Obama wants cap-and-trade, GE wants cap-and-trade. Obama subsidizes embryonic stem-cell research, GE launches an embryonic stem-cell business. Obama calls for rail subsidies, GE hires (wife of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle) Linda Daschle as a rail lobbyist.GE also marches in lockstep with the loser-in-chief on agreement on corporate bailouts, stimulus spending, climate policy, health care reform, wind energy, electric cars, export subsidies and more.
Then there’s the personal connections: CEO Jeff Immelt sits on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory board and was asked by Obama’s Export-Import Bank to the opening act for the President at the most recent Ex-Im conference.All of which makes it quite enjoyable for those of us on the other side to watch the fallout from the revelation that GE has paid zero zip nada in corporate income taxes for 2010.
In spite of robust profits of $14.2 billion worldwide, GE has calculated a corporate tax bill for 2010 that adds up to zero, via a creative series of tax referrals and revenue shifts. (This was, indeed, the second year running that the company—which has an enormous, and famously nimble, 975-employee tax division, led by former Treasury official John Samuels—paid nothing in U.S. taxes; indeed by claiming a series of losses and deductions, GE came up with a negative tax of 10.5 percent in the admittedly dismal business year of 2009, and realized a $1.5 billion "tax benefit.")What's that? You say you haven't heard anything about this? You must have been watching NBC News.
The curious thing about this year's tax story is that it turned up in many major news outlets, with one key exception: NBC News. As the Washington Post's Paul Farhi notes, the network's "Nightly News" broadcast, hosted by Brian Williams, has not mentioned anything about its corporate parent's resourceful accounting, even though the story has been in wide circulation in the business and general-interest press for nearly a week.Did I mention that NBC is owned by GE?
I guess that's what liberals mean by freedom of the press...