25 March 2011

Using Imagination to Avoid Taxes . . .

The corporate logo is "Imagination at Work." My father worked for General Electric for nearly all of his adult life. That means G.E. paid for my childhood and my college. It pays for my parents's retirement too. The company also cut my home town Pittsfield , Massachusetts off at the knees when it pulled out of town. So, let's say I have pretty mixed feelings.

If you go to the G.E. web site there is a page called "G.E. in the News." When I checked this evening the top item was that the company's C.E.O. had been appointed by President Obama to head his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness; there was no mention of this report in The New York Times indicating the the company paid not a single dime of corporate income tax to the Federal Government for 2010.

Of course, company flack catchers are quick to point out that there is nothing "illegal" going on here. Maybe so. But it still reeks. On npr this evening we got the whitewash about how the company simply took advantage of a byzantine tax code, exploiting loopholes, tax breaks, and so forth. And, of course, G.E. is in good company as other corporations pursue the same shirking strategies. Sure enough. But that does not mean we can shift responsibility for the stench away from the capitalists onto the government. How did we get such a ridiculous tax structure? Might it have had anything to do with the lobbying that corporations pay huge amounts for?

This is - and should be - a major embarrassment for the Obama administration except for the fact that it is filled with people who think there is nothing the least bit malodorous about massive and massively profitable corporations paying no taxes.

Oh, and did I mention that the Federal Government bailed out G.E. Capital a couple years back?



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home