“It seems to me they ought to want to help to pay the expenses of this country, so that everybody can have a fair shot,” Ellison said on MSNBC’s The Ed Show over the weekend.

Ellison found it “really disappointing” that Apple wasn’t willing to pay higher taxes, arguing that it “wouldn’t be a multi-billion-dollar corporation but for the fact that the United States of America made it possible for them to be that successful.”

“Taxes are not a punishment,” he explained, “taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society.”