G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether

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    Mar 25, 2011 6:28 PM GMT
    Shockingly they also benefited greatly from a lot of the current US Administration's policies where it comes to green energy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html?_r=1&hp

    General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

    The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

    Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

    That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.

    Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.

    While General Electric is one of the most skilled at reducing its tax burden, many other companies have become better at this as well. Although the top corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, companies have been increasingly using a maze of shelters, tax credits and subsidies to pay far less.
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    Mar 25, 2011 6:41 PM GMT
    It's completely disgusting.
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    Mar 25, 2011 7:13 PM GMT
    A quote I read today I think applies:
    http://jeffreyellis.org/blog/?p=8721

    People need to wake up and know the history: government regulation does not “check” the power of the private sector, it enhances it. The more power you give gov’t, the more that the private sector will seek to access that power and use it to their advantage and to the disadvantage of the rest of us. Regulated capitalism inevitably becomes corporatism. And “better people” in gov’t won’t change this.

    – Steve Horwitz (via Facebook)
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    Mar 25, 2011 7:15 PM GMT
    And the fucking repubs feel they need to REDUCE the taxes on corps..

    http://www.globalerie.com/blog/2009/02/10/ge-transportations-statement-on-layoffs/

    Hello repubs.... yer shit is working just fine (to control the working class)
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    Mar 25, 2011 7:20 PM GMT
    TropicalMark saidAnd the fucking repubs feel they need to REDUCE the taxes on corps..

    http://www.globalerie.com/blog/2009/02/10/ge-transportations-statement-on-layoffs/

    Hello repubs.... yer shit is working just fine (to control the working class)


    No and yes. The thinking I believe is that it's possible to reduce overall taxes if the loopholes are closed off. Loopholes come from intense lobbying from groups like GE with benefits that go to those who have the money for lobbying. It's also what makes the tax code so complicated and take so long for taxes to be filed. The US does now have the highest corporate taxes I think possibly in the OECD - but certainly amongst the G8.

    Further, I wouldn't paint this as a Republican or Democratic issue. GE is highly allied to the Democrats and this Administration in particular.
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    Mar 25, 2011 9:38 PM GMT
    TropicalMark saidAnd the fucking repubs feel they need to REDUCE the taxes on corps..

    http://www.globalerie.com/blog/2009/02/10/ge-transportations-statement-on-layoffs/

    Hello repubs.... yer shit is working just fine (to control the working class)

    GE, and its CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, have been closely aligned with the Obama Administration.
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/01/jeffrey-immelt-general-electric-obama-freedomworks-tea-party-economy-jobs-competitiveness.html

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/ge-obama-affair-and-jeff-immelt-s-harsh-words#

    Now let's see some outrage directed at the Democrats,.
  • conservativej...

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    Mar 25, 2011 10:02 PM GMT
    That's truly an odd article. GE is not the nations largest corporation. I have a copy of their 2010 annual report. Revenue was $150.211 billion. GE is less than half the size of WalMart. GE likely does have a higher balance sheet (book value) than WalMart. My Wally World annula report is in the office.

    The GE annual report is located here:

    http://www.ge.com/ar2010/pdf/GE_AR10.pdf

    The consolidated balance sheet is on page 68.

    Page 72 shows a tax payment of $2,671,000,000.00, rounded to millions.

    A detailed cash flow statement would shed more light on actual tax payments.

    Unfortunately, the press tends to treat facts concerning corporations to pander to their constituency.
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    Mar 25, 2011 10:03 PM GMT
    This isn't a partisan issue. It goes to the core of what's wrong with our country both politically and financially.
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    Mar 25, 2011 10:06 PM GMT
    I intend to become GE :-)
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    Mar 25, 2011 10:06 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidThis isn't a partisan issue. It goes to the core of what's wrong with our country both politically and financially.

    Perhaps you are sincere, but the pattern that is clear here is if the Republicans were heavily involved with GE, as your buddy TropicalMark believed, it would be to hell with the Republicans. Given it reflects on the Democrats in this case, it now becomes a non-partisan issue.
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    Mar 25, 2011 10:11 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidThis isn't a partisan issue. It goes to the core of what's wrong with our country both politically and financially.

    Perhaps you are sincere, but the pattern that is clear here is if the Republicans were heavily involved with GE, as your buddy TroopicalMark believed, it would be to hell with the Republicans. Given it reflects on the Democrats in this case, it now becomes a non-partisan issue.


    No. I'm against the undue influence of corporate interests regardless of what side of the aisle they're on at the moment. I think we've seen with Jamie Dimon and a few others that their politics end once their wallet's impacted.
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    Mar 25, 2011 10:22 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidThis isn't a partisan issue. It goes to the core of what's wrong with our country both politically and financially.

    Perhaps you are sincere, but the pattern that is clear here is if the Republicans were heavily involved with GE, as your buddy TroopicalMark believed, it would be to hell with the Republicans. Given it reflects on the Democrats in this case, it now becomes a non-partisan issue.


    No. I'm against the undue influence of corporate interests regardless of what side of the aisle they're on at the moment. I think we've seen with Jamie Dimon and a few others that their politics end once their wallet's impacted.


    I'm curious then. What do you think of the following argument: "People need to wake up and know the history: government regulation does not “check” the power of the private sector, it enhances it. The more power you give gov’t, the more that the private sector will seek to access that power and use it to their advantage and to the disadvantage of the rest of us. Regulated capitalism inevitably becomes corporatism. And “better people” in gov’t won’t change this."

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    Mar 25, 2011 10:32 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidThis isn't a partisan issue. It goes to the core of what's wrong with our country both politically and financially.

    Perhaps you are sincere, but the pattern that is clear here is if the Republicans were heavily involved with GE, as your buddy TroopicalMark believed, it would be to hell with the Republicans. Given it reflects on the Democrats in this case, it now becomes a non-partisan issue.


    No. I'm against the undue influence of corporate interests regardless of what side of the aisle they're on at the moment. I think we've seen with Jamie Dimon and a few others that their politics end once their wallet's impacted.


    I'm curious then. What do you think of the following argument: "People need to wake up and know the history: government regulation does not “check” the power of the private sector, it enhances it. The more power you give gov’t, the more that the private sector will seek to access that power and use it to their advantage and to the disadvantage of the rest of us. Regulated capitalism inevitably becomes corporatism. And “better people” in gov’t won’t change this."



    I think the argument is a cop-out. An excuse for bad behavior by an economist who believes in the ludicrous notion of a "free market."
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    Mar 25, 2011 10:44 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidI think the argument is a cop-out. An excuse for bad behavior by an economist who believes in the ludicrous notion of a "free market."


    How is it a cop out? Is it then your argument that the free market is in fact by definition corporatist? I'm sure you equally aware that most proponents of freemarkets are also deeply suspicious of businesspeople. Are you saying that regulations do not tend to favor the incumbents who often spend millions on lobbying (and hence the claim that "regulated capitalism inevitably becomes corporatism"?)

    Presumably there is always a massive gap between theory and practice as for instance the healthcare reform act shows.

    Here are two quotes from Adam Smith:

    "The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

    and more famously "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."
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    Mar 25, 2011 10:52 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidI think the argument is a cop-out. An excuse for bad behavior by an economist who believes in the ludicrous notion of a "free market."


    How is it a cop out? Is it then your argument that the free market is in fact by definition corporatist? I'm sure you equally aware that most proponents of freemarkets are also deeply suspicious of businesspeople. Are you saying that regulations do not tend to favor the incumbents who often spend millions on lobbying (and hence the claim that "regulated capitalism inevitably becomes corporatism"?)

    Presumably there is always a massive gap between theory and practice as for instance the healthcare reform act shows.

    Here are two quotes from Adam Smith:

    "The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

    and more famously "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."


    No. My contention is that there is no such thing as a "free market." Perhaps at some point in capitalism's growth there was, but the idea that there is some way in which commerce can operate unfettered by governments, associations, etc. is deeply damaging myth. Further, I've never met a proponent of free market "capitalism" that either didn't want to be rich or was already rich.

    But the idea that regulating capitalism creates corruption and therefore should not be regulated, is like saying "people kill each other", so we can't outlaw murder.
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    Mar 26, 2011 6:41 PM GMT
    socalfitness said but the pattern that is clear here is if the Republicans were heavily involved with GE, as your buddy TropicalMark believed,
    Where the hell did I say that socal?
    Quit reading shit into a post that doesnt exist.
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    Mar 26, 2011 8:22 PM GMT
    TropicalMark said
    socalfitness said but the pattern that is clear here is if the Republicans were heavily involved with GE, as your buddy TropicalMark believed,
    Where the hell did I say that socal?
    Quit reading shit into a post that doesnt exist.

    The thread was about GE, the link you provided was also about GE, and you used the example to chastise the Republicans. I think your intent was very clear. I am sure you did not realize that GE happened to be a poster child for this administration and the GE CEO and Obama belong to a very public mutual admiration society.