Senator Paul: Stop Bullying Apple

| News

Senator Rand Paul tells Congress to stop bullying Apple over taxesWhile Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) are accusing Apple of using shelters in other countries to avoid paying U.S. taxes, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is accusing the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of bullying Apple. Senator Paul's comments came on Tuesday during a subcommittee hearing into corporate tax practices in Washington DC.

Senator Paul, according to the Washington Post said, "I'm offended by a US$4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America's greatest success stories."

Apple has been targeted in the hearing with both CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer testifying about company funds held outside of the country.

In his accusation, Senator Levin stated, "Apple wasn't satisfied with shifting its profits to a low-tax offshore tax haven. Apple sought the holy grail of tax avoidance. It has created offshore entities holding tens of billions of dollars while claiming to be tax resident nowhere."

Senator Paul, however, sees the problem as a government issue. He said,

If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress. I frankly think the committee should apologize to Apple. The Congress should be on trial here for creating a Byzantine and bizarre tax code.

Senator McCain agreed that Apple is the largest corporate tax payer in the U.S., but added that he thinks the company is also one of the biggest tax avoiders, too. Apple disagreed, saying that it isn't using any tactics to avoid paying taxes in the country.

Senator Levin added that he feels Apple is avoiding paying taxes in the U.S., and that by doing so the company is pushing its tax burden off to "working families and small businesses."

"Frankly, I'm offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing," Senator Paul said.

The hearing is still underway, so there's a chance we'll see more flareups from Congress before it concludes.

Comments

Lee Dronick

Oh my God, this is going to be interesting. I wonder if any investigative reporters are looking into tax shelters of the Congressmembers on the Committee.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I’m told by one of my DC politically connected friends that this may just be the beginning of a public narrative that leads to a bill drastically lowering the corporate tax rate, perhaps to 12% or 15%. Step one is berating companies for not caring about America. Step two is discovering why these evil bastards hate America. Step three is bribing them to love America again. Step four is to blame the Republicans.

paikinho

???
Dems and Republicans wrote the laws that make things the way they are. Everyone has their hand in the this mess. I find it ironic holding hearings and berating apple for the very thing nearly all multinationals do each and every day.

Good job for calling out the hypocrites Mr. Paul. Hope you can succeed in assailing the tax code successfully.

ibuck

A “Byzantine and bizarre tax code” certainly doesn’t benefit average Americans, many of whom need help filing their tax returns. One must ask. “Who benefits from it?”

Lee Dronick

  A “Byzantine and bizarre tax code” certainly doesn’t benefit average Americans, many of whom need help filing their tax returns. One must ask. “Who benefits from it?”

The moneyed oligarchy.

 

dhp

Comments on articles like these always remind me that techie web sites are still overwhelmingly read by relatively young, healthy, middle-class (at least), white guys, most of whom seem to have little ability to stand in the shoes of someone who is not all of those things or to acknowledge the systemic benefits of being all those things. (Or do people just uncritically accept the government-can-do-nothing-good meme?)

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Such hatred, dhp. I’m pretty sure the feeling would be mutual if we ever met.

daemon

Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. was the first Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was a famous robber baron during the great depression who accumulated obscene amounts of money.

His job as the first Chairman was to make everything he did when he amassed his fortune illegal.

Lee Dronick

Senator McCain asked, in jest, why he had to keep updating his apps. smile

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/john-mccain-apple_n_3314325.html

1stplacemacuser

Rand Paul channels Representative Joe Barton apologizing to BP for the government berating BP for its actions during the Gulf oil leak.

Although Apple didn’t do anything illegal or incompetent in this case. I think the point is that the hearing was to find out how and why Apple isn’t paying corporate taxes. I think the hearing is pretty much useless because the government can look at how the taxes were filed and see how Apple and other companies are exploiting loopholes.

The solution, as I mentioned in a previous thread, is to simplify the tax code and to make agreements with other countries so that there’s no way to exploit a low corporate tax rate country to shelter profits.

dhp

Really, Bosco? I wasn’t feeling a bit of hate when I wrote my comment.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

You pretty much accuse everyone who disagrees with you here of having no heart. Jerk move.

wab95

@dhp

I take your comment as an important reminder that discussion threads on tech sites are characterised by less diversity than would permit truly a representative mix of opinion and perspective, and these would benefit from greater representativeness.

It’s not simply the difference of opinion alone that provides the optimal learning opportunity, but the diversity in background, experience and habits from contributors to these discussion threads that create a sustained learning environment.

My observation is that TMO staff make an effort to foster an environment where diversity of opinion is both nurtured and protected from censure, however indirect or implicit. My hope is that that practice continues to attract a wider, more diverse contributing readership.

I think your comment took courage, and I thank you for making it.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I think your comment took courage, and I thank you for making it.

wab95: I bet Sergio Garcia could use a good publicist about now.

Terrin

The point of the hearings aren’t to blame Apple. They are to highlight perceived problems with the tax code. I guarantee that since Levin and McCain are on the same side, new stream lined corporate tax legislation will be coming soon.

cbielich

Apple is notorious to bully others with their patent disputes. I find it hard that anyone would feel sorry for them.

Lee Dronick

See the 22 May opening segment of The Daily Show, it is about Apple and the Congessional hearings. I couldn’t get a direct link to the video so go to thedailyshow.com

ibuck

@cbielich: Would you explain please how Apple bullies others with patent disputes? It’s my understanding that if a patent-holder finds someone else using that patented idea without authorization and then does not use legal means to cause them to cease doing so, the patent becomes invalid and unenforceable. Can you help us all understand how Apple, or any company or individual holding a patent, would enforce their patent rights? Without “bullying,” as you put it?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Your understanding is incorrect ibuck. The obvious contradiction to your statement is that patent licensing happens all the time. It is a much more desirable outcome that clogging up our courts.

ibuck

Bosco, you seem to have missed the “without authorization” in my comment. Licensing would obviously be authorization.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Excuse me? Licensing happens all the time after a patent holder catches an infringing party. That doesn’t result in ceasing to use the invention. But your general point is mostly wrong anyway. If you hold patents that I’m infringing, and I hold patents that you’re infringing, we don’t have to write any letters or provoke each other to keep our patents valid for use against others. Holding a patent is not a binding suicide pact.

ibuck

Sorry, Bosco, but to me, your arguments don’t seem reasonable or convince me of any legal expertise. Stop trying and just enjoy your weekend.

Log-in to comment