G.E. Management Aren't The Only Crooks Not Paying Their Fair Share-- Bernie Sanders Exposed The 10 Worst Tax Cheats In America
That clip above is from a senatorial “Back Off Social Security" rally to rescue Social Security from the clutches of the deranged House Republicans. I liked what Bernie had to say-- as usual-- but other senators participating included Harry Reid, Al Franken, Tom Harkin and Richard Blumenthal. Obviously I wouldn't expect corporate shills like Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor or Joe Manchin at this kind of event but any Democrat who thinks he or she has a higher priority than saving Social Security ought to state what it is and exactly how it kept him or her from the rally. Paul Ryan's Wall Street proposal to begin dismantling Social Security through partial privatization would do exactly what Republicans are doing in every state they control-- wrecking the social safety net and disabling countervailing forces (be they government or unions, public media or even teachers) standing in the way of complete corporate domination of the nation-- a form of classic fascism, which is inevitably and always what right-wing ideology leads to.
As Bernie pointed out, just lift the unfair and ridiculous cap on payroll taxes so that the wealthy start paying the same as everyone else pays and Social Security is home free for eternity.
The day before the rally Bernie called on wealthy individuals and corporations to pay their fair share and called out the worst tax cheats by name, something few if any, other senators would ever even consider doing.
1) ExxonMobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings. [Note: Our post last April reported that ExxonMobil was owed $46 million by the IRS.]
2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.
3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.
4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.
5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.
6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.
7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.
8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.
9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.
10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.
This morning Russ Feingold, replaced by an outrageous corporate shill and no longer in the Senate but still fighting for ordinary working families, joined with MoveOn.org in demanding that GE's CEO step down as Obama's jobs chief.
It’s everything that’s wrong with corporate power today: News broke last week that General Electric, America’s largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes-- that’s right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.
But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. That’s wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits-- and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled-- should not lead the administration’s effort to create jobs...
How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce? And under Immelt’s direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes. All of this at a time when Fox News and the right wing are demonizing public workers, like teachers, as the cause of our economic problems.
It’s time for policymakers to stop coddling corporate interests, and get to work creating jobs and wealth for Main Street. We shouldn’t reward wealthy CEOs and Wall Street for behavior that undermines the nation’s economy.
Earlier this morning Joe Scarborough had his make-believe Democrat on to defend G.E. for not paying any taxes-- Harold Ford. Hopefully Ford isn't planning to move to Vermont, but let's make sure Bernie's campaign coffers will help him win his Senate seat next year-- or any other office he decides to run for. Remember, besides this real champion, the other night Jon Stewart reminded us about what also passes as our "champion"...
UPDATE: Think We Need An Investigation?
As Digby explained this morning, don't look to Republican House Investigator-in-Chief Darrell Issa, caught scamming earmarks for his own personal benefit, "is, and was, a crook. It's his defining characteristic. Why anyone thought it was good idea to put him in charge of an investigative committee is anyone's guess. (Maybe they just didn't have anyone better?)" Yeah, maybe... or maybe they just needed the most corrupt Member of Congress they could find for a job they hoped to turn into a McCarthy-like partisan goon squad that will ignore corporate power crushing the life out of America.