General Electric, along with General Motors, is the prototype of Big Business in the Age of Obama. GE bills itself as the world's largest industrial company; currently it ranks #4 in the Fortune 500, with revenues in 2010 of around $156 billion. All has not been well at GE, however. Since 2002, the company has laid off around 20 percent of its work force in the U.S., while expanding its overseas operations. And the company's financing arm, GE Capital, sustained massive losses and had to be bailed out by the federal government:
....2010 was a good year for GE. The New York Times reported that the company earned over $14 billion in 2010, $5.1 billion from its U.S. operations. (The tens of billions GE has received from the federal government in bailout guarantees were obviously a big help.) Yet GE paid no federal income taxes in 2010. On the contrary, it claimed a $3.2 billion "tax benefit."
...GE strives for business success through lobbying for special privileges, not through open competition. President Obama has acknowledged the special relationship that GE has with the federal government by anointing GE's CEO, Jeff Immelt, as his favorite businessman.
... Open Secrets says that GE's PACs and individuals make it a political "heavy hitter." In recent years, its contributions have tilted heavily toward the Democrats: in the last two cycles, GE's PACs and individuals have contributed $3.9 million to Democrats and $2.3 million to Republicans. And that doesn't count the much larger $40 million GE spent on lobbying in 2010, much of it devoted to cap and trade and other "green" initiatives that cement the alliance between Big Business and Big Government, in opposition to the interests of consumers and taxpayers
...GE strikes us as a "modern" company, in that its business strategy consists largely of exercising political influence. In truth, however, the concept is not new: the virtual merger of Big Government and Big Business has long been a hallmark of national socialism.
...One can hardly resist comparing GE with another American company--one that has steadily increased its American workforce, rather than cutting it. One that has never gone to the federal government for a bailout. One that lobbies out of self-defense, as all companies do, but not to secure special privileges for itself at the taxpayers' expense. One that pays lots of taxes. One that not only advocates free enterprise, but lives by it, competing for business with superior products and services. ...
Aaaaannnnnnnnnnnnd, heads up!!...A number of companies would fit that description, but I have in mind Koch Industries. Koch is smaller than GE, although not radically so--$100 billion in revenues vs. $150 billion--but it pays a whole lot more in taxes
Well, there's a stark choice: a large, profitable, US-owned company which hires and retains American citizens, pays a ton of taxes--Federal, State, and local--and which does not suck Federal tit to do so.
What PowerLine does not highlight is this: it is precisely BECAUSE Koch Industries is not tit-sucking that the State Socialists of Obama despise it.