There’s always a lot of talk from conservatives about those “lazy welfare moochers abusing the system.” Republicans like to pretend as if it’s these people who are responsible for all of our country’s problems. That somehow the financial crash that led to trillions being added to our national debt was the fault of the poor and not the fault of the greedy bastards who Republicans often protect.
And while I don’t deny that there are those who abuse our welfare programs, their abuse pales in comparison to these companies who do everything they possibly can to avoid paying taxes. See, while Republicans love to use the line that the United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, the effective tax rate (what these companies actually pay after taking advantage of loopholes in the tax code) is often much lower.
Take for instance a great top 10 list put together by Mother Jones that shows some of the worst tax evaders in this country.
Here they are:
Verizon Communications: Profits: $19.8 billion Effective tax rate: -3.8%
General Electric: Profits: $19.6 billion Effective tax rate: -18.9%
Boeing: Profits: $14.8 billion Effective tax rate: -5.5%
NextEra Energy (North America’s largest solar and wind power operator, based in Florida): Profits: $8.8 billion Effective tax rate: -2%
American Electric Power (Electric utility based in Columbus, Ohio): Profits: $8.2 billion Effective tax rate: -6.4%
Pacific Gas & Electric (California electrical utility): Profits: $6 billion Effective tax rate: -8.4%
Apache: (Houston-based oil and gas company): Profits: $6 billion Effective tax rate: -0.3%
Consolidated Edison: (New York energy company): Profits: $5.9 billion Effective tax rate: -1.3%
El Paso: (Houston-based energy company that operates the country’s largest natural gas pipeline): Profits: $4.6 billion Effective tax rate: -0.9%
CenterPoint Energy (Electric and gas utility company based in Houston): Profits: $3.1 billion Effective tax rate: -11.3%
That’s a combined $96.8 billion in revenue from these ten companies that didn’t pay any net federal income taxes between 2008-20011. Yet you don’t hear much of anything from the Republican party about this rampant abuse. Paul Ryan’s budget doesn’t go after this tax evasion. Oh, no. It attacks programs that help the poor, sick and elderly while cutting taxes further for corporations like these.
And remember, these are just the ten worst. There are other companies who fall into the same tax dodging category as well.
So the next time a Republican goes off on a rant about those “horrible welfare abusers,” just go ahead and show them this list. It won’t make a bit of difference with their delusional way of thinking as it relates to this huge economic problem, but it is quite amusing to see them try to defend this blatant tax evasion by these corporations.