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Jay Carney On GE’s Zero Income Tax Payments: One Might Say ‘What The Heck’

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledged once more on Thursday that average Americans would be confused, if not appalled, by the fact that General Electric Co. did not pay any federal income taxes in 2010 despite mor…

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledged once more on Thursday that average Americans would be confused, if not appalled, by the fact that General Electric Co. did not pay any federal income taxes in 2010 despite more than $5 billion in profits.

One “might say, ‘what the heck, I don’t get this,’ ” Carney said during his daily briefing, adding that, “the president shares that opinion. … He believes our corporate tax structure needs to be reformed.”

But in having to reiterate the administration’s continued commitment to tax reform and equity (and with it, the closing of corporate loopholes), Carney underscored the extent to which GE’s non-existent 2010 payments have become a political liability. The company’s CEO, Jeff Immelt, serves as the chair of the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. And despite the apparent advantages that he was able to secure for his company, the White House has indicated no willingness to drop him from that post.

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