Citizens for Tax Justice, a left-leaning pressure group advocating for higher corporate taxes and fewer loopholes, recently released a list of a dozen Fortune 500 companies that, between 2008 and 2010, actually made money on their federal tax returns. And guess what? Our very own Boeing made the cut!
Soaring to new heights, thanks in part to free government money!
The other 11 corporations included in the report are American Electric Power, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, GE, Honeywell, IBM, United Technologies, Verizon, Wells Fargo, and Yahoo. Together, Citizens for Tax Justice asserts, these corporate behemoths, rather than paying taxes on their collective $171 billion in profit from 2008 to 2010, actually got 1.5 percent in tax refunds--$2.5 billion--from Uncle Sam. They also received $62.4 billion in tax subsidies.
Citizens for Tax Justice says its Dirty Dozen list is a sneak peak of a comprehensive report, due out later this summer, of the 2008-2010 tax histories of all Fortune 500 companies.
The organization is not coy about its agenda. While Republicans on Capitol Hill want to reduce overall tax revenues (i.e., cut taxes), and President Obama is hoping to hold tax revenues steady, CTJ is pushing for Plan C:
Citizens for Tax Justice and many others take the position that at a time when our country faces huge long-term deficit problems, corporate tax reform should be significantly revenue-positive, as it was under President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Since then, the corporate tax code has once again become overburdened with loopholes, shelters and special tax breaks.
We have to say, it was pretty shocking when back in March we heard that GE has made a killing off its aggressive exploitation of tax loopholes. And maybe we're excessively naive, but it's shocking to learn that the same now appears true of Boeing and many others. It makes us feel bad, and disappointed, and angry.
We've asked Boeing's media people over at its government operations division to explain themselves and their company. We haven't heard back. When we do, we'll let you know. Maybe this is all just a big misunderstanding.