Over the past couple of weeks, many commentators have been giving General Electric a hard time for not paying any federal taxes -- when other companies with similar earnings have been paying 35 percent. The company also laid off 18,000 workers while earning billions in profits.
Over the weekend, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) named the company to his list of top 10 worst tax offenders.
"Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS," Sanders' staff wrote in a news release.
Click here to see Sanders' list of corporate tax offenders. (Yes, Exxon and Goldman Sachs made the list.)
To make matters worse, a search of the federal government's database tracking stimulus dollars shows that GE has been awarded more than $125 million in stimulus funds. (Chart below of the top 40 grants or contracts awarded.)
It's one thing to avoid paying taxes based on the argument that corporations are taxed too heavily and need the government to get out of their way. But it's quite another thing to avoid taxes while asking for taxpayer dollars from the government.
That is, in a word, ridiculous.
RowNumbersortRecipientsortAward #sortOrder #sortFunding
Amount sortRecipient Role1GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYNT42643 Department of EnergyGrants$31,315,237.00$31,315,237.00P2GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYN00019-09-G-0009-00050005Department of the NavyContracts$15,040,381.00$13,345,630.41P3GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYNNC10CA10C National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationContracts$6,486,900.00$6,254,593.00P4GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0000169 Department of EnergyGrants $5,000,000.00S5GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0002755 Department of EnergyGrants$3,408,485.00$3,336,863.00P6GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-AR0000084 Department of EnergyGrants$3,017,511.00$3,017,511.00P7GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0002769 Department of EnergyGrants$3,000,000.00$2,718,542.00P8GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYFA8650-07-C-2802N/ADepartment of Defense (except military departments)Contracts$2,642,448.00$2,642,448.00P9GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0002752 Department of EnergyGrants$2,390,210.00$2,390,210.00P10GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-AR0000158 Department of EnergyGrants$2,249,980.00$2,249,980.00P11GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0003250 Department of EnergyGrants$3,948,832.00$2,140,116.00P12GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0002787 Department of EnergyGrants$2,085,062.00$2,085,062.00P13GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYW912HQ-09-C-0060 Department of Defense (except military departments)Contracts$2,000,000.00$2,000,000.00P14GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYN00019-09-G-0009-00060006Department of the NavyContracts$1,946,351.00$1,881,216.00P15GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY1R01ES016569 Department of Health and Human ServicesGrants$1,848,540.00$1,848,540.00P16GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0000572 Department of EnergyGrants$1,820,069.00$1,820,069.00P17PORTLAND GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-OE0000190 Department of EnergyGrants $1,800,000.00S18GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYN00019-09-G-00090006Department of the NavyContracts$1,762,751.00$1,669,546.30P19GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYW909MY-10-C-0003 Department of the ArmyContracts$1,500,000.00$1,500,000.00P20GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYW909MF-10-C-0003 Department of the ArmyContracts$1,500,000.00$1,500,000.00P21GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0003251 Department of EnergyGrants$1,736,272.00$1,490,423.00P22GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0003839 Department of EnergyGrants$1,471,291.00$1,471,291.00P23GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY1R01HL094487 Department of Health and Human ServicesGrants$1,613,729.00$1,471,159.00P24GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYFA8650-09-D-2922/005 Department of the Air ForceContracts$1,458,000.00$1,458,000.00P25GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY60NANB10D019 Department of CommerceGrants$1,500,000.00$1,420,000.00P26GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYFA8650-09-D-2922/0005 Department of the Air ForceContracts$1,458,000.00$1,411,875.00P27GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYNNC10CA02C National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationContracts $1,337,455.00S28GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY1RC2EB011439 Department of Health and Human ServicesGrants$1,238,601.00$1,238,601.00P29GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDAAD19-01-C-0067 (P00008) Department of the ArmyContracts $1,100,000.00S30GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYFA8650-08-C-5305 P00002 CLIN 0002n/aDepartment of Defense (except military departments)Contracts$1,520,000.00$1,008,137.00P31GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY2009-SQ-B9-K013 Department of JusticeGrants$999,955.00$999,955.00P32GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-EE0000568 Department of EnergyGrants$1,191,060.00$954,576.00P33GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-AR0000118 Department of EnergyGrants$949,533.00$949,533.00P34GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYFA8650-09-D-29220006Department of the Air ForceContracts$935,000.00$935,000.00P35GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYHHSN276201000488P Department of Health and Human ServicesContracts$862,699.33$862,699.33P36GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYV797P-6019bV797A06125Department of Health and Human ServicesContracts$750,000.00$750,000.00P37GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYV7797P-6019BV797C06142Department of Veterans AffairsContracts$740,000.00$740,000.00P38General Electric CompanyDE-FE0000663 Department of EnergyGrants $700,000.00S39GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-AC02-06CH113572005045Department of EnergyContracts $650,000.00S40GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANYDE-OE0000499 Department of EnergyGrants$649,903.00$649,903.00P