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You may have heard of Apple: It's one of the richest corporations on Earth, whose profits extend from here to the Moon, and is also allegedly an American company.  But you wouldn't know that from the recent testimony of Apple CEO Tim Cook before the Senate, who demanded corporate tax cuts as a condition of returning a hundred billion dollars in untaxed wealth from off-shore havens to the United States.  Tim Cook, who is himself allegedly an American citizen, made these comments at a time when federal and state governments are eviscerating spending on critical public functions due to lack of tax revenue, while Apple is building a giant new spaceship-like corporate headquarters almost half the size of the Pentagon.

There are so many objections to Cook's statements that it's difficult to know where to begin.  First of all...

1.  Why do only corporate CEOs get to go before Congress to demand more money?  How many ordinary people get to testify and talk about how the government coddling of arrogant corporations and ultra-rich people like Tim Cook is destroying their lives?  

2.  Apple claims to be an American company and Tim Cook claims to be an American, but neither seem to have the slightest concern for this country.  When you are super-duper-profitable like Apple, you don't need tax cuts to build factories in this country and hire Americans, so obviously it's just a case of their not giving the slightest shit.  They simply see this country as their food trough.  Well, I'd rather not have such a company here at all, or allow their products to be sold here.

3.  Everything Apple makes is built on a foundation of decades of taxpayer-funded and -subsidized research, public services at every level, public investments amounting to more money than even a Croesus-rich scumbag like Cook could count, so forget about mere patriotism: These bastards owe this country a lot more than they're paying, especially now that the company is just run by generic corporate vultures rather than someone on a mission, and yet they demand to pay even less.  In fact, they don't even ask permission to pay less - they just up and hide the money.  Whether it's strictly legal or not, these people are crooks.

This country has subsidized the everloving shit out of Apple and every other major corporation laughably purporting to be American, so don't pick my pocket and then tell me I'm robbing you because I still have some change in the other one.  Maybe they should name their new campus "The Asshole":

apple_campus_2_rendering

2:07 PM PT: A fact about $100 billion: It's more than the budget of the Department of Education and NASA combined.


3:08 PM PT: Let me make this clear: This is not some abstract moral issue.  At this level of tax avoidance, significant numbers of Americans have demonstrably DIED as a direct or indirect consequence of this money not being available to the public sector.  It borders on treason.

Originally posted to Troubadour on Tue May 21, 2013 at 01:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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