USuncutMN says: Tax the corporations! Tax the rich! Stop the cuts, fight for social justice for all. Standing in solidarity with and other Uncutters worldwide. FIGHT for a Foreclosure Moratorium! Foreclosure = homelessness. Resist the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist and Citizen's United. #Austerity for the wheeler dealers, NOT the people.

We Are The 99% event

USuncutMN supports #occupyWallStreet, #occupyDC, the XL Pipeline resistance Yes, We, the People, are going to put democracy in all its forms up front and center. Open mic, diversity, nonviolent tactics .. Social media, economic democracy, repeal Citizen's United, single-payer healthcare, State Bank, Operation Feed the Homeless, anti-racism, homophobia, sexISM, war budgetting, lack of transparency, et al. Once we identify who we are and what we've lost, We can move forward.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Corporations At Tax Time: Who's Good And Who's Bad (And Who's Really Ugly)

By Paul Buchheit
31 March, 2011

It's tempting to blame government for our middle-income 15-20% tax rates.
But the true culprits have documented their own guilt. Comprehensive
financial reports called '10-Ks' are issued annually to the SEC by U.S.
corporations. Amidst tedious pages of income, flow, and outgo, company
accountants deftly balance management's desire to impress stockholders
with the need to avoid self-incrimination. has documented recent corporate tax activity from the 10-Ks.
We took non-deferred federal tax payments over the past three years and
analyzed the figures to determine which companies and industries
consistently meet or avoid their obligations. The entire dataset is
available on the website.

The GOOD seems to be in the health care industry, where Humana, Medco,
Wellpoint, and United Health all paid taxes at rates close to the 35%
corporate maximum over the past three years. Some nation-wide family
favorites fared well, too. Home Depot, Walgreens, CVS, Kohl's, and Best
Buy all approached the 35% rate three years running. Good places to shop.
Companies within specific industries were generally grouped together, as
if they didn't want to fall far from the tree. In the middle of the pack
were Costco, Walmart, and Target, all consistently paying in the mid-20%
tax rate range. Even more noteworthy was the tech industry, which had
several companies paying taxes at annual rates between 15 and 20 percent:
Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, Google, Apple, Amazon, Cisco, and Comcast.

On to the BAD...Kraft Foods and Coca Cola paid less than 10% in taxes over
the three-year period. Chevron paid 5%. Hewlett-Packard 3%. IBM 2%. Exxon
2%. Carnival 1%.

Can't get much worse, it seems. But it does. It gets UGLY.

Boeing and DuPont and Dow Chemical and Verizon all made profits three
years in a row, but all received net refunds for the three-year period.
The ugliest result comes from General Electric, which made pre-tax profits
of $44 billion over three years but received almost $5 billion in refunds!
So ugly, indeed, that the company buried its tax benefit (refund) strategy
in a nondescript passage near the end of its 10-K.

The big picture:

The top 100 companies, with $5 trillion in 2010 revenue and $500 billion
in pre-tax earnings, paid less than 10% last year in non-deferred federal
taxes. If these 100 companies had paid the 35% tax designated by U.S. tax
law, an additional $140 billion would have been collected in federal taxes
in just one year. This is approximately equal to the total budget deficits
for all 50 states.

Pay Up Now is committed to a focused national effort to refuse the
business of the worst corporate tax offenders. We should not have to
subsidize them with our own tax money.

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago,
founder and developer of social justice and educational websites
(,,, and the editor and
main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press).
He can be reached at

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