Zero, $2.671 billion—what’s the diff?
Contrary to multiple news reports in 2011 that fingered General Electric as an income tax dodger during 2010, a GE representative told The Daily Caller the company did in fact pay more than $1 billion in U.S. taxes that year. Additionally, a document GE provided to TheDC establishes that the company paid $2.671 billion globally in income tax in 2010.
The document, a two-page chart from GE’s audited financial statements, turns on its head a strange corporate-accountability episode that began with an erroneous New York Times story.
The Times’ David Kocieniewski reported on March 24, 2011 that the company’s ”American tax bill” was “None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.”
Kocieniewski has gradually amended his take on GE’s income tax situation without the Times ever retracting or correcting the original story. On August 31, 2011 he reported that GE officials “expected to pay a small amount of cash taxes.”
Then, in a September 10, 2011 story about tax breaks for video game companies, Kocieniewski explained — correctly — that “[n]either corporations nor the government make tax returns public, and the information most companies disclose in their regulatory filings is insufficient to determine how much they pay in federal taxes and how that compares to the official United States corporate rate of 35 percent.”
Even that small admission took six months. It’s taken almost a year to set the record straight—no thanks to the “paper of record”.
But we Bloodthirstanis are conflicted. Nothing makes us happier than the NY Times shown to be the partisan rag that we know it is. And this tiresome class war against evil corporations (and those nefarious “jobs” they provide) can’t end soon enough.
However, Jeffrey Immelt, head honcho of GE, is one of Obama’s chief corporate butt-boys. And the zero-tax story played into the crony capitalism meme so dear to us. To learn that GE paid plenty of taxes after all fits with our understanding of the world (however much it may make a liberal tilt his head like a puzzled dog), but it tarnishes our image of Obama and his millionaire and billionaire supporters as an economic junta.