One of the more popular topics recently is the collapse in corporate tax revenues, and the resultant push by the administration to ramp up taxation at the corporate level. As Zero Hedge has been disclosing for two months now, it all has to do with the now discredited concept of the "wall of money", which is mostly accumulated offshore and is thus not only available domestically, but is not taxed by the US. However, one company which has somehow managed to slip through the cracks is the infamous General Electric: the company, that in addition to the banks, has been the biggest beneficiary of Obama's taxpayer largesse. Here are the numbers: in the period between 1991 and 2009 GE's pretax income is cumulatively $293 billion on which however the firm has paid only $25.2 billion in current domestic taxes, or a 8.58% cumulative tax rate. Yet where it gets wild is the narrower period between 2002 and 2009, during which timeframe the firm made a generous $164.4 billion in pretax net income (not to mention $639 billion in domestic revenue, just over half of total revenues of $1.2 trillion) it paid only $5 billion in domestic current taxes, or a 3.17% tax rate! So our question to the administration is how does $639 billion in domestic revenue, and $164 billion in total net income, result in $5 billion in taxes? Perhaps if the desperately broke administration is so concerned about refilling its empty coffers, it should first of all look at the most profitable (presumably) company in America... And perhaps CNBC can share some coverage on the topic of its parent company's taxation strategy.
Note the red line below which shows the cumulative domestic current taxes paid by GE in the period 2002-2009, and compare it to the blue line, or total pretax income.
h/t Geoffrey Batt