Tag Archives: Bank of America

The Top Five Corporate Tax Cheats

Before pushing grandma down the stairs by ‘reforming’ her Medicare and Social Security benefits out of existence, why not go after these god-awful drains on our treasury? Here are five examples of profitable corporations that pay no or low federal income taxes, yet extract much of their profit margin from the American economy. It’s past time for them to pay, as a percentage of their income, at least as much as the average public school teacher or firefighter in Wisconsin.

Want to balance the budget? Start here:

1. General Electric has made over $26 billion in profits in the past five years, with $5 billion from the US market just last year, on which it paid zero federal income taxes. It’s also received a hefty $4.1 billion refund from the IRS. Despite this generosity on the part of the American taxpayer, over the last nine years GE has shipped one-fifth of its jobs overseas and used every trick available to avoid paying US taxes. This is bringing good things to life? (BTW, Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, is sometimes called the father of modern outsourcing.)

2. ExxonMobil. This oil giant paid no federal income taxes in 2009 on $19 billion in profit, and even received a tidy $156 million rebate from the IRS. How do you get a tax rebate when you haven’t paid any taxes? On what planet does this make any sense?

3. Goldman Sachs paid only 1.1 percent in taxes on a profit of $2.9 billion in 2008, on top of the $800 billion provided by US taxpayers to save them from extinction. Time for another bonus, boys?

4. Citigroup ‘earned’ more than $4 billion in profits last year, yet paid no federal income taxes. Incidentally, like Goldman Sachs, they’re only in business thanks to a generous bailout from the US taxpayer; for Citigroup, that came to a neat $2.5 trillion. Despite this, Citibank continues to raise its fees and specialize in providing poor service to its customers.

5. Bank of America racked up $4.4 billion in profits last year, and received a $1.9 billion refund from the IRS. Since US taxpayers saved BoA from extinction with a $1 trillion bailout, why are they getting a $1.9 billion refund? I’m tired of asking on what planet this makes any sense.

And this is only the tip of our economic Titanic’s iceberg. If we’re going to have any future that doesn’t include our citizens rooting through dumpsters for dinner, these profitable corporations, et al, and the wealthy people who run them, are going to have to pay their fair share in taxes. For some reason, Paul Ryan forgot to include this in his hilarious Republican ‘budget.’

(Figures adapted in part from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Guide to Corporate Freeloaders.”)

© 2011 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.

The Tattlesnake Ruminating and Rumorating Edition

“Why don’t you guys use your brains like I do.”
— George Bancroft as mob boss Mac Keefer in “Angels with Dirty Faces” (1938).

1. Looks like impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was right. He said as soon as the Powers-That-Be in state capital Springfield got rid of him they’d raise taxes, and now new Gov. Pat Quinn has announced he’s planning to do just that. (Taxes on a carton of cigarettes, for instance, have already gone up ten dollars in IL.) Quinn’s not a bad guy, but he was installed in office by House Speaker Mike Madigan, the same corrupt Machine politician that masterminded Blago’s removal. BTW, when does the other Pat, prosecutor Fitzgerald, indict Blago for his ‘crime spree’? It’s been four months and we’re still waiting, and Fitzy’s 90-day extension is coming to an end. Could it be he doesn’t have a case?

2. Word is, some GOP insiders are privately conceding more seats to the Dems in 2010 and the presidency in 2012. They know that short of a highly unlikely major blunder or meltdown on Obama’s part, the Republicans have no one who can beat him; current frontrunners Romney, Gingrich, Jindal, Huckabee, Sanford and (shudder) Palin just don’t have the heat. But this works to the advantage of the top party heads who would like to purge the Christian crazies, bigoted Dittoheads and nattering neocons from the ranks. (Keep them as voters and ground troops, of course, but well away from the levers of power.) Losing big in four consecutive elections just might accomplish that.

3. Speaking of the GOP, daffy duckster Michael Steele, the RNC Chair who has been hip-hopping all over the place, has turned out to be not so good at organizing much of anything he still hasn’t even fully staffed his office. In fact, it’s been noticed that his only true talent seems to be in babbling baloney in front of cameras and microphones — not that all Republicans don’t, but Mike’s brand of urban twaddle confuses the party’s base of rural white rabble down in Dixie. They want God, guns and gays and Mike’s offering rap, pap and mall rats instead. The money’s drying up over distrust of Steele and he’s on a greased rail, the end of which should be reached before summer begins.

4. So is Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on a greased rail, that is — only he’s on a shorter trajectory to oblivion. He’s managed to inspire confidence in exactly no one (except, supposedly, Obama), and his secretly playing point man for the tainted AIG bonuses and then dissembling about it has left him damaged goods in a government touting virtuous transparency. Watch for ‘Geit’ to regretfully resign for the good of the administration sometime on or about May Day.

5. Watch for the next AIG to be Bank of America, with a twist. BoA has assumed a boatload of debt buying up other failing banks and is now swimming in red ink. The chickens are nearing the roost, and soon the over-extended BoA could very well bankrupt the FDIC (unlike AIG, it’s a real bank), as the feds scramble to cover millions of depositors. The alternative would be to split up BoA into smaller companies and sever the gangrenous investments while retaining the profitable accounts. Obama would have to pull a Jimmy Stewart and encourage depositors not to withdraw their money, just until the crisis passes. Unfortunately, as it stands now with the boneheaded Larry Summers and ineffectual Geithner on the bridge, they’d probably break the treasury trying to save BoA from being split up, which means we’d be a nation of rag pickers by this time next year.

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