More than a decade ago, during President George W. Bush’s first term in office, he sold the American people on the preposterous idea that cutting taxes for the rich would strengthen the American economy. Republicans claimed that it was imperative that we slash taxes if we wanted job creators to actually create jobs in the United States. The tax cuts have done nothing that the Bush Administration said they would and fourteen years later multinational billion-dollar corporations, like General Electric, are continuing to move jobs overseas.
General Electric recently announced that it would be moving 500 manufacturing jobs out of the U.S. and overseas to Europe and Asia. Of the company’s 305,000 employees, more than 167,750 (55%) already work overseas. In spite of this, the corporation still receives millions of dollars in corporate welfare.
Earlier this year the Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) released a report detailing 15 Fortune 500 companies that pay little to no federal taxes – and GE was on the list. In 2014, they paid a tax rate of just 0.9 percent on more than $5 billion in U.S. profits. Further, over the last five years they have paid a tax rate of -4.3 percent. According to Bloomberg, the average American worker pays a rate of 10 percent, while a billionaire corporation gets away with paying nothing. The CTJ report continued:
As a whole, the 15 companies paid no federal income tax on $23 billion in profits in 2014, and they paid almost no federal income tax on $107 billion in profits during the past five years. All but two received federal tax rebates in 2014, and almost all paid exceedingly low rates over five years.
Not only are they paying no taxes, they continue to move their jobs to other countries while crying crocodile tears about American over-regulation. In 2004, three years after he gave the one percent tax breaks that took millions of dollars out of the economy, Bush told the American people that outsourcing was a great idea. N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors, said:
“Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade.More things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that’s a good thing.”
So, he claimed that his tax cuts would create jobs, but just three years later — after losing 2.8 million manufacturing jobs — he said outsourcing was good for the economy.
GE certainly isn’t alone, many other companies (see here) have also moved jobs overseas, proving that GOP economics are completely off base. If the Republican Party was right about the Bush Tax Cuts they have fought so hard to keep, none of these companies would be outsourcing. Instead, they’d be using the trillions of dollars they have received and created millions of new jobs; but that’s not happening.
More and more companies are dodging the already shockingly low amount of tax they pay in this country by moving overseas. This just goes to show that no matter how much we give them, it will never be enough. They will keep asking for more and more, until eventually we have nothing left to give and in that moment they will ask for more and if it were up to Republicans, we would continue to reward them.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.