Jon Stewart Rips Senators Apart For Apple Love
Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations May 21 to defend his company’s tax avoidance. According to the committee’s report, Apple has avoided paying about $9 billion in taxes by shifting profits to three subsidiary companies in Ireland.
“Apple executives like to boast that their company is the highest corporate taxpayer in the U.S.,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, said before the hearing. “But what they often leave out of the story is the second part of the story, and that is that Apple is one of the largest corporate tax avoiders.”
But once Cook got in front of the senators, it was all hearts and flowers. As Jon Stewart poignantly pointed out during the May 22 episode of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, senators expressed their love for Apple products more than they questioned the company’s adherence to tax law.
“I love Apple,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) exclaimed, while McCain asked why he had to keep updating the apps on his iPhone.
“We love the iPhone and the iPad,” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said. “I’ve got one right here.”
Nice job, senators. Way to roll out the red carpet when you’re supposed to be investigating the tech-giant’s use of tax loopholes that costs the debt-ridden United States billions of tax dollars.
“Apparently there is nothing Apple can do to get us mad at them,” Stewart proclaimed. “We could find out they’re using kitten hearts to power iPhones,” and still praise the company and its products.
In fact, rather than grilling Cook, the senators more or less asked his permission to revise the US tax code.
“How important do you think it is that we change the tax code?” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) asked Cook. “What rate do we have to be at if we want to be competitive?”
And of course Cook was happy to offer suggestions.
“Apple has always believed in the simple, not the complex,” he told the subcommittee. “It is in this spirit that we recommend a dramatic simplification of the US corporate tax code.”
And how does Cook suggest that happen?
“Eliminate all corporate tax expenditures, lower corporate income tax rates and implement a reasonable tax on foreign earnings that allows the free-flow of capital back to the United States.”