Connect with us
Mark Edward Taylor

archive

Rand Paul vs. the Apple tax witch hunters

“Money goes where it’s welcome.”

On Tuesday, executives of Apple got hauled before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee to testify about their “tax avoidance” strategies, specifically their stubborn refusal to haul income earned overseas back to the United States, so it can be subjected to the highest effective corporate tax rates in the world, administered by those paragons of integrity at the Internal Revenue Service.

Governments should compete to attract corporations, not build razor-wire legal fences to keep them from escaping.  And this weird quasi-legal concept of “tax avoidance” – which, unlike tax evasion, breaks no laws – is another effort by greedy politicians to extend their power beyond the laws they have duly debated and passed.  Not only does Big Government control us through the tax code, it now expects us to obey unwritten commands and cater to its desires, by refraining from legal actions that minimize our tax exposure.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was at the subcommittee meeting, and spoke powerfully in defense of Apple and other American corporations.  Paul defended their right – indeed, their fiduciary duty to shareholders – to minimize their tax liability, just like every one of his esteemed Senate colleagues does.

“I’m offended by a government that uses the IRS to bully Tea Parties,” said Paul.  “But I’m also 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.  If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress… 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.”

Paul suggested that if Congress wants to find out why corporations are moving operations overseas, they should spend some time staring into “a giant mirror.”  He also made the crucial point that today’s super-successful, profitable corporation was yesterday’s struggling start-up.  Apple, like many business enterprises, went through some hard times before achieving the level of profitability that makes it look like a pinata full of cash to money-hungry politicians.

Paul noted that any accounting team that worked to deliberately maximize a company’s tax exposure would be guilty of “malpractice.”  He thought it would be amusing to find some companies that intentionally make their tax liability as high as possible, and bring them before the subcommittee for testimony.  He seemed to think it would be difficult to round up such executives.  I would suggest using a butterfly net.

This ties back into his point about global competition.  CEOs who trudge willingly onto the high-tax plantation created by the American political class will find themselves outmaneuvered by those who refuse to do so.  That’s why a lawful, limited government cannot expect private citizens to look beyond what it legislates, and do what it wants.

Senator Paul called for Congress to pass business-friendly reduced tax rates to bring corporate income back to America, rather than trying to squeeze pennies from their pockets with subcommittee witch hunts.  “Money goes where it’s welcome,” remarked Paul.  “We’re chasing people away from us.”  I would add that money can also be kept imprisoned, but it always dies in captivity.

 

Newsletter Signup.

Sign up to the Human Events newsletter

Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

Advertisement
Advertisement

TRENDING NOW:

Jessica Yaniv, Canada transgender waxing case Jessica Yaniv, Canada transgender waxing case

State-Enforced Sexual Assault.

CULTURE

The Left’s Weaponization of Journalism. 

U.S. POLITICS

archive

Rand Paul vs. the Apple tax witch hunters

On Tuesday, executives of Apple got hauled before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee to testify about their “tax avoidance” strategies, specifically their stubborn refusal to haul income earned overseas back to the United States, so it can be subjected to the highest effective corporate tax rates in the world, administered by those paragons of integrity at the Internal Revenue Service.

Governments should compete to attract corporations, not build razor-wire legal fences to keep them from escaping.  And this weird quasi-legal concept of “tax avoidance” – which, unlike tax evasion, breaks no laws – is another effort by greedy politicians to extend their power beyond the laws they have duly debated and passed.  Not only does Big Government control us through the tax code, it now expects us to obey unwritten commands and cater to its desires, by refraining from legal actions that minimize our tax exposure.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was at the subcommittee meeting, and spoke powerfully in defense of Apple and other American corporations.  Paul defended their right – indeed, their fiduciary duty to shareholders – to minimize their tax liability, just like every one of his esteemed Senate colleagues does.

“I’m offended by a government that uses the IRS to bully Tea Parties,” said Paul.  “But I’m also 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.  If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress… 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.”

Paul suggested that if Congress wants to find out why corporations are moving operations overseas, they should spend some time staring into “a giant mirror.”  He also made the crucial point that today’s super-successful, profitable corporation was yesterday’s struggling start-up.  Apple, like many business enterprises, went through some hard times before achieving the level of profitability that makes it look like a pinata full of cash to money-hungry politicians.

Paul noted that any accounting team that worked to deliberately maximize a company’s tax exposure would be guilty of “malpractice.”  He thought it would be amusing to find some companies that intentionally make their tax liability as high as possible, and bring them before the subcommittee for testimony.  He seemed to think it would be difficult to round up such executives.  I would suggest using a butterfly net.

This ties back into his point about global competition.  CEOs who trudge willingly onto the high-tax plantation created by the American political class will find themselves outmaneuvered by those who refuse to do so.  That’s why a lawful, limited government cannot expect private citizens to look beyond what it legislates, and do what it wants.

Senator Paul called for Congress to pass business-friendly reduced tax rates to bring corporate income back to America, rather than trying to squeeze pennies from their pockets with subcommittee witch hunts.  “Money goes where it’s welcome,” remarked Paul.  “We’re chasing people away from us.”  I would add that money can also be kept imprisoned, but it always dies in captivity.

 

Newsletter Signup.

Sign up to the Human Events newsletter

TRENDING NOW:

Jessica Yaniv, Canada transgender waxing case Jessica Yaniv, Canada transgender waxing case

State-Enforced Sexual Assault.

CULTURE

The Left’s Weaponization of Journalism. 

U.S. POLITICS

Connect
Newsletter Signup.

Sign up to the Human Events newsletter