Look, Ma! No Taxes!

Category:  BloggERy
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 8:19 PM
Look, Ma! No Taxes! by Jay Stevens
Wikipedia

You might not be startled by the latest Citizens for Tax Justice report on US corporate tax liability (pdf) from 2008-10. You might not if, say, you're already sitting through the d*mn cold evenings in the gazebo at Perry Square. Or if you're a cynic. Or a corporate CEO.

Otherwise,

Reading through this report, you will find yourself seized by an irresistible desire to hurl yourself headlong into the nearest OccupyYourLocalCity protest. In an era of crushing government deficits and mass unemployment, corporate America is not only skating blissfully free of its civic responsibilities, but continues to complain that it is paying too much in taxes. Even worse: Congressional Republicans and many Democrats agree! Listening to our politicians talk, you would imagine that corporate America’s neck is permanently under the tax man’s steel-tipped boot. When, in fact, the exact opposite is the truth.

That's right. A significant number of US corporations -- very, very profitable US corporations -- paid no taxes, or even got refunds. Verizon earned $32.5 billionin profits over the past 3 years -- and enjoyed 951 million in negative tax liabilities. It earned an extra $950 million! After taxes! Wells Fargo profited $49.3 billion in that same period and enjoyed $680 million in refunds!

And, closer to home, General Electric saw $10.4 billion in profits from 2008 to 2010 and received just under $5 million in refunds. All the while actively shedding jobs in the US and sending them overseas. 

How did they do this? Adrew Leonard:

The answer includes a mixture of targeted tax breaks that impact specific industries or companies, accounting games that corporations play with stock options, and sweeping adjustments to tax law such as changes in the rules in how companies can write off the value of depreciating equipment. The accounting rules for so-called accelerated depreciation are now so accommodating that companies can write off 75 percent of the cost of new equipment immediately.

The average effective tax rate for the biggest 280 corporations was 18.5 percent -- equivalent to a household earning $12,500 a year -- and was dropping in 2009 and 2010.

It's not too late to look into this Occupy thing.

Erie Reader: Vol. 4, No. 25
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CURRENT

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IN THIS ISSUE

The Presque Isle Partnership is hosting Polar Fest on Sunday, Dec. 14, a winter version of Discover Presque Isle, if you will, featuring indoor and outdoor activities related to the winter season.

Music fans were in for a treat this past November when a long list of those loquacious lyricists showed off their musical chops at 814 Grinders: Hip-hop Pt. 1. The event was so good, in fact, that it will be getting a sequel Friday, Dec. 12 at The Beer Mug.

Wayward Tattoo Studio presents Arc Angels Toy Drive

PACA presents Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!)

The Lake Erie Ballet will continue its holiday tradition this year with four productions of The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre this December, including a pair of special events. 

Pittsburgh indie rockers return to Erie's Basement Transmissions.

The Station Dinner Theatre will celebrate its 25th Anniversary Holiday Musical event with Christmas Memories: A Christmas Carol

Martinis and blues go together just like peas and carrots. Confused? Read on.

Michigan-bred 'mericana badasses return to Erie Saturday, Dec. 19.

ECO showcases both new and old holiday music with its upcoming show.