A group of 50 executives from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group descended on Washington, D.C this week. to complain about President Barack Obama's plans to change the corporate tax structure in order to increase federal revenue.
Plans would include reducing deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest, while increasing taxes on money made in foreign countries by multinational corporations. That is where lots of tech companies have extended their operations.
The week started with a dinner with Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., at one of Washington's top restaurants.
But beyond the wining and dining, the heart of the issue is a 35 percent tax on bringing money earned overseas into the United States.
Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has proposed an amnesty on some of that tax in order to repatriate billions into the United States.
Companies like Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Intel have created subsidiaries in tax havens like Bermuda and Switzerland in order to keep their foreign earnings out of the U.S.
Obama's plan intends to bring more jobs back to the country by making it more expensive to do business offshore, but Valley leaders complain this will make them less competitive against companies based in places like China and India.
Jackson West can't imagine wealthy tech executives are doing themselves any publicity favors whining about tax hikes.