There has been a lot of talk lately about GE and what some call crony capitalism. Unfortunately, those same people don’t want the facts to get in the way of their political rhetoric.
So here are the facts:
GE is one of the largest private employers in the United States, employing 133,000 individuals. GE is growing and investing in the United States and creating jobs. Since 2009, GE has announced the creation of 8,000 new US jobs, 7,000 of which are manufacturing jobs. GE people are hard at work every day trying to make the world work better whether by making quality health care more affordable, finding new energy solutions, or building jet engines. GE people figure out what the world needs and then build it. In fact, today, we announced that we are investing $1 billion to help fight cancer, with an initial focus on breast cancer. That’s GE.
We are also growing around the world and that makes GE stronger in the U.S. We are the nation’s second-largest exporter because we have invested billions of dollars in technology. These exports support tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.
That’s who we are. Here’s who we are not.
We are not receiving special treatment; we compete for business just like every other company. Last year, only 4 percent of our revenue came from sales to the U.S. government. Of that, 75 percent was the result of jet engines that we provide to the U.S. military. We are a large company but only the 33rd largest contractor to the U.S. government.
We’re also not the company who somehow escaped paying any taxes.
We actually paid significant taxes in 2010 for previous years and $1 billion in state, local and other taxes. Our tax rate was low in 2010 because we lost $32 billion in our financial services business during the global financial crisis. This was not a tax avoidance strategy, it was a business loss. Even so, GE remains in favor of comprehensive tax reform, reform which eliminates loopholes and establishes a territorial system like the rest of the world. We would welcome the opportunity to focus on making things the world needs and not on complying with the Byzantine tax structure as it exists.
GE plays by the rules. We play to compete, to create jobs, and to solve the world’s toughest problems. That’s the real GE.