Despite being America’s largest company and making $14.2 billion in profits last year, General Electric paid zero dollars in federal taxes last year — in fact, it claimed a $3.2 billion “tax benefit.” As ThinkProgress has reported, in a time of strained government budgets, a number of Republican lawmakers have astonishingly defended G.E.’s tax dodging, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich even telling ThinkProgress that “we should celebrate” corporations exploiting tax loopholes “as a good thing.” But on CSPAN’s Washington Journal this morning, GOP Rep. Reid Ribble (WI) called G.E.’s tax dodging “offensive” and unfair:
HOST: But when you see a company like G.E., which earned $14 billion last year, it was able to write off some losses, and it paid zero taxes in 2010. Is that fair?
RIBBLE: No, that’s not fair at all! As a matter a of fact, it’s totally disenheartening. It’s offensive to me as a business owner, who pays taxes. I believe that we need to have a flatter tax rate for corporations and make them more competitive around the world, and we need to close loopholes.
Later in the interview, Ribble also said subsidies for oil companies should be “looked at.” Perhaps Ribble will use his position on the House Budget Committee to advocate against these loopholes and subsidies. Although, in March, Ribble joined the entire Republican caucus in voting to protect oil subsidies.