Bloomberg has a news article about Etsy, the Brooklyn-based craft and design marketplace website, using an Irish subsidiary "that shrouds its offshore tax-cutting arrangements in secrecy."
The Bloomberg article doesn't mention the name of Etsy's lead independent director, Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson. Mr. Wilson has blogged about "Why Taxing Carried Interest as Ordinary Income Is Good Policy." He wrote then, "we need to balance the federal budget and we need both revenue increases and expense reductions to do that." So while this guy (like Warren Buffett) is going around publicly calling for tax increases, he's also managing his existing businesses right up to the line of the most tax-efficient way possible. I'm not sure the right word for this is hypocrisy. One can argue that Mr. Wilson has an obligation to the other Etsy shareholders to minimize taxes to the extent possible under the law. But still there's an element of this — blogging about the need for federal revenue increases, including tax rate increases, while using Irish subsidiaries to minimize your business's taxes — that seems to me to be something less than totally consistent. Maybe if we had real broad-based corporate and individual tax reform, rather than symbolic punitive steps like targeting carried interest, companies like Etsy wouldn't need to run to Ireland to get a reasonable tax setup, but could find it instead right here in America.