What happens when a flash mob of dozens of shareholders and concerned citizens confronts General Electric’s notorious tax dodging practices? The “General Electric Slide” of course!
The lunch hour flash mob descended on GE’s Boston headquarters yesterday sporting blaze orange MASSUNITING hats to perform their own version of the 1976 Marcia Griffiths classic. You can see all the lyrics to the “General Electric Slide” here, but here’s a sample of the retooled tune:
GE pays no taxes! It’s pathetic!
Billions in refunds! It’s pathetic!
You know that ain’t fair – ain’t fair anywhere!
A new report by the non-partisan Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy and Citizens for Tax Justice reveals that General Electric is amongst the worst tax dodgers in America. Despite posting profits of more than $19.6 billion over the last three years, GE managed to draw in a federal tax refund of $3.7 billion. The resulting net-negative tax rate of -18.9% placed GE near the top of the non-profits’ “Dirty Thirty” list of corporate tax dodgers.
“As a shareholder, I’m saddened to see General Electric has been crowned a top tax dodger yet again,” said Bethanne Sullivan, a GE shareholder from Brockton. “GE brought in nearly $20 billion in profits over the last three years. No one in their right mind can say the company’s billion-dollar tax refunds are justifiable.”
In 2010 alone, General Electric’s federal tax subsidy cost Massachusetts nearly $100 million in federal spending and direct aid – including $15 million for Medicaid, $1 million for education programs and $981,000 in disability compensation for veterans.
“Every year, budgets get tighter and tighter – and every year, taxpayers have to come up with more money just to maintain the basic services we all depend on,” said Lesley Stafford of Boston, who joined Thursday’s flash mob. “If General Electric just paid their fair share like the rest of us do, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
General Electric shareholders plan to join hundreds of other Massachusetts residents Tuesday, April 17 for a Tax Day rally and march through Boston’s financial district. The day of action will highlight several of the hub’s most notorious tax-dodging corporations, including GE. Details available at www.TaxDayBoston.org.