Ever wonder what's in the back of all those Ryder trucks?
Your tax dollars, apparently.
According to a new study by Citizens for Tax Justice, the Miami-based Fortune 500 company paid -7.3 percent federal income tax from 2008-10. That's negative 7.3 percent. Kinda makes you want to torch the nearest moving van, doesn't it?
According to the study, Ryder System's -7.3 percent was the 13th lowest of all Fortune 500 companies. All in all, thirty companies paid no federal income taxes from 2008-10.
Riptide contacted a Ryder spokeswoman for comment on the study. She hasn't gotten back to us with a statement, but when she does we'll update the post. In a New York Times story on the report, the company's chief financial officer, Art A. Garcia, says the firm "had benefited from the additional (tax) depreciation intended to stimulate the economy."
At a time when thousands of Americans are camped out in cities across the country protesting corporate greed, and even multi-billionaires like Warren Buffett are calling for higher taxes on the rich, Ryder's golden corporate welfare ticket would seem... um... shameful.
But not if you're Ryder CEO Gregory Swienton. Here he is on Fox News last year saying that extending the Bush tax cuts is "a no brainer."
Keeping the current tax rates and not increasing them on January first, that's just like the hippocratic oath: "Do no harm." That's just good. Secondly, you want to make them permanent... Then start talking about reducing taxes to really get the economy going and reduce government spending.
Ah, right. Reduce government spending! Like... tax dollar giveaways to highly profitable companies that don't seem to need them.
And here's Swienton again on Fox News this February gloating about Ryder's profits amid the recession.
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Needless to say, Swienton doesn't give Big Government a shout-out for the tax help. Instead, he credits "the fundamental business changes" Ryder has made. In fact, he even bitches about EPA fuel requirements being "a big sticker shock."
He adds that Ryder expects 12 percent revenue growth in 2011. Does that mean the company will finally start paying some taxes like the rest of us?