04.10.12

The Tax Avoidance Czar

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 7:57 am by George Smith

Here we are, a year after General Electric made big news on avoidance of corporate income tax — even getting a bribe from Uncle Sam — and nothing has changed.

From Think Progress:

Last year, Citizens for Tax Justice found that 30 major corporations had made billions of dollars in profits while paying no federal income tax between 2008 and 2010. Today, CTJ updated that report to reflect the 2011 tax bill of those 30 companies, and 26 of them have still managed to pay absolutely nothing over that four year period …

“26 of the 30 companies continued to enjoy negative federal income tax rates. That means they still made more money after tax than before tax over the four years!”

Amongst the 30 are corporate titans such as General Electric, Boeing, Verizon, and Mattel …

Which makes this piece in Salon, with a picture of GE’s Jeff Immelt at the top of the page, claiming greed is a force for good, a real howler.

Excerpted from “Innovation Revolution:”

Capitalism can transform from a model of greed is good to greed for good. Incentives and purpose matter, and enlightened corporations that take a long-term view will find taking on some of the world’s difficult global problems can be profitable. That does not mean that the role for government or the individual is diminished. Companies can’t solve all of society’s problems. But increasingly, enlightened firms will realize that by investing for the long term they can find profitable ways of meeting society’s greatest challenges. This change in mindset is best captured by GE’s current chairman, Jeff Immelt, who sums things up this way: “The era of free capitalism without consequences is over.” Gordon Gekko never saw that coming.

You may recall Immelt as the president’s do-nothing job czar who recommended boosting tourism so more people could be hired in the hospitality industry. Or the fellow who went on 60 Minutes to try and redeem his image and only made it worse, whining that Americans didn’t cheer his corporation the way the Germans cheer Siemens.

Calling Immelt clueless about his venal image is pointless. You’d do better arguing with a door. He really is the epitome of Corporate America Hates You and it will never change.

The one year old tune about GE, Jeff and corporate tax avoidance is still here.

You don’t see the nauseating boot-scooting GE workers and merry elephant on tv for GE anymore — maybe I had a little to do with that — but the message is still true.

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