HBO's John Oliver Blasts GOP's 'Long and Infuriatingly Proud History' of Corporate Tax Giveaways

Given that Monday is officially “Tax Day," HBO's John Oliver decided to blow the lid off of the disturbing ways in which Republican leaders have created so many breaks corporations are driving cruise ships through the loopholes.


It's hardly the most exciting topic in the world, but it's one that will infuriate those Americans who actually pay their taxes year after year. It will be a shock for some, but the GOP's tax law was not the first time corporations were able to take advantage of to pay as little in taxes as possible.

Oliver called taxes a kind of desperation for funding for the United States something like "the government's GoFundMe page." He wanted to follow rapper Cardi B's call to understand what people pay and how the government uses the taxes.

One of his examples was Google, which allegedly funnels money around from Ireland, to the Netherlands and ultimately to Bermuda, which has a 0 percent tax rate. Oliver called it “Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich." He noted that it's something that “sounds like a disgusting sex act or an even more disgusting Waffle House menu item.”

Apple is another example of a company that has gone to impressive lengths to avoid paying taxes. They kept $269 billion offshore in Ireland, then moved it to another part of the British Isles.

Oliver called out other corporate headquarters that have moved to Panma to avoid taxes, which he called "the Panama Scoot."

President Donald Trump and the GOP crafted a tax reform bill that lowered the corporate tax rate, perhaps hoping that these companies would suddenly be willing to pay taxes and move their shell corporations back from an island where they pay zero in taxes to the U.S. where they'll pay millions. In fact, Oliver explained that a grand total of 18 major American companies pay zero percent in taxes.

Further, the GOP's tax cut changed the code so that corporations that hide their cash overseas are penalized, but their tax rate was cut from 35 percent to only 8 percent. So, essentially, any so-called accountability Trump claimed he'd enact was offset by an overwhelming tax cut.

Thinking that this is somehow a way to create jobs is like thinking that “dipping this badger in fudge [would] create jobs.”

Watch his full assessment below:

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.