WASHINGTON — Faced with withering criticism and antagonistic questions from the U.S. Senate over Apple’s alleged scheme to avoid payment of billions of dollars in taxes, Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook today announced that the company had purchased the entire Senate for $420 million.
Apple issued a statement saying, “Once again Apple leads the way in terms of innovation. While it has long been a standard practice for corporations to buy individual congressmen who cast influential votes on issues pertaining to them, Apple has taken the bold step of purchasing the entire U.S. Senate, without concern as to whether individual senators are relevant to Apple’s continued success.”
Senate observers said that Cook was clearly irritated at having to defend accounting practices that helped the company pay as little as one-twentieth of 1 percent in taxes on billions of dollars in income by trying to win individual senators to his point of view one at a time. At one point in the hearings, the CEO turned to his lawyer and said, “Let’s just buy the whole lot.”
Apple has been criticized by some for holding onto over $1 billion in cash assets during the recession, but financial analysts said that today’s action, in which the senators were all paid in cash, shows the course of action was correct.
“Apple didn’t want to have to promise the senators money later,” said one Wall Street analyst. “That would’ve looked like the company was tampering with their votes.”
Cook quickly answered critics who said that Apple’s purchase of the Senate was at odds with Steve Jobs’ vision of the company.
In a statement, Cook said, “This is entirely keeping with Steve Jobs’ vision in two key ways. First, Steve loved taking old, plodding things and making them work better, and the Senate is nothing if not old and plodding. And second, Steve was famous for transforming the way we look at things, and by putting the entire U.S. Senate on Apple’s payroll, the senators instantly start seeing the issue from the other side of the ledger.”
“Personally, I’m really excited about the opportunity to work for a first class operation like Apple,” said Apple Employee #327102 and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson. “Their HR process is so much smoother than what I’m used to, we’ve got free soda now in the Senate chambers, and I’m only beholden to one special interest rather than the entire state of Florida. Plus we got iPads!”
In a closed-door meeting with his new workers, Cook assured the senators that even though they now worked for Apple, the senators remained absolutely free to vote against the company, “and look for another job.”