Let Me Try to Cheer You Up
As I begin writing this column, the Dow Jones is down by 366 pts.
So, let me try to cheer you up a little. Not everyone is suffering.
The good folks at GE, for instance. They enjoyed a profit of just over $5 billion last year. And they got $3.2 billion in tax breaks and benefits, meaning they paid $0 in federal taxes — an effective tax rate of -64%
So, as you can see, it ain't ALL bad out there!
Western Electric Power? They didn't have as good a year as they did in 2009. That year, they made $2 billion in profits and got $575 million in tax benefits and breaks. That's an effective federal tax rate of -28.6%. In 2010, they only made $1.9 billion. Instead of paying the statutory 35% in taxes, they received $134 million in tax breaks and benefits, resulting in a federal tax rate of -7.2%
Good old Verizon. Everyone loves Verizon! And what a year they had, with almost $12 billion in profits. They didn't pay the standard 35% corporate tax rate either. Their accountants managed to find various dodges and loopholes that resulted in them getting $705 million back in benefits and breaks, resulting in a federal tax rate of -5.9%
And then there's Honeywell International. They barely got by with a $1.2 billion profit, for which they received $482 million in tax breaks and benefits. That's an effective tax rate of -38.7 percent.
Oh, the Dow is down 467 pts. right now.
In all, Citizens for Tax Justice listed the tax rates actually paid by 12 corporations, showing their pre-tax profits and what they paid in taxes.
For 2010, the profits for these 12 companies came to almost $67 billion. That's up from the $56 billion they made in 2009 and the $52 billion they made in 2008. That's a total of $171 billion for the three years.Continued on the next page