Guest post by Onan Coca
Can you hear him now?
Senator “Bernie” Bernard Sanders (I-VT) has been telling lies about the telecomm giant Verizon, and the company is starting to get annoyed. Sanders recently told his fans in Buffalo, New York that the company had “not paid a nickel in taxes,” even though they were making money hand over fist. The problem with Sanders’ assertions is that they aren’t remotely true.
Sanders’ most recent comments were the last straw for Verizon CEO, Lowell McAdam, who took to LinkedIn to express his disgust with Sanders’ lies.
The senator’s uninformed views are, in a word, contemptible. Here’s why.
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 yesterday (see “Sen. Sanders needs to get his facts straight” at Verizon.com/about/news). 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.
Sen. Sanders also claims that Verizon doesn’t use its profits to benefit America. Again, a look at the facts says otherwise. 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. Just yesterday, we announced a $300 million investment to bring fiber to the city of Boston, which will make it one of the most technologically advanced cities in the nation and expand broadband access for its residents. Boston’s Mayor Walsh is partnering with us on this initiative, calling it crucial for providing the foundation for future technology growth. We’re making significant investments in New York City, Philadelphia and other metro areas throughout our wireline footprint.
Verizon is one of the top 3 capital investors in all 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.
I challenge Sen. Sanders to show me a company that’s done more to invest in America than Verizon.
McAdam also took Bernie Sanders to task for getting involved in the labor dispute between Verizon and the labor unions who represent their employees. Sanders falsely claims that Verizon is asking workers to take pay and benefits cuts or threatening to move their jobs overseas. However, all of Verizon’s proposals contain pay increases, along with better benefits packages and healthcare options that are superior to what is available through Obamacare!
I’ll leave you with the very best line from McAdam’s online essay discrediting Bernie Sanders’ ridiculous talking points. After laying out all of his arguments, and proving Sanders wrong on each of his assertions, McAdam’s asked this of Bernie Sanders:
“Feeling the Bern” of reality yet, Bernie?
Cross-posted from EagleRising