In the interest of full disclosure let it be known that your Commander once worked for a division of General Electric and owns shares in GE. That being said, I urge you to read a very important article that was published recently in the New York Times titled “G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether” by David Kocieniewski. Here is the link:
As stated by Len Burman, a former Treasury official and currently a scholar at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, “there are corporations that view their tax departments as a profit center, and the effects on public policy can be negative.” General Electric’s tax department consists of 975 people and they have spent over $200 million over the last decade to lobby in their interests.
At a tax symposium in 2007, a GE tax official said the department’s “mission statement” consisted of 19 rules and urged employees to divide their time evenly between ensuring compliance with the law and “looking to exploit opportunities to reduce tax.”
I find the close relationship between GE and recently censured Congressman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) and ex-Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee to be troublingly cozy. GE’s $30 million contribution to the New York City schools in 2008 is questionable, too. It is worthy to note that $11 million of that gift went to schools in Rangel’s district.
Without a doubt I enjoy my dividends from my GE investments, but I honestly think it is appropriate that a thorough review be conducted of our tax code, because it is obviously flawed. The massive amounts of money floating around Washington are buying much more than access and the American taxpayer is coming out on the short-end of the stick. It is far past the time to stop talking about the inequities in our Tax Code, and spread the load on a fair and equitable basis.