Once again, General Electric has crossed its t's and dotted it's i's, and lo and behold, didn't end up paying any taxes this year. This is a mockery of the tax system and highlights the need for corporate tax reform.
I pay taxes, you pay taxes, and chances are, both of us brought in less than 14 billion in profits during 2010. If G.E. alone, never mind all the other mega-corps doing the same thing, if G.E. alone paid their fair share, what would that allow our government to pay for? Probably plenty of the things that are going to get cut by the deficit hawks. Making matters worse is the ham-handed way the administration is handling questions regarding the cognitive dissonance of having such ties to the C.E.O of General Electric. Below is an excerpt from ABC News, where Mr. Carney would have looked better if his hair had spontaneously combusted and forced him from the room, screaming in terror.
"TAPPER: GE, in 2010, made more than $14 billion in profits, 5 billion of those here in the U.S., and yet GE paid no taxes last year. Given that the CEO of GE is the head of the president's competitiveness and jobs council, I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on their paying no taxes last year, as opposed to probably every single person in this room.
CARNEY: I hope so. But the -- look, I -- Jake, I'll just tell you.
TAPPER: Front page of The New York Times.
CARNEY: But I -- but I can -- I've read the story. The president has said that he is committed to corporate tax reform.
TAPPER: Does it bother him?
CARNEY: I haven't spoken to the president about this.
TAPPER: Why appoint to the head of the competitiveness and jobs council a person who is now the poster child for using the system to get out of paying taxes?
CARNEY: The job council and competitiveness council is designed for just that.
TAPPER: But is there a perception problem at all for the president? He says he wants to take on this issue, and yet --
CARNEY: He very much wants to take on this issue.
TAPPER: It's the second year in a row that GE didn't pay any taxes, and yet he appoints the CEO to the head of his competitiveness and jobs council is -
CARNEY: I think the issue, Jake, is --
TAPPER: -- that the American people --
CARNEY: No, because the president is very committed to addressing this issue.
TAPPER: So much so that he puts the CEO of GE at the head of the Jobs and Competitiveness Council?
CARNEY: Look, I think, you know, Jake, we can do this five or six times, but he is committed to corporate tax reform..."
The administration either needs to make G.E. pay, or they need to distance themselves. End of story.