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Northrop Grumman and Boeing Spent a Ton of Your Money To Try to Avoid Paying Taxes. It Worked.

By   Published: Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Al Capone should have tried being a war profiteer if he didn't want to pay taxes.

Al Capone: Not as good at dodging taxes as modern war profiteers, apparently.

We’ve been following the insane amount of our tax dollars that war industry companies use to lobby our Congress out from under us for a while, but the new Sunlight Foundation report just puts a cherry on top of this Tax Day. They’ve just published a report showing that the top eight companies spending the most on federal lobbying saw their tax rates decrease. Guess who’s included on the list: military contractor behemoths Northrop Grumman and Boeing:

The report notes that these top eight firms spent $540 million on lobbying from 2007 to 2009. They filed 332 lobbying reports that mentioned taxes and named 491 different tax bills in those reports.

The top eight companies that spent the most on lobbying were Exxon Mobil, Verizon Communications, General Electric, AT&T, Altria, Amgen, Northrop Grumman and Boeing. Exxon Mobil spent the most, some $81.92 million from 2007 to 2009.

…Six of the top eight companies saw declines of at least 7 percentage points.

The report noted that while it’s impossible to tell exactly why these companies’ rates fell, the likelihood of six of the top eight companies lowering their rates “by at least seven percentage points purely by random chance is less than 1 in 100,000.”

In 2010, Northrop Grumman got 92 percent of its revenues from taxpayer-funded contracts. In other words, almost all the money they spent to keep from paying taxes came from your taxes. 

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