Meet the Sydney Morning Herald's Michael West.
He drums up a story about that evil Sydney Airport which has paid no tax since it was privatised in 2002. Only when you read down through more than half of his blather do you discover the REASON the airport has paid no income tax.
If it chose, Sydney Airport could pay down its enormous $8.5 billion debt and deliver a bottom line profit. However, it would then be required to pay tax on that profit. Interest is tax deductible.
And pray tell,Mr West, where the hell do you think they will get the money to pay down the debt? From a printing press down the back?
Like most of NZ's dairy farmers, the airport choses to pay interest, not tax. You'd think this wet behind the ears so-call economics writer might have enough brains to ask why the airport carries high levels of debt. Could it possibly be that much of it was used by the owners to buy the business from the gummint in the first place?
West goes on to revive the tired tale of that even more evil Google which pays a minute portion of its sales as tax.
Google routes its revenues through low-tax jurisdictions such as Ireland. It paid a miserly $74,000 in 2011 on sales estimated in the order of $2 billion.
That's because only a tiny portion of the sales are actually revenue. Turnover is not revenue.
Back to kindergarten for you, Mr West.
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