Ron Paul may be a crazy enough to think that China and Russia would swear off espionage if only the CIA closed up shop, but at least he was sane enough to raise his son Rand with a proper understanding of free market economics.
During Tuesday’s Senate subcommittee hearing on Apple’s offshore tax practices, he lit into Congress and demonstrated that he might have been the only politician in the room with his head on straight.
Behold, the awesomeness that was Rand Paul, Tuesday, May 21, 2013:
“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,” Mr. Paul said.
“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. Tell me what Apple has done that is illegal.
“I’m offended by a government that uses the IRS to bully tea parties, but I’m offended by a government that convenes a hearing to bully one of America’s greatest success stories. I’m offended by the spectacle of dragging in executives from an American company that is not doing anything illegal,” Mr. Paul continued.
“If anyone should be on trial, it should be Congress. I frankly think the committee should apologize to Apple,” the senator said. “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 will admit that Apple hasn’t broken any laws, yet we are forced to sit, Apple is forced to sit, though a show trial. … I say, instead of Apple executives, we should have brought in a giant mirror. OK? So we can look at the reflection of Congress because this problem is solely and completely created by the awful tax code.”
Steve Jobs may have been a hard ass (to put it nicely), but here’s what I wrote about him when he passed away in 2011 (has it really been that long?):
For the sake of argument lets say that Steve Jobs was a greedy guy. Let’s agree with the liberal premise that the majority of businessmen are in it for some weird Machiavellian desire to exploit “the masses.” Even if that was the case, at least guys like Steve Jobs have raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions (perhaps billions?) of people! As ReasonTV notes, “Sultans and students now have iPhone 4′s.” …
Steve Jobs never set out to end poverty, but through his inventions the definition of poverty changed. The federal government set out to END poverty, and has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars to do so. How’s that working out? Instead of throwing trillions of dollars at an impossible task, the world would be much better if we left that money in the hands of men and women with a knack for inventing products we didn’t know we wanted.
Instead of seriously addressing the problems that face the nation, politicians host show trials, where they drag in businessmen and berate them for being successful. Apple invented quality products that changed the world, and instead of saying “thank you,” a bunch of self-righteous losers, whose only goal in life is to sit in the halls of Congress for as long as possible, read its CEO the riot act. It’s despicable, but at least there are men like Sen. Rand Paul who are willing to put it all in perspective.
Allahpundit over at Hotair wraps the story up and puts a bow on it:
Apple saved $44 billion since 2009 from tricks like this, which, averaged over four years, means the lost tax revenue last year could have paid for a single day of federal spending. But again — all perfectly legal. Even if you think it shouldn’t be, you run into Paul’s [second point], namely, why not just have a Senate debate on tax reform rather than try to shame Apple with hearings for doing what literally anyone else in their position would have done (potentially at the risk of being ousted by shareholders if they didn’t)? (emphasis added)
If Congress doesn’t like what Apple is doing, they can change the law. Fine. Do that. And then watch what happens when it takes its bat and ball and goes to Ireland or China for good. But what you don’t do is essentially drag in an American success story and demonize its leadership for legally trying to keep as much of its money as possible.