GE's Corporate Tax Dodging
"We want to be sure our voice is heard."
-General Electric spokesperson
General Electric spent $235.2 million in political money since 2000--paid no federal income taxes in 2008, 2009, and 2010
The New York Times exposed General Electric’s corporate tax dodging in a front-page investigative report. The Times reported that “[a] review of company filings and Congressional records shows that one of the most striking advantages of General Electric is its ability to lobby for, win and take advantage of tax breaks.” Public Campaign delved into campaign finance and lobbying records to provide some additional data as to how corporations can get away with “[viewing] their tax departments as a profit center,” in the words of a former Treasury official Len Burman, now of the Tax Policy Center.
Since 2000, G.E.’s Political Action Committee and executives have contributed $14.8 million to federal candidates, parties, and political committees.
- Over that time, they’ve been “buy”-partisan
- During the first half of the decade when Republicans were largely in power, G.E.’s giving went disproportionately to Republicans (56% to Republicans, 44% to Democrats)
- During the second half of the decade when Democrats were largely in power, G.E.’s giving went disproportionately to Democrats (58% Democrats, 42% Republicans)
- In the 2010 election, G.E.’s PAC and executives gave a total of $2.2 million to federal candidates, with $2 million targeted to incumbents.
- G.E. has targeted contributions to members of the congressional committees responsible for tax policy.
- Since 2000, G.E.’s contributed $1.1 million to the members of House Ways and Means Committee
- Since 2000, G.E.’s contributed $626,310 to members of the Senate Finance Committee.
Since 2000, G.E. spent $221.4 million lobbying Congress and the White House
- In 2010 alone, G.E. spent $39.3 million and hired 195 lobbyists.
- G.E.’s 2010 lobbying expenses are two and a half times more than what they spent ten years earlier, and one and a half times more than what they spent just a year earlier.
G.E. paid no federal income tax since in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
- According to the Times, G.E. "reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American  tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion."
- In fact, "in the last five years, G.E. has accumulated $26 billion in American profits, and received a net tax benefit from the I.R.S. of $4.1 billion."
G.E. cut American jobs and exported them overseas.
- The New York Times reports “[since] 2002, the company has eliminated a fifth of its work force in the United States while increasing overseas employment.”
*All campaign finance and lobbying data in this report was analyzed by Public Campaign using data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.