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Tax loopholes benefit GE

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During NBC’s 2014 Olympics coverage, General Electric commercials show a cute kid proudly talking about what her mom does at GE. These slick public relations ads give one a warm, fuzzy, positive feeling about GE and their corporate slogan, “Imagination at Work,” confirming that GE symbolizes everything that makes America great.

Here are some facts GE may not want viewers to know. According to Citizens for Tax Justice’s Feb. 27, 2012, story “GE’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether” and the New York Times in March 2011:

• From 2006 to 2011, GE’s net federal income taxes were negative $3.1 billion, despite $38.2 billion in pretax U.S. profits over those six years.

• From 2002 to 2011, GE’s effective federal income tax rate on its $81.2 billion in pretax U.S. profits was at most 1.8 percent.

• Corporate lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting enabling concentration of profits offshore have reduced the corporate share of U.S. tax receipts from 30 percent of all federal revenue in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.

Big corporations, and the politicians and economists they bought through their lobbyists, campaign contributions and corporate-funded think tanks continually harp that the 35 percent U.S. corporate tax rate cripples American companies because they can’t compete with foreign businesses whose tax rates are lower, never mentioning that the effective tax rate is nowhere near 35 percent.

GE’s giant tax department, consisting of former Treasury, IRS and Congressional tax-writing committee officials, uses aggressive strategies to reduce its tax liability. It is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm.

GE and other multinational corporations benefit greatly from federal tax dollars spent on our military, which protects their investments both here and abroad, our infrastructure, including roads, bridges, airports, water and sewer, our public schools that provide them with an educated workforce, and a myriad of other services.

Contact U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (855-585-4251) and U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (202-224-5323) and Tammy Baldwin (202-224-5653) to ask them what corporate tax loopholes they propose to close in order to assure GE and other big companies start paying their fair share of federal taxes.

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