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The head of GE--for decades an American standard--says that a deal must be reached to avoid the "fiscal cliff." If something is not done, we will be in for a world of hurt because there will be great uncertainty in the private sector and immense pain for those whose taxes will skyrocket. From Politico:
“The millions of people that work for us, their lives are in flux,” he said. “And this is incredibly critical that we get it done now.”
True, yes. But Jeffery Immelt is also pushing not for cuts but for higher taxes on payers, not closing loopholes, the things that allow the company to avoid paying their "fair share." From FactCheck.org:
The claim about GE paying no taxes stems from a March 24, 2011, story in the New York Timesheadlined “GE’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether.” It was part of a 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning series titled “But Nobody Pays That” by David Kocieniewski.
According to the New York Times story, GE reported U.S. profits of $5.1 billion in 2010 (and $14.2 billion worldwide). “Its American tax bill?” asked the Times. “None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.” The company accomplished this, the story said, due to “an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore.”
The second part of the claim, that GE received billions in rebates and refunds was later found to be innacurate. Still, the company doesn't pay in. That's far from "fair." And Immalt's claims, which unsurprisingly mirror the President's views (despite the fact that Immelt soured on the President after serving on his jobs commission). Immelt was with Charlie Rose on CBS:
ROSE: So the President is right in asking for more revenue and therefore not extending the Bush tax cuts to those more than $250,000?
IMMELT: Look, at Bowles-Simpson, there's not been one commission that says we can do this just on spending cuts. There's going to have to be revenue. I think Speaker Boehner is the only guy that can lead us in that. He is the only guy that can lead us–
ROSE: He's got to take the Republicans in the House of Representatives and make the deal.
IMMELT: He's got to take the heat—he's got to take the heat, and I trust that he can do it.
Immelt isn't recognizing that the outsized spending increases since 2007--since the recession began--are the primary source of our current problems. Raising taxes is a stopgap solution that doesn't fill any gap whatsoever.