G.E. Made $14.2 Billion in 2010. Its Tax Bill? $0

It’s almost tax time, when millions of Americans pore over their earnings and decide how much they owe Uncle Sam for all of the roads and policemen and such. Do we like doing it? No, but we understand that we need to do it (at least on some level) to maintain a functional society. That’s why it’s so upsetting when we hear stories like this one from the NY Times, who reported that G.E., despite making $14.2 billion, paid absolutely nothing in taxes last year. Zero. Nada. Zilch. In fact, the company claimed a tax benefit of  $3.2 billion.

How’d they do it? No, they didn’t make a $14.2 billion donation to the Red Cross. Instead, they employed one Mr. John Samuels, a former treasury official whose tax firm’s motto is, appropriately enough, “Imagination at Work.” What are these imaginative solutions? One is intense lobbying; the Times describes a particularly suspect incident in which Samuels gets down on one knee in front of disgraced congressman Charlie Rangel, then chairman of the Ways and Means committee, before he lead the vote on whether or not to extend a vital tax shelter for G.E. The shelter was extended and (surprise, surprise!) G.E. donated $11 million to benefit schools in Rangel’s district.

The company also excels at inventively concentrating its profits, even if they’re made here, offshore. While the particular case of G.E. is disturbing, the Times points out that this is something of a trend: “Such strategies, as well as changes in tax laws that encouraged some businesses and professionals to file as individuals, have pushed down the corporate share of the nation’s tax receipts — from 30 percent of all federal revenue in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.” Apparently cutting the deficit doesn’t mean making corporations pay their taxes–something activist groups like UK and U.S. Uncut are trying desperately to fight . Companies spend heavily on lobbying Washington for tax breaks; over the last decade, G.E. alone has spent $200 million.

So, what do the American taxpayers get in exchange for G.E. paying $0 in taxes? Well, since 2002, the company has cut 1/5th of its U.S. workforce while increasing employment overseas. You’re welcome, America! You know the problem is bad when people are invoking the name of Ronald Reagan as a voice for more government regulation when it comes to corporate tax dodgers. The Gipper actually closed many tax loopholes that G.E. was using, raising their tax rate to 32.5 percent back in the ’80s.

“Cracking down on offshore profit-shifting by financial companies like G.E. was one of the important achievements of President Reagan’s 1986 Tax Reform Act,” said Robert S. McIntyre, director of the liberal group Citizens for Tax Justice, who played a key role in those changes. “The fact that Congress was snookered into undermining that reform at the behest of companies like G.E. is an insult not just to Reagan, but to all the ordinary American taxpayers who have to foot the bill for G.E.’s rampant tax sheltering.”

When unions are getting decimated and austerity measures are hurting ordinary Americans, is it too outrageous to ask corporations to simply pay their fair share in taxes? If the deficit is such a big issue, why aren’t we going after corporate tax dodgers as well as cutting government spending? Middle-class families can’t afford big, expensive tax law firms, yet they’re the ones who have to suffer when government services are cut, while G.E. CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who pulled in $15.2 million in executive compensation in 2010, probably won’t notice when low-income families lose their subsidies for heating their homes. A robust democracy requires that everybody plays by the rules; when corporations game the system, it means that all of us, from kids who have to learn in more crowded classrooms to future generations saddled by a huge national debt, lose.

Follow the Utopianist on Twitter and Facebook.

Photos: trawin, Flickr, CC; Alotor, Flickr, CC

About Keith Wagstaff

Keith Wagstaff is a journalist living in New York City. He received his degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California and his work has appeared in such publications as The Village Voice, Newsday, The Huffington Post, Kilimanjaro Arts Journal, The L Magazine and others.

200 thoughts on “G.E. Made $14.2 Billion in 2010. Its Tax Bill? $0

  1. 152808 391081Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he really bought me lunch as I discovered it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! 359614

  2. 896452 828229 You produced some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the concern and identified most individuals will go along with along with your internet site. 115889

  3. 636284 522142These kinds of Search marketing boxes normally realistic, healthy and balanced as a result receive just about every customer service necessary for some product. Link Building Services 577335

  4. 459718 362638I genuinely enjoy your web site, but Im having a issue: any time I load one of your post in Firefox, the center of the web page is screwed up – which is bizarre. Might I send you a screenshot? In any event, keep up the superior work; I certainly like reading you. 931410

  5. 742046 833837This will likely be a terrific weblog, would you be interested in performing an interview about just how you developed it? If so e-mail me! 373452

  6. 128239 384005magnificent post, extremely informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You need to continue your writing. Im certain, youve an excellent readers base already! 385055

  7. 734010 871555Hello there, just became alert to your weblog by way of Google, and identified that it is genuinely informative. Im going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate in case you continue this in future. A lot of men and women is going to be benefited from your writing. Cheers! 931037

  8. 878357 550374I discovered your blog website on google and check just a couple of of your early posts. Proceed to maintain up the outstanding operate. I just extra up your RSS feed to my MSN Info Reader. Seeking forward to reading much more from you in a whilst! 25055

  9. 469709 122294The vacation delivers on offer are : believed a selection of some of the most selected and moreover budget-friendly global. Any of these lodgings tend to be extremely used along units might accented by means of pretty shoreline supplying crystal-clear turbulent waters, concurrent with the Ocean. hotels packages 592628

  10. 854984 276583Hi this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. Im starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 922528

  11. 505072 309869Does your web site have a contact page? Im having trouble locating it but, Id like to send you an email. Ive got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, fantastic blog and I look forward to seeing it develop over time. 378670

  12. 549955 822664Thank you for your style connected with motive though this data is certain spot a new damper within the sale with tinfoil hats. 868635

  13. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it?s driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  14. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended
    up losing a few months of hard work due to no backup.
    Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

  15. It is the best time to make a few plans for the longer term and it’s time to
    be happy. I have read this submit and if I may I desire to recommend you some interesting
    issues or tips. Maybe you can write next articles regarding this article.

    I want to learn more things approximately it!

  16. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he?s tryiong none the less. I?ve been using Movable-type on various websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  17. Greetings! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering should you knew where
    I could possibly find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m utilizing the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?

    Thanks a great deal!

  18. We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done an impressive task and our entire group can be grateful to you.

  19. This design is steller! You most certainly know how
    to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and
    more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  20. Hi I am so happy I found your blog, I really found you by mistake,
    while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like
    to say many thanks for a remarkable post and a all round exciting blog (I also
    love the theme/design), I don’t have time to
    go through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added your
    RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more,
    Please do keep up the fantastic job.

  21. Wonderful website. A lot of helpful information here.
    I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious.

    And naturally, thanks for your effort!

  22. Hi just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the
    same results.

  23. I was suggested this blog through my cousin. I’m no longer sure whether this put up is written by means of him
    as nobody else know such certain approximately my difficulty.
    You are wonderful! Thanks!

  24. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this
    information for my mission.

  25. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with
    the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or
    did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing,
    it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  26. It’s really a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that you just
    shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like
    this. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know
    a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two
    different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  28. Link exchange is nothing else except it is simply placing the other person’s
    weblog link on your page at proper place and
    other person will also do same in favor of you.

  29. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  30. I have been surfing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It is pretty value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the internet will
    probably be much more useful than ever before.

  31. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Spending some time and actual effort to generate a very good article… but
    what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t
    manage to get anything done.

  32. Hey There. I discovered your blog using msn. This is a very
    well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your useful info.

    Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  33. Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is just excellent and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject.

    Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up
    to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  34. Superb blog! Do you have any helpful hints for
    aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a
    little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a
    free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed
    .. Any ideas? Cheers!

  35. I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit
    the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough
    men and women are speaking intelligently about.

    I’m very happy I came across this during my hunt for something concerning this.

  36. Right now it seems like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform available right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  37. I’m extremely impressed with your writing
    skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this
    a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see
    a great blog like this one these days.

  38. Somebody necessarily help to make significantly articles I’d state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and up
    to now? I surprised with the research you made to create
    this particular put up incredible. Fantastic process!

  39. What’s up colleagues, how is the whole thing,
    and what you wish for to say concerning this paragraph, in my view its in fact
    remarkable in favor of me.

  40. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I
    can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking
    about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any tips or suggestions? With thanks

  41. If some one wants expert view regarding blogging and site-building afterward i suggest him/her to pay a quick visit this webpage, Keep up the
    pleasant job.

  42. Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your site is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  43. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on. All the best

  44. No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, so he/she wishes to
    be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

  45. It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of info.
    I’m happy that you shared this useful info with us.

    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  46. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He used to be totally right. This publish truly made my day. You cann’t consider simply how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thank you!|

  47. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I
    had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any recommendations for inexperienced blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  48. Hello! I’ve been following your website for a long time
    now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the great job!

  49. Great items from you, man. I’ve consider your stuff previous to and you are simply too great.
    I actually like what you’ve got right here, really like what you are saying and the best way by
    which you assert it. You make it entertaining and you still take care
    of to stay it smart. I can’t wait to read much more from you.

    That is actually a tremendous web site.

  50. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  51. Hi there to every body, it’s my first go to see of
    this webpage; this web site carries remarkable and genuinely fine data
    in favor of visitors.

  52. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing
    through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll
    be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  53. hello!,I really like your writing very so much!
    share we keep in touch more about your post on AOL?
    I require an expert on this space to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you!
    Having a look forward to peer you.

  54. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for rookie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.|

  55. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a variety of websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  56. Toronto being an expert in the information printing sector manages the customers effectively
    and also places in an efficient tag on the solutions it provides which
    is a remarkable point thinking about that the machines utilized
    in this process are extremely pricey and can actually
    up the stake on the overall price of the finished item.

  57. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed
    every little bit of it. I’ve got you book-marked to look at new things
    you post…

  58. I possess clients and associates that could find the article helpful. Is it ok to forward the article without entering into trouble? Generally the content articles are delivered to the community as a e-zine or an rss feed. I am not changing it or concealing the author, simple sending and saying “this might be appealing to you. “.

  59. I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome web site!

  60. Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I am going to forward this post to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!|

  61. From separate scientific tests in addition to their medical studies, these 2 ingredients
    when mixed with 8 different active natural skin lightening ingredients, supply a very safe and effective
    sun spot treatment solution.

  62. Additionally, you have to do not forget that cheaper
    just isn’t necessarily higher both, as there is a whole lot of scamming occurring internet hosting business and competitors is very fierce.

  63. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish
    be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since
    exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield
    this hike.

  64. F*ckin’ tremendous things here. I’m very happy to peer your article. Thank you so much and i’m looking ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  65. Hi !. I would really prefer to have an web store using blogger and paypal. Any ideas how to get it done? Could you make sure you give me step-by-step instructions? I appreciate it. Thanks a lot!.

  66. If you happen to plan on selling jewelry on-line,
    you need to make sure you know the materials.
    All jewellery sellers should know about the Federal Trade Fee’s Guides for both the Jewelry and Valuable Metal Industries.

  67. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a number of websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!|

  68. Cosmetics, as reality, are made out of harsh chemical substances, chemicals
    that might discoloration and dust the beads.

  69. Hi there, I discovered your website by means of Google whilst looking for a comparable topic, your web site came up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  70. Greetings I am so happy I found your blog page, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Yahoo for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a tremendous post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the excellent work.|

  71. As I look at the main courses meant for both apparently I can consider screen composing and film courses because my general major elective as a English major. While i choose a minor which can be innovative writing or film studies, I’m using a hard time because I want to pursue a career being a screenwriter for film like a secondary job for myself, yet wouldn’t Creative Writing assist with that?.

  72. I love to write innovative things such as poems and brief stories, yet I don’t know what I could do with all the creative composing degree… Besides an author or poet, what can I do with a innovative writing degree?.

  73. %Your body has hung onto those extra winter pounds for a little too long now. At the moment though, it seems unlikely that you will be removing your shirt in the near future.

  74. hey there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the site lots of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again very soon.|

  75. Somebody necessarily assist to make seriously articles I would state.
    This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far?
    I surprised with the research you made to create this particular publish amazing.
    Great process!

  76. Baseding on data from the strategy presented Tuesday to commissioners,
    the ordinary life span of sewage-disposal tanks is 25 years, depending on exactly how the septic
    system was set up, and also how it has actually been sustained.

  77. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you need to publish more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people do not speak about these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!|

  78. Im a pc engineering college student but we are planning to shift to other programs if pc engineering will not have a licensure/board exam.. i would like to be a authorized computer professional!.

  79. Washing it regularly avoids clogging, as well as you certainly do not want a commode or a bath tub supporting
    with septic tank components!

  80. As a result of the greater level of upkeep called for, some locations could only authorize these systems for use
    by numerous homes in bigger advancements that
    typically contract with an outdoors firm to manage
    the system – basically ending up being a miniature
    sewage-treatment plant.

  81. Hey this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have
    to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted
    to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  82. I made a couple of songs and I want to understand how to alter the copyright laws content with an MP3 document so I can share it online? I would like to add (p) Swagers Dojos (2009) towards the copyright articles and was wondering if it was possible. Any help is greatly appreciated.. Really still not really letting myself edit the copyright content. Ive noticed that some MP3’s I downloaded off the online have informal copyrights like ZOMG business. If you can’t help it’s okay.

  83. Wonderful post but I was wondering if you could write a litte moreon this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.Appreciate it!

  84. How come We get this? when using Firefox so when I have always been using Ie shows the things i is designed to get, (Wed), as the text. If you cannot find what I put down it is a small box with all the numbers twenty six and 20 inside of it.. Is there a fix meant for my problem?. Thanks ahead of time..

  85. Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact was a entertainment account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep in touch?

  86. I’ve truly asked my older sis countless times to file format my pc because Now i’m experiencing lag in the game I actually play. Btw, this pc has been formatted 4-5 moments. But whenever I request my sis to format my pc, she says no since she says that in case you format a pc too much, the computer itself gets slower than it already was. Are these claims true? Or is that the excuse to get out of formatting my computer because it removes her 2-3 hours?.

  87. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  88. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.|

  89. I have a wordpress blog now, yet I can’t figure out how to obtain readers into there! I have already been using myspace . com and it’s been great, subscribers like crazy, yet a lot of them you do not have wordpress… so no leads there. Besides, I have always been posting the same details to both, so it’s very little of a point of them getting one. How do i increase my wordpress audience? I currently utilize tags, but We still just got regarding 89 views in fourteen days…. Thanks in advance–serious answers only, please!.

  90. Based on taking part in a ‘No Win No Cost’ contract in conjunction with our Allianz Litigate insurance policy and adhering to your obligations under its terms.

  91. I actually created a brand-new user, opened Firefox, and there are only the default bookmarks. There is an “import” function, but it just offers to import Internet Explorer bookmarks. Can there be any way to copy/import among users on the same machine?.

  92. % Morgan Stanley calls it “the world’s most important car company,” and a 2014 nationwide survey found that
    Tesla’s Model S was the “Most Loved Vehicle in America. ”
    So how has Tesla flourished where others have flopped?

Comments are closed.