OT: Obama Panders to Big Business. Again.
If there was any doubt that the 2012 reelection campaign has started, that doubt is now over. Also, if there was any lingering doubt that Barack H. Obama gave a damn about the little guy or gal or about “change” lets hope that that doubt is now over. Liberal, my a**.
In a jaw-dropping move aimed clearly at pandering to the poor victims on Wall Street who are struggling to put food on their tables as they receive massive bailouts, record profits, send jobs overseas and fight tooth and nail against any regulation that might actually prevent a second global economic catastrophe, Obama has named the head of General Electric as his outside economic adviser:
…Immelt’s firm stands as Exhibit A of a successful and profitable corporate America standing at the forefront of the recovery. It also represents the archetypal company that’s hoarding cash, sending jobs overseas, relying on taxpayer bailouts and paying less taxes than envisioned.
The move is the latest salvo in the White House’s continued aggressive and very public outreach to corporate America. Earlier this month, Obama appointed a top executive at JPMorgan Chase as his chief of staff, and this week he granted a longtime wish of business interests by promising to review federal regulations perceived as onerous.
Immelt’s appointment raises fresh questions about Obama’s courtship and future policy proposals. Firms like GE say good jobs will come from lower taxes and less regulation. Immelt told analysts Friday that he’ll focus on tax policy and regulation, among other topics.
Whether GE’s chief executive should represent the White House in those discussions, though, is another matter. He will continue to serve atop GE while advising the Obama administration.
The corporate chieftain’s experience running GE, one of the world’s biggest companies, may shed light on the kinds of recommendations he’d make behind closed doors.
As the administration struggles to prod businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S., according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it’s added 25,000 jobs overseas.
At the end of 2009, GE employed 36,000 more people abroad than it did in the U.S. In 2000, it was nearly the opposite.
And rather than invest in the U.S., the company has decided to look elsewhere. In 2008 and 2009, GE decided to “indefinitely” reinvest prior-year earnings outside the country, according to SEC filings. That’s helped the firm lower its tax rate.
In 2009, the Connecticut-based firm effectively had a negative tax rate, thanks to the $498 million loss it booked on U.S. operations versus the $10.8 billion in earnings it booked abroad. GE realized a $1.1 billion tax benefit in 2009.
In 2008, it paid $1.1 billion in taxes for a 5.3 percent tax rate. In 2007, it paid $4.2 billion in taxes for a 15.1 percent tax rate.
By comparison, during those three years — 2007 through 2009 — the firm reported combined net income of $50.6 billion.
The corporate tax rate in the U.S. is supposed to be 35 percent.
How ironic this announcement comes on the heels of the big State visit by our banker, China. Because nothing says “we intend to expand business and manufacturing at home” like hiring the head of a huge corporation that outsources most of it’s business as an economic adviser. And given GE is a huge player in the military-industrial-complex, not to mention it owns NBC/MSNBC, I’m sure there will not be not a single conflict of interest.
I think the best part of all this is how the administration is feeding into the whole victim routine played by big business. Corporate profits have never been higher but hacks like Mortimer Zuckerman and the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce want us all to believe that they are the real victims of the global financial crisis, not the people who lost their pensions, won’t be able to afford college or lost their homes because of the ethically-challenged (and possibly illegal) games played by Wall Street.
Change you can believe in.