing that it was in violation of Lee’s noncompete agreement. In a legal document used in the lawsuit, another engineer named Mark Lucovsky recounted Ballmer’s words when he decided to defect from Microsoft for Google in 2004.

Microsoft is most nervous and afraid of Google right now, so it plays dirty against Google, as we last showed just hours ago. Microsoft’s top competitors are (nearly) all GNU/Linux users/vendors, but GNU/Linux is not a company. For those who wonder why Microsoft is relevant to GNU/Linux, the answer ought to be obvious.

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