Apple, the company who makes your iPod, iPhone, or other iThing, caught some flak from the U.S. government in 2013 for holding money in offshore subsidiaries, essentially avoiding paying taxes to any government.
The Senate brought Apple CEO Tim Cook up for an explanation (and a slap on the wrist).
And Rand Paul thought the whole thing was absurd, an unnecessary shot fired at one of America’s most prominent and successful companies.
Wrote Killian Berman of the Huffington Post:
“Rand Paul believes America owes Apple an apology.
‘I’m offended by a government that convenes a hearing to bully one of America’s greatest success stories,’ Sen. Paul (R-Ky) said during a Senate committee hearing convened to discuss Apple’s tax practices Tuesday…
‘If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress,’ a fired up Paul told the Senate hearing.”
(Note: You can see video of Paul’s statements at the hearing by scrolling to the bottom of this post).
Why should Congress be on trial? Well, they’re the ones who write the rules, Paul said. It’s a businesses job to make money. Any successful and driven executive will do everything possible (that is still legal) to lower their tax bill.
Apple’s tax decisions were all completely legal, often referred to as “creative accounting.” Nothing illegal about their offshore subsidiaries.
So Paul’s suggestion to his colleagues in the Senate? Apologize to Apple, then thank them for all the jobs they’ve created.
During the hearing, representatives from Apple told the Senate panel that Apple would like to do more manufacturing in the United States, and made a prior vow to produce an entire line of Mac computers in the U.S.
What they don’t plan on doing is bringing home some of their offshore profits.
Why? Well because the tax rate for offshore profits is the exact same as profits made at home, the top corporate rate of 35 percent.
Paul has previously proposed a solution to this: Lower those rates on offshore profits to 5 percent.
Apple has even claimed those high tax rates are one of the reasons they’re discourage from bringing those profits back into the U.S. and investing them at home.
So what would we rather have: A company like Apple that bolts because U.S. taxes are too high, letting those potential U.S. jobs slip away? Or bring them home, invite them in, and treat them as a friend and an equal?
Watch a short clip of Paul’s statements at the hearing below:
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