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General Tax Avoidance


© Jeff Danziger

General Electric had profits of over $14 billion in 2010 and yet paid no taxes. In fact, they received a tax benefit of $3.2 billion. Now that’s corporate welfare! How does GE do it? By hiring former treasury officials to work in their tax department, and by aggressive lobbying to get tax laws changed to their favor.

Fifty or so years ago, 30% of all federal revenue came from corporations. Now it is only 6.6% — far less than individuals pay. In fact, a majority of large corporations don’t pay any taxes at all. And yet Republicans still want to cut corporate taxes even more.

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7 Comments

  1. Mad Hatter wrote:

    Let’s see…who was that famous spokesperson for GE?? That was our old buddy Ronny Reagan, wasn’t it? If there were an afterlife, he would be sitting there with a big grin on his face.

    Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink
  2. Jeff wrote:

    Only the GOP would call for corporate tax cuts for companies that don’t pay taxes. Aren’t they supposed to be about fiscal responsibility?

    I’d change my name to GE if it meant I didn’t have to pay taxes.

    Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  3. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Yes and if your’e exceptionally good at not paying taxes then Obama will pick your CEO to chair an economic committee to provide advice on how to run a business and get America back on track. In fact Obama’s own words kind of sum it all up; “We think GE has something to teach businesses all across America.”

    So would that be how to not pay taxes Mr. President?

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/01/21/economic.council/index.html?iref=allsearch

    I guess we’d have to look at the motivation for hiring Mr Immelt. Up until 2006 GE contributed more to Republicans, but after 2008 they now contribute more to democrats. So it does help in getting a job if your pockets are deep.
    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/totals.php?cycle=2010&id=D000000125

    Not to mention they spent a whopping 40 million on lobbyists in 2010.
    http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?lname=General Electric

    Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Permalink
  4. Hey, spending 40 billion on lobbyists creates jobs. For lobbyists.

    Sigh.

    Monday, March 28, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink
  5. Txjill wrote:

    “Yes and if your’e exceptionally good at not paying taxes then Obama will pick your CEO to chair an economic committee to provide advice on how to run a business and get America back on track. In fact Obama’s own words kind of sum it all up; “We think GE has something to teach businesses all across America.””

    Ummm, yeah…so the so-called “most liberal senator” (at one time) is basically carrying on with some of the same things all repugs have done and this is worth mentioning??? I don’t see the point of hitting at Obama, knowing people crap on him daily for doing what they said he should do and then backtracking.

    The system has been broken a long time and unfortunately, Dems became big wussies. We need to remember the answer is never going to be to support republicans again and to dump any democrats that won’t break away from lobbyists and corps.

    Ah, but that would mean campaign finance reform.

    Monday, March 28, 2011 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    And part of the blame definitely has to rest on us. It is the American people who watch Fox News and somehow believe them. It is us who are so easily influenced by money spent on advertising and propaganda.

    It is so easy for us to sit here and tell Obama that he should reform Wall Street, or stand up to those big bad mean Republicans. But if he does, he gets no campaign money and loses the next election. So our system is self selecting for people who cave in to powerful moneyed interests (like the Democrats) or worse, are completely in their pocket from the start (like the Republicans). Until we can break out of this, we will get what we deserve.

    Monday, March 28, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink
  7. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I agree IK there is plenty of finger wagging to go around for all parties and their constituents. I saw it in GEs numbersand I bet it holds fairly true for many Corps. When Repubs are in power the money flows there, when the Dems are in power it flows the other way. Business I guess doesn’t really care if your republican or democrat because both will give you the same thing.

    Lets all vote for a dead guy next election and see how that works. Maybe nothing is better then this crud.

    Monday, March 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

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