G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether

From the NY Times:

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.

Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.

Headline of the Day

‘Know Your Meme’ Acquired By I Can Has Cheezburger in Seven-Figure Deal

The acquisition by Cheezburger comes on the heels of a recent infusion of $30 million in funding earlier this year from investors including the Foundry Group, Madrona Venture Group, Avalon Ventures and SoftBank Capital. Cheezburger founder Ben Huh said in a 2009 interview with Slate.com that he prefers to buy established sites rather than copy them, something he appears to have done here with the pickup of the web’s largest meme database.

Cheezburger already has MemeBase, which stands as one of its most successful sites generating 90 million page views on around 3.5 million monthly visitors, but to be fair it’s name is somewhat of a misnomer as it mainly serves as a TLD for dozens of Cheezburger’s niche offshoot sites like GraphJam and Go Cry Emo Kid. Even the vanilla memebase.com serves mainly as a user submission ground for images and videos of recent memes, lacking the depth to be considered any substantial authority on memes.

I have got to get me a website.

2 More Minutes From the Atlas Shrugged Movie

Keep in mind, this is a clip they’re using to garner excitement this snorefest.

And if you have no idea what’s going on in this clip (I envy you), the railroad is using an untested metal as rail AND a bridge. The union delegate is saying it’s not safe to risk workers on something as say, a locomotive going over a bridge. Dagny, our hero Objectivist, says testing and industry oversight are for commies. Full speed ahead.