ThinkProgress Blog Fellow Micah Uetricht is a staff writer for Campus Progress. He lives in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @micahuetricht.
At a town hall meeting in Sycamore, Illinois two weeks ago, freshman Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) faced a largely hostile audience that repeatedly questioned his vote in favor of the House Republican budget, and expressed opposition to subsidies for big oil companies and the privatization of Medicare. While Hultgren effectively dodged a number of the questions, he also expressed a desire to see companies like General Electric — which had no federal tax liability in 2010 — pay more in taxes.
Hultgren’s comments about GE came after a constituent asked him about offshoring by American companies:
CONSTITUENT: We’re allowing corporations to move abroad and subsidizing them. What do you think about that?
HULTGREN: I’d like to see policies that encourage companies to stay here… A lot of our work that we’ve been spending time on in Washington is dealing with the regulations. There are so many regulations, there is so much incentive for them to be going elsewhere. I think it’s ridiculous. And I don’t know if it’s true—I gotta find out if General Electric truly is paying no taxes. That’s crazy. That’s wrong. That’s gotta stop.
Notably, Hultgren has done nothing to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, or to close the loopholes enjoyed by companies like GE.
Politicians around the country have been peppered with questions on GE’s tax payments and Republicans have had mixed sentiments on whether they should have to pay up. ThinkProgress reported from a South Carolina town hall meeting where Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) “agree[d] with it generally” that corporations like GE should pay taxes. And House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) stated he is in favor of making GE pay taxes on the Don Imus show. Other Republicans, however, remain insistent that Main Street should foot the country’s bills while large corporations pay nothing.