One day before General Electric’s annual shareholder’s meeting, CEO Jeff Immelt received a preview of what might come when a couple protesters interrupted his keynote speech at the SAE World Congress on Tuesday morning.
“Mr. Immelt, when are you going to pay the $26 billion in taxes,” asked McElroy at the beginning of his speech. “I pay my taxes year after year – why doesn’t GE?”
The Fortune 100 company utilizes tax loopholes and offshore accounts to avoid paying federal taxes. Parts of those loopholes and advantages were written into law at the behest of GE and like-minded companies by using lobbyists and campaign contributions. Over the last ten years GE paid only 2.3 percent to the United States Treasury. From 2008-2010 GE paid their top five executives nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, spent more than $84 million in lobbying expenditures, all while they paid nothing in federal taxes. Hence the reputation as a tax dodger.
Out in the hall another group of protesters played a game of “tax dodgerball.” The symbolism was lost on the security guards and a few of the observers.
More to come here in Detroit. Also look for more actions of these types with major companies holding their annual meetings in the coming months.
Activists Protest on Streets and in Board Rooms
Photo by WisconsinJobsNow