Sen. Rand Paul was not happy during Tuesday’s Senate subcommittee hearing on Apple’s offshore tax practices.
Instead of grilling Apple CEO Tim Cook on the computer giant’s legal tax practices, Mr. Paul said, Congress should have pulled a giant mirror into the chamber and put itself on trail.
Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, went even further, saying that Congress should apologize to Apple for creating the kind of tax code that “doesn’t compete with the rest of the world.”
“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.”