Our guest blogger is Elon Green, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn.
Last March, the New York Times broke the news that General Electric, which reported global profits of $14.2 billion — $5.1 billion of which came from its domestic operations — had not paid a cent in taxes for 2010. In fact, GE’s US tax rate for the year was actually negative, since it got a $3.2 billion American tax benefit. As Ryan Chittum noted, “Over the last five years, GE made $26 billion in what it says were American profits, but got the IRS to pay it $4.1 billion total.”
This is all well and good with Congressional Republicans, who believe American corporations are taxed too much already on federal and state levels. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) has dismissed the need for raising corporate taxes because “we don’t need more revenue!”; Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) wants “the lowest corporate tax rate we can get”; and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), rather astonishingly, believes that untaxed corporations are still overburdened.
Given the Republican Party’s lack of enthusiasm for taxing multi-billion dollar corporations, Don Imus could forgiven for assuming during this morning’s interview with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) that Cantor feels likewise.
CANTOR: Well, listen, what you’re saying is right now, we need people who are willing to go create jobs to do that. We need small business people to do that. The so-called Bush tax cuts apply to people at $250,000 and up. We know the numbers there say that at least half the people who would experience a tax hike get at least 26 percent of their income from small businesses, meaning those are the small business people.
So, if we’re looking for more jobs to be created, why are you turning around and then imposing a tax on small business people? We know that cutting taxes for small businesses will end up creating more jobs. So —
IMUS: Well, how about making people like GE pay taxes? Start there.
CANTOR: Listen, I’m for that as well. OK? And this has also got —
IMUS: Well, no you’re not. You’re not really for that.
CANTOR: I’m all for that as well, because —
IMUS: You’re in here trying to jerk the I-Man’s chain. I know what you’re doing, baby.