US Senator Bernie Sanders – it’s a scandal that many corporations pay no taxes, then receive IRS refunds!

by on April 1, 2011 · 19 comments

in American Empire, Economy, Popular

March 30, 2011 – US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks to the Senate.

Exxon Mobil, Bank of America, GE and other giant corporations paid no U.S. taxes despite billions in profits. In fact, they pocketed big IRS refunds. It’s a scandal, Sen. Bernie Sanders told colleagues on Wednesday. As congressional leaders and the White House haggled over how many billions of dollars to cut spending on programs for working families, Bernie tried to broaden the debate. He compiled a top-10 list of tax-dodging corporations. “Maybe we have to reduce that deficit not simply on the backs of working families, low-income people, the children, the sick, the elderly. Maybe, maybe we might want to call for shared sacrifice. Maybe Exxon-Mobil and some of the large oil companies might be asked to pay something in taxes.”

Sen. Sanders’ 10 worst corporate income tax avoiders.

  1. Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.
  2. Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.
  3. 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.
  4. Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.
  5. Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.
  6. Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.
  7. Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.
  8. Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.
  9. ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.
  10. Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Debbie April 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Right on! Our elected officials are bought and sold but this one seems to stand on his own two feet.


avatar RB April 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Bernie, should read the tax code that you created. You don’t pay taxes based upon size. You don’t pay taxes based upon government contracts. You don’t pay taxes based upon sales or revenues. You don’t pay taxes based upon misguided congressional bailouts. You don’t pay taxes based upon foreign registered ships.

BERNIE, YOU PAY TAXES BASED UPON PROFITS ONLY and you have to carry forward past losses to reduce your current tax bill.


avatar Shane Finneran April 2, 2011 at 11:29 am

RB, no need to make a simple issue complicated. These companies made billions in profits but used accounting and lobbying to pay ridiculously low taxes, or even get refunds. The fact that we let them get away with it shows what a bunch of suckers we are.


avatar RB April 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm

The tax code is a very complicated issue. Congress uses the tax code to raise campaign contributions. This is why I favor public financed elections and jail time for those who cheat. As for the suckers burdened with the taxes and filing a complicated 1040, I recommend buying H&R Block (HRB) in December and selling it in April.;range=3m;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined


avatar Marisag April 2, 2011 at 7:50 pm

People use H&R Block still? Hasn’t TurboTax put them out of business yet?


avatar RB April 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

I use Turbo Tax but many people still have others do their taxes. Also HRB has a competing tax software program called Tax Cut. The tax prep people are also in the loan business for their customers.


avatar Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I wouldn’t swear on it in court,(or anything else for that matter) but I think Senator Sanders was refering to net profits in his speech.Maybe we should just admit the whole congress has been captured by corporate interests.Most of these corp’s don’t even consider themselves American.In fact they are incorporated in other countries to get out of taxes. But they still want to use our roads,police etc. for free. Some people might think thats a good idea.All I know is that someone is paying and if all the jobs are in other countries, we are going to have a hard time footing the bill. So, if they want our buisness maybe the should try helping America out. Especially since they are counying on us to buy all the junk there selling us.


avatar Marisag April 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

US citizens living abroad still have to file tax returns every year, and even though you’re not here using anything US, you still have to pay taxes. If you live and work in a country that has a reciprocal tax treaty with the US, then any tax you pay to that country is credited against your US tax bill. However, if you’re not in a treaty country, you are responsible for paying double taxes. Corporations however don’t even have to pay em here!


avatar Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Frank or whoever, Are comments out of chronological order editorial or what’s up. I just saw “editress” in this webster’s while trying to make sure of my spelling. I that a term that is acceptable in mixed company.Dictionaries are dangerous,Or are dictionaries dangerous? Seriously in need of some help.


avatar Patty Jones April 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Rick, comments are in chronological order but they are also threaded, meaning that if you reply to a comment (by clicking the REPLY link under a certain comment) your reply is nested (indented) below the comment you were replying to (like this reply to your message).

As an example, RB’s comment of April 1, 5:22 pm was replied to by Shane on April 2, at 11:29 am, then his comment was replied to by RB at 2:15 pm. Those comments are threaded (and have a vertical line to the left of them), and appear earlier in the page than your comment that was made at 1:02 pm.

Hope that explains things a bit.


avatar Old Hermit Dave April 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm

OK so 100 bums in the Senate let one bum play like he is concerned that the big guys don’t pay any taxes. Now if 99 bums were on TV yelling about it, with only one bum keeping quiet, something might happen. After April FOOLS day on the 15th, this topic will never be heard again until next year.


avatar Andy Cohen April 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Thing is, this is how the Repubs want it: Keep shoveling cash to the rich, and bilk the middle class/poor. It’s a power grab on a scale never before seen in history.

What Repubs apparently don’t understand is that when you shrink the middle class to the point where it’s on the verge of extinction, then you eliminate the very people who buy the products and services that the rich have to sell. And when no one has any disposable income to buy the little extras, the economy tanks. The American economy thrived in the past because of the robust middle class that was unique in the world. What they’re consciously doing is sabotaging the American economy.


avatar Shane Finneran April 3, 2011 at 9:07 am

Seems unfair to pin this on only Republicans. I mean Democrats controlled Congress and Presidency in 2009 and 2010, and they sure didn’t take action on corporate tax rates. These companies didn’t start dodging after Nov. 2010 … this has been going on for years…

Democrats fought low taxes for corporations the same way they fought low taxes on the filthy rich: by not fighting at all. They don’t even deserve “lesser of two evils” status when it comes to fiscal policy.


avatar Patty Jones April 3, 2011 at 10:39 am

Amen brother!


avatar Chris Rewoldt May 12, 2011 at 4:41 am

Seems very fair. Look at how they vote.


avatar Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 3, 2011 at 6:17 am

I know this comment doesn’t have anything in commom with this article,but… I really appreciate the pace of conversation on this website. It gives a person time to think some about thier posts but is also spontaneous enough to keep it real. Just for my own information, is what we do here considered blogging?


avatar Patty Jones April 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

Good morning Rick!

The word “blog” came from the term “weblog”, a journal or diary published on the web. Generally to be considered a blogger you would be publishing posts or articles to a site. But I have to say that some of our readers put more thought into their comments than a lot of bloggers out there put into their content!


avatar nunya April 4, 2011 at 10:39 am

thanks for posting this, I somehow missed it, and I love the Bernie!


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