When Bernie Sanders told a cheering crowd on Monday that Verizon paid “not a nickel in taxes,” it was in support of a strike by the 40,000 Verizon employees Wednesday. Of course, it was Grade-A Bullcrap.
That was the last straw for Verizon’s CEO, Lowell McAdam, who posted a blistering response to the Socialist presidential candidates’ inflammatory speech.
“His first accusation – that Verizon doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes – is just plain wrong. 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. We’ve laid out the facts repeatedly and did so again. The senator 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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McAdam went on, pushing back on Sanders’ assertion that Verizon doesn’t use any of its profits to “Benefit America.”
“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.”
McAdam said Verizon was one of the top three “capital investors” in all of corporate America. Our investment has built wireless and fiber networks that deliver high-quality services, create high-tech jobs and form the infrastructure for the innovation economy of the 21st century.
Sen. Sanders is wrong on the facts. More egregiously, he oversimplifies the complex forces operating in today’s technologically advanced and hyper-competitive economy.
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. Contrary to Sen. Sanders’s contention, our proposals do not call for mass layoffs or shipping jobs overseas. Rather, we’ve asked for more flexibility in routing calls and consolidating some of our call centers, some of which employ a handful of people. We would continue to provide health insurance for active and retired associates and their dependents, but we have proposed some common-sense reforms to rein in the cost of these plans, which in 2015 ran to $1.4 billion a year for these represented employees, retirees and dependents. 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.
“Feeling the Bern” of reality yet, Bernie. From http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/us/verizon-ceo-destroys-bernie-after-he-attacks-the-mobile-phone-giant