RUSH: There was a hoax perpetrated on the media today about General Electric and Jeffrey Immelt. CNBC ran with the story but it was the AP. AP ran a story that Jeffrey Immelt and GE had decided because of all the bad PR they're getting to give the government the entirety of their $3.2 billion tax refund. It's a hoax. AP was totally taken by it. It's just a bunch of guys with a fax machine. It's like the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It's just a bunch of professional pranksters, and they're called the Yes Men. "The Yes Men often impersonate corporate executives in an attempt to embarrass companies and draw attention. Andrew Boyd, who founded the satirical group Billionaires for Bush and says he is a member of the Yes Men," and they just sent out a fake GE fax, and AP ran with it.
You know, I was talking to some people this morning, "Well, why did AP run it?" Because they wanted it to be true. You know, people need to stop and think, when something like that happens, you see the story, okay, GE, because of PR, is gonna give the government $3.2 billion that they don't owe. They didn't break the law. The tax law is what it is. They ended up getting a $3.2 billion refund, but because of PR they're gonna pay it back. Now, if they had done that, Immelt, the CEO, is opening himself up to shareholder suits. He's got a fiduciary duty to the stockholders. He just can't run around and arbitrarily send the government $3.2 billion dollars.
Another thing, if he had done it and if it were real, what a horrible precedent that would set. What were we just talking about yesterday, doing things because of what you want people to think about or what you hope people will think about you. Imagine if the precedent had been set to pay more taxes than you owe just to get good spin. In fact, when I first saw it, I thought maybe they're in league here, maybe Obama, the regime and Immelt are in league here. But the more I thought about it I said, "No, no, no, no." Then it was not long after that that it was revealed as a hoax. "General Electric is not returning a tax refund to the U.S. government. Early on Wednesday, a report that appeared to come from the Associated Press claimed that GE would pay the Treasury $3.2 billion in taxes on April 18th." GE has now denied that it plans to pay the taxes. So it was a scam from the get-go, a hoax, and it worked. (interruption) Do I think GE should get away with paying no taxes? I think their US profit was five billion. Their worldwide profit was 11. It really doesn't matter what the two numbers are.
The question is not should GE get away without paying taxes. The tax law is on the books. By the way, I was gonna let Obama surprise you, but I have a little idea what he's going talking about. He's going to propose, I have it on good authority -- of course we won't know for sure until it actually makes the teleprompter and he actually reads it -- but bye-bye mortgage interest deduction is gonna be one of his proposals, in addition to raising taxes on the wealthy again. And even USA Today has a story here, you know, you can go ahead and raise taxes on the rich, Mr. President, but then what are you gonna do? 'Cause there aren't enough of 'em to make a difference. That's unusual. But he's gonna be talking tax increase all over the board and everybody knows the situation we're in now, tax increases and economic growth alone will not bring us out of this problem. There have to be serious cuts in spending. Have to be.
For what it's worth here, ladies and gentlemen, General Electric gave Obama more money than they paid in taxes. Obama gave GE more money than they paid in taxes in terms of grants and this kind of thing. Google, same thing. Now, whether or not I am fine or cool with GE paying no taxes, if they didn't break the law I've got no problem with it, Snerdley. Now, obviously there's something screwy in the law that a company making $5.1 billion in profits isn't paying taxes, and then when you further look at all of the corporate cronyism going on between the regime and GE, yeah, you have to look at, okay, what aspects of the law might have been exploited here? Well, you can't say exploited 'cause the law's the law. You're gonna be on dangerous territory. You're like a caller, you're trying to trick me into coming out and supporting tax payments and tax increases and so forth. Don't deny it.
RUSH: What? You back on GE now? Snerdley just said, "Look at all the taxes you pay." You think if you were in my shoes that I'd be saying, "Okay, I pay X in taxes," and GE, which got a lot more money than I do, is not paying any and I would be mad. You're not gonna believe me, but I don't look at it that way. I'm sorry, my mind doesn't work that way. I am more interested in the crony capitalism relationship here. I'm more interested in what's going on here with this wasteful investment of dollars into this nonexistent green energy sector? You know what really is happening there? In terms of fairness, you know, I gave up on trying to keep score on fairness a long time ago because I don't believe it exists.
RUSH: The Republicans, House and Senate, just held a joint press availability where they -- in unison -- opposed any tax increases, calling them "job killers" and any number of things. So it's presidential election season. It has begun. Obama is now trying to shore up his base. He's in some trouble there.
Now, one thing. General Electric... Snerdley, drop what you're doing. I want you to hear this. He's out there screening calls. General Electric may not have paid taxes, but we looked it up.
In 2008, GE gave $2,252,727 to ... wait for it ... the Democrats.
So they did pay tribute. General Electric did pay tribute: $2,200,000 to Democrats and Obama, and over the last ten years General Electric has given $10,160,333 to the Democrats. They do pay their taxes. They do pay their tribute.