Woops! Bernie Sanders made a bold claim about the Verizon strike, claiming that the company has “not paid a nickel in taxes” in recent years. It may make a good progressive talking point on the campaign trail, but it is categorically false.
Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam did not take the accusation sitting down either, penning an oped and releasing documents that prove not only was Bernie wrong, but he was WAY wrong.
“[Sanders’] first accusation – that Verizon doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes – is just plain wrong,” Lowell McAdam wrote in a LinkedIn piece. ”As our financial statements clearly show, we’ve paid more than $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years – that’s a 35% tax rate in 2015, for anyone who’s counting. …” McAdam added that Sanders “has started to fudge his language – talking of taxes not paid in some unspecified ‘given year’ – but that doesn’t make his contention any less false.”
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“Sen. Sanders also claims that Verizon doesn’t use its profits to benefit America. Again, a look at the facts says otherwise,” the CEO continued. “In the last two years, Verizon has invested some $35 billion in infrastructure — virtually all of it in the U.S. — and paid out more than $16 billion in dividends to the millions of average Americans who invest in our stock. In Sanders’s home state of Vermont alone, Verizon has invested more than $16 million in plant and equipment and pays close to $42 million a year to vendors and suppliers, many of them small and medium-sized businesses.”
… “Our objective in these negotiations is to preserve good jobs with competitive wages and excellent benefits while addressing the needs of our ever-changing business. All of our contract proposals currently on the table include wage increases, generous 401(k) matches and continued pension benefits…. In fact, our healthcare plans – which provide access to medical, prescription drug, dental and vision coverage – are robust enough to make us subject to the “Cadillac tax” on excessive plans as defined in the Affordable Healthcare Act … the very law Sen. Sanders supported and voted for.”
Progressives repeat their talking points over and over again until they become the “truth.” But every once in a while, they get caught and pay an embarrassing price for their misinformation and lies. Excuse me while I enjoy the schadenfreude that comes with observing this particular exchange….