Pay to Play II: The Wrath of Washington

Tim Carney:

Senators are angry that tech giant Apple isn't paying its fair share.

I'm not talking about taxes. This is about campaign contributions and lobbying fees.

An investigation by Sen. Carl Levin and a grilling of Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday by the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations were ostensibly about Apple's low tax bill. But nobody accused Apple of breaking the law. The company moved money around to minimize the tax it owed and then paid the amount the law required. Apple didn't write the tax law or even lobby very hard to shape it.

And that's just the problem. The grilling of Apple is best understood as a shakedown by politicians upset with Apple for not playing the Washington game that yields contributions, power, and personal wealth for congressmen and their aides.


I came by this article from John Gruber, who despite his otherwise doctrinaire liberalism starts sounding quite libertarian where Apple is concerned. There's hope!