How did a company that reported $5.1 billion in profits ($14.2 billion worldwide) manage to get the government to pay them? For one, G.E. is not alone. Corporate share of the country's revenue from taxes fell from 30 percent in the mid-fifties to 6.6 percent in 2009. Companies get around the 35 percent corporate tax rate — one of the world's highest — with a maze of shelters, tax credits, and subsidies. G.E.'s winning strategy combines fierce lobbying, "innovative accounting," and a tax team comprising former officials from the Treasury, the IRS, and practically all of Congress's tax-writing committees. Hmmm, we're not sure if that really lives up to the company's "Imagination at Work" slogan. G.E. CEO Jeffrey Immelt is both President Obama's liaison to the business community and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He probably just picks up a handful of Washington types every time he drops by.
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