1) EXXON MOBILE - Profits: $19 billion, US Taxes: ZERO
2) GENERAL ELECTRIC - Profits: $14.2 billion, US Taxes: ZERO
3) CHEVRON - Profits: $10 billion, US Taxes: ZERO
4) BANK OF AMERICA - Profits: $4.4 billion, US Taxes: ZERO
5) CITIGROUP - Profits: $4 billion, US Taxes: ZERO
IN ADDITION, THESE FIVE CORPORATIONS--WHICH LAST YEAR REPORTED PAYING ZERO TAXES ON COMBINED PROFITS OF MORE THAN $40 BILLION DOLLARS--ALSO CLAIMED REBATES FROM THE IRS OF OVER $5 BILLION.
Think about that for a second. While the country’s been reeling from a massive and devastating recession, a handful of America’s most profitable corporations paid no US taxes whatsoever on profits of over $40 billion. In fact, we gave them money!
No wonder CEO compensation jumped by 27% according to USA Today while average salaries for everybody else--as they have done for most of the last 30 years--remained essentially flat. Those CEOs and the companies they run have performed nothing short of a mathematical miracle.
While paying zero dollars in taxes to help reduce the deficit, they’ve managed to convince the rest of taxpaying America to:
a) Eliminate collective bargaining for nurses, teachers, cops and firefighters,
b) Cut the top tax rate for millionaires and billionaires from 39% to 35%,
c) Give corporations huge tax incentives to ship American jobs overseas, and
d) Cut billions of dollars of domestic spending for society’s most vulnerable citizens.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
During the past two years in a terrible economy corporate profits have been steadily rising across the board. What is their secret? Simple. Lay off seven million Americans. Cut or cap the salaries of everybody left in the workplace. Charge $3.60 a gallon for gasoline. Pay no taxes. Then reach into the public piggy bank and grab billions more in tax rebates!
For one percent of America, the term “terrible economy” refers to how badly they claim to feel after taking your job and shipping it to China.
For the rest of us, it refers to a tax system that helped and encouraged them do it.