You’ll be pleased to know that the United States Government is taking money directly from your paycheck and depositing it straight into the bank accounts of various megacorporations in the form of “corporate subsidies.” Or to put it more plainly: you’re paying a lot of über-rich corporate assholes to be in business.
So… just what are they doing with all that money? Here’s a hint: they sure as hell aren’t paying any taxes on most of it.
Example: from 2008 to 2013, General Electric earned over $33.9 billion in profits just in the United States, but thanks to our hardworking politicians up on Capitol Hill, G.E. received a total tax refund of over $2.9 billion from the Internal Revenue Service. Meaning that G.E.’s effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over that six year period (you know, during the midst of the recession when everyone was losing their collective shirt)— was NEGATIVE 9%.
Meaning they paid less TO the government than they got FROM the government.
Fortunately for their shareholders, in one year alone—2012— G.E. transferred $108 billion out of the company to offshore tax havens to avoid paying income taxes on that money, which otherwise would have amounted to $37.8 billion in corporate U.S. income taxes that year.
Also lucky for them was the intercession of the Federal Reserve, who provided G.E. with $16 billion in financial assistance during the financial crisis. That might have something to do with the fact that General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt was a director of the New York Federal Reserve. Ya think? Maybe? Mr. Immelt has a retirement account at General Electric worth an estimated $59 million and made $19 million in total compensation last year. He’s also a long-term proponent of outsourcing American jobs to China, Mexico, and other low-wage countries. What a patriot.
Another great example of a megacorporate “Welfare Queen” is Boeing. From 2008 to 2013 Boeing earned over $26.4 billion in American profit dollars but still received a total tax refund of $401 million from the IRS, making Boeing’s effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over this six-year period a whopping MINUS 2% PERCENT.
Maybe they should change to company name to “Boning,” since that’s what they are doing to the American taxpayers. They even have their own (taxpayer-funded, no less!) DEDICATED BANK known as the “Export-Import Bank of the United States.” That bank is always ready to transfer government funds straight into Boeing’s operating accounts, and is commonly referred to as “the Bank of Boeing.”
There’s also Verizon, which from 2008 to 2013 made over $42.4 billion in American profits and still received a total tax refund of $732 million from the IRS. Their effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over this six-year period was ALSO minus 2% percent. During that same period they stashed $1.8 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. If they were required to pay taxes on any of the off-shored money, they would owe an estimated $630 million to the IRS. But… corporate industry has spent a fortune bribing our legislators to keep those tax loopholes open so it’s not illegal for them to send their profits overseas in such a way. That’s a little bait-n-switch otherwise known as “changing the law so you can cheat the system and get away with it.”
It doesn’t hurt their cause when one considers the fact that the people who are tasked by our government with eliminating such loopholes from our laws are typically the very same people who profit most by keeping them open. Can you say “conflict of interest”?
Bank of America, Citigroup, Pfizer… all have similar deals with the IRS, brokered by officials with their hands in both sets of pockets. Sadly, that’s just business as usual in the 21st century USA. Though I find it astounding that the CEOs and upper management of those companies continue to loudly and publicly demand that the minimum wage be kept low, that Social Security and Medicare be withheld and cut, and that tax rates be raised on the middle and lower classes while their own companies are given massive kickbacks and tax subsidies.
The hubris is mind-boggling.
The above information is part of a recent list of the top 10 corporate tax evaders generated by Bernie Sanders (he releases these lists regularly). And while we don’t usually subscribe to a strict party line on either side of the aisle, and though Sanders tends to be a serious hardcore radical for the left— his facts do check out. Hit the link to read the full list.