Big Corporations and Federal Taxes

Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger

With the constant news reports highlighting the economic woes of the State and Federal governments and the important battle in Wisconsin and other states over the claim that workers need to sacrifice a little more to help out their state governments, it is interesting to learn just how much big corporations pay in Federal Taxes. Would it surprise you if I told you that many of our largest corporations pay zero Federal taxes?

I don’t know about you, but it did surprise me to learn that Bank of America, General Electric, Boeing, Citigroup and Exxon-Mobil pay no Federal taxes. “Indeed, as politicians are asking ordinary Americans to sacrifice their education, their health, their labor rights, and their wellbeing to tackle budget deficits, some of the world’s richest multinational corporations are getting away with shirking their responsibility and paying nothing.” Think Progress   We are not talking about corporations who have had big losses to deal with, but huge profitable companies who are making Billions off of the American public and paying zero taxes to Uncle Sam.

One company on Think Progress’ list is Boeing. Some years ago Boeing moved its headquarters to Chicago and received millions in tax breaks from the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago as an inducement to move to Chicago. I bring up Boeing because it is based out of nearby Chicago and because it is a big military contractor. That means it gets billions in business from the U.S. Military. In fact, Boeing just received a $35 Billion dollar contract to build tankers for the United States Air Force over the next several years. “Despite receiving billions of dollars from the federal government every single year in taxpayer subsidies from the U.S. government, Boeing didn’t “pay a dime of U.S. federal corporate income taxes” between 2008 and 2010.”  Boeing 

Boeing is not alone on the list of these big corporations that does business with the United States Military, but pays little or no Federal tax on its profits. General Electric is another prime example of a company making billions off of the United States, while paying zip in federal taxes. “In 2009, General Electric — the world’s largest corporation — filed more than 7,000 tax returns and still paid nothing to U.S. government. They managed to do this by a tax code that essentially subsidizes companies for losing profits and allows them to set up tax havens overseas.” Think Progress

Why is it that the American public buys products from and supports these huge corporations and yet these corporations don’t have to pay taxes on their profits? The answer is really pretty simple. Who do you think writes or influences Congress to write the tax laws that allow these companies to steal from the American public? Corporate Lobbyists pull the strings and Congress jumps. Tax Analysts   The ability of these big corporations to get away with paying little or no Federal taxes puts a huge burden on the average American taxpayer and corporations that do not take advantage of the loopholes. “According to a report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a $100 billion annual tax burden is shifted to US-based individuals and companies thanks to corporations stowing their profits offshore: Over ten years, an estimated $1 trillion in revenues is lost due to the use of tax havens and the government must make up for this shortfall. This diversion ends up being shouldered by other companies and taxpayers and is transferred as higher debt for future generations.” Wonkroom

The next time your read or hear about the sacrifices that the middle class must make in order to shore up the government’s finances due to an economic disaster that was mainly caused by Wall Street, ask how much extra General Electric or Boeing or Bank of America are going to put into the tax pot to help balance the budget. Maybe Citigroup or Exxon-Mobil or Wells Fargo will be sacrificing in order to restore financial sanity to the Federal budget. If you believe that, then I guess pigs really do fly. Wouldn’t that $1 Trillion dollars of lost tax revenue come in handy right about now?

Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger

111 thoughts on “Big Corporations and Federal Taxes”

  1. Let’s not forget the pallets of missing cash either.

    Nothing suspect or criminal about that.

    If by “nothing” one means “everything”.

  2. rafflaw,

    Just think how much money our government/we taxpayers have saved because of the privatizion of many of the jobs/functions that were once the responsibilty of the US military. Private contractors (KBR, Blackwater, Wackenhut, Halliburton, et al) do the job so much better and so much cheaper….right? Forget about the soldiers who were electrocuted in contractor built showers in Iraq, the murder of innocent Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, drunken orgies in Afghanistan.

  3. Moar,

    On the plus side, Free Market Utupianism doesn’t require you to go live in a commune. I don’t argue with people about their religion. So I guess we’re done here.

    I’m glad you liked my blog.


    No, see the problem is that there’s never been a TRUE Comunis… I mean Free Market state.

  4. Moar,
    privatizing everything doesn’t work as efficiently as a central government can. If you really think that a national highway system can be maintained by states or private contractors, you are sorely mistaken. All of these issue you have mentioned are mere talking points from the conservatives who don’t want to pay taxes. Since many of them(corporations) are paying less taxes than me, where would the money come for the necessities if each State was taxing their citizens alone and leaving those poor corporations out of the taxing pool? Government is not evil and can be more efficient than private industry. Medicare is just one example of that.
    You complain about too much money in the system and too many lobbyists and yet you want to privatize everything. Don’t you think these same monied interests would be present at the state level? Who do you think you are fooling? Not me, but maybe yourself?

  5. rafflaw:

    some things government does is constitutional. Werent most major roads turnpikes at the beginning.

    Most everything can be done in the market by private industry.

    Why do we need a DMV? A private company can test a person just as easily, same with license plates.

    Why do we need a Federal Highway Administration and State DOT’s as well? All of that can be done by private for profit companies. Problem is too much money connected to highways and their lobbyists have more money than my lobbyists.

  6. Gyges:

    “If Woman’s suffrage is so great, why didn’t IT get codified till 1893?”

    Totally different issue, so is slavery. Those were correct applications of the Constitution.

    I can understand why you dont know the difference.

  7. Gyges,
    I don’t understand why moar would call the Republican controlled House a bunch of jerkoffs. Maybe he was a former House page?

  8. Buddha,

    The question is, when confronted by an obvious logical fallacy using an obviously false premise, which do you address?

    I figured someone else would pick up on the false premise. Looks like I got it right.

  9. I guess moar doesn’t want to pay taxes at all. I am guessing that he is working for one of the coporations that do not pay Federal taxes.
    The Constitution and the law are two silly things that the Right doesn’t think they need to bother with, unless it helps them get more concessions in taxes.

  10. “Just because a bunch of jerk-offs in the house and senate made it so doesn’t mean it is correct,” however, it does make it the law whether you disagree with it or not.

    Every form of governance operates off of tax revenues with the only appreciable difference being how those taxes are collected and from whom.

    The powers to tax and spend for the common good are well established within the Constitution itself and the relevant case law. If you have a problem with the Constitution?

    Saudi Arabia is that way ———–>

    Don’t the the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Aim for the head. But given your trollish nature, I can understand if you have a targeting problem.

  11. I would ask why, if taxation of labor is such a great thing, it took over one hundred years to codify it?

    Just because a bunch of jerk-offs in the house and senate made it so doesn’t mean it is correct, it only means a bunch of thugs made it legal to pick the pockets of the American people.

    Privatize everything and let people pay for what they need.

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