“Corporations don’t pay income taxes.” Oh yeah?

nyc-corporationsThis post was inspired by a comment from the intellectually challenged blogger known as “zen,” a troll who inhabits “The Toxic Mud Pit.”  He wrote: “Those poor, over-taxed businesses” as he cited to a GAO study showing corporations don’t pay taxes.(*)  Well, I looked up a few large corporations and was shocked.

Altria (MO), with 10,400 employees, made 4.8 billion in before tax profit, and paid 1.7 billion in taxes. Microsoft (MSFT) with 91,000 employees made 23.8 bil before taxes, and paid 6.1 bil in taxes. General Motors (GM) employed 243,000, and lost billions (over 21 bil it appears) but still paid 1.8 bil in taxes. Intel (INTC) employed 83,900, earned 7.7 bil pre-tax and paid 2.4 billion. Wells Fargo Banck (WFC) employed 281,000, earned 3.2 billion pre-tax, and paid 602 million in a year when we all know banks were losing their asses. Exxon (XOM) with 104,700 employees earned 81,750 pretax and paid 36.5 billion in taxes. AND THAT IS BESIDES THE STATE AND FEDERAL TAXES THAT YOU AND I PAY FOR EVERY GALLON OF GASOLINE.

I did not cherry pick these companies, I just randomly looked them up on yahoo finance.  Ironically, the two companies that paid the least percentage of tax, or none, were the most liberal. General Electric (GE) (CEO is a big Obama supporter and GE is parent corp of MSNBC) employed 323,000, made 19 bil pretax, and paid only 1.1 billion in taxes.  I don’t know why, I am no accountant nor am I a tax lawyer. And Progressive Insurance Company (PGR), a company that I used to work for, paid NO income taxes. Of course, they had a negative $222 million of income before taxes.  By far the major personal shareholder of Progressive is Peter B. Lewis, a liberal and huge Democrat supporter.

I’m not saying that abuse does not exist. I’m not saying all corporations pay this much income taxes. But for all the little hippies out there who think it is cool to diss corporations and blame them for our problems, think again. They employ your friends and your neighbors. They produce goods that we all want and need. Corporations are not necessarily a bad thing, so long as they are kept in check.  And of course some corporations do not pay taxes–when they lose money. But if they make money the next year, or the year before, they sure as hell pay taxes.  For all the little mind-numbed hippies like zen out there who pay a couple thousand dollars of income taxes, there are corporations that pay billions in income taxes.

And of course all those employees of those corporations paid income taxes on their salaries working for those huge corporations. And shareholders who made money on those shares of stock and on dividends paid by those stocks paid more income taxes.   I even looked up big bad evil Walmart (WMT), a company liberals love to hate. It employs 2,100,000 people! My brother in law, a jet mechanic with years of experience, left that profession to work at Walmart and he reportedly loves it!  Walmart earned $20.9 bil before taxes, and paid 7.1 bil in taxes.  Next time you want to diss a corporation, first thank them for all the income taxes that they pay.

(*) zen cited to a quote from a Reuters article: “The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

“More than half of foreign companies and about 42 percent of U.S. companies paid no U.S. income taxes for two or more years in that period, the report said.”

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