"Liberals Press Obama to Dump GE CEO From Economic Panel"
Jeffrey Immelt, the head of GE, is facing backlash from left-leaning groups who say that he shouldnt be on the White House Jobs Council or any other panel in light of reports that the company last year made $14.2 billion in profit, paid zero in corporate federal taxes and actually received a $3.2 billion tax benefit.
GE disputes that claim and says it did pay all kinds of taxes last year, though notably, not federal taxes. But it also claims that it didnt pay because it took hits for investment and other spending that is exactly what the tax code allows and is encouraged to help job creation.
Whatever the case, the optics are bad news for GE, which is facing increasing anger from the likes of former Wisconsin Sen. Feingold, MoveOn and even Jon Stewart.
In January, Obama named Immelt to head his new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness as part of an effort to improve the White House's strained relationship with the business community. Now Obama's relationship with liberals is on the rocks.
MoveOn and Feingold are calling on Immelt to step down.
"It is outrageous that GE made more than $14 billion in profits last year and paid no federal taxes," MoveOn Executive Director Justin Ruben said in a statement. "At a time when many in Washington, including the president, are worried about our nation's deficit, we should be punishing not rewarding companies like GE who are robbing the U.S. government and taxpayers of billions of dollars."
The White House did not reply to an e-mail seeking a response, and a GE spokesman declined to comment. . . .