Gross stayed true to form in his latest attack on a successful American business enterprise in his May 29 Newsweek feature, “Is Apple Too Clever By Half?” Gross’s answer, unsurprisingly, was yes, and that the company was greedy because it has followed U.S. tax law scrupulously in a manner that lessened its tax bite.
Gross began by oddly portraying Apple CEO Tim Cook’s very appearance before a Senate committee recently as evidence that his company was or should be in the doghouse:
Apple always seemed like the perfect company. Not so fast. When CEO Tim Cook testified before Congress on May 25, he didn’t come to talk about Apple’s latest amazing gadget or the need to grant more visas to computer programmers. Rather, in his maiden voyage to Capitol Hill as Steve Jobs’s successor, Cook had to defend the company’s tax-avoidance efforts. What should have been a triumph for Cook was instead an awkward encounter.
Yes, it is an awkward encounter when the CEO of a popular — the company has a 74 percent approval rating — and profitable company is lectured by a bunch of politicians — congressional approval rating clocks in at 16 percent — who would be run out of the corporate boardroom of Apple — heck, any sane corporate boardroom — on a rail had they did to the company’s books what Congress has done to the country’s finances.
Apple is insanely profitable, an excellent credit risk for bond holders, and has gobs of cash-on-hand, which is a far cry from the health of the U.S. government’s balance sheets.
Not to mention the health of Newsweek itself, or the lack thereof, considering the failed magazine is reportedly up for sale once again.
Being told that they’re doing it wrong by Newsweek is pretty much the ultimate confirmation of Apple’s business acumen.