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President Obama, like his predecessor George W. Bush, is showering General Electric with taxpayer money.  (Source: Google Images)

President Obama shares a warm moment with Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of the government's favorite corporation. Mr. Immelt has been selected to head President Obama's jobs panel, which helps decide corporate tax policy.  (Source: Drew Angerer/The New York Times)
GE Chief Executive is on Obama's innovation board, his company is on top of U.S. Gov't's "friends list"

Citizens and businesses can only hope to one day be as savvy tax-wise as General Electric Comp.  The tech giant earned a sweet $14.2B USD in profit in 2010.  And now the U.S. government has given it a hefty gift -- a year completely free of taxes and a $3.2B USD tax benefit.

The U.S. tax rate for corporations is supposedly 35 percent.  But over the years crafty politicians have collaborated with business allies to work more holes into the tax code than a block of Swiss cheese.  But even in today's era of free flowing corporate tax loopholes few companies have perfected the art to the degree GE has -- making massive profits, paying no taxes, and getting a tax benefit.

Part of how it snuck its way into such a sweetheart deal is the company it keeps.  President Barack Obama anointed GE's chief executive as the head of his new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.  Among the council's key roles?  Discussing corporate taxes.

According to The New York Times, which first broke news of GE's incredible feat, GE spent years of "innovative accounting" and fierce lobbying to slowly slim its tax bill.  But when it really started experiencing windfall gains was when it hired a former Treasury official to lead its tax department and filled its team with former IRS employees and Congressional tax specialists.

Ultimately GE's massive profits mean a load of money for the company's executives and top shareholders.

For the rest of the U.S., the situation is less rosy.  Today corporations only account for 6.6 percent of the federal government's tax revenue.  Small businesses and taxpaying citizens have to make up the remainder of the tax deficit.  And in GE's case citizens and smalls businesses find themselves in the strange situation of financing a special bonus for the government's favorite wildly successful corporation. 

GE owns a number of assets, mostly in the high tech and communications field.  It owns a number of utilities, supplies power grid electronics, sells vehicle components, and even owns cable TV properties, such as NBC Universal.

Updated: March 26, 2011 10:10 a.m.

To add a few more specifics on the origins of these tax breaks, GE is largely able to get them via a clever game of disguising profits in lucrative untaxed offshore holdings.

President Ronald Reagan in the eighties tried to eliminate this kind of behavior with the 1986 Tax Reform Act.  Describes Robert S. McIntyre, director of the liberal group Citizens for Tax Justice, "Cracking down on offshore profit-shifting by financial companies like G.E. was one of the important achievements of President Reagan’s 1986 Tax Reform Act. The fact that Congress was snookered into undermining that reform at the behest of companies like G.E. is an insult not just to Reagan, but to all the ordinary American taxpayers who have to foot the bill for G.E.’s rampant tax sheltering."

In the wake of the Reagan era, the loopholes to the bill's strict provisions were added during the George Bush and Bill Clinton eras.  Then in 2004 President George W. Bush cooked up the American Jobs Creation Act, perhaps the biggest blow to President Reagan's policy yet.  The AJCA handed GE what would amount to $1B USD in tax savings a year.  Many of its provisions were reportedly custom-tailored to GE.

While President Obama and his Democratic Congress contemplated trying to roll back those provisions, a concerted  $21M USD lobbying effort convinced them to drop the effort.  The most vocal critic, Representative Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) decided to pull back, though, killing the effort.  That same year GE, at his request, donated $30M USD to New York City public schools.

While President Obama hasn't added much to the loopholes, he's done little to fight them.  And his decision to install GE's CEO on his Jobs board, which plays a role in formulating corporate tax policy, is arguably a step towards preserving the company tax breaks.  In that regard President Obama is following in his immediate predecessor's questionable footsteps, and continuing the rejection of President Reagan's tax reform.



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Really?
By theplaidfad on 3/25/2011 5:27:09 PM , Rating: 5
As a hard working tax payer, the only way that I could possibly not hate GE right now is if I had some of their stock.

Only in America, people.




RE: Really?
By jabber on 3/25/11, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/25/2011 5:52:09 PM , Rating: 4
Except GE stock went DOWN today and has been on the decline for the last month. So general shareholders get no real bonus from this...


RE: Really?
By imaheadcase on 3/25/11, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/25/2011 6:05:36 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Thanks for sharing that useless bit of stock trivia. I have some more for you. Stock over a month period is in no way relevant in the stock market.


WRONG.

If you day trade with a portion of your assets, it's VERY important.

And even if you were in it for the long haul, GE stock is worth approximately two fifths of what it was in 2001 and is about half what it was in 2008 before the economic downturn.

The 0.69 percent quarterly dividend (~2.7 annually) DOES NOT offset the losses.

I reassert, the common shareholder has not profited off this turn of events.


RE: Really?
By imaheadcase on 3/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Really?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/25/2011 7:21:33 PM , Rating: 3
It doesn't matter how many shares you purchase, afaik. People still speculatively trade GE on a weekly/monthly basis (I know one who has within the last year). He trades a large number of shares... share price still applies.

As for long term investors, the stock price has gone DOWN long term so my original point stands.

I don't really understand your argument here.


RE: Really?
By Keeir on 3/25/2011 7:56:43 PM , Rating: 3
A few comments

#1. "Day" trading is more speculation than investing.
#2. Tax Bill (or lack off) is just 1 factor effecting stock prices. Saying the general investor stockholder is recieving no benifits from this action is wrong. Since it increases the cash assests, decreases price pressure on goods, etc. In the long term, lower tax bills -> more profitable company -> more dividends -> higher stock price.

GEs stock price over the past 5 years had a highs in the high 30s, and lows in the low 10s (7 dollar is the actual low)

#3. This article shows a critical lack of understanding. GE is paying a low tax bill for a variety of reasons. Some of which you may have supported! GE's tax documentation runs into the tens of thousands of pages. For example, GE has large investments in Wind Power manufacturing... what if (and this is an if) they are claiming tax benifits for research into alternative fuels?

#4. GE is a company in terrible shape. They essentially made ~2% on thier assests (Google Finance is saying 1.72%). It just so happens they own and operate large numbers of assets.

#5. Despite the phrasing of the article, its important to note that Companies that don't have huge RD departments, do end up paying large amounts of tax. Wal-Mart for example pays ~32% of its US operation profits in tax.

And lastly, Corporations do not pay tax. Corporations charge more for thier services/products the higher the real tax rate they have... while I agree loopholes and special interest exceptions create market distortion and should be avoided, I would prefer the US to have NO coporate tax, provided the goods and services are produced in the US. (Corporate taxes are essentially regressive. They take a far larger portion of income from those making very little. Consumption of goods and services does not increase at the same rate as personal income.)


RE: Really?
By ekv on 3/26/2011 5:06:14 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
#4. GE is a company in terrible shape.
Maybe, but their executives are schmoozing in the White House, and watch the stock options they receive. I bet even WSJ does a "wow" when those get stated.
quote:
I would prefer the US to have NO coporate tax
Aren't corp's treated as a person in the eyes of the law?

I'd prefer seeing a flat- or fair-tax. Perhaps starting on corporate America. In the beginning allow some deductions with the clear stipulation they'll be phased out in 10 years, to the point of no deductions. Simple, though also large and small corp's play by the same rules, so more competition.


RE: Really?
By cmdrdredd on 3/27/2011 8:29:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'd prefer seeing a flat- or fair-tax


"Fair tax" is never ever ever fair.


RE: Really?
By rs2 on 3/27/2011 10:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
Except for that it always is.

Consider a flat tax of 15%. A person with an income of $100,000 pays $15,000 in taxes. A person with an income of $10,000 pays only $1,500 in taxes. That's fair.


RE: Really?
By EPAstor on 3/27/2011 10:45:14 PM , Rating: 1
Except for one thing.

How much money does the person with an income of $10,000 spend toward living expenses? Probably 90% of their income - $9,000 a year is only $750 a month for rent, bills, and food. At this point, their /phone bill/ is at least 5% of their spending. So, after paying $1,500 in taxes... They're not even breaking even. If they're not, are they saving any money at all for the future, or are they living paycheck-to-paycheck?

Now, what about the person with an income of $100,000?


RE: Really?
By rs2 on 3/27/2011 11:58:59 PM , Rating: 5
Except none of that has anything whatsoever to do with whether or not the tax is fair. It's not the $100,000 guy's fault that he has a higher income and thus more disposable income. And it's not fair to point at his disposable income and say "you have disposable income, surrender it to the government now!". If he worked to earn it then it is his, and he's just as entitled to his $100,000 as the other guy is entitled to his $10,000.


RE: Really?
By Strunf on 3/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By BSMonitor on 3/30/2011 9:37:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If he worked to earn it then it is his, and he's just as entitled to his $100,000 as the other guy is entitled to his $10,000.


Except that your assumption is that the government has no stake in you being able to make $100,000. Those roads your $50K car drives on from the suburbs to your place of employment. The police that uphold the laws that protect your $500,000 home. Your deferred interest student loans. The regulations that protect your ass while flying around the country for your $100k job. You think the guy with only $10k needs any of that from our government?


RE: Really?
By Azethoth on 3/28/2011 1:56:44 AM , Rating: 2
Oh boohoo. Even the Church knows its fair to tithe everyone the same 10%, and its about as money grubbing an outfit as you can get.

Now if only I can work steam-powered Nazis into this we can godwin this whole line of reasoning.


RE: Really?
By Quadrillity on 3/28/2011 6:36:38 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Even the Church knows its fair to tithe everyone the same 10%, and its about as money grubbing an outfit as you can get.


Yeah I see your point... well, no not really since the church is hands down the worlds largest charity and community contributor ... If you attend a church that passes a plate around expecting you to place something in it is a church that you should not attend. They want to see you give what you can to those in need! It isn't a membership fee like you want it to look like.

If placing $20 in the plate every Sunday helps keep the local soup kitchen open, library after school programs going, and clothes on people's back then I'll continue to do it. If that offend you, then you need to seriously get a life.


RE: Really?
By theapparition on 3/28/2011 7:30:09 AM , Rating: 2
The person who's income is 100k has most likely bought a home, pay's a mortgage (bank makes profit from loan) and pays higher amounts of property tax. That property tax goes primarily towards the local school system where the other 10k/year person also sends his children. So who keeps the schools open, the guy making 10k, or the guy making 100k? Plus all the other municipal and state expenses (roads, trash collection, police, fire, etc) are disproportionally paid for by the higher income person.

The homeowner is likely also spending more money on goods and services, adding to the ecomony.

The person with the lower income is receiving more services than thier tax dollars have paid for, and the person with higher income is paying more for services than they'll use.

So does that seem "fair" to you?


RE: Really?
By spamreader1 on 3/28/2011 10:30:12 AM , Rating: 2
Mostly it's those without children that pay property taxes that pay for the person's kids making 10k...

Not that I disagree with the premise, a flat tax only makes sense, which means it will never be used by any serious governing body.

Oddly I make 50k a year, my wife homeschools 3 kids because the Texas school system is such a wreck. So not only do I pay taxes for everyone elses kids in the district with my property taxes, I also get to pay again for the schooling of my own children. I pray everyday that the children in our public schools get higher funding and better regulations. I particularly love the new $18mil administration building being completed here just weeks before the latest anouncements of multiple teacher layoffs, the poor kids don't stand a chance. :(


RE: Really?
By mcnabney on 3/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By Simozene on 3/28/2011 9:38:38 AM , Rating: 3
The Fair Tax Act includes the provisions for a monthly prebate check to each and every household which offsets the taxes on expenses up to the poverty level. That being said it is a progressive system because people who live at or below the poverty level actually pay no taxes. Furthermore it eliminates income and capital gains taxes which will cause private money held offshore to come back into US banks and fuel our economy.

If you think this sounds like a good idea then write your representatives in Congress to get it passed!


RE: Really?
By spread on 3/30/2011 11:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
Most Americans see themselves as millionaires in a temporary situation, so they won't really care.

What most Americans do care about is that when they will be millionaires (like that will happen) that they don't want to pay any taxes... and because of this the dumb masses will always vote against any real tax reforms.


RE: Really?
By rcc on 3/28/2011 2:43:55 PM , Rating: 4
How so? Chances are that the person with the higher income is using less government services. What is "fair" about him/her paying more?

Now, if everyone paid $10,000 in taxes, that would be fair. Not possbile by any means, but fair.

But even if it's not "fair", most people would accept a flat tax, percentage. At least then you are not getting taxed a higher percentage just for the unimaginable sin of making more money.


RE: Really?
By rcc on 3/28/2011 2:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and don't even get me started on people getting back a bigger refund than they paid in taxes to start with.


RE: Really?
By BSMonitor on 3/28/2011 9:19:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would prefer the US to have NO coporate tax, provided the goods and services are produced in the US


If executives weren't the greedy, self-centered, arrogant POS's that they are, this would work. As it stands, if you take the 35% tax rate away now, all you do is spread those $$ across the 10-20 people per company who already make 10s of millions of $$ annually anyway. Executives would get bigger bonuses and the rest of us would get no benefit from it.


RE: Really?
By slickr on 3/28/2011 9:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
that is a bunch of ignorant talk or company representative talk.

The fact is they made 14 billion in profits, you must be crazy to think you are going to gather support for a company that gets money from the country instead of giving.

So get your PR crap somewhere else, most likely to big pastures of sheep and not here!


RE: Really?
By Keeir on 3/28/2011 8:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
See, this is the lack of understanding I am talking about.

They didn't make 14 billion in profits that would be subject to US taxation. US makes a distinction on profits earned in foriegn countries on which foriegn taxes were paid for...

Go and look at the American Jobs Creation Act. This Act contains many provisions that various groups would support, in spite of the "unintentional" consquence of lowering GE's tax bill to nothing in 2010.

This is all besides the point however.

Money stands for Labor. A Corporation, as a non-corporeal being, can not provide labor. It is either going to A. Lower Pay or B. Increase Price in the face of providing tax. If it Lowers Pay, it is extemely unlikely the pay of the top 1% of the company officals will be effected.

Corporate taxes are -regressive-. They hurt the lowest income earners disportionally. Its also funny to me that the lowest income earners -ask- to be taxed regressively. For example, Wal-Mart paid ~6 billion in US income taxes... essentially ~2% of the price of any good at Wal-Mart goes to pay their Corporate Income Tax.... and who purchase these goods?

Its time to recognize that large coporations have no interest in paying taxes. They can't even -pay- them to start with... All we have done in the last 100 years, is to create an Industry centered around the creation of restrictive seeming legistalation and circumvation of this legistalation. Only the Lawyers and Accountants and winning and it lowers the effectiviness of our Economy to have people employeed in an activities which are essentially the chasing of tails...

Its time to stop using the tax code as vehicle for social or economic change. Put it back to being primarily a tax on personal income and consumption and handle the other programs outside the tax area. (For instance, provide a straight payment of 7,500 for purchase of a BEV at time of sale instead of using the IRS)


RE: Really?
By MrBlastman on 3/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Really?
By Skywalker123 on 3/26/2011 12:06:21 AM , Rating: 3
"I should know. I have plenty of these profits. A fool sits on his stocks forever and does nothing. A smart man knows when to get in and out (but never, ever perfectly--think, efficient market theory) but with timing and patience, it is very possible to make money in a seemingly horizontal market."

Yeh, Warren Buffet is a big fool. He doesn't try to time the market, and look how badly he's done.


RE: Really?
By MrBlastman on 3/26/2011 12:38:59 AM , Rating: 1
Warren Buffet is an exception and he's extremely diligent in making his picks. My example was merely to illustrate a counterpoint to Jason's. I do not disagree at all with Warren's value-based investing strategy. In fact, I view it as extremely prudent if you can tie your money up in a stock for an extremely long period of time (years) provided you do the research and, as Warren does, buy the stock only when it presents itself at a very fair (or discounted) price.

However, you are not a fool at all if you decide to sell half periodically on the way up (repeatedly) and then use that money to buy something else so you can lock in your profits. You still hold on to the original stock, you just manage to find ways to expand your holdings at the same time (and diversify yourself). Warren has been doing _this_ for years.


RE: Really?
By RedemptionAD on 3/26/2011 12:52:31 AM , Rating: 2
What warren can do at his level is slightly different than what the average investor is able to. He can take more $$ risk, because proportionately he isn't risking as much as a typical investor, which is where his entire portfolio of holdings comes into play and not just an individual move.


RE: Really?
By lyeoh on 3/26/2011 2:27:45 PM , Rating: 3
Actually it is much harder for Warren to do proportionately as well (same percentage gain ) at his level than a small time investor.

Because at his level, he and his company are managing billions of dollars.

A small investor can buy tens of kilobux of shares of a small well managed company with great potential and make more than 100%. Whereas Warren Buffet can't buy billions of dollars of shares of that small company - it's not worth even a billion.

There are far more small companies than big companies. And there aren't that many big companies that can grow or profit as much.

What companies like Goldman Sachs on the other hand do is:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/24/business/24tradi...
http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/07/24/busin...
Much easier to make money that way.

And when the humans beat those fancy computer programs, they can get prison sentences: http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/security/32441...


RE: Really?
By sxr7171 on 3/26/2011 11:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
What prison sentence? Suspended and a fine.


RE: Really?
By Keeir on 3/29/2011 1:15:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
He doesn't try to time the market


What? This statement doesn't make sense.

The principle purpose of investing is to buy low and sell high. Warren Buffet may avoid trying to "time" the market over short intervals, but he certainly market times over the long run. I understand the term (Market Timing) has essential come to mean something similar to Day Trading, but the term really doesn't have a firm defination.

The concept of evalutating your stocks periodically or based on set limits, financial updates, or mathmatical models is fundamentally part of good investing.

I believe the term has developed into the its current perjorative state by large numbers of individuals using the excuse of "market timing" to instill more emotional choices into thier investment stradegies... which results in greater risk and often poor returns.


RE: Really?
By torpor on 3/25/11, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By torpor on 3/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Really?
By Bonesdad on 3/26/2011 11:58:08 AM , Rating: 1
Daily Tech never seems to miss a chance to be partisan. News in name only.


RE: Really?
By Zaranthos on 3/26/2011 1:04:49 PM , Rating: 5
I didn't see a lot of partisan politics in the article. But let me insert some just for you. Democrats are epic hypocrites here. They rail on the evils of big business and how they don't pay their fair share. They whine about how the rich should pay more because they don't pay their fair share. Then the truth comes out that the rich fat cats that are buddies with Obama, supported him all over the place (remember GE owned NBC news which cheerleaded for Obama all day long)don't pay any taxes while making huge sums of money. Blah, blah, it's only a tiny percentage, whatever, it's still a LOT of money. I call bullshit and hypocrisy on the Democrats on this one. Does that satisfy your partisan politics gripe? Glad I could help.


RE: Really?
By torpor on 3/28/2011 12:45:43 PM , Rating: 1
Ah...FYI: I do not write for DailyTech.

It's just my opinion, chief, and all I'm saying is, if you think they're getting away with a big one, buy some stock.

So few people are willing to put their money where their mouth is. If you don't like the news here, why don't you follow your perspective and take a hike.


RE: Really?
By PlasmaBomb on 3/26/2011 11:20:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Only in America


Corporations are always out for themselves everywhere - look up Vodafone in the UK - they are alleged to have tried to dodge most of an approx. £7 billion tax bill (that's actual tax, not profits they didn't pay tax on to be clear).

(Google - Vodafone 6 billion tax bill - they kindly agreed to pay back ~1.4 billion leaving ~6 billion outstanding)

Guess this is why all the bigwigs deserve multimillion figure bonuses though...


RE: Really?
By phantom505 on 3/27/2011 10:55:45 AM , Rating: 2
Corporations are psychotic by design. They don't care about anything another than a bottom line. Individuals might have morals, companies do not.

This is why the government being bought by the corporations is so dangerous. It started with the Republicans a long time ago, and now Democrats have had to become apologists because they realized they couldn't compete against that much money.

Now it's just going to get worse since the Supreme Court has somehow magically given rights of individuals to a corporation based on a concept that doesn't actually exist in law, either implied or expressed. Mind you at least 1 or 2 of the justices are sociopaths. Here's looking at you Clarence Thomas.

People thought communism was dangerous... it pales in comparison to fascism. Fascism will kill you in a manner than you won't see coming.


RE: Really?
By YashBudini on 3/27/2011 10:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0767...

Given the 4% number of psychopaths in the general population won wonders not only how many CEOs fall into that category, but how many readers of DT as well.

As Spuke would remind us, there's no law that says you need to take other people into account as long as you act legally. If that doesn't sound like the current batch of big banks then what does?


RE: Really?
RE: Really?
By Nexos on 3/28/2011 3:31:22 AM , Rating: 2
Do you think you could take them to court and prove they are infact clinicaly insane and incapable of running an institution of such magnitude? When I think about it, they exhibit many traits normaly attributed to persons with mental disabilities or psychoses. To name a few: sociopathy, pathological lying, autocannibalism, delusions of grandeur (megalomania if you will)...

Im sure with more time and research it would be possible to point out even more.


RE: Really?
By ajfink on 3/26/2011 5:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
Or Russia.


Free Market?!
By headbox on 3/25/2011 5:30:25 PM , Rating: 5
Seriously Mick, calling our system a "Free Market" is an elementary mistake. Even a community college history 101 student knows we haven't had a "Free Market" since 1913, when the IRS was formed and citizens began paying (unequal) income tax. The same year the Federal Reserve was created as a central bank that would manipulate interest rates- legalized corporate welfare.

We haven't had "free market capitalism" for almost 100 years, and those words only exist today among Liberal alarmists who worry they may not be needy enough to receive a government handout..




RE: Free Market?!
By Conner on 3/25/2011 5:39:40 PM , Rating: 5
amen.

To bad to uproot the system would cause anarchy....


RE: Free Market?!
By Conner on 3/25/2011 5:41:23 PM , Rating: 1
aaaah spelling mistake.
I meant too bad.
Why isn't there an edit button?


RE: Free Market?!
By TSS on 3/26/2011 6:11:34 AM , Rating: 5
Welcome to dailytech, where you are forced to stand for your own stupidity ^^


RE: Free Market?!
By mmatis on 3/26/2011 11:26:29 AM , Rating: 4
Thet's whi thay fource yew to perview yuor arcitle befour yew pots...


RE: Free Market?!
By Azethoth on 3/28/2011 2:04:16 AM , Rating: 1
God, l2type pls!


RE: Free Market?!
By nafhan on 3/25/2011 5:56:44 PM , Rating: 1
We've never had a completely free market and it would be bad if we did. Without some checks and balances in place you can't have any freedom at all. The US definitely has a "more free" market than most countries around the world.
In my mind, much more problematic than just having income tax is the complexity of tax laws, as the complexity of the system allows the government to increase taxes on everyone while only upsetting certain segments of the population at any given time.


RE: Free Market?!
By Autisticgramma on 3/25/2011 7:27:54 PM , Rating: 5
Funny, I haven't heard "Free Market" but that in conservative opinions.

Just goes to show you see what you look for.

However, if we want to stop the robbery of America, it's campaign reform that will do it.

If $$ were free speech, we could all print more, and mail it to the most helpful candidate by the 100k's.

Fruits of corp bribery of American lawmakers. When is someone gonna actually do some jail time?


RE: Free Market?!
By mmatis on 3/26/2011 11:21:20 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, it is FAR MORE accurately called "fruits of UNION bribery of American lawmakers." But when HuffPo and John Stewart are your source of news, you probably missed that.


RE: Free Market?!
By DigitalFreak on 3/26/11, Rating: -1
RE: Free Market?!
By YashBudini on 3/26/2011 9:40:07 PM , Rating: 2
Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel.


RE: Free Market?!
By ynot56 on 3/28/2011 12:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, according to self filings with the Federal Election Committee, unions were 3 of the top 10 contributors in 2010.

The others were conservative organizations (mostly business realted, but also the NRA)


Mick's partisan BS
By rdawise on 3/25/2011 8:01:35 PM , Rating: 3
Mick you confuse me to no end. One day you're advocating people not cheapen arguments with partisan BS (your nuclear article) and they next you present this partisan BS.

I, unlike the the "worst president ever" poster, read the New York Times article. You forget to include such information in your article as it was Bush's American Jobs Creation Act that lead to the 13 Billion dollar tax break for businesses (many aimed squarely at GE). Reagan has been one of the only Presidents that went after these tax shelters. Every president since has turned a blind eye to these offshore tax shelters. No mention on how President Obama is considering changes to the tax code.

Instead Mick, You state that it is the company GE keeps that got them this tax break as if this is the first time it has happened. I understand you mush pander to your extreme partisan readers, but come on. A snake is a snake whether it slithers or not.

Besides, what the heck is this doing on a "tech" website?




RE: Mick's partisan BS
By tdawg on 3/25/2011 8:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
Here here


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By Robear on 3/26/2011 3:17:56 AM , Rating: 2
Well stated.


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By FITCamaro on 3/26/2011 10:30:04 AM , Rating: 1
Not disagreeing with you.

The main problem is that if anyone actually went after these tax shelters, the companies would respond with just moving more jobs overseas. As long as our tax rates are so damn high, companies will continue to do everything they can to avoid them.


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By Nfarce on 3/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: Mick's partisan BS
By FITCamaro on 3/28/2011 7:54:36 AM , Rating: 1
No surprise these two comments got rated down.


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By Nfarce on 3/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: Mick's partisan BS
By Nfarce on 3/26/2011 10:46:51 AM , Rating: 2
Bah. I split paragraphs up and had part of two sentences twice. No edit option sucks.


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: Mick's partisan BS
By Uncle on 3/26/2011 8:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of you guys will not like what I have to say. Who's in charge of the White house. I'd say the vice prez. Look at his back ground vs Obama, notice anything. If you believe that the Prez Obama is a puppet with his strings being pulled, look no further. Obama has no connection what soever with the elitist running the country. Obama, no disrespect, was a nobody thrust on to the scene because he had the gift of the gab and fit the bill, if you wanted to scrutinize his back ground and not find any skeletons in the closet here was your man. America the bastion of freedom and choice. Even our old enemy the Russians are a Democracy, the people get to vote, if that's what you want to call it. Look whos in charge, Putin, a former KGB agent. People love to wave the Democracy flag, thats great if you want to compare it with a dictator.
So lets have a Demacratic vote. Who's in charge of looking after the rights of the peoples needs as the Constitution was written for. Choice number 1 the President of the United States or 2 the Corporations. Well bless my sole, I have to abstain from voting, cause no one is looking after the rights of the people.


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By YashBudini on 3/26/2011 9:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
George W. Bush (along with his father and Bill Clinton) worked to slowly install loopholes that allowed GE to hide its offshore profits. George W. Bush probably had the biggest role with his 2004 Jobs Act.

So both parties are flip sides of the same coin.

Sound familiar?

Then people wonder why they vote out either party and nothing changes.

/roll eyes


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By tallcool1 on 3/28/2011 12:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, so much for all that hype about HOPE and CHANGE ...


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By YashBudini on 3/28/2011 4:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
As discussed we got all the change that could have occurred with the two parties. The same coin now has the other side face up. If you voted that way you got what you asked for.

As a contrarian when the "hope and change" thing went from a good idea to almost a hysteria it then became evident that things were not going to be as people had hoped. But given the current clique is from an area as corrupt as Chicago how could it have been anything else?


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By torpor on 3/28/2011 12:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
Or they vote in someone like Governor Scott Walker, who is willing to take on the established powers. The established powers cry about it, and you see edge-of-violence protests and all the sheeple come back on the vote.

You have to ask yourself, are you really willing to endure what real change represents? Really?


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By rdawise on 3/28/2011 7:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually both you and the above op who argued with you about Obama's role are partially correct. George W. Bush (along with his father and Bill Clinton) worked to slowly install loopholes that allowed GE to hide its offshore profits. George W. Bush probably had the biggest role with his 2004 Jobs Act. That said, Obama, after heavy lobbying from GE, has turned a blind eye to the breaks and has even gone as far as appointing Immelt to his jobs panel, which helps decide corporate tax policy, assuring GE that its breaks will remain. If you're looking for the "good guy" here -- someone who defied such cronyism -- you have to go all the way back to President Ronald Reagan, who passed the Tax Reform Act of 1986 which cracked down on companies hiding profits overseas... Obama, Bush Jr., Clinton, and Bush Sr. all pretty much worked to greater or lesser extents to undo Reagan's cuts. I've added some additional clarification in the final paragraph as I wanted to make sure I wasn't inflating Obama's role here to greater than it was. But he has played a part in this, don't be mistaken.


Government <> Good Guy

You are right President Obama is anything but guilty. All I was saying is that the article seems a little slanted.


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By Natfly on 3/26/2011 8:50:50 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Besides, what the heck is this doing on a "tech" website?


I was wondering the same thing.

Your points are valid, I'd try to vote you out of that -1 hole if it wasn't an exercise in futility.


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By ZachDontScare on 3/28/2011 3:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, there it is.

ITS ALL GEORGE BUSH'S FAULT!

An oldie but a goodie.

Let me also remind people of another oldie but goodie, similar to the one the Bush-haters would use whenever a conservative would point out that Clinton-era policies helped create the atmosphere for the 9/11 attacks....

This happened on Obama's watch .

Last I checked, Obamy is president. His responsibility.


RE: Mick's partisan BS
By rdawise on 3/28/2011 7:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
@Zach
Did you read my post or just react? I clearly stated "every president since Reagan has turned a blind eye". That includes Obama, Clinton, and both Bush.

@Fit
You are correct, going after the Tax shelters would drive them out. We definitely need to revamp the tax code in a way that rewards "homegrown" and not outsourcing (no I am not advocating protectionism).

@Jason
I am not trying to attack you, just pointing out that this article seems extremely partisan without some of those facts which you restated. I loved the way you handled the nuclear articles would love to see that continue. Nothing wrong with anyone's opinion as long as it includes all of the facts.


Our great pile of crap tax system
By Zaranthos on 3/26/2011 1:11:14 PM , Rating: 1
This is just another example of why we need a fair tax or flat tax. We need to throw out our abomination of a tax code and drastically simplify it. Maybe if our politicians ever grew a pair of balls (sorry for the analogy ladies) they'd do something productive for a change instead of just pass endless pages of new legislation on top of the piles of crap we already struggle to comply with. Once they do some of that they can start repealing half the laws they've passed we don't need like hate crime legislation.




By sleepeeg3 on 3/26/2011 6:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
I would thumb you up, but I just made the same comment. ;)


RE: Our great pile of crap tax system
By YashBudini on 3/26/2011 9:32:13 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
This is just another example of why we need a fair tax or flat tax. We need to throw out our abomination of a tax code and drastically simplify it.

Why would this change anything? Learn by example. GE has loopholes closed up for a brief time, only to have new ones opened up. Lobbyists exists for this purpose, which is why they have all these tax breaks and you don't. Politicans occasionally throw some us scraps, but that's just to lower the background noise and allow the corporatocracy to continue.

The very people who some hear claim are SOOOO overtaxed would the very first people in line to scream and stop the flat tax you suggest.

quote:
we don't need like hate crime legislation

Whoa, were did this high level of malakia come from?


RE: Our great pile of crap tax system
By sleepeeg3 on 3/27/2011 8:08:12 PM , Rating: 2
You have no idea what a fair or flat tax is, do you?
Educate yourself: www.fairtax.org.

Essentially, we are asking for a national sales tax, similar to what nearly all of the states have now. There can be no "tax breaks" for this type of system, because the taxes are collected at retailers. Everyone will be on a level playing field, tax dodgers will have to pay, illegals will have to pay, American goods will be worth more globally - creating new jobs, true tax rate will be transparent and far more difficult to raise, $200 million will be saved annually in tax preparation fees and accountants will have to find real jobs.


RE: Our great pile of crap tax system
By EPAstor on 3/27/2011 10:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
A flat sales tax is actually a REGRESSIVE tax.

Don't believe me? Alright - hear me out.

If you make $20,000 a year and support a family of 4, what percentage of your income can you save yearly? Call this percentage p0.

What if you make $100,000 a year and support a family of 4? Call this percentage p1. I claim that p1 > p0.

Check my math: let r be the sales tax rate. Multiply r by (1 - p0). That's the percentage of $20,000 you pay in tax. Now, multiply r by (1 - p1). That's the percentage of $100,000 you pay in tax.

Notice that the latter number is definitely smaller than the former... so now you're penalizing those poor enough that they have to spend a larger fraction of their income to get by.


By EPAstor on 3/27/2011 11:08:19 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I could delete or edit.

I just looked at the actual site. I'm sorry; the Fair Tax proposal advanced there includes a "prebate" that deliberately cancels out the initial regressive impact of the sales tax. This is an IMPORTANT aspect of the proposal, and proponents should remember to mention it... otherwise, this misunderstanding will continue.

A universally-fixed lump sum payment won't cancel this effect perfectly - for one, someone who makes $1m a year probably spends a much smaller amount of their income than someone who makes $100k a year - but it then becomes a complicated issue... and not one I'm prepared to argue.

I'm still not convinced that the "Fair Tax" is fair enough... but it's fairer than I thought. My apologies.


By YashBudini on 3/28/2011 8:19:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You have no idea what a fair or flat tax is, do you?

You mean the "theory" versus a team of tax accountants, lobbyists, subsidies, and other corporate welfare? Those facts of life aren't going away.


but remember
By FITCamaro on 3/25/2011 10:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
The oil companies are evil.




RE: but remember
By tng on 3/26/2011 12:00:40 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah...........

Last time I heard of this kind of profit it was one of those evil oil companies....

You know that oil companies shouldn't be allowed make a profit, they are only profiting on the backs of hard working Americans. Despite that, GE is allowed to make a smaller profit overall, but the government allows them to keep all of it tax free....

Where are the screams of indignation?


RE: but remember
By YashBudini on 3/26/2011 9:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
Eating a lot of gulf shrimp lately?


SOS
By YashBudini on 3/26/2011 9:07:59 PM , Rating: 3
Great pic of Obama putting another fox in charge of the henhouse.

quote:
Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.

Benito Mussolini




RE: SOS
By phantom505 on 3/27/2011 11:01:52 AM , Rating: 2
He's less bad than his predecessor at least. Not that I'm happy about it at all. The problem is the assault on government employees because of their "fat paychecks" and "OMFG great benefits" has caused a complete lack of suitable people to regulate. So what do they do, they go to the only place left with people with any knowledge on the subject, the private sector. Problem is those guys have huge bias and this is usually a short term prospect for them so they will be going back to their jobs after a few years.

See, this is problem here is government construction and the dismantling of the government by mostly Republicans, some Democrats. If someone ran on good governance and tried to run a government like a government in this country, they'd be eaten alive by the corporations. Just ask Howard Dean.


FairTax
By sleepeeg3 on 3/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: FairTax
By YashBudini on 3/28/2011 4:24:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The GOVERNMENT is giving away OUR money. Our politicians are the ones screwing America. This is not about the corporations.

It's not about corporations, are you kidding? Who lobbies for tax breaks and subsidies? Mother Teresa?
quote:
GE is happy to take any bonus that will help it compete.

Who do you think told the government to give them the bonus? Hint: Not the taxpayer.
quote:
A national sales tax that will give the raw amount of tax required to support this 800lb gorilla government,

What sales tax we have now has started an underground economy. If it increases the underground economy will flourish. You're talking economic theory, which seldom includes reality.


By Beenthere on 3/27/2011 3:30:56 PM , Rating: 3
While I fully agree Bama is the worst dirtbag president we have ever had, he has a lot of cronies in DC that along with corporate financial greed is destroying the U.S. These unscrupulous dirtbags should all be burned at the stake IMO.




Has something illegal happened here?
By roflagain on 3/29/2011 2:56:11 PM , Rating: 2
I can not fault any company for legally using the tax laws to their advantage. That's simply smart tax planning.

Many in the U.S. actually break the law by cheating on their taxes which costs the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars each year. I can see being upset about this, but not about a company benefiting legally.

I think the article's negative slant is contributing to people's emotions.




By YashBudini on 3/29/2011 10:22:01 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I can not fault any company for legally using the tax laws to their advantage

Even if they suggested creating these laws (ie tax breaks and subsidies) and greased the wheels to make it happen?

Hint: Look at how many lobbyists are retired politicians.


CEO
By 2bdetermine on 3/25/2011 6:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
$14B obviously not enough, now taxpayer had to come up with another 3.2B for his bonus.




Just a suggestion
By mfergus on 3/26/2011 6:12:28 AM , Rating: 2
Comments that look like they belong on 4chan like SunTzu's aren't worth replying to, it's best to just mark it not worth reading. If you're about to post something that looks like it should be on 4chan than do us all a favor and post it there not here. Dailytech is better than that.

Just so i actually post something about the article i'll say nice read Mick. I enjoy your articles. Everytime someone says Mick's a shill for either party i cringe. Whether you agree or disagree with him on certain things, at the very least he has his own views of what he think would be best instead of blindly supporting everything spouted by democrats or republics.

That is really what America needs more of. We have far to many people who blindly support everything one party does and are blindly against everything the other does. People need to ask for more from politicians instead of supporting candidate "a" purely because he/she ISN't candidate "b" Politicians work for US remember, not the otherway around. Nobody should feel like they "owe" a political party or politician for anything they've done in the past. The majority of good things they do for america wasn't just to be nice, it was because the people demanded it. Political parties only deserve 1% of the credit for anything good they do but 100% of the blame for every bad thing they do. Form your own beliefs people and don't compromise. Spouting either parties line does america no good.




Whos in charge
By Uncle on 3/26/2011 4:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of you guys will not like what I have to say. Who's in charge of the White house. I'd say the vice prez. Look at his back ground vs Obama, notice anything. If you believe that the Prez Obama is a puppet with his strings being pulled, look no further. Obama has no connection what soever with the elitist running the country. Obama, no disrespect, was a nobody thrust on to the scene because he had the gift of the gab and fit the bill, if you wanted to scrutinize his back ground and not find any skeletons in the closet here was your man. If this works out to placate the general public, the next person to be elected will probably be Hispanic within the next two elections depending on what happens in Mexico all in the name of Democracy. America the bastion of freedom and choice. Even our old enemy the Russians are a Democracy, the people get to vote, if that's what you want to call it. Look whos in charge, Putin, a former KGB agent. People love to wave the Democracy flag, thats great if you want to compare it with a dictator.
So lets have a Demacratic vote. Who's in charge of looking after the rights of the peoples needs as the Constitution was written for. Choice number 1 the President of the United States or 2 the Corporations. Well bless my sole, I have to abstain from voting, cause no one is looking after the rights of the people.




Whos in charge
By Uncle on 3/26/2011 4:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of you guys will not like what I have to say. Who's in charge of the White house. I'd say the vice prez. Look at his back ground vs Obama, notice anything. If you believe that the Prez Obama is a puppet with his strings being pulled, look no further. Obama has no connection what soever with the elitist running the country. Obama, no disrespect, was a nobody thrust on to the scene because he had the gift of the gab and fit the bill, if you wanted to scrutinize his back ground and not find any skeletons in the closet here was your man. If this works out to placate the general public, the next person to be elected will probably be Hispanic within the next two elections depending on what happens in Mexico all in the name of Democracy. America the bastion of freedom and choice. Even our old enemy the Russians are a Democracy, the people get to vote, if that's what you want to call it. Look whos in charge, Putin, a former KGB agent. People love to wave the Democracy flag, thats great if you want to compare it with a dictator.
So lets have a Demacratic vote. Who's in charge of looking after the rights of the peoples needs as the Constitution was written for. Choice number 1 the President of the United States or 2 the Corporations. Well bless my sole, I have to abstain from voting, cause no one is looking after the rights of the people.




By Mathos on 3/27/2011 11:21:52 AM , Rating: 2
What really needs to happen to fix a few things, or would go a long way towards doing so.... All corps need to pay the same base tax burden. This creative off shore money laundering needs to go away, especially for these larger corps. Give a tax break for producing goods on in the US. That would help both small and large business's. Give tax breaks for selling goods, that are produced in the US, this would help retailers, and encourage selling American made products. Which would in turn, create more jobs in America. This would also encourage certain foreign auto makers to open more factories here.

This is an Important one here, for all those who want a path towards better health care. Make it so the money a company spends on employee health care benefits doesn't count towards taxable income. This one would probably effect everyone all the way down the line, from high end white collar, down to lowly minimum wage jobs. When it comes down to it, healthy workers put out more than those who are ill, and can't afford to get medical attention. Add to this part, give workers the same benefit, any amount they pay for health coverage, and medical bills should be counted as none taxable, needs to be a limit to that of course. Along with some reform in the system itself.




By vectrav2 on 3/27/2011 11:39:34 AM , Rating: 2
Corporate Socialism at it best.




Selective focus?
By Carl B on 3/27/2011 8:24:34 PM , Rating: 2
Question #1: Has DailyTech become a straight-up proxy of conservative talking points and boogeymen?

Question #2: How come this article is about GE, and not about ExxonMobil? There's a company that pays no US income taxes either, an makes its money off of re-selling the natural resources that they have been licensed to extract.

GE at least is essentially *the* titan of US industry - for the whiners on the board that are always crying about US outsourcing and lack of industry, here is a company that is a world leader - and American job creator - in fields as varied as turbines to jet engines. BUT, I notice that no matter any conservatives claimed ideals and priorities, it all goes out the window when there might be even a whiff of a liberal angle anywhere.

PS - The intellectual dishonesty here by associating the Obama administration with the *lack* of taxes paid by corporations is mind-boggling. Do you think president Palin would be making these companies pay up? Newsflash: Obama has not changed the tax code for these players - these rules are long on the books.




Shut down GE plants
By ZachDontScare on 3/28/2011 3:14:41 PM , Rating: 1
When the BP spill occurred, Obamy shut down gulf oil rigs, whether they had a connection to the leak or not, putting tens of thousands out of work and further damaging the economy of th gulf region. All to politically reward the environmental lobby.

Why hasnt Obamy shut down GE's power plants? Given the current problems at the Fukishima plant, which use General Electric designed reactors, why hasnt he done the same?

Can you say CRONYISM ? I knew you could.




Oboma really is the worst president we have ever had
By HrilL on 3/25/11, Rating: -1
By nullCRC on 3/25/2011 5:41:50 PM , Rating: 1
Well, of course, that makes perfect sense.


By MonkeyPaw on 3/25/2011 5:52:28 PM , Rating: 4
This is exactly what is wrong with this country. You'd rather vote against people you think are your enemy, rather than evaluating your elected leaders based on their actions. Politicians aren't sports teams. You don't need to have a favorite and defend him/her to the bitter end.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.


By Nfarce on 3/26/2011 10:21:56 AM , Rating: 3
It's mindless dolts like you who are the reason this nation is in such trouble. "I'm going to vote for candidate X because you don't like candidate X and I'm going to do it just to piss you off." To hell with what's the best interest in America.

How stupid can you get.


By imaheadcase on 3/25/2011 5:53:39 PM , Rating: 4
At least be honest in the rant you have..he did NOT need support for libya..because NATO is not USA. Now if the other countries all voted NO for libya at NATO meeting and he went ahead and did his own thing that would be cause for alarm. But he did not. In fact, at first the USA was hesitant about voting yes, but Clinton spearheaded this Yes vote.

I HATE politics..but i hate people more who twist them around to slight one side of a issue.


By JasonMick (blog) on 3/25/2011 6:01:16 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
At least be honest in the rant you have..he did NOT need support for libya..because NATO is not USA. Now if the other countries all voted NO for libya at NATO meeting and he went ahead and did his own thing that would be cause for alarm. But he did not. In fact, at first the USA was hesitant about voting yes, but Clinton spearheaded this Yes vote.


I'd say in general here, there's the tendency to turn this into an attack against Obama/The Democratic Party (U.S.) in general. I guess that's a normal emotional response.

But in reality the actions of politicians of both parties in the U.S. reek of corruption. I'm reminded of the South Park epsisode "d0uche and turd"...

Sharon: Stan, you came back. Does that mean... you learned the importance of voting?

Stan: I learned that I'd better get used to having to pick between a d0uche and a turd sandwich because it's usually the choice I'll have.


The same sort of corrupt feeding of corporate interest occurred under Clinton, under George W. Bush, and under Obama. And Tea Party people, dream all you want, but when and/if your candidate gets into the White House/Congress, they'll probably start doing the same thing before long.

I guess it all gets back to old axiom of power/money corrupts.


By espaghetti on 3/25/2011 6:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
Jason,
It sounds like you have given up the fight against corrupt politicians. If you have a little pride in this country, you might find a group of people who are actively trying to put us back on a decent path...whatever your political leanings.
Don't bring me down with this no hope stuff, please.


By JasonMick (blog) on 3/25/2011 7:16:53 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Jason,
It sounds like you have given up the fight against corrupt politicians. If you have a little pride in this country, you might find a group of people who are actively trying to put us back on a decent path...whatever your political leanings.


I never said there's no hope and I certainly haven't given up the good fight myself. That's why I posted this piece.

My point was that there's an endemic corruption @ the federal level.

I think an important step towards a solution is to consistently highlight this kind of corruption when it occurs to make it harder for politicians to pull it off, even if they happen to be President.

Also I think Americans need to become more educated and care more about politics, the economy, and world affairs. I would say I'm kinda preaching to the choir here, as our analytics show DT readers on average are much more educated than the population @ large (and your comments indicate that).

quote:
Don't bring me down with this no hope stuff, please.


If there's one thing worse than no hope it's false hope.

I'm not saying there's no hope, what I AM saying is that blindly casting your lot in with one party (Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, etc.) is foolish as virtually all have shown signs of corruption.

I'm also not saying not to vote. What I am saying is be a realist, understand the situation, educate yourself, and share information about the reality of our situation with your peers -- and try to make the best decision you can come election time, with the info you have.


By Solandri on 3/25/2011 7:43:53 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
My point was that there's an endemic corruption @ the federal level.

I really wish you had expanded on the section on corporate taxes. Big corporations dodging U.S. taxes generates lots of badwill against corporations. But via intensive lobbying to implement tax loopholes, they've successfully steered that badwill towards high corporate tax rates which don't affect them.

Consequently the U.S. has the highest or second highest corporate tax rate among OECD nations (usually we switch places with Japan every few years). But those taxes fall most heavily upon the small businesses who are trying to compete with the big corporations. In other words, big corporations have successfully turned hostility towards their tax dodges into policy which helps them by hurting their competition.

Also, corporate taxes may only account for 6.6% of Federal tax revenue, but the U.S. is somewhat unique in that it has an extensive system of state and municipal taxes. You have to add all these up to come up with the total tax burden.


By Keeir on 3/25/2011 8:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
6.6% of Federal tax revenue


He also should have clarified, he means Coporate INCOME taxes.

I am curious how much Payroll tax GE paid...


By niva on 3/28/2011 6:13:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm confused about this, payroll tax is what's taken from employees income, it has absolutely no impact upon the employer. The actual employees are paying that, not directly, but it's coming out of their money.

Or are you talking about something else when you say payroll tax?


By sleepeeg3 on 3/26/2011 6:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
Wait... who is giving away these tax breaks? It is the government. You are blaming the wrong group of people...


By ekv on 3/26/2011 4:55:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
My point was that there's an endemic corruption @ the federal level.
Being a realist and understanding human nature for what it is drives you to read somebody like Ludwig von Mises (or Friedman or Hayek), e.g. Human Action, by Mises.

Hence why I argue for less gov't. Enforce contracts (and laws), create a level-playing field, and go easy on the rest.

Wanting greater amounts of gov't is simply asking for more corruption. It appears, shudder to think of it, we agree here 8)


By stromgald30 on 3/25/2011 7:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
That's not the point. If someone is pointing a gun at a crowd, do police have justification to shoot that person even if it turns out the gun was a fake?

You can argue about whether Congress/President/CIA did their due diligence in verifying reports of WMDs in Iraq , but just because there weren't any WMDs found is a stupid/unfair reason to blame Bush.


By guffwd13 on 3/25/2011 7:43:30 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
That's not the point. If someone is pointing a gun at a crowd, do police have justification to shoot that person even if it turns out the gun was a fake?


Actually they don't. Generally the police either have to be shot at or warn someone first or could be liable themselves.

quote:
but just because there weren't any WMDs found is a stupid/unfair reason to blame Bush.


actually i wasn't blaming him (for iraq). my guess is the western countries fear the islamic nations because of poverty and oppression and they've been looking for excuses to invade and set up more secure and predictable (from the standpoint of global impact - ie terrorism) regimes. i have always thought (even in the beginning of Iraq) that any interest of oil was secondary to the idea that middle eastern instability could take a toll on established nations. in short, western democracy is protecting its future by instituting more democracy in countires with money but no education.

i don't see iraq or libya as any different in that regard.


By stromgald30 on 3/25/2011 9:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
Then what was the point of your post on the WMDs?

I assume you were challenging headbox's assertion that the US went to war (justifiably) because there was the threat of WMDs by saying in the end no WMDs have been found. (How else could one interpret your post?)

Yes. Police are required to warn and try to get a threatening suspect to give up without a fight. Good job on picking at unimportant parts of an analogy. The point is that a preemptive strike is often justified against a strong perceived threat, regardless of whether the threat turns out to be real.

If you want to continue with the analogy, the U.S. did give Saddam warnings that if he did not let UN inspectors in to check for weapons grade uranium, then an attack was likely. Saddam might've been just toying with the U.N., but he did have an opportunity to show he wasn't a threat.


By MeesterNid on 3/25/2011 9:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, let me illustrate a hypothetic situation so that perhaps you can wrap your brain around this, dill hole.

Say you call a plumber because there is water leaking into your living room and he tells you that it's the pipe in the wall. He then says it'll cost you $300 and he'll have to tear open the wall so you'll have to get that fixed too. You then tell your wife that you will be out $300 plus a torn up living room. The plumber goes ahead and tears open then wall only to find that there is no leak there. You still have to pay him and you have a busted wall.

So in this situation should your wife get all bent out of shape at you or at the plumber?

Now focus. In the parable of the plumber, the plumber is the intelligence agencies, CIA, NSA, etc. The "husband" is Bush and the wife is Congress. So then should Bush, after having been briefed by the intelligence agencies, have gone and done his own recon or actually trust that they did their job?

Why is this so hard to understand? People get paid to do a job that others rely upon and obviously sometimes they screw up.


By Iaiken on 3/26/2011 3:49:02 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, the intelligence agencies both domestically as well as those of America's closest allies repeatedly told them they wouldn't find anything that we didn't already know about from the first gulf war and that the embargoes were actually having an affect.

Instead, the administration panned on any evidence that didn't support their bogus claims and simply repeated the same fictitious rhetoric until they even believed it themselves. They came up with a conclusion that would suit them and filled in all of the blanks to make it credible.

Even Al Qaeda was originally a fictitious product that was provided to the CIA by Jamal al-Fadl in exchange for witness protection and millions of dollars back in 2000. Jamal al-Fadl had stolen money from Bin Laden and came of the CIA voluntarily. In exchange for saying what the CIA wanted to hear, creating a criminal organization through which Bin Laden could be linked to the embassy bombings in Africa so he could be tried as a member of a criminal organization in absentia.

There are no documents or recordings or even mention of Bin Laden himself ever using the term before September 11th. Why? Because he only started using the term when he found out that was what his supposedly far reaching terrorist organization was called by the Americans. Previous to this, he identified the group as Al Jihad. This ultimately gave him more power because now the Americans were providing the best advertising a militant radical could hope for. They gave him power on a silver platter, more power and influence than he could have ever hoped to achieve on his own while he was isolated in Afghanistan.

The reality is far more simple than the sophisticated counter intelligence savvy picture that was painted for us. Al Quaeda as described by the neocons doesn't exist. It was just a bunch of loosely tied, unorganized groups of independent and isolated extremists that had the political convenience of all wishing harm on America. When it comes to the training camps, one thing has been common in all the people detained from them and that is that they were training to go back to their home nations to install an Islamic regime. The Canadians and British have been there how long? Still, they have yet to capture a single verifiable member of Al Queda.

Beyond that, Bin Laden was the perfect leader for this fictitious organization because he was willing to finance these independent groups like the hijackers. Since then, similarly independent groups have known exactly who to go to for financing if you're planning to attack the west.

Even when you look at the man himself and what he was up to that we know about, the timelines just don't work out for him to have been able to build up such a large and sophisticated organization. He was busy prior to 2000 trying to install Islamic states in predominantly Muslim nations. These attempts failed and had the opposite effect of turning the people of those nations (Algeria, Egypt, Palestine and Tunisia) against him.

Like with the WMD's any assertions of their fictitious nature can be easily defeated by an argument of "we just haven't found them yet". After all, I can hardly prove something doesn't exist. Instead you wind up with a situation where the people with the most versatile imaginations can simply pile on more baloney to make their original assertions sound more plausible such as: "Al Queda has sophisticated intelligence and early warning systems so they are always long gone before our troops get there."

The was the same rhetoric being used by the exact same people (Cheney/Rumsfeld) before the end of the cold war in their assertions that the Russians were a greater threat then than ever before. All of this again flying in the face of all of the evidence and intelligence being provided by the CIA which was asserting that the Soviets were no longer a threat and had become a house of cards waiting to fall down.

Here we are after the fact and they've now fooled us thrice because everyone let their fear get the better of their senses. There is no arguing with them either because any appeal to reason or fact is simply defeated with more make believe.


By NAVAIR on 3/28/2011 9:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
Your completely full of it. I read this "http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/opf980830a.htm" on the internet after the USS Cole bombing. I wanted to know why it happened. You can find it all over the place and this is not the original location I found it back then. If you want to understand what Al Qaeda is about read the link. Otherwise search for "osama bin laden declaration of war against united states" in Google.

Both my neighbors on each side of me were on that boat. My best friend's neighbors son was on the boat, 19 years old and came home in a bag after the incident. His dad had talked him into joining the Navy just before he retired from the Navy. The dad had bought my buddies car for his son as a surprise for him when he returned. The car sat there for a year and a half before his dad had the courage to get rid of it. War sucks and your perpetuation of lies does not help. Next thing you will say is we blew up are own buildings in New York city.


By Solandri on 3/25/2011 7:23:44 PM , Rating: 5
This is an unresolved conflict in Constitutional law. On the one hand, going to war requires approval by the Legislative branch of our government. On the other hand, entering into an international treaty requires approval by the Legislative branch of our government. So what happens when the terms of a treaty (NATO or the UN, or even hypothetically our treaty to defend Japan from foreign attack) requires us to go to war? Has the Legislative branch already approved going to war by pre-approving the treaty? Or is a separate declaration of war by the Legislative required?

The first time it really cropped up was during the Korean War. Technically, that wasn't a war; it was a UN police action. And Congress never declared war there. It's happened a few more times since then (Bosnia being the other major one).

It's never been brought up before the Supreme Court, and there are plenty of good arguments going either way. So honestly I don't know which way the SCotUS would decide it. Since Congress is reluctant to sue or impeach the President over it, it seems they're not really sure how the SCotUS would decide it either.

quote:
Obama didn't even notify them until after the bombs were dropping

IIRC, the War Powers Act gives the President 48 hours to notify Congress after committing troops.


By sleepeeg3 on 3/26/2011 6:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
There is no conflict. A treaty was issued to NATO. If Congress wants to honor that treaty to support NATO by committing our military, they have to declare war. The President has zero authorization to commit our military. The War Powers Act is a federal law that violates the Constitution. Congress is still the only entity that has the power to declare war, which the War Powers contradicts.

Whatever defense you want to use, Obama's military action in Libya violates it. It is Unconstitutional, because he has no power to declare war. It violates the War Powers Act, because only Congress can authorize him to use force or else the US must be under attack or serious threat - it isn't. It violates NATO's rules, because the rules prevent its members from getting involved in civil wars.

Bottom line, the Constitution overrides all and Obama's action in Libya are Unconstitutional.


By tdawg on 3/28/2011 11:43:19 AM , Rating: 3
Just curious, when did Obama "declare war"? I have not seen him on tv or read statements from the white house that says, "the United States is at war with Libya".

Congress didn't declare war on Iraq for GWB, hell, they didn't declare war on Afghanistan either. Since war was never declared, the US is able to hold enemy combatants indefinitely, as "enemy combatants" don't fall under the protections of the Geneva convention.


By HrilL on 3/25/2011 6:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it wasn't NATO. NATO is just now taking over command. This was done with a coalition of countries but it was not a NATO mission. It was a UN resolution. And in order to use force against a country that has not attacked our country or Americans then the president is required to get congressional approval before. This was intended to keep presidents from having imperialist idea.

Even Bush got congressional approval for both Afghanistan and Iraq.


By Conner on 3/25/2011 5:56:34 PM , Rating: 5
I hate to say, but while obama doesn't seem to want to steer us out of this crap situation, its been a crap situation in the making for many many years. No need to single out the last man in charge.


By RedemptionAD on 3/26/2011 12:47:37 AM , Rating: 5
Regardless of whose fault it originally was, it is the person currently in charge that can correct the error or propagate it.


By SunTzu on 3/25/2011 6:03:26 PM , Rating: 4
Are you saying Obama created all these loopholes in tax-law that allows them to do this? Every president of the last 40 years that skipped doing a complete overhaul of your tax system is to blame for this.

And even if Obama started shooting random strangers on Pennsylvania Avenue with a shotgun, wearing womens underwear and screaming about how this was for the best of the third reich, he wouldnt be half as bad as Bush 2 was. Hell, if he was a drooling infant he wouldnt even be in the same league.

What you guys need is to 1. Get rid of every single old timer republican and democrat in your house and senate, and 2. Revamp your entire tax/welfare system. You've got a huge problem with a growing poor population that would shame any decent EU country, while the riches that your country is producing is going more and more to the fatcats. Force them to pay for the privilege to be a corporate fatcat, and if they threaten to leave, let them. Its better then the status quo, and new entrepeneur will take over, and pretty fast too.

Oh, and shoot every single Tea Party member, thats a good start.


By rivercat on 3/25/2011 6:08:00 PM , Rating: 3
That is one of the most asinine posts I have ever read online. Do you even have a brain, or do you run purely on emotion?


By Autisticgramma on 3/25/2011 7:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
Have you followed politics since 2001? Emotion is all there is, substance got his face shot off in 1963.

Tell me every pres since hasn't been a tool of super-rich elite.

At least Clinton I could high five for using the highest office (teh oval one!1!!) for something better than cabinet musical chairs.


By JediJeb on 3/27/2011 2:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
I sometimes wish we would go back to being isolationists. No more buying oil from foreign nations, no more selling our agriculture products to foreign nations, no more giving loans to half the countries around the world who never pay them back. Let the rest of the world have to decide if they want to expand their cities or reserve that land for the crops they will need to feed their citizens.

I often wonder just what would happen if the US closed its borders for say two years not allowing any money or products in or out. How would it affect us and the rest of the world? Bring all of our troops home and position them along the borders to stop anyone from moving across them except through the legal checkpoints. Let all of our Navy patrol the coasts to take out smugglers with any force necessary. If we took the billions or maybe trillions of dollars spent annually on foreign goods and instead spent all that money within our own country how would that affect the economies globally? What would it do to China if we completely stopped buying their products and stopped exporting money and resources to them?

I don't know global economics, it is why I am asking the questions. Would we fail or grow, would the rest of the world fail or grow?


By Kurz on 3/28/2011 10:05:48 AM , Rating: 2
We would have a worse standard of living.
Some parts of the world are better for different crops.
Some parts of the world have easier access to resources needed to make products.

In a global economy we are able to become more efficient by having free trade with our neighbors. Free Trade usually means peace between nations so there is less war.

There would be less strive for improving ourselves since there is less competition one needs to worry about.

Though honestly the reason we are in this mess is because of our government. Everything from High Healthcare costs, Food, Foreign relations, Financial Problems (Though we gave the power to print money to a private corporation still governments fault), Monopolies (Every monopoly that has come into existance was helped by the government), Wealth Gap.

Majority of society's problems comes from the government, until more people realize this nothing is going to change. Things are just going to get worse.


By KCjoker on 3/25/2011 6:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
Wow...advocating murder...how classy and open minded you are to other's views.


By mfergus on 3/28/2011 5:55:32 AM , Rating: 2
Comments that look like they belong on 4chan like SunTzu's aren't worth replying to, it's best to just mark it not worth reading. If you're about to post something that looks like it should be on 4chan than do us all a favor and post it there not here. Dailytech is better than that.


By guffwd13 on 3/25/2011 7:13:04 PM , Rating: 3
You know whats funny, congressional republicans who support the military heavily (because they are defense contractor puppets) were saying we took too long to attack last week. now suddenly the republicans are "wait a minute! we didn't approve this!!" protecting the lives of innocent my ass!"

it kinda comes across that republicans just complain in any way they can. it gets annoying...

and btw, for those of you who didn't read the comprehensive article about this in the nytimes today, the giant loopholes were created by Bush and Co. as part of the America Jobs Creation Act. They were set to expire in 2008, but was blocked by a heavy republican committee and allowed to continue.

i do agree that obama misstepped by appointing him as his jobs advisor, however.

btw, its your OPINION on obama, not truth. its up to the court to determine if its unconstitutional and even then its still called an OPINION.


By amanojaku on 3/25/2011 8:43:06 PM , Rating: 5
I don't know how to reply to this without sounding condescending or insulting, so, sorry, but you don't know what you're talking about.
quote:
Oboma really is the worst president we have ever had
Here's a different take on the worst presidents in history:

http://www.usnews.com/news/history/features/the-10...
quote:
He is a complete lackey for big business
Really? I thought everyone complained that he wanted to PUNISH big business, with increased taxes, executive salary caps, increased scrutiny, and other regulations that red-blooded Americans hate.
quote:
thinks he is above the law
How do you know what he thinks? Are you saying he's COMMITTED actions that are illegal by exploiting his power as president? Because we have this thing called impeachment...
quote:
He got no congressional approval before going into Libya. This is clear violation of the constitution
He didn't need it. First of all, we aren't at war with Libya; it was never declared, which is all Congress is allowed to do. The President is Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, according to the Constitution, which means he does run the military and decides what it does. The US has not declared war since WWII, and Presidents, for example Bush, have gone to war against Congress' objection. As a result, Congress created the War Powers Resolution, which states the President must notify Congress withing 48 hours of initiating military action. Obama did. Additionally, the president has 60 days before Congress is expected to make a decision, and 30 days to pull out if Congress objects. The mostly Republican Congress has not objected.
quote:
his obamacare healthcare is also unconstitutional
That's a mixed bag, and it's the result of pushing out something so damn big. I think the idea of fining people for not having insurance is ridiculous. Still, I can see where he's coming from. You get sick and you don't have insurance, so you don't expect to be treated, right? You're willing to suffer quietly, right? Yeah, right, of course you expect to be treated. Who pays for it? Me and my taxes, otherwise I'm a heartless douche. But if I get sick and expect YOU to pay for it you call it socialism. For better or worse, this is one way of ensuring people take care of themselves. On top of that, there's nothing wrong with a public option. Unlike publicly-funded health care, this actually requires the government entity to make a profit like a real business. The goal is to provide competition for private insurance companies that have monopolies in their regions, which is more common than you think. I'm not about to critique the whole bill, because it's really a lot of bills rolled into one. Obama messed up by offering it all up at once. But he's a politician, and they all have agendas.
quote:
He is bankrupting our country.
We were already there before Obama.

Public Debt
Clinton 1st term - $4.2 -> $5.3T
Clinton 2nd term - $5.3T -> $5.7T
Bush 1st term - $5.7T -> $7.6T
Bush 2nd term - $7.6T -> $10.6T
Obama - $10.6T -> $14.2T

If you want to know why the debt looks so bad with Obama in office:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/business/economy...
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/106xx/doc10640/10-2009-...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/us/politics/20bu...

The short answer is the recession, tax cuts, war, bailouts, and more accurate accounting under Obama.


By amanojaku on 3/25/2011 8:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
I forgot to include the following articles on GE and how it manages to get money back from the government. It helps when you have former Treasury and IRS folks working in your accounting department. GE's been getting away for years.

http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post.aspx?post=d71...
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy...


By eonsnocrtnarrongi on 3/28/2011 1:03:02 AM , Rating: 2
I hate the fascists. That being said:
GE gets much money back from its investments in wind power. They are playing by the tax code "they" (their lobbyists) wrote for themselves.


By Whedonic on 3/27/2011 6:24:25 AM , Rating: 2
I would rate you up to a 6 if I could, thanks for the informative post! :)


By YashBudini on 3/28/2011 7:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
@amanojaku - Congratulations on a positively rated rending of reality. That's really tough to accomplish on DT. Apparently the string of truth is too much for some.

bin Laden's main goal during the 9/11 time frame was to economically cripple the US. Few care to admit Wall St has done far more damage than bin Laden could have ever imagined. B/L did gain a portion of his goal when the "wars" started, especially right after 9/11 when mere "chatter" caused sudden bursts of security activity that cost billions (and still waiting for their trickle down effect).

There an old saying that has clearly been forgotten:
quote:
Living well is the best revenge.

George Herbert


By BZDTemp on 3/25/2011 9:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
Obama is a disappointment but he is very far from what Bush did.

- Lies about WMD to get the Iraq war.
- The whole Hali-Burton mess.
- Digging a big hole for the US economy
- Proving the US is a worse as the enemies by using torture, Establishing the Gitmo prison, Rendition...

Obama is not bankrupting the US. Bush started that ball rolling and now the Republicans won't let Obama fix it.

As for Healthcare being unconstitutional I'm no expert. If the constitution is prohibiting making sure all people in the US can get proper health care then the constitution needs fixing. Even Cuba has better health care than the US and health care for all should not even be a question.

PS. Not gonna rate you down your statements does that on their own.


By LordSojar on 3/25/2011 11:52:46 PM , Rating: 4
How quickly you guys forget Bush... both of them. How quickly we forget Exxon Mobile and oil subsidies that make this tiny amount seem like a drop in the bucket. You people have the attention span of fruit flies. God help you all.


By YashBudini on 3/26/2011 9:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
And our good buddy Ken Lay at Enron, who caused W to knee-jerk and create SOX, the much beloved corporate law.

Poor Ken Lay, a victim of circumstance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Lay

quote:
Enron's bankruptcy, the biggest in U.S. history when it was filed in December 2001, cost 20,000 employees their jobs and many of them their life savings.


By JediJeb on 3/28/2011 6:34:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
As for Healthcare being unconstitutional I'm no expert. If the constitution is prohibiting making sure all people in the US can get proper health care then the constitution needs fixing. Even Cuba has better health care than the US and health care for all should not even be a question.


Why? Where does it ever mention that people who have money must pay for health care for people who don't have money? If the logic is that every person should get health care at the expense of those who happen to have money, then do we stop at health care or do we include electricity, phones, water, food, cars, TVs, internet, computers, cloths, houses, bass boats, luxury vacations, and anything else someone who has money might be able to afford? Do the people receiving these free things include only the people who can not work, or also the people who do not want to work and refuse to work even when jobs are offered to them? Also if it only includes those who can not work for some reason, then who sits in judgment to decide what qualifies as not being able to work versus lack of motivation to work?

The only way this Utopian ideal of everyone having equal access to everything is to force people like you and me to work to provide a good or service to others who need or want it while also forcing them to work to provide other goods or services to us and everyone else that needs or wants them. Without forced work there will always be those who milk the system by taking what they want or need and never putting back into the system. But with the forced work that is required, we also lose our freedom. In the end we must ask ourselves what we value more, our freedom or total equality of every person on the planet? If there are no consequences to using your freedom to decide to not be a productive part of society, then in the end all society will suffer. If there are consequences to making that choice then the person making that choice will be the one to suffer and not all of society.


By PaterPelligrino on 3/26/2011 1:22:42 PM , Rating: 3
You is right there brother. My friend Bo who works down the feed store was telling me how Glenn Beck proved t'other day that Obama is a colored - that's right, the President of these here United States is a colored man! Not only that, turns out he's a Muslim, a Comoonist and not even a Merican.

Bo said Glenn did this thing with puppets and his black board that full on proved that Obama is planing to take our guns, and then when we can't defend ourselves like it says we have the right to do in the Constitootion, Obama and George Soros are gonna come for our women.

Bo says the White Founin Fathers of this country never did say nothin about given poor people health insurance and that's good enuf for me.

So what we got to do - join the Tea Party, stock up on ammo, and get ready to take back America.


By mfergus on 3/26/2011 5:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
ya the tea party doesn't like obama based on his skin color... good one


By YashBudini on 3/26/2011 9:44:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
He is a complete lackey for big business and thinks he is above the law.

Well at last least he hasn't started dropping bombs on yet another country. No wait.

(Now he's exactly the same a W, based on your comments, especially that above the law business. Same coin theory in action.)


By Norseman4 on 3/28/2011 8:04:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
(Now he's exactly the same a W, based on your comments ...

... except that GW got approval from Congress before military actions.


By YashBudini on 3/28/2011 8:12:23 AM , Rating: 2
With Cheney still getting money from Halliburton what other end results could have possibly occurred?


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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