"Tonight, in honor of upcoming tax day, we thought we'd give you just a glimpse of the lengths that companies will go to to legally avoid paying taxes, both," John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. Like Cardi B, "many people are perplexed and mystified by our tax system," he said, breaking down where your tax dollars go, roughly speaking.
When President Trump signed the GOP tax overhaul last year, he "made some clear promises about who stood to benefit," Oliver said, most of them "clearly nonsense, because if this bill were really helping the people that like Donald Trump best, it would exclusively benefit Eric Trump, Rosanne Barr, and anyone who's looked both ways before whispering, 'It was the Jews.' And the truth is, for all Trump's talk of pipefitters, the biggest tax rate cut by far actually goes to businesses."
Oliver walked through the "long and infuriatingly proud history" of corporate tax avoidance, with a special nod to Apple and Google for being top "innovators in weaselly accounting," though GE and other huge companies paid zero federal taxes for much of this century. The new tax bill does force some of those companies to pay taxes on money stashed overseas, but at bargain rates — a gamble that did not pay off in terms of job creation in 2004, and probably won't this time either, Oliver said. "We just had a huge chance to reform our tax code and we absolutely blew it. Because effective tax reform is not just about lowering rates, it's about closing loopholes."
"So, on Tuesday, as you scrape together your taxes and like Cardi B, wonder what Uncle Sam is doing with your motherf---ing money, rest assured that Donald Trump's tax reform continues to let companies engage in sophisticated tax avoidance schemes," Oliver said. And he had a parting gift for those companies. There is NSFW language throughout. Peter Weber