General Electric Profits Up 77% But Company Avoids Paying a Penny in Taxes

President Barack Obama has been unabashed in his close association with General Electric CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt, including naming him to head the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Obama has continued to shower such honors and attention on Immelt despite the fact that GE has avoided paying ANY taxes. Indeed, GE has demanded a tax benefit of $3.2 billion. Now, GE has posted a 77% increase in profits while paying less taxes than any of its factory workers.

Investors are doing well even if the taxpayers are getting killed. The company increased its quarterly dividend for the third time in the past year.

Immelt took the opportunity to declare “GE has emerged from the recession a stronger, more competitive company.” Of course, GE takes a different tact in avoiding any taxes.

GE is able to avoid paying any taxes by using its army of lobbyists to get tax breaks from Congress, which has proven again to be in the pocket of corporate interests. This is a bipartisan sellout as both parties have caved to such demands. The company also has used “creative” accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore.

Yet, Obama still embraces Immelt as a model CEO and repeatedly invites him to the White House to advise him and other companies on how to economic and business issues. Imagine the response of liberal members and commentators if George Bush relied so heavily on such a corporate figure. There were many such controversies and the press and commentators were outraged. Yet, once again, Obama is not viewed as a corporate shill or tool where Bush was denounced in the very same terms.

It should be a national scandal that a CEO who avoids any taxes should be given such a high-ranking position. Indeed, there should be hearings on how a company can get away with windfall profits while paying less in taxes than a waitress at a truck stop in I-95.

Source: WSJ

Jonathan Turley

110 thoughts on “General Electric Profits Up 77% But Company Avoids Paying a Penny in Taxes”

  1. And lest we forget we have private for profit prisons now.

    They are full of people busted for smoking pot – which to be clear makes them dangerous if you’re a pizza – and kids.

    Like the hundreds of kids sent to jail by former Pennsylvania Judges Mark Ciavarella Jr. and Michael Conahan who plead guilty to an elaborate kickback scheme in which they accepted $2.6 million in dirty money to boost profits at a juvenile detention center – owned by the for-profit PA Child Care, LLC – with rigged sentences for teens.

    Profit motives are simply inappropriate for the vast majority of civil public services.

  2. who was it that said “there’s not a dimes worth of difference between’em” (the democrats and republicans) in 1968.

    oh yeah george c wallace

    and puzzling

    the primary difference between private sector and public sector. the private sector has to show a profit. do we really want parks and recreation, the libraries, the highway dept. or prisons to show a profit.
    if you said yes to the prison system showing a profit just remember they tried that for blacks in the south after the civil war. oddly enough nobody ever seemed to get released.

  3. Raff,

    Eh, I’d say that’s more of an issue of Cartels then it is Monopolies.

    Governments and corporations are just tools. Neither is innately good or bad, only the uses to which they are put are. Personally I think the corporation tool is do for a major redesign, and the government tool is due for someone to restore it to factory specs.

  4. Gyges,
    I am with you. The corporations are spending millions to try to write the regs that puzzling claims creates monopolies. So who is creating those monopolies?

  5. “Monopolies are created by protections and regulation mandated by government, and are certainly not the work of free markets. ”

    Monopolies are caused by markets with high barriers to entry. While government regulation can fit that bill, so can many other factors. For instance, there could be a limited amount of a resource that only one firm controls access to, or an economy of scale to great for any new firm to overcome.

    This seems to sum it up pretty nicely.

    While the government can cause monopolies it’s incredibly simplistic to think that all monopolies therefore MUST be caused by the government.

  6. Mike Spindell wrote:

    … Under libertarianism there will be no restraints on Corporatists. The costs of these new pay services will keep rising as corporations become monopolies and will set prices so high that you will find the “average Joe” reduced to a serf, the middle-class a distant memory and your life reduced to poverty and fear.

    The reality across the nation is that ever-expanding government combined with extorting public sector unions have bankrupted small communities and entire cities. Monopolies are created by protections and regulation mandated by government, and are certainly not the work of free markets. Today we have a revolving door between global corporations (like GE and Goldman Sachs) and a government that writes regulation, contracts and tax law to favor these firms. This has nothing to do with the model of a free society or libertarian aspirations.

    For the record, the private sector is quite capable of providing common services. Consider Sandy Springs GA, and the others that have followed:

  7. I see the real problem here.

    You wouldn’t know “fair” if it bit you on the ass, Joey.

  8. It is because of stories like this that I believe that companies can do whatever they want without penalty. The fact is that GE didn’t break any laws. Their ‘fair share’ is what the law says and the law says that what is fair for them is a tax liability of $0.

  9. Jim @3:18p

    Then I take it you do not subscribe to curved grading in the distribution of grades.

  10. “When someone works hard and excels that doesn’t mean he should sacrifice to help those who don’t.”

    “God’s economic plan calls for both rich and poor to pay 10%. Who are we in America to think that any other plan that doesn’t show equality will work?”

    Just what God are you referring to Jim? The Christian, Jewish and Muslim God’s believe in helping others (sacrifice) through charity. These God’s believe that we ALL are responsible to aid our fellow humans. You obviously don’t believe in those tenets and you attempt to pervert them by your own blasphemous outlook.

    So when you talk of “God’s Plan,” you are merely trying to wrap your warped beliefs in a piety you don’t possess. Perhaps if you spent some time finding out the real meaning of the religion you seem to profess, you might realize the error of you ways, repent and actually learn that selfishness is a sin and not a virtue. I think, however, that the God you really worship is money/greed and to you its’ priests are those that possess it.

    That you are purportedly an educator only indicates that many who teach, have never learned. You are a hypocrite who presumes to lecture on that of which you are ignorant and do so with the smug
    unawareness of your own selfish nature. Repent!

  11. Jim,
    I guess I am chopped liver. I spoke to your educator comment at 3:53 concerning taxation and your “excelling” comments. I have to agree with Gyges that I could not make heads or tails out or your other point about achieving. The only thing that I can say about that is your analogy is a false one. We are talking about people in different occupations, all could be achieving high “grades” for their work in their respective occupations, but the market is paying less to some of those high achievers. You as an educator should understand that concept. There is nothing more important to our society than qualified, good teachers. Golden Apple teachers don’t make as much as hedge fund managers, why not?

  12. Jim,

    As a musician, I think you’re points as an educator is a seriously flawed analogy at best and a complete nonsequitur at worst.


    This is his supposed point “As an educator, I don’t give one set of students more points that another. I don’t take points away from those who achieve and give to those who don’t. All are equal!”

  13. Jim
    1, April 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm
    I like how nobody addressed my points as an educator. The reason is liberals have no answer for that one. #37 above


    As an educator (who obviously doesn’t have to do much work on Thursdays and Fridays … don’t move to Ohio ’cause Kasich will try to get you canned)you might be interested in knowing that many people have absolutely no idea to which post you are referring when you use a number as highlighted above because some browsers don’t list the posts by numbers. If you use date and time then everyone will be able to refer to the post you desire.

  14. I was only making a point of fair taxation occurs when all pay the same rate. Liberlas like to make excuses as to why someone should pay less but they can’t justify fairness in doing so.

  15. Back in the day if one resided in certain towns one had to pay a tax to support the town’s Congregational Church, whether or not one belonged to that church. The Constitution put an end to that sort of thing which is why using God as a guideline to public taxes is an anathema to real Americans.

  16. I like how nobody addressed my points as an educator. The reason is liberals have no answer for that one. #37 above

  17. If I am going to follow what some god has revealed to some human somewhere along the line when it comes to taxes I’m going to go with god telling me that Jim must pay all my taxes. It’s holy writ.

  18. “When you get you news from the mainstream media, you get the equivalent of TASS reporting to the citizens of the USSR.” (Mike Spindell)

    Excellent analogy

  19. Buddha,

    I wonder if poor Jim is aware of all the money the House of Representatives has “borrowed” from Social Security over the decades. Never mind … one doesn’t want to confuse the deluded lad.

    Between you and me, every congressman who ever voted to fund anything not related to Social Security with funds “borrowed” from Social Security belongs in prison.

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