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Thread: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    GE's profits from operations in America.....$5.1 billion.

    GE claims a tax benefit (refund?) in America of $3.4 billion.

    Their motto seems to be.....screw the country, it's every man/woman/company for itself.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/bu.../25tax.html?hp

    This is clearly not just a "GE" issue.....ExxonMobil, Bank of America, and surely the big multi-national oil company that I work for have a legion of high priced tax lawyers to game the system.

    Hard to believe that you and I are paying more in taxes than the General Electric Corporation....etc, etc, etc.

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    The unintended consequences of attempting to exercise policy by influencing behavior and perform social engineering via the tax code.
    I think that tax avoidance specialist might have been the world's oldest profession if some other had not gotten there first.
    -bob

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    Talking Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Bob,

    Precisely! And 5% of US individual taxpayers pay 90% of the federal income taxes while the bottom 40% pay nothing. Ain't bureaucrats fun. Ain't congress fun. Ain't is a word ain't it. http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif

    Greg

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    GE and the others aren't violating the law. They're exploiting it. Our tax code is beyond repair. It needs to be discarded and replaced - much like most of our "elected" representatives.

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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    What most people fail to realize is that government regulations are so pervasive and punishing that it is a mystery to me how the economy continues. If the average citizen realized how much they "personally" pay for regulations, they would demand repeal immediately. The economy and jobs would come roaring back if we just repealed one fourth of the regulations. The market regulates the bad actors and government regulations are not needed, except for environmental ones.

    Greg

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    "GE and the others aren't violating the law. They're exploiting it."

    And well they should, since they probably paid good money to have it written.

    (Sardonic comment, yes?)

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    Member Rick Waldroup's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Bob,

    Precisely! And 5% of US individual taxpayers pay 90% of the federal income taxes while the bottom 40% pay nothing. Ain't bureaucrats fun. Ain't congress fun. Ain't is a word ain't it. http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif

    Greg
    This is pure BS, and you know it. If you do not know it, then do a little research and get back to us. It is easy to twist and spin numbers, the right are especially good at this. It furthers their lunatic agenda to place the blame for all of this country's woes on the backs of poor people.

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    Member Rick Waldroup's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    GE's profits from operations in America.....$5.1 billion.

    GE claims a tax benefit (refund?) in America of $3.4 billion.

    Their motto seems to be.....screw the country, it's every man/woman/company for itself.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/bu.../25tax.html?hp

    This is clearly not just a "GE" issue.....ExxonMobil, Bank of America, and surely the big multi-national oil company that I work for have a legion of high priced tax lawyers to game the system.

    Hard to believe that you and I are paying more in taxes than the General Electric Corporation....etc, etc, etc.
    Now, now, now, Gary, of course there is absolutely no problem with this. Geez, all of our problems can be traced to the working middle class, don't you know that? You know, the little guys that actually want a decent job with a decent wage- they used to be known as the middle class. Why, those folks are to blame for this mess. Don't you know this?

    How have you been, my old friend?

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Waldroup View Post
    This is pure BS, and you know it.
    Rick, what exactly are the numbers?

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    There are alot of statistics floating around about who pays personal income taxes, how much and the reality behind those numbers. All the stats I've seen have changed quite a bit during this, the Great Recession....when many people who were part of the tax paying middle class, have lost their jobs and are now earning next to nothing. In my mind, those folks are rightfully not paying income taxes. I am THANKFUL, very thankful, that I make enough money to pay income taxes.....and I hope I keep paying those taxes for years to come.

    But my original post wasn't really about personal income taxes.....it was about very large, profitable corporations that are paying NO corporate income taxes. If we are going to continue this discussion in a thoughtful, constructive and open frame of mind I'd like to keep it on that topic....and avoid this thread being shutdown by the moderators.

    Gary

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    That's true. This looks especially bad considering the cozy relations between the administration and GE's Immelt.

    The tax burden figures are actually easy to find, and they've not changed all that much.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    I agree with you on this one Robert.....this administration, as have many, if not all, before it, is way too cozy with corporate interests (including GE's Immelt), to the detriment of real people. I honestly don't know how this will change, given the immense power and influence of corporate money, on both sides of the political aisle. Perhaps that's why I always get such an ironic laugh out of comments that President Obama is a "socialist".

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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Waldroup View Post
    This is pure BS, and you know it. If you do not know it, then do a little research and get back to us. It is easy to twist and spin numbers, the right are especially good at this. It furthers their lunatic agenda to place the blame for all of this country's woes on the backs of poor people.
    Speaking as a card-carrying bonafide member of the right...
    Here is a little research. This is a report from the irs on distribution of income and tax payed by individuals.
    Please check out the last page. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/10winbulinincome.pdf
    There is no attempt to place the blame on anybody, just a demonstration of the numbers.
    thanks
    -bob

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....


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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Good Morning All

    I believe the financial problems faced by the U.S. are structural in nature. We will not have a true recovery until structural solutions are implemented. Unfortunately, the people who have the power to do this are too compromised to act. If there was ever an opportunity for a third political party to form, it is now.

    Paul

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Haha!

    "Before today, I'd actually never heard of this group," Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) told reporters. "But if Jack says they're worth my time, I'll take a look and see if maybe there are some areas where our interests overlap."

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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    The market regulates the bad actors and government regulations are not needed, except for environmental ones.

    Greg
    Sorry, I have to call BS on this. It was deregulation that led to the 2008 meltdown. With no regulation Wall Street runs amok, lining their pockets with no thought of the consequences. That said, I think that too much regulation is also a bad thing. We need just enough to ensure accountability and transparency.
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Dave,

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own over half the mortgages in the US. This "quasi" government guarantee led us to a housing crisis with their promise of a house for everyone when we all know it takes more than a pulse to qualify for a mortgage. Congress led us to the "fall" and the left stands like fools and blames the right. The true blame doesn't lie with anyone but the left-wing media who uphold everything the left does. If they weren't left-leaning and lazy they would do their job and actually report what we all know is the truth. Ronald Regan's policies gave us prosperity for a very long time. His only defense against the left-leaning press was to go directly to the people without media's talking points and filter. I remember when the main stream media would not give him air time for major addresses. It is hysterical how much the main stream media hangs on ever utterance of the left like the lap dogs they are.

    Rick,

    Of course the numbers are true. The left never fail their knee-jerk to name calling and the word "lunatic" always surfaces. Go to the IRS reports and you will find I was very conservative in my numbers.

    If we could have a civil discourse we might be able to solve our problems. But the left want to ignore facts and "believe what they want to believe".

    I know the facts, and it makes me sad to know what is in store for our country. It is very sad that the left will only learn from their knees where their current policies are taking us.

    I have no idea why I am writing this, because I know you will lash back with meaningless venom. People tell me the truth is its own defense so I will stand on that. This is my last post on this thread, and I am sure Dave and Rick will be glad for this.

    I do want to say that I graduated from college with a net worth of $200.00 having received nothing from anyone, including my parents, for the four years I was in college. So I am not coming from an ivory tower, but from the school of hard knocks. Leave me alone, and I will accomplish. Give me everything, and I will want more.

    Greg

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    We've been down this road before folks and the left/right, he said/she said blame game will only get this thread KO'd....and will not help one iota in either understanding or solving the financial problems we face in the US.

    Once again, I ask.....as the originator of this thread.....please keep it to the topic of corporate taxes and more specifically, corporations who make large profits and pay little or no corporate income taxes in the US.

    There's a lot to discuss on this topic alone.

    Here's one perspective from the Alaska oil industry. Thanks to Sarah Palin, state taxes on Alaska's oil industry increased dramatically when she was governor. Since that time, productive investments in Alaska's oil fields have dropped (despite high oil prices and increases in investments elsewhere in the US and the world), Alaska oil industry employment is down, production through the Trans-Alaska pipeline continues to fall and the risk of a shutdown of the pipeline increases year by year. There's a good case to be made for lower (still quite high, but lower) state taxes on the industry, if Alaska wants to see continuing investment in this state. I don't think the oil industry really needs to resort to deceptive statistics to make it's case and yet, it continues to throw out numbers that indicate/claim the oil industry is paying a full 35% of profits in federal taxes on Alaska oil production. Given the numerous federal tax credits and benefits associated with oil production in this country.....I find this very hard to believe. This is indicative of the way in which corporations (and people, for that matter) attempt to confuse the public by claiming their actual tax burden (based on their effective tax rate after credits, deductions etc) is the same as the statutory (or highest marginal) tax rate. It's no wonder that many Alaskan's distrust the oil companies (or corporations in general). Unfortunately, that distrust is likely to continue a state tax policy which will lead to the continued and unnecessary decline of oil investment in this state.

    <Slightly Off topic comment> The biggest impediments to "drill baby, drill" in Alaska aren't any environmental restrictions or policies from the Obama administration, contrary to Sarah Palin's claims (the oil company I work for isn't complaining about those at all), it's the tax policies that Gov. Palin pushed thru the Alaska legislature which may, eventually, kill the golden goose of oil development here in Alaska.....which provides approximately 90% of the state's general fund revenues.

    Gary
    Last edited by bensonga; 2nd April 2011 at 14:49.

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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    I'll leave the belief that the mess we're in is a left vs right issue to those who would rather circle the same old drain than work together on solutions. I don't count myself as either "left" or "right", BTW.

    The $5B company I work for doesn't pay a penny of Fed tax. Yet they benefit from the Fed-provided infrastructure such as highways, water(City-provided from Fed infrastructure), etc. I have been thinking that maybe it's time for a blanket, flat tax that applies as a minimum to corporations. This would not change any of the machinations, loopholes, shelters etc. but as the final calculation. Whatever the percentage -- I'm thinking 0.1% of gross revenue as a place to start discussing -- it would be a minimum tax assessed to any corporation. If, after all of the loopholes have been tallied, a corporation figures it owes no taxes, then this 0.1% would apply. In the case of the company I work at, this would be $5M. Pocket change for the principals when you see their automatic stock sales, and less than 1% of profits. In the event the corporation finds itself owing more than this percentage, it would not apply.

    I would like to see two conditions on this tax, that it must go straight to paying down the debt, not to bailouts, bonuses, the war de jour, etc. and must be accompanied by a commitment to pay down the debt with matching funds from the general budget to be freed up by cutting pork. The tax would expire with the debt.

    Disclaimer: I think what's really needed is some major belt-tightening but the people we have so unfortunately elected have no will to do so and will spend money like it's water until we kick them out.
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    Super Duper
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    I tend to agree with that, however, the US has the 2nd highest corp tax rate in the world...which explains why so many jobs are going offshore, which means taxes that will never be collected not only from corps but from individuals.

    2nd, until the govt stops spending the money like you describe...

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    .......however, the US has the 2nd highest corp tax rate in the world....
    And if GE etc are typical cases, those corporations with good tax lawyers may find the biggest tax loopholes right here in the good old USA.

    GE certainly didn't pay corporate taxes of 35% on that $5bn of income attributed to their US operations. What was it they received.....a $3.2bn refund or credit? With tax credits in the billions.....I'd say they should be hiring in the US, not moving jobs overseas....if federal corporate income taxes is really the driving issue in these decisions.

    Gary

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Anything Goes, Right?: If we are really "Broke", this doesn't help.....

    The problem is not that companies like GE take advantage of the system. Taxes are just another cost to a corporation. Any company is responsible to its shareholders to minimize costs and maximize profits.

    The problem is the bloated tax system itself.

    I won't get into further details of the cozy corruption.

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