Disney CEO Bob Iger thinks companies — including his — are simply paying too much in tax to Uncle Sam.
Iger told CNNMoney on Thursday that high corporate tax rates in the U.S. are “anti-competitive,” and described the country’s tax system as “ridiculously complex.”
“It doesn’t mean that a company shouldn’t pay taxes, but I think the structure is off … the tax base should be lowered, and the loopholes should be closed,” Iger said, without elaborating on potential reforms.
Corporate taxes have been a flashpoint during the U.S. presidential campaign. Bernie Sanders, for instance, has lambasted big business for using loopholes to lower their tax bills.
Nearly 20% of large U.S. corporations that reported a profit on their financial statements in 2012 ended up paying exactly nothing in U.S. corporate income taxes, according to a recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which conducted its analysis at the behest of Sanders.
That’s well below the 35% top corporate income tax rate.
Sanders has specifically targeted Disney ( in the past, accusing the company of exploiting workers and failing to pay them a living wage. The Democratic candidate has also called on the company to keep jobs in the U.S. )
Iger again rejected Sanders’ arguments on Thursday, saying his company is a “positive for the United States and for the world.”
“He chose the wrong company to criticize,” Iger said. “I thought that it was indicative of a person who had never been in business and had not taken the time to really understand and appreciate what the meaning of business is to the country.”
— With reporting from Jeanne Sahadi.