If Bernie Sanders had a time machine, he would probably go back to the moment he agreed to an editorial board meeting with the New York Daily News and change his reply to "Sorry, I'm brushing my hair that day."
In addition to the overall confused tenor of the interview, Sanders is now the targets of op-eds from capitalists who find fault with Bernie's detail-free rhetoric. And in perhaps the most painful example, one of those capitalists was GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who
Here was what Bernie told the Daily News when pressed to offer an example of rapacious American corporate greed.:
General Electric, good example. General Electric was created in this country by American workers and American consumers. What we have seen over the many years is shutting down of many major plants in this country. Sending jobs to low-wage countries. And General Electric, doing a very good job avoiding the taxes. In fact, in a given year, they pay nothing in taxes. That's greed.
That is greed and that’s selfishness. That is lack of respect for the people of this country.
Obviously, Immelt was a little butt-hurt by such a comment, especially since he employs about 1,500 people in Sanders' home state of Vermont. In an op-ed published by the Washington Post, Immelt fired back at Sanders in a tone best described as "Who the f@ck are you bro?!"
We at GE were interested to read comments Monday by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who told the New York Daily News editorial board that GE is among the companies that are supposedly “destroying the moral fabric” of America. The senator had been asked to cite examples of corporate greed at its worst. Somehow that got him to talking about us.
Mmm hmm. And Jeff was just gettin' warmed up
GE has been in business for 124 years, and we’ve never been a big hit with socialists. We create wealth and jobs, instead of just calling for them in speeches. We take risks, invest, innovate and produce in ways that today sustain 125,000 U.S. jobs.
Daaaaaaamn son, he's about to bring all six sigmas down on The Bern.
The senator has never bothered to stop by our aviation plant in Rutland, Vt. We’ve been investing heavily (some $100 million in recent years), hiring and turning out some of the world’s finest jet-engine components in Vermont since the 1950s. The plant employs more than 1,000 people who are very good at what they do. It’s a picture of first-rate jobs with high wages, advanced manufacturing in a vital industry — how things look when American workers are competing and winning — and Vermont’s junior senator is always welcome to come by for a tour.
This feels like the part where Immelt rolls his neck and snaps off crisp high-fives with the executives lined up behind him like a hype team.
Elsewhere in Vermont, GE Healthcare employs more than 340 men and women in South Burlington. Yearly, GE does about $40 million worth of business with dozens of suppliers of parts and services across Vermont.
And here comes the coup de grâce...
Sanders has stated many times that GE pays no taxes. Repeating a lie over and over does not make it true. We pay billions in taxes, including federal, state and local taxes. The U.S. tax system has not been updated in 30 years and isn’t designed for today’s economy, which is why we support comprehensive tax reform — even if it raises our tax rate.
It’s easy to make hollow campaign promises and take cheap shots in speeches and during editorial board sessions, but U.S. companies have to deliver for their employees, customers and shareholders every day. GE operates in the real world. We’re in the business of building real things and generating real growth for a nation that needs it now more than ever. I’m proud of all that we do, and how it all figures into “the moral fabric” of America is so plain to me. It seems Sen. Sanders is missing the point.
We like to imagine that this is where Immelt dropped his mic before pointing out that it was made by GE.