Does the U.S. Government Now Have Less Cash Than Apple?

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us vs appleWhen Republicans and Democrats play chicken with the debt ceiling, some of the consequences are easy to predict: Wall Street will get skittish, voters will get annoyed, and the ratings companies will get a bit stern. What's harder to imagine, however, is that the day will come when a private company will have more economic freedom than the world's largest democracy.

But that's exactly what seems to be happening. As Matt Hartley reported Thursday in the Financial Post, the U.S. operating balance -- basically, the amount of money that the government has to play with before it hits the debt ceiling -- now stands at roughly $73.8 billion. While impressive-sounding, this princely sum is roughly $2 billion less than Apple's (AAPL) cash reserves of around $75.9 billion, suggesting that -- on paper, at least -- the technological behemoth is on a firmer financial footing than its home country.

Then again, once we factor in the more than $4 billion in taxes that Apple is currently trying to dodge, the balance sheet shifts back fractionally in favor of the U.S. government. In other words, maybe the tax loophole fight currently wending its way through Congress is more than just a political curiosity.

Until the debt fight is over and the loopholes get closed ... Brother Jobs, can you spare a dime?

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.



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Ioakim Petridis

Apple has more money than the U.S Government, but is trying to dodge 4 billion dollars in taxes. How rediculous is that? Same goes for a lot of oil companies and other giants of the economy. Since it makes economic sense for major U.S companies to hire tax accountant teams, and lobyists to keep their obligations to the government and its people to a minimum, shouldn't the U.S make a simple tax code the companies can't get around? Corporate power right now is winning the fight over what's right for the country. Wake up and talk to your congressman, or boycot companies that don't pay their fair share. Remember the dollar in your pocket is a voting tool too.

August 06 2011 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ray

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August 05 2011 at 7:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ray

Apple Premium Reseller CANCOM (UK)

Cancom is a Premium Resellers of all Apple Products such as iPhones,IPads,Mac Book,Gadgets/Accessories Many..More

Our unique business model in the UK offers our customers the option to purchase on-line,face-to-face,International Shipping Via FedEx/DHL/UPS with our experienced sales staff at any one of our three APR stores, Brighton, Edinburgh or Kensington High Street, plus, We export internationally and Offer Promos to all interested International buyers outside the United Kingdom; We make delivery right to your Destination at affordable Rates including Customs Duties Charge.

See Below for International Buyers Promos Details:

Apple iPad 3G + wifi 64GB cost $500usd
Apple iPad 2 64GB with Wi-Fi + 3G cost $600usd.
We offer buy 3units and get 1free (PRICE INCLUDES SHIPPING CHARGES)

APPLE IPHONE 4 32GB GSM MODEL $500USD
APPLE IPHONE 4 16GB GSM MODEL $450USD
We offer buy 3units and get 1free (PRICE INCLUDES SHIPPING CHARGES)

We are capable of making delivery right at your doorstep at affordable price.

FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONTACT:
Bill Willis
International Department--Export Manager
E-mail: Cancom_apple.premiumstore@net-shopping.com
Hotline: premiumreseller_cancom@hotmail.com

August 05 2011 at 7:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ray

Apple Premium Reseller CANCOM (UK)

Cancom is a Premium Resellers of all Apple Products such as iPhones,IPads,Mac Book,Gadgets/Accessories Many..More

Our unique business model in the UK offers our customers the option to purchase on-line,face-to-face,International Shipping Via FedEx/DHL/UPS with our experienced sales staff at any one of our three APR stores, Brighton, Edinburgh or Kensington High Street, plus, We export internationally and Offer Promos to all interested International buyers outside the United Kingdom; We make delivery right to your Destination at affordable Rates including Customs Duties Charge.

See Below for International Buyers Promos Details:

Apple iPad 3G + wifi 64GB cost $500usd
Apple iPad 2 64GB with Wi-Fi + 3G cost $600usd.
We offer buy 3units and get 1free (PRICE INCLUDES SHIPPING CHARGES)

APPLE IPHONE 4 32GB GSM MODEL $500USD
APPLE IPHONE 4 16GB GSM MODEL $450USD
We offer buy 3units and get 1free (PRICE INCLUDES SHIPPING CHARGES)

We are capable of making delivery right at your doorstep at affordable price.

FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONTACT:
Bill Willis
International Department--Export Manager
E-mail: Cancom_apple.premiumstore@net-shopping.com
Hotline: premiumreseller_cancom@hotmail.com

August 05 2011 at 7:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

Looks like the Republicans have given in to the takers of America. Too bad. Obamaconomics will ruin us.

July 31 2011 at 10:42 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to savemycountry911's comment
CMO

Given in to what, not putting the future of this country in jeopardy? Your ignorance is astounding, and people like you so unwilling to compromise are what's dragging democracy down. Get over yourself and these preconceived notions about how evil government is because the truth is that without it you wouldn't have the right to even speak on such things. Regardless of the detriment these reforms may have on the common people in time, at least the big spenders won't be getting out of their share of taxes this time around. And I'm glad petty people like yourself aren't the only ones in charge of our futures.

July 31 2011 at 11:21 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
CMO

Given in to what, not putting the future of this country in jeopardy? Your ignorance is astounding, and people like you so unwilling to compromise are what's dragging democracy down. Get over yourself and these preconceived notions about how evil government is because the truth is that without it you wouldn't have the right to even speak on such things. Regardless of the detriment these reforms may have on the common people in time, at least the big spenders won't be getting out of their share of taxes this time around. And I'm glad petty people like yourself aren't the only ones in charge of our futures.

July 31 2011 at 11:21 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
Frank S. Pedigo

When you have your products made by slave labor and sell them to fools at a high price of course your going to be ultra rich . Just think if Americans hadnt been so stupid as to be suckered in by shiney new toys they might have said no thank you mr Jobs we dont want any of your cheap made products .

July 31 2011 at 8:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Frank S. Pedigo's comment
bggdg

Frank, just think if you hadn't been so stupid so as to spend your money on internet service and computer. You coulda really shown 'em then, huh?

July 31 2011 at 9:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bggdg's comment
LEE Resolution

there ya go. I'm laughin my ass off here.

July 31 2011 at 9:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
joquintana

Actually, a company or individual having more ready cash than the federal government is not unprecedented in American history. The US Government has borrowed from single individuals to avert financial crises in the past.

July 31 2011 at 8:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bushsnitemare2

AMERICA IS BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY THE BIZZARO PARTY WHO WANTS TO TAKE US BACK TO THE 18th CENTURY........BEEM ME UP SCOTTY!!!!!!

July 31 2011 at 8:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
bushsnitemare2

GROVER NORQUIST HAS A NEW PLEDGE FOR ALL REPUBLICANS TO SIGN........(I PLEDGE NOT TO WIPE MY ASS).

July 31 2011 at 8:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
bushsnitemare2

JUST THIS PAST WEEK JOHN MCCAIN CALLED THE TEA PARTY THE BIZZARO PARTY........

July 31 2011 at 7:55 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply