Senator Rand Paul: Senate committee ‘should apologize to Apple for bullying one of America’s greatest success stories’ (with video)

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) attends the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee hearing that called for executives of Apple to testify on the companies tax practices.

In the hearing, Sen. Paul defended the job-creating efforts Apple has made and lambasted his fellow Members for perpetuating a U.S. tax code that hinders corporate growth and productivity.

If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress. I frankly think the committee should apologize to Apple. I think the Congress should be on trial here for creating a bizarre and byzantine tax code that runs into the tens of thousands of pages, for creating a tax code that simply doesn’t compete with the rest of the world. This committee wil admit that Apple hasn’t broken any laws, yet we are forced to sit, and Apple is forced to sit, through a show trial at the whims of politicians when, in fact, Congress should be on trial for chasing the profits of great American companies overseas.

We haul before this committee one of America’s greatest success stories and you want applause? I say, instead of Apple executives, we should have brought in here today a giant mirror, okay, so we could look at the reflection of Congress because this problem is solely and completely created by the awful tax code. If you want to assign blame, the committee needs to look in this mirror and see who created the mess; see who created this tax code that is chasing American companies overseas.

Our corporate tax code is double Canada’s. I never thought I’d be complimenting Canada for their tax code. Ours is double Canada. Double a lot of Europe. Instead of complaining that theirs is too low, why don’t we set about to work [out] that ours is too high?

Apple has 600,000 jobs they’ve created, American jobs, and we want to drag them before this committee to chastise them? I find it abominable. – U.S. Senator Rand Paul, May 21, 2013

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U.S. Senate investigation found no evidence that Apple did anything illegal in avoiding taxes – May 20, 2013
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70 Comments

    1. Well, this current mess and the mentality that allows corrupt politicians to drag productive people and companies like Tim Cook and Apple for a sow trial was brought to all of us by the likes of Barack Obama (spread the wealth around) and the jackass John McCain, who doesn’t even know what he is asking. All these types have built up the tax code on the premise the government owns all ur money. Rand Paul believes in the novel concepts of freedom, free enterprise, private property, limited government, laws that are simple so they can be obeyed. We should all pay more attention to the few that are like Rand Paul and will defend a good and honest company like Apple. Unless we don’t care if these good companies exist in the future. We had all better start paying better attention and not electing so many self righteous jackasses who have never done anything to positions of power. Some humility and respect for limits to government would be nice. Are you following the IRS story, brought to us by the Obama administration?

    2. Finally someone (Mr Paul) speaks up with very easy and simple to understand concepts.

      What is it that government does not understand that taxing is already a burden and a lot more at that 35% level.

      What’s so difficult to understand the urgent need to set a reasonable tax rate?? Companies and people would not be trying to find ways to avoid taxes.

  1. Watched most of the hearing. All of the Apple part. Didn’t seem to go well for Timmy & Co. He’s too nice. I think Steve would have jumped up at some point and punched a senator or two. What’s Tim worried about? It’s not like he’s going to get audited or surveilled or anything.

    1. Were you watching a different hearing? I thought that the Apple execs handled this with tact and guile. They made their points and largely made the senators look completely out of touch. Do you really think that pounding the table would have been helpful?

      1. I don’t agree with your characterization. 🙂 Not pounding on the table, but at least defending themselves. You can start explaining something and politely ask the senator to STFW when they interrupt you, especially when they are wrong to start with. Things went well with the senators that had a brain.

        1. Bob, you don’t tell a senator like Levin or McCain to STFU without suffering consequences. The whole point of this hearing was to survive the spotlight with minimal damage to Apple’s image. I think they accomplished that and are happily flying back to California in the Gulfstream.

    2. It’s called class. It is not something Senator Levin showed himself to be worthy of, but I say hats off to the Apple crew for maintains their composure in that atmosphere so clearly designed to make the senators look like gods and the witnesses to look like defendants.

    3. I would have loved to see how Steve would have handled that whole illogical, despicable thing. Steve had a low idiot tolerance level. Sadly we will never know. But he certainly chose a good man to sit in for him.

  2. Common sense from a real Republican, Rand Paul.

    Total confusion and empty bluster from a real Democrat, Carl Levin.

    Have a nice day.

    1. ‘What they often leave out is the second part of the story, that Apple is one of the largest tax avoiders,’ said Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), who described Apple as the ‘most egregious offender’ among U.S. corporations.

      What’s a “real republican again?”

      Real common sense is true. Rand Paul gets it. Has nothing to do with a political party, otherwise, McCain would speak like Paul, right?

      1. Not as bad as Levin, but, yes, McCain was pretty bad.

        McCain is a total RINO. (Republican In Name Only). Romney-esque. (You know you’re a bad candidate when you can’t beat a prez with U6 unemployment above 14% for his entire term and whose signature “plan” will destroy US healthcare if fully implemented – as admitted now, too late, even by many Dems).

        Here’s hoping Paul or someone of similar beliefs/character/talents is the GOP nominee in 2016, so I won’t have to change my name yet again.

        1. Please provide real solid evidence regarding this statement : “…whose signature “plan” will destroy US healthcare if fully implemented – as admitted now, too late, even by many Dems”. Also, please provide real solid evidence of the Republicons alternate program that would fix the screwed up mess we have in this country called healthcare. Or are you one of those Christians who believes you have no need to care for your neighbor? And since when was unemployment above 14% at anytime much less through Obama’s entire term? I call shenanigans on you!

      2. Let’s face it. Both sides have their dimwits, and McCain’s wits are getting dim (or almost out). When he admitted he knows nothing about economics and then suspends his campaign to go back to Washington to “help”, that’s a dimwit. Unfortunately, the bigger of the two got elected.

  3. What is wrong with Apple storing their money overseas? It’s their money (that they completely deserve), they should be able to do whatever they want with it. Besides, after what happened in 2008, I wouldn’t trust the bankers with any of my hard earned cash. Google should be getting their ass kicked for what they are doing with all that illegally obtained information. Those new “Scroogled” commercials that Microsoft is making is the only thing I like from M$. (I still won’t use Bing though.)

    1. My viewpoint is that the US is desperate for money. Apple is a US company, so everything that Apple earns belongs to the US, at least 35% of it. I think it’s sick. Apple has done the hard work, people in other countries are doing the hard work. Why should the US Treasury benefit from that hard work by default?

      What I find most amusing is everyone describing this as “bringing the money back to the US”, as if it somehow originated there and now Apple is storing it in Ireland. That is a joke. This money was *collected* and *earned* overseas.

  4. He has a point.

    Apple didn’t design the tax code. And Apple has shareholders – imagine the beating Apple would take if they paid taxes that they didn’t have to, just to “be nice.”

  5. Levin/McCain are assholes politicians for sure…I was impressed by the others on the committee who asked good questions and seemed interested in fixing problems…but those two grey beards need to retire and take a dirt nap…

    1. I already wrote to Senators Johnson, Portman and Ayotte expressing my thoughts like yours. I encourage others to do so as well. I wrote to Senator McCain asking him to counsel his colleague from Michigan on how to maintain respectability.

  6. I appreciated Rand Paul’s words as an Apple fan (and I did think the tone of the hearing was too confrontational), but I think his comments were still political grandstanding.

    In my view, Apple did nothing wrong legally. It is the system that is broken and needs deep reflection.

    I just wanted one senator to say something to the effect: “Apple, we applaud you for your incredible innovations and understand your choices with respect to taxes as they are legal and rather clever. Now, with your help what can we do to make it so that all of this is unnecessary.”

    It should have been much less combative — and neither the offensive or defense politicians need act as high and mighty as they did. These are practical problems, and Apple made practical decisions.

    At what point in time can we just look at numbers and facts and adjust our policies accordingly? Why the need for heroes and villains?

    1. Didn’t you think Senator Ayotte did just that? She asked Mr. Cook what rates would work, what levels were needed, what specifics would make this possible. I was very impressed with her. And that led me to her Senate web site which I was further impressed with.

      Senator Paul, I think, is tired of the political process B.S. that this hearing was a hallmark of. At the time he went off I didn’t think the witnesses were being attacked, but after Tim Cook, et al, took to the panel, he was right: Senator Levin was in prearranged attack dog mode. He might as well have simply said: “May I remind the witness he is under oath and the question I’m asking is to be answered either Yes or No.”

      1. Jim, might have. I was working and couldn’t watch the whole thing . . . good on her if she did.

        Sen. Paul’s approach wasn’t much different than the others — it was a production just in the opposite direction of some of the rest of the panel. He came off sounding like he supported Apple’s actions . . . I don’t even think Apple likes what Apple has to do (if that makes sense).

        In a sense, our large companies feel like if there is a loophole they have to jump through it or they aren’t doing their jobs for investors. Cook and Jobs never cared about making or keeping the most money — they are just playing by the same rules as everyone else and they are stupid rules.

        Paul’s ideas aren’t the answer. Neither or the Democrats’ ideas. Somewhere in-between.

        1. Ah. Yeah, she was good. Peter Oppenheimer later told the committee that every year Apple’s US tax filing is over two feet tall and they’d love to not have to go through the work to produce that.

    2. Agree! Levin was having a pompous ass field day turning what should have been an idea exchange on how do we fix this code and bring the money here discussion, into a combat zone.

  7. where was the outrage when GE paid ZERO corporate income taxes two years ago? there were no hearing, no dog and pony show…. levin is an arrogant idiot….

  8. Apple should just pick up its toys and leave the US. We don’t deserve to have them here.

    The sad thing is, the mystery Mac that they will produce in Texas is strictly going to be a loss-leader. I fear they are building that plant strictly for show – a rather non-Jobs idea.

  9. I agree with everything said. @ the same time I do not think that the working class should pay more than a corporation in taxes. If you lower the tax to to 5% to corporations that make Millions/Billions, then I want to pay less than 5% as well. Maybe lower it to 10% for corporations and we pay 5%… 10% is less than 35% current coporate tax.

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