By now, it is pretty well known that General Electric, a company that showed $14.2 billion in profit worldwide, paid no taxes. In fact, it not only paid no taxes, but got a $3.2 billion tax rebate.
Two reports by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy respectively, released since the end of October, show that GE wasn’t alone. Of the 280 most profitable U.S. companies, 30 of them paid “less than zero” taxes in the last three years, and 78 of them didn’t pay any taxes at all in at least one of the last three years.
Since these reports clearly show that corporate welfare exists, they have to be wrong and quickly discounted, right? The only welfare that exists in this country is given to lazy individuals who would rather sit on their butts than work.
The statutory tax rate for corporations in the U.S. is 35 percent, but by using a variety of legal tax loopholes put in place by lawmakers as payment for large campaign contributions, the 280 most profitable U.S. companies were able to whittle this down to an average of 18.5 percent. Only 71 of those companies paid more than 30 percent, clearly demonstrating a need for better lawyers and accountants.
Power company Pepco Holdings had the lowest tax rate in the nation, at negative 57.6 percent. That’s NEGATIVE 57.6 percent, meaning the company, which was already profitable, made more money AFTER it paid its taxes than before. How cool is that?
Wells Fargo received the most in welfare money among the 280 companies, raking in nearly $18 billion in tax breaks in the last three years. All 280 companies took in a combined $222.7 billion in welfare over the last three years.
These reports come as a bipartisan committee of six Republicans and six Democrats pretends to struggle over how to cut the U.S. budget deficit, even though it’s patently obvious how to everyone but those in power. This “supercommittee”, as it is has been called, has to come up with a plan by Nov. 23 to save at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years or risk tripping automatic budget cuts. These automatic cuts would slice deepest into defense spending. By the way, did you know we spend more on defense than all the other nations on this planet COMBINED? So, yeah, cutting defense spending would be a bad idea.
Rest assured, though, this committee will come up with a plan, and just in the nick of time too. It’s a supercommittee after all. Just you watch, a deal will be in place by midnight Nov. 23, avoiding the automatic cuts to defense and preserving the enormous profits of those who build bombs and guns and all the other machines of war. The deal will also preserve corporate welfare in every single way, and will instead cut assistance to poor and working class Americans who are, let’s face it, just being lazy.