Immelt: I want you to root for me. You know, everybody in Germany roots for Siemens. Everybody in Japan roots for Toshiba. Everybody in China roots for China South Rail. I want you to say, "Win, G.E."
Stahl: Do you not see any reason that maybe the public doesn't hold American corporations up here in the highest...
Immelt: I think this notion that it's the population of the U.S. against the big companies is just wrong. It's just wrong-minded and when I walk through a factory with you or anybody, you know, our employees basically like us.
Stahl: They do. I saw it.
Immelt: They root for us, they want us to win. I don't know why you don't.You can read the transcript and watch the entire segment here.
Immelt is holding another meeting with the Jobs Council this week, and plans to give Obama some more great advice, having nothing whatever to do with jobs. Regulations, for one thing -- they are so annoying. (Immelt was among those urging Obama to scrap the EPA ozone standards last month).
More free trade -- Immelt loves the free trade deal expected to rocket through Congress this week with little to no debate, despite the fact that it will bleed even more thousands of jobs from the American economy. Repatriation of profits in exchange for another huge tax break is a must. Yeah, he admits, we tried that once and it didn't create any new jobs, but the second time might be a charm. But he can't guarantee anything.
You probably remember the big uproar when it was revealed that G.E. not only paid zero taxes this year, but it actually got a refund from the government because of all the money it loses not being able to keep its money in the United States. (Immelt's head tax lawyer used to work in Treasury and literally wrote that law in G.E.'s favor).
Then it came out that G.E. Capitol got a bailout from the U.S. treasury to help it recoup losses it "suffered" in the 2008 meltdown. We never would have found out about the last bit unless Bernie Sanders had insisted on getting the info. Sanders calls G.E. one of the 10 worst corporate tax evaders of all time: "Over the past five years", he said, "while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS."'
Last March, a petition drive called "Immelt Must Go" was launched by former Senator Russ Feingold. After garnering thousands of signatures, it was presented to Obama. He dug in his heels. Immelt Must Stay, decreed Barry. Press Secretary Jay Carney explained at the time that the president would be keeping Immelt at the helm because he enjoys hearing a "diversity of opinion."
The latest G.E. outsourcing extravaganza is the removal of its 115-year-old X-Ray business headquarters to Beijing, taking several billion dollars out of the U.S. and investing it in China. But Immelt doesn't understand why American lawmakers are making such a big deal out of China and its currency manipulation anyway. "I'm not afraid of China!" he boasted to Lesley Stahl last evening.
|Body Language Says It All|