Third Party & Independents Archives

The G.E.ttysburg Address

General Electric received $300 million in federal energy grants from 2000 to 2010 (and spent $19.5 million per year in the same time lobbying for more subsidies). That’s million, with an “M.”

General Electric posted more than $2.94 Billion in net profits for the fourth quarter of 2010. That’s billion, with a “B.”

General Electric and it’s appliance, agricultural and environmental subsidiaries received $5.38 Billion in federal subsidies in 2010. That’s also billion, with a “B.”

Incidentally, General Electric paid exactly zero dollars in taxes to the United States in 2010. That’s zero, with a “Z.”

How does a multi-billion-dollar corporation headquartered in America pay absolutely nothing in taxes? No business taxes? No permitting taxes for its operations and expansions? No zoning taxes for its locations? Simple: If you’re being paid by the federal government more in subsidies, grants and tax deductions than you would otherwise have to pay in a corporate-written and corporate-managed system that – somehow and miraculously – seems to benefit corporations more than any other entity.

GE was subject to a net total of $1.28 Billion in taxes, fees, tariffs and operational revenue for 2010. The federal government paid GE $5.38 Billion in subsidies in 2010. So, in actuality, you and I paid General ELectric $4.1 Billion in 2010, just for the august privilege of having the company grace us with it’s presence.

GE manufactures absolutely nothing in the United States anymore. Got that? Of GE’s 2,300-item product line, not one item is made in America. Only 19 percent of GE’s inventory is even *assembled* in the United States. So virtually all of GE’s production is outside of U.S. borders, and the company is paid Billions of our tax dollars, year after year, to do it. And what do we get for that money? We get 146,000 jobs sent out of the country and given to workers elsewhere. We get a relative 12.6 percent drop in GDP. We get a 14 percent increase in the baseline cost of GE products. And we get to see GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt a $4 Million bonus, on top of his $17.42 Million annual salary, plus a $6.2 million annual pension increase, plus 2 million shares of GE stock options. Oh, and Immelt’s compensation package does not include approximately $37 million in annual transportation, meals, lodging and expenses paid by GE.

So the next time you hear any politician from either party supporting free trade or the global economy, that politician is sending our jobs and our tax base overseas, and has been “rewarded” handsomely (albeit under the table) to do so.

In 2010, when Democrats were handed a several backside-lashing by voters, I thought the Democrats would have done something about all those ridiculous, pro-corporate/anti-worker agreements, but sadly, the velvet gloves of Congress stay on when it comes to our nation’s industrial “best and brightest.” There are whisperings in Congress entertaining the idea of creating new free trade agreements. Free trade and the global economy are good for poor, cheap labor countries that benefit from the influx of jobs paying them pennies compared to the dollars the American workers who once held those jobs were paid. Outsourcing benefits the few mega-wealthy who are able (and connected enough) to exploit the tidal wave of tax incentives and loopholes that were amplified by the Bush/Cheney “Jobs for America” program (which shipped 17.2 million jobs out of America to overseas locations. Outsourcing is great for the mega-rich and the ultra-poor, but it’s killing the American worker.

This isn’t a Democrat problem. It’s not a Republican problem. It’s a problem which clearly demonstrates that nobody aspires to and reaches the senior-most levels of American government, regardless of which party they champion, without their campaign being generously donated to by some company or agency that expects – and receives – favors in return.

Oh, it might also interest you to know that, of the current 585 members of the United States Congress, GE and it’s subsidiaries donated some amount of money to the election campaigns or foundations of 377 of them, and that doesn’t include any undisclosed or front-company-blind donations, courtesy of the spiffy new “corporations are people, too” Supreme Court ruling.

As usual, our “honorable” elected officials and the White House – regardless of party-in-power – continues the decades-long campaign to ensure that a government of the corporations, for the corporations, by the people, shall not perish from the Earth.

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at March 29, 2011 11:26 PM
Comments
Comment #320837

This post seems so factual. It would be interesting to look into the source documents, but we know that you are less enthusiastic about that sort of thing. Sometimes the conclusions do not track with the source material, but the stories are better, right.

The not making one product in the U.S. would be a bit surprising to those people who work in GE manufacturing plants in the U.S. I suppose the fact that almost any product made anywhere now has components from an international supply chain is what led you to that conclusion. By those standards, Japan doesn’t make any cars and Germany doesn’t make any heavy machinery, but for the non-business person those kinds of things make sense.

All I know is that we used to own GE stock and it made good money during the time of Jack Welch. We sold it a few years ago because Jeffery Immelt is no Jack Welch. Lately, it has been a poor investment. Generally, you pay taxes when you make money and not when you don’t.

BTW - You are being fair in attacking GE, which Bill O’Reilly regularly attacks since it is way too close to Obama and the Democrats. I guess I understand that your dislike is bipartisan, with a left twist.

Posted by: C&J at March 30, 2011 8:56 AM
Comment #320838

I think that we need a Reagan moment. “Back in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan, a former pitchman in GE’s TV commercials and host of TV’s General Electric Theatre, was so astonished by the company’s ability to avoid paying income taxes that he told his Treasury Secretary, Donald Regan, “I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line.” Reagan then helped shepherd the 1986 tax reforms through Congress, pushing GE’s effective tax rate to 32.5 percent. However, through the lobbying efforts of GE and other companies, other tax breaks have emerged to replace those that disappeared 25 years ago. Corporations now pay only about 6.6 percent of federal tax receipts today, compared to about 30 percent in the 1950s” http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/GE-Bringing-Creative-Tax-Strategies-Light-57849-1.html

Posted by: Rich at March 30, 2011 9:03 AM
Comment #320839

You know, C&J, you’re getting to be a real pain in the ass with your constant “prove it” stuff. The links are in my blog post.

But if it’ll unbunch your knickers …

General Electric received $300 million in federal energy grants from 2000 to 2010 (and spent $19.5 million per year in the same time lobbying for more subsidies).

General Electric posted more than $2.94 Billion in net profits for the fourth quarter of 2010.

General Electric and it’s appliance, agricultural and environmental subsidiaries received $5.38 Billion in federal subsidies in 2010.

General Electric paid exactly zero dollars in taxes to the United States in 2010.

There, happy? Or are you going to meet my expectations and summarily dismiss all those source sites as not credible because they aren’t Fox News?

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 30, 2011 9:45 AM
Comment #320840

Oops, forgot one. Fortunately, this one *IS* from Fox News, so you’ll accept it unquestioningly.


the Bush/Cheney “Jobs for America” program (which shipped 17.2 million jobs out of America to overseas locations. Outsourcing is great for the mega-rich and the ultra-poor, but it’s killing the American worker.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 30, 2011 9:52 AM
Comment #320841
C&J wrote: “The not making one product in the U.S. would be a bit surprising to those people who work in GE manufacturing plants in the U.S. I suppose the fact that almost any product made anywhere now has components from an international supply chain is what led you to that conclusion. By those standards, Japan doesn’t make any cars and Germany doesn’t make any heavy machinery, but for the non-business person those kinds of things make sense.”


Oh goodness toodlums, whatever was *I* thinking?

GE has closed 29 factories in the last two years alone.

GE closes last American light bulb factory

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 30, 2011 10:10 AM
Comment #320842

“All I know is that we used to own GE stock and it made good money during the time of Jack Welch. We sold it a few years ago because Jeffery Immelt is no Jack Welch. Lately, it has been a poor investment. Generally, you pay taxes when you make money and not when you don’t.”

C&J I think the reason GE cuts it’s dividends was due to the GE finance division being backwards on loans during the financial crisis. I wonder how much Welch had to do with that? Perhaps the stock has not yet recovered from this, despite it rising from around $5 a share just 2 years ago to over $15 now.

I find it interesting you would defend GE yet take exception to teachers and municipal workers making a living wage.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 30, 2011 10:22 AM
Comment #320844
C&J wrote: “Generally, you pay taxes when you make money and not when you don’t.”

What part of $2.94 Billion in net profits do you consider not making money?

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 30, 2011 1:50 PM
Comment #320851


Forbes Magazine:

GE earned a $1.1 billion tax benefit while generating $10.3 billion in pretax income for the year.

Exxon Mobile reported a $45.2 billion profit, paid $15 billion in taxes, not one dime of it to Uncle Sam.

The GAO, found that “two out of every three American corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005.”

Posted by: jlw at March 30, 2011 3:44 PM
Comment #320852


At least 40% of the Senators are millionaires.

More than half of the House members are millionaires.

Posted by: jlw at March 30, 2011 4:00 PM
Comment #320857

jlw

With all due respect, I don’t have the numbers, but I would bet your numbers are conservative in count. I would have put a figure like this. If the congressperson has served six years or more, they are probably millionaires. Nothing to back that up, just a supposition.

Posted by: tom humes at March 30, 2011 4:53 PM
Comment #320859

j2t2

I am not defending GE. As I wrote, I voted with my feet a few years ago and sold GE stock. Jeff Immelt is a strong friend of Obama and GE supported Obama’s programs. I do not think firms should be that political.


GE management is firmly in the Obama corner. It is not my politics. What I am questioning is the blanket statements with conclusions that do not flow from the evidence. We had a post about the “ignorance” of the tea party based on a faulty interpretation of the statistics and a poor sample.

This is too common GE stock in 2007, BTW.


Gary

You were extrapolating again. The facts do not justify the sweeping conclusions. Facts are funny that way.

RE the articles - The closed the plant making incandescent bulbs why? Can you say government mandates?

As your other article mentions, you don’t pay taxes if you don’t earn money. GE’s American operations lost money. Its foreign operations earned money.

Finally - the article you quote from Fox is from 2004 and never mentions GE. How do you feel that supports arguments about GE today. This is one reason I question the sources provided. Evidence generally should be about the things you are trying to prove.

Generally, a corporation with lots of overseas operations incurs tax liability where profits are generated and not on the residence of your HQ. GE stock holders living in the U.S. were liable for any dividends paid. You may believe in some kind of extraterritorial taxation. It has been
tried, but it doesn’t work all that well in practice. How would it be if the U.S. could not tax a foreign based firm like BP or Toyota for it gains in our market if it lost money back home? We do not have a worldwide tax system. You maybe can write an article about why we need one, but that is a different extrapolation. The term you will be looking for, BTW, is “unitary tax”, if you want to work on it.

Remember when you said that you would defer to the MBAs on something like banking. Maybe this is close enough.


Re Fox – I do to Fox the same thing I do to others; I check the sources and evaluation the facts. I never accept anything on authority. It is a good thing if you really want to understand. Not so good if you want to shock, since the truth is often much less sensational, as we see here.

Finally, why the Shirley Temple “Oh goodness toodlums” speak? Presumably taking the PhD in biology provided a larger vocabulary.

Posted by: C&J at March 30, 2011 5:50 PM
Comment #320862

Another interesting thought, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, after receiving the pay, benefits, and bonuses, was appointed as one of Obama’s job czars, for the purpose of creating jobs. This is the same guy that was more than willing to ship GE jobs overseas. I might also add, GE is ivolved up to it’s eyeballs in GW green projects. From a new electric grid, to the sale of carbon credits, windmills, solar energy, and you name it. Should we distrust when GE is promoting Global Warming? You know the old saying, “follow the money”. I wonder how much money GE gave to Obama and the Dem coffers in 2008?

Posted by: 1776 at March 30, 2011 6:41 PM
Comment #320863

“GE To Make BILLIONS From Obama Cap and Trade Scheme

Breaking: O’Reilly reports that General Electric in the position to make billions from Obama’s Cap and Trade scheme and is lobbying heavily for it’s passage. Not only are they the largest wind turbine generator maker, they are going to profit heavily from the “cap and trade” credits as possibly the sole “secoindary market’ trader of these credits. Now do you understand the main stream NBC, MSNBC, CNBC fully supporting the Obama agenda, and the hate-filled, anti-conservative spew from their networks.

On tonights “The Factor”, O’Reilly reported that GE is embroiled in what perhaps could be the largest scandal in the history of this nation. Currently, GE and CEO Jeffery Immelt have spend millions in lobbying efforts to assure the passage of this dasturdly “cap and trade” proposal. And, as evidenced from the Shareholders meeting in Orlando, Immelt wasn’t in the mood for the boo’s and the questions that exposed the media bias from NBC and MSNBC (and CNBC) and their total shift from objective reporting to nothing but pure bias toward the Obama administration and their “cap and trade” scheme.”

http://thecommonconservative.com/?p=446

Posted by: 1776 at March 30, 2011 6:50 PM
Comment #320866

You know the old saying, “follow the money”. I wonder how much money GE gave to Obama and the Dem coffers in 2008?”
Posted by: 1776 at March 30, 2011 06:41 PM

Why 17, do you really think there is that much difference between the dems and the repubs when it comes to taking money from Corporate America?

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.php?cycle=2008&cmte=C00024869

Posted by: j2t2 at March 30, 2011 7:47 PM
Comment #320868

j2t2

Probably no difference between Democrats & Republicans when it comes to accepting money.

I have mixed feelings about some of these things. On the one hand, having a guy like Obama in the WH, who says the things the left likes but often does the right thing, is good because the left generally shuts up. On the other hand, leftists sometimes act out leftist fantasies.

Posted by: C&J at March 30, 2011 8:15 PM
Comment #320871

It is tough on those of us that lean left, C&J, with Obama in the white house. The only saving grace is when we stop and think what could have been had McCain/Palin been elected. With the crop of repubs out there vying for a seat in the oval office it looks so far that the best we can do is another term for Obama,IMHO. Seems the pickings are so slim on the right, speaking of acting out fantasies, what a crazy bunch,eh C&J.


Posted by: j2t2 at March 30, 2011 9:29 PM
Comment #320874

J2t2

I hope that Obama can improve with the discipline of the Republicans, as Clinton did. He is inexperienced, but probably a fast learner. He came around very quickly when the political winds shifted. I give him some credit for that. Unfortunately, I believe that in his heart he is a big government guy. His whole history shouts that.

There are several Republicans with significantly more experience than Obama, who really is not a very good president so far. My favorite is Christie, who says he will not run. He could beat Obama. I am not the others could win, but Pawlenty, Daniels, Romney or Huntsman would be better presidents. If Palin or Bachmann were nominated I would have to not vote at all.

Obama will have a fantastic pile of cash. He will run the first billion dollar campaign. No Republican will be able to match the money. I believe that Obama will prosper or not on the economy. If unemployment goes lower than when he took office (i.e. if it goes under 7%) he will probably win. If not, I think the American people will decide that Obama’s attempts to run the economy were just costly failures. I am not sure that is fair, since presidents do not have the power to manage the economy, but Obama built up his expectations so it is justice if he is hoisted on his own petard.

Obama’s economic plan helped make the recession shallower but at the cost of making it longer. His team did a poor job of estimating both the depth (no more than 8% unemployment) and the length. They thought it would be much shorter and they could claim credit by now. We are finally recovering, but employment will come back slowly, maybe not in time for Obama.

Posted by: C&J at March 30, 2011 10:15 PM
Comment #320877

“My favorite is Christie, who says he will not run. He could beat Obama.”

More experience are you serious? The guy is a lobbyist and corrupt politician who has been in court defending his political actions about every time he ran for office. He used the power of his office at the US attorney to influence elections. Just what we need another corrupt repub, as if we don’t have enough already.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 30, 2011 11:28 PM
Comment #320879

Obama has absolutly no experience and is in way over his head. Every decision he makes is based upon polls. He is about to get us in a real mess in Libya, and will lose any gains we made in Afghanistan or Iraq. He is seen as weak and indecisive and these are fatal traits when dealing with the Middle-East. Unemployment will not turn around because industry does not trust him. Fuel will continue to climb because he has no energy plan. He has the talk, but nothing to back it up. We should have a bull in the white house, but all we have is a steer. In other words, hillary has more balls than obama.

Posted by: 1776 at March 31, 2011 12:25 AM
Comment #320881

1776, why don’t you just stop the rhetorical crapola, call the man the N-word like you are obviously just aching to do, and get it over with.

If you’re going to continue to respond to my posts, I (and I suspect many, many others) would appreciate it if you’d make a valid, on-topic point instead of just spewing out your frightwing agenda talking point garbage.

C&J, why is it you never seem to demand evidentiary links from 1776 to support his asinine, blanket, go-nowhere claims?

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at March 31, 2011 1:26 AM
Comment #320883

Gary

1776’s only go-nowhere claim would be Hillary having balls. Only Bill could prove that and he last knew over a dozen years ago. I personally prefer that Bill do the Crock Dundee test at a news conference.

Why are liberals so afraid of another opinion or factual presentation? Does everybody have to agree with the NYT or Daily Kos to be correct? Hardly. Those two outfits and a myriad of others spew so much unblievable stuff. And done on a daily basis.

Posted by: tom humes at March 31, 2011 7:58 AM
Comment #320885

Gary

I got no dog in that fight. I go after the original extrapolations. That mess with the tea party polling made me suspicious of the source documents in general.

There is also a difference between things that are stated as opinions and those that are stated as facts. Your posts asserted facts that were not evident from the actual documents and/or the documents themselves violated the rules of evidence or statistics.

IF you stated that - in your opinion - tea party members are ignorant savages, people can disagree but cannot attack your sources. If, however, you say they are ignorant based on study with a bogus small sample, we can say that you are mistaken. Actually, we can say that it goes back to only your opinion based on your feelings.

The bottom line is that if you want to use a scientific method, it has to be valid. If you want to state opinion, no matter how vitriolic, people like 1776 have a right to counter with their opinions.

Posted by: C&J at March 31, 2011 9:08 AM
Comment #320889


The New World Order is highly dependent on corporate/market control of the legislative processes, both here and abroad.

Any questions?

Posted by: jlw at March 31, 2011 10:44 AM
Comment #320890

GSL, at a quick glance, I can find several of your “Opinions”, in the original post. In fact WB is an opinionated website.

Pertaining to the N-word; are you carrying the liberal mantra that anyone who criticizes obama is a racist? As an educated black man; I have the right to use the N-word more than any of you, but choose not to. So my suggestion to you is don’t try to use racism to win an argument. You simply make yourself look ignorant.

Posted by: 1776 at March 31, 2011 11:17 AM
Comment #320891

Addendum: I am using the “I” word.

Posted by: 1776 at March 31, 2011 11:19 AM
Comment #320906

GSL; now here is a man I can support, what about you? Of course, he is black and anything you say against him could be considered racism.

“Herman Cain speaks at a tea party event in Florida.

“The liberal mainstream media, notice how they have tried to destroy Sarah Palin. Notice how the more popular Michele Bachmann gets, the more they try to destroy her. You want to know why they go after those two ladies more viciously? Because they know that Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin is going to draw a lot of the women vote away from the Democrat Party. They are scared to death of that, if they were to run and get the nomination. They are doubly scared that a real black man might run against Barack Obama.”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/03/31/herman_cain_media_scared_that_a_real_black_man_may_run_against_obama.html

Posted by: 1776 at March 31, 2011 2:21 PM
Comment #320933


Of course Mr. Herman wouldn’t be owned by the corpocracy. If elected he would be the only politician in Washington not owned by the corporations.

Can he accumulate enough corporate dollars to secure the Republican nomination?

My party is more corpocracy than yours. No it’s not, mine is more corpocracy than yours by a long shot.

March, 2011, Congressional approval rating is back below 20%. That didn’t take long.

Great talking points. For a strong corpocracy vote in your favorite politician.

Posted by: jlw at April 1, 2011 11:57 AM
Comment #320934


Sarah Palin? Michele Bachmann? Women just love these two corpocracy candidates. The polls show that, not.

Posted by: jlw at April 1, 2011 12:17 PM
Comment #320945

No hump for Trump here. He suggests throwing a 25% tariff/find on China for manipulating their currency. Like the US dollar hasn’t been devalued to near worthless over the last 20 years.

I’d like to ask Trump why some 153 countries use the VAT for trade import/export and the US doesn’t. I recommend he read Pat Choate’s “Saving Capitalism” before he hits the campaign trail.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at April 1, 2011 6:05 PM
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