G.E. 14 Billion No Tax Profit

Feingold Speaks Out On Immelt/GE Fiasco:

Barack Obama, Jeffrey Immelt

Barack Obama, Jeffrey Immelt

You have probably heard that the General Electric Corporation made about $14.2 billion in profits last year, and that didn’t pay a single penny in taxes on that huge profit. Even worse, they actually got the government to give them $3.2 billion. That’s not just wrong, it’s absolutely obscene!  And GE’s absurdity doesn’t stop there. They have doubled the already enormous salary of their CEO, Jeffrey Immelt. Now a reasonable person might think that a company with a profit of $14.2 billion and no tax bill would not only reward their management but also all of their workers. But that would be wrong. The company is now planning to ask their employees to take cuts in pay and benefits. This has to be the very definition of greed gone out-of-control.  But what really defies belief is that President Obama has now appointed GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt to be the chairman of the White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. That’s right. The CEO of a company that made $14.2 billion in profit and still wants to cut wages and benefits for its workers is going to be giving jobs advice to the president. That’s like asking the fox how to build a safe and secure chicken coop!  Well, Russ Feingold doesn’t think this makes much sense either. Here’s what he has to say about this fiasco.  It’s everything that’s wrong with corporate power today.  News broke last week that General Electric, America’s largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes — that’s right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.  But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.  That’s wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits — and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled — should not lead the administration’s effort to create jobs.  We cannot stand by and watch while we are led down this road. Mr. Immelt must step down from the president’s jobs panel — and if he won’t, President Obama needs to ask for his resignation.  How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce? And under Immelt’s direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes.  All of this at a time when Fox News and the right wing are demonizing public workers, like teachers, as the cause of our economic problems.  It’s time for policymakers to stop coddling corporate interests, and get to work creating jobs and wealth for Main Street. We shouldn’t reward wealthy CEOs and Wall Street for behavior that undermines the nation’s economy.  President Obama has been talking about how we must “win the future,” and I agree with him in that goal. Jeffrey Immelt is not the person for that job.

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