Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around

At a Tuesday hearing on Apple's tax avoidance strategies, Paul chastised Congress and gushed about Apple

By Katie McDonough

Published May 21, 2013 6:56PM (EDT)

Sen. Rand Paul                   (Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)
Sen. Rand Paul (Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) berated Congress on Tuesday for "bullying" Apple, calling a committee hearing on the company's tax avoidance strategies a "theater of the absurd."

As many on Twitter have been quick to note (some in total disbelief, mind you), Paul is the very littlest bit right in his outrage: Apple isn't breaking any laws by sheltering a portion of its earnings in three empty subsidiaries in Ireland, a strategy that has allowed the company to dodge billions in corporate taxes since 2009.

If Congress is looking to place blame for Apple's legal maneuvering, Rand said, they should look in the mirror:

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.

But Congressional culpability for corporate loophole upon corporate loophole in the tax code is pretty much where Paul's correctness ends, as Harvard Law School's Stephen Shay pointed out in his testimony: “Nobody is trying to vilify Apple. Nobody is trying to say they are wrong, but frankly nobody is saying there should be no adjustments to their income.”

Shay went on to call for reform to a tax code that allows for such shady machinations: "We talk about globalization. We are aware that we have a digital economy. We have ways of earning income that no longer have a physical nexus,” but “it is import to rethink our rules," he told the committee.



Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

MORE FROM Katie McDonoughFOLLOW kmcdonovgh

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Apple Globalization Rand Paul Tax Avoidance Tax Reform Taxes Video