Mitt Romney’s offensive comments at a recent fundraiser that demeaned Americans who are too old or too poor to be asked to pay federal income taxes have set off a debate about economic fairness.
Yesterday, we showed you how Republicans support using the government to funnel tax dollars to the very rich.
Here’s another outrage. There are many massive corporations that get away with paying zero percent tax rates — or less (meaning they got tax benefits). Here’s just five that have gotten away with doing this in recent years:
- Boeing: The massive airline producer and weapons company is one of the worst freeloaders. From 2002 to 2011, it paid nothing in federal corporate income taxes. In fact, it even reported more than $2 billion in federal tax benefits over that period of time. This doesn’t even mention the billions of dollars Boeing gets from the Import-Export bank or the military budget.
- Wells Fargo: From 2008 to 2010, this megabank actually got away with paying a net tax rate of negative 1.4 percent.
- Verizon: This telecommunications corporation paid a negative 2.9 percent tax rate between 2008 and 2010. At the same time, it made nearly $32 billion in profits. It likely took some of that money to use for union-busting in the coming years.
- Pepco: This corporation paid a -57.6 percent income tax rate from 2008 to 2010 while at the same time accumulating $882 million in profits. That’s news that’s sure to make their customers — who have suffered from subpar service for years — groan.
- Bank of America: Bank of America didn’t pay a penny in federal income taxes in 2010, but it did report a tax benefit of almost a billion dollars.
How is it that massive corporations are able to get away with paying less in taxes than most middle-class Americans? They have massive armies of lobbyists and public relations gurus, and they’re able to flood campaign coffers with a nearly unlimited amount of money. That results in a tax code full of loopholes and unfair credits and deductions.
Romney’s right that we should be angry about people taking advantage of the government and taxpayer. But for the most part, those people aren’t poor and working-class Americans. They’re powerful corporations, the very same ones that Romney has failed to hold accountable.