Bernie Sanders Calls Out General Electric for ‘Avoiding’ Taxes

He named GE as one of the corporations 'destroying the moral fabric of this country.'

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a town hall meeting at Nashua Community College in Nashua, NH, Saturday, June 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Sen. Bernie Sanders Photo by Michael Dwyer / AP

Bernie Sanders didn’t shy away from calling out General Electric and several other corporations during a recent discussion with the New York Daily News editorial board.

According to transcripts released on Monday from last week’s wide-ranging interview, the Democratic presidential hopeful stated that the greed of corporate power players such as GE, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase is “destroying the moral fabric of this country.”

“I believe that we can and should move to what Pope Francis calls a moral economy,” Sanders said. “Right now, there are still millions of people in this country who are suffering the results of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street.”

GE, which is set to move its global headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston, was caught in the Democratic candidate’s crosshairs when he talked about corporate America being an “agent of American destruction.”

Sanders went after the company for “avoiding” taxes and sending jobs to workers overseas.

“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,” Sanders said. “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.”

He added, “That is greed and that’s selfishness. That is lack of respect for the people of this country.”

When asked by the New York Daily News editorial board as to how corporations such as GE are contributing to the degradation of America, the Vermont senator cited the practice of putting profits over people:

I’ll tell you how it does. If you are a corporation and the only damn thing you are concerned about is your profits. Let’s just give an example of a corporation that’s making money in America, today, but desiring to move to China or to Mexico to make even more money. That is destroying the moral fabric of this country. That is saying that I don’t care that the workers, here have worked for decades. It doesn’t matter to me. The only thing that matters is that I can make a little bit more money. That the dollar is all that is almighty. And I think that is the moral fabric.

This isn’t the first time that Sanders has called out GE, which has more than $110 billion stored away overseas, as he once named the company as one of the nation’s top 10 corporate tax avoiders.