What Cook is cookin’
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently gave a world-spanning interview to Bloomberg Business, Mr. Cook had the chance to opine on US tax code – and Steve Jobs, and the Paris climate agreement, and the economic consequences of robotics on manufacturing.
It’s a really long interview – and his views came as a surprise to commentators and customers accustomed to identifying the Apple brand with progressive politics.
Right in line
Cook’s widely reported view concurs with the Republican Party: he’d like to see a low, flat rate of 15 to 20 percent taxation on business income. Currently the Republican platform is that same 20 percent, though President Trump has mentioned an ultimate goal of 15 percent in some speeches.
What Mr. Cook describes in his interview is a policy consistent with his vision of Apple’s business model going into the future.
As noted above, he argues for a flat rate, much lower than present. He also argues for what would in many ways be an even bigger change, zero deductions, obliging corporations doing business in the United States to pay the entirety of that amount. Mr. Cook is also in favor of a tax on international earnings, encouraging corporations to keep as much work as possible in this country.
That scans with the pro-business, America-focused principles Cook expounds throughout his interview. Before noting his staggering desire to give less money to the government, Cook noted that Apple invests heavily in workforce readiness, funding tech education programs in community colleges and underserved communities.
Before that, he noted his desire to sustain the legacy of his predecessor, the late Steve Jobs, himself less than a doctrinaire lefty.
Trust me, I am a doctrinaire lefty, and he never came to any of the meetings.
Right or wrong, here we are
Jobs and Cook had similar political views, at least as regarded social policy, corporate responsibility and regulatory intrusion. Whether they’re the right views is a matter for a smart editorial, not a news piece. Maybe I’ll write one.
But as a matter of reportage, all there is to be said at the moment is that the CEO of America’s most valuable company has the economic views of virtually everyone else with his job, and that no one actually likes paying taxes. I’m a little surprised I have to say that, but I’m a reporter and, evidently, that’s news.