GE NOT ONLY PAID NO TAXES FROM TX ’08-’10 BUT ACTUALLY MADE BILLIONS OFF OF TAXPAYERS … MORE ON ‘THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE’ …plus … THE PLANET HEARD — SEVERAL ITEMS THAT ‘THEY’ DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW AND THAT OTHER MEDIA WON’T DARE REPORT
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, DEC. 19, 2011) — It’s beginning to look a lot more like Christmas. Take a gander at this list, based on research compiled by MASSPIRG.
The “average” Massachusetts resident paid $10,062 in federal taxes each year from tax years 2008 through 2010. As a percentage of income, this amount to just under 20%. Add in state, local, excise, sales, and other levies forced upon average, hard-working, taxpaying citizens, and the average tax bill amounts to about half your income. In other words, for every dollar you make, the government steals about half of it before you get a sniff.
In the same tax years — 2008, 2009, and 2010 — here’s how a corporations made out. Hint: They did slightly better than you did.
* General Electric — you remember them; they did lots of business in Pittsfield for 100 years, then pulled out, taking all their jobs and leaving behind countless tons of industrial toxins in Pittsfield’s water, land, and air. In that time period from TY ’08-’10, GE paid NO TAXES. If that’s not enough, in that time, it actually made 4.74 billion from the tax code. That translates to an effective tax rate of -45.3%. Let’s repeat that: MINUS 45.4%.
* PG&E made 1.02 billion from the tax code, for an effective tax rate of -21.2%.
* Verizon made $951 billion from the tax code for a rate of -2.9%.
* Wells Farg0, $681 million from the tax code for a rate of -1.4%.
* Du Pont, $72 million in profits from the tax code for a rate of -3.4%.
* Boeing, $178 million from the tax code for a rate of -1.8%
These conglomerates not only paid not taxes but in effect made money come tax time. It doesn’t take an Occupation to see the inequity. Pittsfield residents just got hammered again on property taxes, and yet GE — the company that ruined the city — gets billions in income from you, the taxpayers.
Anyone still think Pittsfield should NOT push to a removal of Hill 78, a total cleanup of Silver Lake, and a reopener of the Consent Agreement?
THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE: BEEN DOWN A LONG TIME
Speaking of the Rape of Pittsfield by GE, the infamous collapsed Bridge to Nowhere that litters the banks of the Housatonic River in a hard-to-access spot behind the Eric Drive area symbolizes all that stinks about GE, the state, and the city of Pittsfield regarding the massive amount of industrial toxins left in Pittsfield and environs by GE.
When GE made a business decision to pull out of Pittsfield after 100 years, it left behind uncounted massive amounts of all manner of industrial waste and poison. Pittsfield had a Golden Opportunity to finally hold the company accountable when they met at the negotiating table. The discussions that led up to the GE-favored Consent Agreement have never been made public. Minutes were kept, but those minutes have never been released. The screwing Pittsfield accepted suggests that there’s a lot of embarrassing material in those minutes.
This bridge, with two new views seen here for the first time, idles away, forgotten by time. The state and GE, which own the banks spanned by the bridge, don’t want this junked bridge publicized, for it show how little they care about the city. Pittsfield itself doesn’t want you to know this wreckage is still there, because it is an embarrassment and a disgrace to its leaders and an insult to its citizens.
On Dec. 12, Sen. Ben Downing told THE PLANET that the city “is aware of the bridge issue.” The senator said he had contacted the state and GE as well. Downing said the three parties “are talking and determining next steps.” We urge the senator to aggressively stay on top of this issue.
Who owns the bridge itself? Who is responsible for cleanup? How did the bridge collapse? An accident? A demolition? When was it felled? Are there any records? For what purpose was the bridge used? Was this bridge part of a dumping ground for industrial wastes? Is that why they’ve tried to keep you from knowing?
THE PLANET wonders: Has anything been resolved in cleaning up this monstrosity, or will it simply be forgotten?
GE, State, and City: Clean Up That Mess. Come clean.
HEARD ON THE STREET THOUGH NOT CONFIRMED
— THE PLANET HEARD that the remediation of pollution that has been going on for years on Elm Street, at the former Mobil gas station next to the former Friendly’s restaurant, is the site of one of the largest gas-oil pollution sites in Massachusetts. Is this true? If so, how come no one has told us? The Stooley says “a Boston geophysics company” is working at the location, next to Elm Street Car Wash. Is this pollution GE related or not? Are there any hazards for adjacent properties?
We have long wondered about that site. It is fenced off from the public. There are all sorts of strange looking machines there. And not one word of what it all means.
— THE PLANET HEARD that Angelo Stracuzzi, the disgraced former president of Greylock Federal Credit Union, who was charged by Maine police with four count criminal counts involving two teenage boys in two separate incidents stemming from July 2005, has been formally invited to Mayor-elect Dan Bianchi‘s inauguration in January. The general public is invited to the inauguration, of course, but dignitaries receive a formal, person invite. The Stooley says that Bianchi is not aware that Stracuzzi will be there, because the invitations were sent out by the city clerk’s office from city hall. THE PLANET wonders if Bianchi is OK with the presence of a man who — in failing himself, his family, his friends, and his community — symbolizes everything that is sleezy, slimy, and creepy in GOB politics.
— THE PLANET HEARD that the third semi-serious injury has happened at the new skateboard park. The Stooley says one of the older kids, on a bike, who looked to be about 14 or 15, plowed into a much younger and smaller skateboarding boy, who ended up with a broken arm and lots of scrapes and bruises. The Stooley said the ‘accident’ appeared deliberate. This corresponds to other reports about this practice. Apparently, going hunting for kids younger and smaller than you is what some of these punk skateboarders and bicyclists like to do. We used to call that bullying. The skatepark was the stupidest way to blow $150,000 in taxpayer money.
— THE PLANET HEARD that on Thursday evening, at a about 6:30 p.m., an assistant from the mayor’s office was seen in the newsroom of the Boring Broadsheet, “standing and directing discussion at the city news desk.” The Stooley didn’t have the details of the discussion, adding, “I can’t for the life of me think why she would be over there except for ‘policing’ content.” Would any of our readers be shocked to learn than city hall has sway over the reporting of local news by the BB? Hmmmmm?
WE LEAVE YOU NOW TO THE MORNING, WISHING YOU GODSPEED AND ALL THAT GOOD STUFF.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.