After news of Google tax dodges, Obama raises money with Google execs

On the day it was reported that Google uses income shifting techniques known by such arcane names as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” to avoid paying taxes on its foreign profits, President Obama attended an intimate, high-dollar fundraiser at the Palo Alto, California home of a top Google executive. He didn't mention Google's tax tricks, according to a White House transcript of his remarks.

The Democratic fundraiser, which guests each paid $30,400 to attend, was at the home of Marissa Mayer, one of Google's best-known executives. At the lavish home, which was “decked out in Halloween decorations on steroids,” according to a White House pool report, Obama spoke briefly and had nothing but praise for Google. He spoke fondly of his first visit to the company when he was an Illinois state senator. And of his work as president dealing with the recession, he said, “My task over the last two years hasn’t just been to stop the bleeding. My task has also been to try to figure out how do we address some of the structural problems in the economy that have prevented more Googles from being created…” (Although founded in the 1990s, Google went public and prospered enormously in the years that Obama and his fellow Democrats characterize as an economic disaster.)

Google, according to a report by Bloomberg News, has used paper transactions to shift $3.1 billion of its income to Bermuda and other low-tax havens in recent years. The company's aggressive use of such tax dodges has reduced its overseas tax rate to just 2.4 percent. Although the practice is common, Google “has cut its effective tax rate abroad more than its peers in the technology sector,” Bloomberg reports. “Such income shifting costs the U.S. government as much as $60 billion in annual revenue.”

In the past, Obama has been sharply critical of companies that move their income around the globe to avoid paying taxes. But with Google, whose employees give an estimated 75 percent of their political contributions to Democrats — well, the president didn't have much to say about taxes.

Barack ObamaBeltway ConfidentialGoogleUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The San Francisco Police Department released body camera footage of the alleged assault on Dacari Spiers. (Via SFPD Body Cam)
SF police officer to stand trial for assault over baton beating

A San Francisco police officer who prosecutors say unnecessarily beat a man… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed announced The City’s return to the red tier for COVID-19 precautions at Pier 39 on Tuesday<ins>, March 2, 2021</ins>. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
San Francisco enters red COVID tier, indoor dining to resume

Museums and gyms can reopen with capacity limits

Under the new plan, Twin Peaks Boulevard would be reserved exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists until Christmas Tree Point.	(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board approves new plan for Twin Peaks Boulevard

Cuts vehicle-free space by half. Neighbors say crime, vandalism will still abound

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Study finds housing homeless in hotels during pandemic eases burden on hospitals

Amina Khan Los Angeles Times San Francisco researchers have found an effective… Continue reading

Cities including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are calling for large grocery and drug store chains to pay employees hazard pay for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shutterstock)
SF proposes $5 hazard pay law for grocery, drug store workers

San Francisco may soon join the growing number of cities requiring large… Continue reading

Most Read