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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Top Ten Tax Dodging Companies

    When banks have been in trouble, they come to you and me, the taxpayers, to be bailed out. Aerospace companies depend on contracts paid for by you and me, the taxpayers, for their bread and butter. Oil prices are kept low by government subsidies and when an oil company messes up and a spill happens, a good deal of the money for clean up comes from you and me. Yet these are the companies that pay the least taxes.

    Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, points out for us the top ten tax dodging companies, and let me tell you I for one won't give ANY of them a penny if I can avoid it.

    From Bernie Sanders:

    Sanders compiled a list of some of some of the 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.

    Join me in boycotting Exxon/Mobil, Conoco and Phillips, Valero, and Chevron when you fuel up. They are tax cheats as well as irresponsible businesses in almost every way. Citgo (find stations), Propel Fuels (find stations), Conserv Fuel, Pearson Fuel, Sunoco (find stations) and Hess (find stations) are the best options I know of. Try to give them your business rather than Exxon/Mobil, Chevron, Conoco, Phillips or Valero.

    Turning to banks, Bank of America is consistently rated the worst bank for customer service...AND they are one of the worst tax dodgers in America. Citibank is tied with Bank of America as worst bank according to Co-op America, and is third for most customer complaints (after Bank of America and Chase). Goldman Sachs is also a tax dodging company. And, of course, these companies demanded taxpayer funded bailouts when their terrible business practices turned sour for them. So they love to take taxpayer money, but hate to pay their fair share. I won't patronize Bank of America, Goldman Sachs or Citibank if I can avoid them. TD Bank (find locations) did no predatory lending and took no taxpayer money in the bail out and has good customer service. Most credit unions are better options than banks with closer ties to their community (find a credit union). Local banks can also be good options.

    I don't personally take cruises nor am I ever a customer of Boeing other than the fact that ALL tax payers are their customers through government contracts. But I am content to focus on hitting these tax dodging oil companies and banks. Please join me in finding better alternatives. The ongoing boycotts of Bank of America are hurting them. Let's hit all of these tax dodgers and patronize their better rivals as well.

    More on Better Banking and Better Credit Cards

    More on Breaking up with your Mega-bank.

    More on where to fuel up.



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