Corporate Welfare Queens

Five corporations during a five-year period, 2008 – 2013, epitomize Corporate Welfare.  These five had combined profits of $202 Billion and paid out CEO compensation of $450 Million ($638 Million if you count the one-time $188 Million Golden Parachute handed out to Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell Jr in 2006.

These Welfare Queens hid so much of their profits in offshore tax havens, they deprived the US Treasury of $50 Billion.  To quote salespeople on TV: “But wait! There’s more!”  You, the taxpayers of the United States, gifted these corporations with your hard earned money; they collected $6.2 Billion.             * I don’t remember them ever telling me “Thank You”.

 

Now keep in mind:  this is only five corporations over a five-year period.  Think if we add the next 95, or the next 495 top corporations.  How many trillions of dollars over a twenty-year period have they stolen?  If these Welfare Queens paid their fair share, even ten percent as opposed to -2 percent, this country would be on a firm financial footing.  The USA can afford:

– Universal Healthcare

– Four years of tuition free college and the end of crippling student debt

– Rebuilding Infrastructure: roads, bridges, waterways, etc.

– A living wage of $22 per hour as the minimum wage

– No National Debt nor Deficit

 

Instead, the CEOs of the corporations listed below, are members of a Business Roundtable that wants to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to 70, cut Social Security and veterans’ benefits, increase taxes on working families, and cut corporate taxes even further.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the top Five Corporate Welfare Queens.

 

  1. General Electric

During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve provided GE with $16 billion in financial assistance, at a time when its CEO Jeffrey Immelt was a director of the New York Federal Reserve.  GE has been a leader in outsourcing decent paying jobs to China, Mexico and other low-wage countries.  Mr. Immelt has a retirement account at General Electric worth an estimated $59 million and made $19 million in total compensation last year.

From 2008 to 2013, while GE made over $33.9 billion in United States profits, it received a total tax refund of more than $2.9 billion from the Internal Revenue Service.  In 2012, GE stashed $108 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying income taxes. If this practice were outlawed, GE would have paid $37.8 billion in federal income taxes that year.  G.E.’s effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over this six-year period was -9 percent.

 

  1. Boeing

Boeing is one of the top recipients of corporate welfare in the United States and has outsourced tens of thousands of decent paying jobs to China and other low-wage countries.  Boeing even has its own taxpayer-funded bank known as the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Boeing has received so much corporate welfare from this bank that it has been dubbed “the Bank of Boeing.”  Boeing CEO W. James McNerney, Jr. made $23.3 million in total compensation last year.

From 2008 to 2013, while Boeing made over $26.4 billion in U.S. profits, it received a total tax refund of $401 million from the IRS. Boeing’s effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over this six-year period was -2 percent.

 

  1. Verizon

In 2012, Verizon stashed $1.8 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Verizon would owe an estimated $630 million in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance was eliminated.  In 2013, Lowell McAdam, the CEO of Verizon made $15.8 million in total compensation.

From 2008 to 2013, while Verizon made over $42.4 billion in U.S. profits, it received a total tax refund of $732 million from the IRS.   Verizon’s effective U.S. corporate income tax rate over this six-year period was -2 percent.

 

  1. Bank of America

In 2012, Bank of America operated more than 300 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands, which has no corporate taxes.  In 2012, Bank of America stashed $17.2 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Bank of America would owe an estimated $4.3 billion in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance strategies were eliminated.  Last year, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan made $13.1 million in total compensation,

Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS in 2010, even though it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of more than $1.3 trillion.

 

  1. Pfizer

In 2012, Pfizer stashed $73 billion in profits offshore and has used aggressive offshore tax strategies to avoid paying U.S. income taxes.  Ian Read, the CEO of Pfizer, made $17.7 million in total compensation last year.  Hank McKinnell, Jr., who was Pfizer’s CEO from 2001 to 2006, received a golden parachute from Pfizer worth an estimated $188 million.

Pfizer, one of the largest prescription drug companies in America, not only paid no federal income taxes from 2010 to 2012, it received $2.2 billion in tax refunds from the IRS at the same time it made $43 billion in profits worldwide.

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