30 Major U.S. Companies Spent More on Lobbying than Taxes

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30 majory U.S. companies spent more on lobbying than taxesThirty large American corporations spent more money on lobbying than they paid in federal taxes from 2008 to 2010, according to a report from the nonpartisan reform group Public Campaign.

All of the companies were profitable at the time. In spite of this, and the massive federal budget deficit, 29 out of the 30 companies featured in the study managed through various legal tax-dodging measures to pay no federal income taxes at all from 2008 through 2010. The lone exception, FedEx (FDX), paid a three-year tax rate of 1%, nowhere near the 35% called for by the federal tax code.

In fact, the report explains, the 29 companies that paid no tax actually received tax rebates over those three years, "ranging from $4 million for Corning (GLW) to nearly $5 billion for General Electric (GE)." The total value of the rebates received was nearly $11 billion; combined profits during the same period were $164 billion.

The amounts spent on lobbying ranged from $710,000 by Intergrys Energy Group to $84 million by General Electric. Others that spent heavily on lobbyists were PG&E (PCG), Verizon (VZ), Boeing (BA) and FedEx. It all added up to a total of almost half a billion dollars -- $476 million -- over three years. Or, as the report notes, "in other words, roughly $400,000 each day, including weekends." The same firms spent an additional $22 million on donations to federal campaigns. Logically enough, the two biggest contributors were defense contractors: Honeywell International (more than $5 million) and Boeing ($3.85 million). General Electric wasn't far behind ($3.64 million).

For a complete list of the companies surveyed, as well as information on executive compensation, read the full report.



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scottee

Ready for a new year and another bout with the Internal Revenue Service, deductions, exemptions, pens and pencils, calculators, receipts, 1040s, W-2s, accountants, Quicken, TurboTax, and more? If you're like most Americans, that laundry list of income tax jargon, paraphernalia, professionals and their fees is enough to set your head spinning -- and even if it isn't, the thought of paying Uncle Sam your annual dues will certainly do the trick.

America's tax code needs reform, plain and simple. The current tax system discourages saving, investment, and entrepreneurship. It's a drag on productivity, job growth, international competitiveness, and wages. It's complicated beyond belief, and it needs to change. The good news is that there's a solution that would spell the end of America's convoluted tax code once and for all: The Heritage Foundation's "New Flat Tax." It's as easy as one, two, three,

January 09 2012 at 8:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rusty

The political satirist, Will Rogers, said it ninety years ago, "We have the best politicians money can buy."

December 20 2011 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Harrod

This article shows us why it is absurd to call this kind of huge money "freedom of speech". I think bribery, robbery, and prostitution are closer to the what these facts show. I wish my tax rate was -1% , just like Wells Fargo's, the wonderful person that stole my home, while I pay a 20% tax rate as a struggling small business person.
If the Party of Family Values doesn't get it's head out of its out of it's armpit and recognize what is really happening and stop putting Corporate Cronies like MItch Mcconnel back in office then we working people are soon to all be homeless.

December 20 2011 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wlewan60

If corporations voluntarally paid their taxes plus 50% of their lobbying costs to the government there would be a win-win. The gov would get way more income and the corps would spend way less money. This would allow the corps to charge less for their products. The gov would tax the people less, who would in turn, be able to afford to purchase more products. The middle class would reappear and there would be a lesser percentage of poor.
Of course this would never happen because of corporate greed and over regulated industry. It could make a good story line for a fairytale book though.

December 19 2011 at 10:15 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wlewan60's comment
warrenbent

If wiewan understood the reason corporations pay this extortion is the return they receive from doing so, he wouldn't post such follishness. And if he further understood that all taxes COLLECTED by corporations are PAID by citizens through lower wages, reduced shareholder returns, and higher consumer prices, he wouldn't beg thegoons to lower his wages, decrease his investment returns, and force him to pay more for goods and services.

December 19 2011 at 10:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
jmoulc

We should all feel cheeted by what is happening in Washington, it's no longer our country, big companies get away with almost anything and leave common people holding the bag.

December 19 2011 at 9:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ccm989

How long can this go on before the corporations begin eating themselves? If there are no consumers left with money to spend, corporations will no longer make money and then no longer exist. It defies logic.

December 19 2011 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
formansrule

Ironic that the more such companies get caught up in corporate welfare or regulatory battles, the more they have to compete via legislation and less based on quality, costs, and innovation. What is truly surprising is that the more they rely on government, the less taxes they are paying (clearly a function of their lobbying investment and Congress's willingness to make companies (and their employees) beholden to re-electing the members that "work" for these companies.

December 19 2011 at 8:30 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
monza866

As long as lobbying is allowed they can spend what they want. The problem is that lobbying is still legal and there are politicians ready to cash in.

December 19 2011 at 8:21 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
schmoyers

All the fuss about don't tax America's super rich or its mega global corporations is not about "job creation"! If it was America would have sufficient numbers of decent jobs other than millions working in global fast food chains and Chinese goods retail emporiums. These interests lobby for lower and lower taxes on the mega corporations and mega millionaires, so that they can give more money to the politicians. The polticans ,in turn ,spend a lot of it on horrible, twisted 60 second sound bite ads on TV and rtadio. This supports both right and left wing media. Ordinary, thoughtful, moderate Americans who just want a fair shot at a decent life are left floundering in the dust. This whole system needs total overhaul. Get mega bucks out of politics and return democracy to America

December 19 2011 at 8:17 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
schmoyers

All the fuss about don't tax America's super rich or its mega global corporations is not about "job creation"! If it was America would have sufficient numbers of decent jobs other than millions working in global fast food chains and Chinese goods retail emporiums. These interests lobby for lower and lower taxes on the mega corporations and mega millionaires, so that they can give more money to the politicians. The polticans ,in turn ,spend a lot of it on horrible, twisted 60 second sound bite ads on TV and rtadio. This supports both right and left wing media. Ordinary, thoughtful, moderate Americans who just want a fair shot at a decent life are left floundering in the dust. This whole system needs total overhaul. Get mega bucks out of politics and return democracy to America

December 19 2011 at 8:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply