TAX DODGING FOR FUN AND PROFIT

I look at GE, and I think, gee, how does it get away with that?

I look at GE, and I think, gee, how does it get away with that?

Then I remember, oh yeah – it has a horde of Washington lobbyists and it hands out bales of campaign cash to key congress critters. That’s how General Electric and other multinational conglomerates get our tax laws rigged so the rates they pay are a fraction of what you and I have to pay.

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Actually GE paid less than a fraction. Even though the corporation had income totalling more than $10 billion, it paid nothing into our national treasury on April 15. Indeed, it paid less than zero, for it is getting a billion dollar tax rebate!

This is due to a loophole called “transfer pricing” – a bit of accounting hocus pocus that transfers corporate profits to subsidiaries in low-tax countries abroad, while ascribing GE’s expenses to operations here. Incredibly, one General Electric subsidiary posted a $6.5 billion loss in the U.S. last year but showed a $4.3 billion profit overseas. Overall, GE has $84 billion parked indefinitely in offshore accounts, thus dodging its fair share of taxes needed for the upkeep of our nation.

President Obama is calling for repeal of this overseas tax dodge, and of course the tax dodgers are howling. One corporate-funded front group, The Tax Foundation, even claims that, “The average Joe should be in favor of lower corporate taxes.” Why? Because, says a spokesman, by avoiding taxes, outfits like GE can raise wages and lower consumer prices.

Huh? Is he stupid enough to think we’re that stupid? Corporate chieftains are slashing wages, moving our jobs to cheap-labor countries, and raising consumer prices as fast as they can – while pocketing outrageous salaries and fat profits. Let’s at least make them pay their tax bills, like the rest of us Americans do.

“What The Top U.S. Companies Pay in Taxes,” www.forbes.com, April 1, 2010.

“Tax Foundation,” www.sourcewatch.org, April, 2010.

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