Tax Elimination Bulb Burning at GE?

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What do you think about the media's obsession with corporations not paying their fair share of income taxes? Did General Electric really not pay any income taxes on a $5.1 billion U.S. profit last year? GE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said in a speech two months that the U.S. tax system is "old, complex and uncompetitive. The purpose of a tax code should be that everyone pays their fair share, including GE. But it should also promote jobs and competitiveness and does the opposite."

Ken Cohen, Exxon's vice president for public affairs, said Exxon pays more taxes than any other company in the Standard & Poor's 500 index--$59 billion in the United States over the past five years. After taxes, the company earned $41 billion from U.S. operations during that period. Exxon's profit of $10.65 billion for the first quarter of this year was its highest since it made $14.83 billion in the third quarter of 2008, a record for a publicly traded company.

What do you think about all of this? Is the media blowing it all out of proportion? Focused on the wrong thing(imagine that)? The accounting community needs to know what YOU think.

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