GM and Ford’s 1% Tax Game: How Auto Giants Dodge Taxes While Striking Workers Get the Shaft

You might think that dodging taxes is a sport mainly played by Silicon Valley tech moguls or your fave offshore billionaires. Well, guess again! GM and Ford are upping their game in the tax evasion Olympics, and they’re on the medal stand.

The 1% Tax Game

Here’s the skinny: General Motors and Ford have, over the last five years, raked in a whopping $34 billion and $8 billion, respectively. You’d think with that kind of dough, they’d be showering their workers with living wages, right? Wrong. According to a fresh analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness, these auto titans have managed to pay just an average of 1% in federal income taxes. Yeah, you read that right, ONE PERCENT!

Where’s the Money, Lebowski?

While these companies cry broke when it comes to raising workers’ pay, they seem to have plenty of cash when it comes to enriching their executive suites. According to the same report, executive pay at GM and Ford skyrocketed by 32% over the past five years. Meanwhile, the poor average Joe or Jane on the factory line? Their wages grew by a meager 8.8%.

The Great Wealth Shuffle

So where is all the money going? If you’ve been following corporate America’s playbook, you won’t be surprised. GM and Ford have doled out a staggering $14 billion in dividends (that’s 34 times more than they paid in taxes) and squandered $3.6 billion on stock buybacks (nine times more than their tax bill). Oh, and let’s not forget about the $614 million they gifted to their top execs—which is 50% more than what they paid Uncle Sam.

Striking for Basic Rights

While the bigwigs continue to stuff their pockets, around 13,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) are striking, demanding better pay and benefits. And guess what? GM and Ford claim they can’t afford it. Really? Because their most recent SEC filings suggest otherwise. These companies are pros at crying wolf, only to find enough cash for stock buybacks and CEO bonuses.

Time to Shift Gears

David Kass, the executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, nailed it when he said that Ford and GM have thrown their priorities into reverse. He said, “They need to offer serious proposals for sharing the wealth with rank-and-file employees and start paying their fair share of taxes.”

It’s Not Just Auto Giants

This isn’t an isolated case; tax dodging is a national sport for the wealthy and corporations. More than a third of large, profitable U.S. corporations paid zero federal income tax in 2018. So, Congress, maybe it’s time to ensure that big corporations like GM and Ford pay up?

Look, folks, if we’re going to hold Wall Street and Silicon Valley accountable, we can’t give industrial giants like GM and Ford a free pass. They need to step up and pay their workers, and, yes, pay their fair share of taxes. Because until they do, it’s clear who’s really driving this country—and it ain’t the average American worker.