|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Today, and not a moment too soon, the non-profit Citizens For Tax Justice (CTJ) has put out their findings revealing that twelve of the nations largest Fortune 500 companies, while making $170 billion in profits during the period of The Great Recession, paid an effective tax rate of negative 1.5%.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Not only have these twelve companies paid zero in taxes for the years 2008-2010, they actually received tax subsidies that added $62.4 billion to their bottom lines.
The companies were chosen by the CTJ to represent a range of industries, including manufacturing, energy, services, transportation and high tech and include – in alphabetical order – American Electric Power, Boeing, Dupont, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, General Electric, Honeywell International, IBM, United Technologies, Verizon Communications, Wells Fargo and Yahoo.
Here are the bullet points presented by the report:
- From 2008 through 2010, these 12 companies reported $171 billion in pretax U.S. profits. But as a group, their federal income taxes were negative: –$2.5 billion.
- All but two of the dozen companies enjoyed at least one no-tax year over the 2008-10 period, despite reporting substantial pretax U.S. profits in those no-tax years.
- Eight of the twelve companies reported net tax benefits over the full three-year period.
According to the study, not a single one of these companies paid an amount even close to the 35% statutory tax rate.
In fact, the tax rate paid by Exxon Mobile, when spread over the full three years, was only 14.2% – a full 60% below the 35% rate that corporations are supposed to be paying. And if we take a look at what Exxon paid over just the past two years, it totals a mere 0.4% on their pre-tax profits of $9.9 billion.
And get this – Exxon Mobile paid the most in taxes of any of the twelve companies on the list.
Here is my favorite part – had just these twelve companies paid at the actual 35% tax rate the GOP is telling us they are chaffing under, the sum would have added a full 12% to the totals the United States of America’s treasury received through corporate taxes.
We sure could use that money.