Yesterday Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, was hauled in front of the United States Senate to testify about the company’s tax practices. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) went off on him because they don’t pay US taxes on foreign earnings, blathering about how it’s all Apple’s fault that children don’t get to go to school and old people go hungry. It was disgusting. Rush Limbaugh called it a high tech lynching. Worse yet, Levin was joined by his Republican colleague John McCain in vilifying Apple.
The interesting thing is that nobody — and, by the way, the Senate committee chairman here of whatever this committee is, is Carl Levin. He’s a liberal Democrat from Michigan, but he has an echo. He has a Republican echoing everything he says.
That would be Senator McCain.
At least Senator Rand Paul stood up to the Senate bullies.
The only person on the committee defending Apple, and defending the concept of low taxes and limited government, is Senator Rand Paul. Apple Inc. pays more taxes than any US corporation. GE ought to be up there explaining how they don’t pay any tax on their multiple billion dollars of earnings. Instead, it’s Apple. Apple paid $6 billion last year to the US Treasury. To put that in perspective, that’s $16 million a day Apple paid in taxes. Apple pays 2.5% of all income tax collected by the US Treasury. …
But it was left to Rand Paul who actually apologized, or said that Congress should be apologizing to Apple for this.
PAUL: Frankly, I’m offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing. I’m offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating, and badgering one of America’s greatest success stories. You know, tell me one of these politicians up here who doesn’t minimize their taxes. Tell me a chief financial officer that you would hire if he didn’t try to minimize your taxes legally. I’m offended by a government that uses the IRS to bully Tea Parties, but I’m also offended by a government that convenes a hearing to bully one of America’s greatest success stores. I’m offended by the spectacle of dragging in executives from an American company that is not doing anything illegal. …
I, frankly, think the committee should apologize to Apple. We haul before this committee one of America’s greatest success stories, and you want applause? I say instead of Apple executives we shoulda 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. (Read More)
Of course, Levin was livid with Paul for making them all look like fools.
Rush made another good point, and that is that Apple probably contributed to Levin’s campaign. Go figure.
Heritage has more on how Apple hasn’t done anything wrong or illegal when it comes to paying taxes. Yesterday’s little dog and pony show was just another distraction.