- The Washington Post: Shining some sunlight on $200 million in Virginia tax breaks
Delegates David Toscano and Lee Ware propose some more stringent criteria for providing new tax credits. The annual tax credits that Virginia provides to the coal industry alone come to $100M/year, or $15/year/citizen.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: So, How Do We Put Elizabeth Warren’s Calendar Online?
I like this description of the work that goes into putting Elizabeth Warren's personal calendar online. Warren is Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and an all-around bad ass, as far as I'm concerned.
- New York Times: G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether
General Electric is the largest company in the United States. It paid $0 in taxes last year. How? By hiding its money in offshore banks and getting Congress to give them special, enormous tax breaks. They have the right to do that, and Congress has the right to strip them of their federal contracts. But they won't, because they don't have the balls. The only person to do anything about this was Ronald Reagan, who overhauled the tax system after he learned about G.E.'s behavior. By the late nineties, G.E. got their loopholes back. This is straight-up corporate welfare, and it's costing all of us billions of dollars.
Published by Waldo Jaquith
Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Charlottesville, VA, USA. more »
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G.E.’s defense is pathetic. They write that “GE pays what it owes under the law”—well, sure, and nobody’s claiming otherwise. And that “GE’s industrial tax rate averages well above 20%,” in which they pull out just one particular bit from their portfolio of their activities and say that area is paying taxes. Oh, and they “paid over $14 billion of income taxes to governments around the world.” Well, isn’t that nice for governments around the world?
My favorite is this: “The Times erroneously suggests GE makes use of tax ‘loopholes’ or ‘innovative accounting.’ Our accounting and tax positions fully comply with all applicable rules and regulations and are based on sound public policy.” That’s right—one man’s loophole is another man’s “applicable rules and regulations.”
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