In a "remember me, three years ago?" speech in Kansas yesterday, President Obama told the crowd, "This country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share and when everyone plays by the same rules." A new report [pdf] from the non-profit organization Public Campaign shows that 30 of the country's largest corporations—including GE, Wells Fargo, Verizon, and Fed Ex—paid more to lobby Congress from 2008 through 2010 than they did in federal income taxes. What country was the president referring to?
Of the 30 companies, only one actually paid any federal income taxes: FedEx. The rest received nearly $11 billion in rebates. And even FedEx only paid 1%, 34% less than the statutory rate. As for lobbying, the 30 corporations spent a combined $476 million—or $400,000 a day every single day of the year, to ensure their interests were represented in Congress. GE led with way with $84 million in the three-year period (wonder why?) Verizon spent $54 million, and Boeing spent $52 million.
We can hear Eric Cantor crying now: "But these companies create jobs!" Of the seven companies that would make their employment records public, the report shows that over 50,000 Americans were laid off by these corporations, despite them turning a profit.
If you've been
weeping uncontrollably if you even attempt to pick the paper up from your stoopfollowing the news, the results of this report shouldn't surprise you. But hey, a few more speeches in Kansas should straighten things out.