Ritchie on GE\’s taxes

Quite remarkable, he entirely fails to note the most important point that GE itself makes about its taxes.

We just said you spend a lot of money make sure sound public policy accords with GE’s view of what sound public policy should be.

And we questioned the ethics of that.

And the fact it meant you paid no tax in the US in 2010.

Yes, yes, blather, blather.

The actual important point is:

Significant losses at GE Capital during the financial crisis, largely in the United States, reduced GE’s overall tax rate below historic levels the past few years. Those losses and the subsequent reduction in taxes owed is not a “tax avoidance” strategy. Taking out GE Capital makes GE’s effective tax rate 21% over the past several years. GE’s consolidated (or overall) effective tax rate prior to the financial crisis was in the teens to more than 20%.

They made losses. Losses are offset against profits, either immediately (as, say, The Guardian does, offsetting the losses made by The G against profits from other parts of the company, GMG) or over time.

Wouldn\’t matters be clearer if one of the country\’s leading tax experts could bring himself to note such points?

9 comments on “Ritchie on GE\’s taxes

  1. Shouldn’t “leading tax experts” be in scare quotes. I’m willing (albeit, reluctantly) to accept, de facto, that he is in the UK.

  2. “We just said you spend a lot of money make sure sound public policy accords with GE’s view of what sound public policy should be.”

    You can tell Mr Murphy is getting upset – he’s typing suffers.

    The upshot of his point (once deciphered) is that it’s ok for the Left to “lobby” (protest/smash things up/whine) for changes in the law, but not anyone else, especially evil big businesses.

  3. We’ll see if Murphy unModerates my comment,-

    “You make no reference at all to GE’s lobbying”

    Because it is not relevant to the argument at hand. It is a different argument. Here it is a non sequitur.

    If you want to write about GE’s lobbying, fine, we right wingers will probably agree that it stinks. You think we righties love the tendency of big corp and big gov to fellate each other. We don’t. No more do we like your masters, the unions, and big gov doing the same. Corruption of the market is corruption of the market whether from labour, capital or corporatist oligopoly.

    So far lobbying seems bugger all to do with the tax issue. Can you point to some clause in the US tax code that got GE a big tax break and that was put into the tax code as a result of GE lobbying? If so, I’ll reconsider.”

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