As ThinkProgress has previously reported, while services and investments in Main Street America are being gutted, many of the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations are getting away with paying little to nothing in federal corporate income taxes, exploiting a tax code filled with loopholes, carve-outs, and giveaways.
At a town hall meeting last week, Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) faced the ire of constituents who are upset about this tax dodging by some of our nation’s biggest corporations. In a video posted on YouTube, Gibson responding to a question from a constituent concerned over border security by explaining his plan for dealing with the immigration system.
Towards the end of his answer, Gibson said that Americans actually pay higher taxes because “there are people in the country that are not paying taxes because they’re illegal.” At this point, a town hall attendee cried out, “You mean like GE?!” which actually forced the congressman to say that he agrees and that the company needs to pay its fair share:
GIBSON: I think there’s a rational way to go forward that we’re going to be able to bring closure to this issue. I tell you there is one thing that you’re saying that’s true. there are people in our country that are not paying taxes because they’re illegal. And that’s gotta be addressed[...]
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You mean like GE?! [some laughter and light applause from audience]
GIBSON: Well, GE needs to pay their fair share, too. No, I support that, too.
For the record, undocumented immigrants do actually pay a lot of taxes. As Wonk Room guest blogger Mike Elk notes, a “new study by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy shows that undocumented immigrants paid $8.4 billion in sales taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $1.2 billion in personal income taxes last year.” Additionally, a study by the National Council of La Raza last year found that “undocumented immigrants in the United States will pay, on average, approximately $80,000 more in taxes per capita than they use in government services.” Meanwhile, some of the nation’s biggest corporations like Boeing and Bank of America are paying nothing in federal corporate income taxes. (h/t: blindbuck YouTube account)