They've thrown their clout around for a while. The new 4G networks that will be coming on will use the C block, which had network neutrality provisions put in because of Google's clout.
They could just talk to Cisco, Juniper, Nortel, or any other major network infra provider and get DWDM (read "extra colors") capability rolled into their switch. It would probably cost 5m Euro, but the tech already exists (and has since the mid 70's).
Here's the problem- can you tell me, straight up, the value of the governmental services that you use? You've got your simple direct ones ones- roads/public transit, local schools and whatnot. Then you've got the slightly harder to count ones- fire and police, though we can count these as insurance-type costs. Now we get to the ones that are impossible to enumerate. What's the price of having the armed forces protect our country? What's the value of providing student loans to people, thus giving us an educated workforce? What's the cost of having someone tell us what the weather is going to be like, or predicting the next hurricane or earthquake?
You say that governments should follow the same basic economic rules businesses do, but would this really help or hinder private business? By this token Google, Cisco, and just about every major company should be paying the US government obscene royalties for using the internet. DARPA did, after all, invent it, so it's only fair to license it for what it's worth. How about medical research, or the stuff that's come out of NASA? The government has given so much away, whereas any private corporation would have patented and licensed the crap out of it. Let's be honest- how many private companies are financing risky research nowadays?
There are many reasons to be against the taxation proposed here. I think that any money made overseas shouldn't be taxable in the US because, quite honestly, the money wasn't made here. I'd be fine with companies bringing cash back to the US tax-free because that'd be more money that can be spent in our borders. Your argument, however, is silly. You can't tabulate how much government you use because it's everywhere. Hell, I think throwing 30+% of your profits to taxes is a pretty fair deal considering we live in a pretty stable society. There's also an issue of fairness- if you get rich because of a underpaid populous that's denied basic benefits (and the government steps in to provide them), it's only fair that you actually pay for the benefits needed for the workers that are used. As broken as the system is, the gov't does provide a basic safety net that corporations don't, and this is something we indeed need.
This wouldn't help at all, and probably hurt in the long run. It may have worked 10 years ago when working in different theaters was difficult, but everything is so connected now that the company would probably just keep H1B guy in his home country in one of their satellite offices. I guarantee you that your Ciscos, IBMs, HPs and the like (you know, the major users of H1Bs) have offices in India, China, Japan, the EU and Australia. The company doesn't pay the ridiculous bribe, and the US don't get the associated state/income/sales tax this dude would have paid. Double loss.
It was an example of the Lotus, which is by all means a very light car. 100lbs is an 8% weight gain for that car, which is significant for a small 2 seater. In the end, every pound matters in a car- back in the day when I was on a hybrid electric vehicle team, we rebuilt an Explorer with an aluminum frame. That alone boosted fuel economy by 3-4 mpg.
Emissions stuff also cuts into your efficiency. While the cats thrown into our cars are fairly awesome, they restrict flow like crazy, making it harder for the engine to breathe easy. All the small things do add up in the end.